Bringing Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to the West Sussex stage

This December multi-award winning Wick Theatre Company is promising a sumptuous Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol.
A Christmas Carol - pic by Miles Davies PhotographyA Christmas Carol - pic by Miles Davies Photography
A Christmas Carol - pic by Miles Davies Photography

Spokeswoman Susanne Crosby said: “This is theatre which is full of grit and wit, creatively told as a feast for the senses combining the traditional story-telling true to the piece and set in the time, creatively and beautifully told, to leave you warm with hope and festive spirit.

“Charles Dickens is a literary genius and a British institution, and most people who are familiar with his work will have heard of the novella A Christmas Carol or read it or seen one of the many incarnations of the story. What’s perhaps less known is that Dickens was a social reformer, and the story itself is inspired by a dual threads of Christmas and the publication ten months earlier of the Second Report of the Children's Employment Commission. He was also inspired by his own life story, of having to give up school at the age of 12, pawn his books and work in a rat-infested shoe-blacking factory all because his father ended up in debtor’s prison.

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“Dickens visited the appalling conditions of children working in the Cornish tin mines and a Ragged School in London, aimed at the poorest and most destitute children. Dickens originally planned to publish an appeal to the people of England on behalf of these children but changed his mind, and lucky for us, wrote A Christmas Carol instead.

“The tale tells of the cold-hearted businessman who gets the fright of his life one Christmas Eve when he is visited by the ghost of his former partner Jacob Marley, followed by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. They help to hold up a mirror to his life and show him the world at large and help to open his eyes and his heart to the suffering as well as the joy of life around him. The morals of kindness, community and generosity of both spirit and your own good fortune are timeless, and in the harshest of times, very relevant. This story crystalises the moral themes he so wanted to highlight, and the happiness with which people had begun to celebrate Christmas.

“Never out of print since its publication 19 December 1843, it has clearly tapped into the culture and fabric of the British people: that kindness and goodness can win, that there is always hope and a chance of redemption.

“David Edgar’s play adaptation of this classic is fascinating, as it features as central characters Charles Dickens himself, alongside his best friend and editor John Forster. Entirely truthfully, Dickens talks of wanting to write an exposé of the conditions of the poor, especially children. It gives us a wonderful insight into the creative mind of someone both inspired and appalled by what he had read, witnessed and experienced first-hand. We see the rich tapestry of Ebeneezer Scrooge’s story coming alive before our eyes.”

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Director Nettie Sheridan said: “It’s gorgeous tale of redemption, with generosity, empathy and kindness at its core.”

It’s on Wednesday to Saturday, December 14-17 December at 7.45pm each evening. Book through the Wick Theatre website: www.wicktheatre.co.uk which takes you to Ticket Source or on 0333 666 3366.

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