You should all be aware of where this quote comes from. Yes – it’s the opening line of Charles Dickens’ famous novella A Christmas Carol. But don’t panic! I’ve not suddenly become one of those people who gets excited for the next Christmas almost as soon as the last bit of turkey has been finished; I’m well aware that it is only October, and just under three months until the day itself.
However, I have things to plan and favours to ask you.
I’ve decided to make it my mission to see as many productions of A Christmas Carol as I possibly can! With a high profile show due to open at the Old Vic next month (and yes, I already have a ticket), it seems like the ideal year to give it a go. My parents’ local theatre (the Brewhouse, Taunton) is also putting on its own musical version this year, so I’m also booked to see that when I head home for the holidays. (There’s a lovely Sunny link between these two: John Dagleish is Bob Cratchit at the Old Vic, and Megan Leigh Mason will play Mrs Cratchit in Taunton.)
I’m hoping that Martin Prest will put on his exceptional one-man show again this year (before I head out of London), to add to my tally. There already seem to be a few more to choose from: Antic Disposition, Windsor Castle and the RSC will all be telling Dickens’ festive tale.
I also think it’s about time I visited the Charles Dickens Museum. This year their Christmas exhibition is ‘A Ghost of an Idea: unwrapping A Christmas Carol’, and will look at Dickens’ motivations for writing the book, as well as its legacy – including the forthcoming film The Man Who Invented Christmas (which surely has to go on my list). They normally have performances of their own over the festive period, so I should really be able to make it to one of those too.
And now you come in. If you know of any productions in the vicinity of London (ideally taking place between mid-November and early January), or Somerset in mid-December, please please let me know. I do my best to keep on top of upcoming shows, but I’m bound to miss one or two here and there. Or, indeed, if you’re putting on your own version of A Christmas Carol – or anything connected to it – I’d be happy to come and review it for you…
Things are starting to come together quite nicely now! Not only do I have several Christmas shows booked up, but my Dickens mission is starting to gain a bit of momentum.
Since my original post, I discovered that the London Musical Theatre Orchestra is putting on their concert version at the Lyceum once more, and The Fitzrovia Radio Hour are also making a return – their 1940s production will run at Leicester Square’s Spiegeltent over the festive season. I’m basically all set to bring coverage of both to you!
The Charles Dickens Museum has also just announced its full Christmas schedule, including several opportunities to hear the story read/performed by different people. As well as the exhibition I previously found out about, they’re also running themed walking tours and talks – I hope to pop along to some of these.
As you’ll obviously remember from my first post of 2017, I was hoping to visit some of the more talked about regional theatres this year – and one of the ones I mentioned (The Curve, Leicester) is putting on Scrooge the Musical this season. Perfect opportunity, don’t you think?
The Muppet Christmas Carol is, as ever, being screened at the Prince Charles Cinema – and I’m determined to go along this time. It’s the best Christmas film, no arguments.
I (somehow) still have a few spare dates in my diary, so if you do have any others to share with me please get in touch in the usual ways…