This Christmas marks 175 years of Dickens’ most famous festive story, A Christmas Carol. Malton, the tale’s spiritual home, welcomes back its annual Dickensian Festival with a series of celebratory events.
At 6pm on Saturday 15 December the BBC’s Doctor Who and Dickens embark on a festive adventure at the Wesley Centre. This behind-the-scenes talk looks at the ways A Christmas Carol influenced storytelling and more specifically, the adventures of everyone’s favourite Time Lord.
Author and producer, Gavin Collinson, worked on Doctor Who for almost a decade with 11 Doctors. Using clips and first-hand anecdotes, he takes you on an affectionate journey through time and space in this warm-hearted family event.
Gavin said: “These British storytelling stalwarts share a very big heart. The Doctor and Dickens both celebrate humane qualities, such as kindness, tapping into the true meaning of Christmas, so I hope audiences leave inspired and uplifted.”
The evening also features a Q&A with Gavin hosted by author, broadcaster and the great, great, great grand-daughter to Charles Dickens, Lucinda Hawksley, as Gavin offers insights into how to become a writer for the BBC.
The evening continues with the acclaimed One Man Show, Mr Charles Dickens presents A Christmas Carol, at 7.30pm in The Milton Rooms. Few people know that Charles Dickens originally wanted to be an actor and A Christmas Carol was the first public performance he gave of his own work. The effect on the public was phenomenal thanks to his magnetic stage presence.
This Christmas, experience what it must have been like to be in the audience in the 1800s with this exciting production, adapted from Dickens own public reading scripts and eyewitness accounts. Actor, John O’Connor lives in Rochester where Dickens grew up and set many of his stories including Great Expectations and David Copperfield.
John said: “I’m delighted to be touring again in A Christmas Carol. Dickens himself toured all over the UK and America performing the story and it’s wonderful to follow in his legendary footsteps. The reaction to the show last year was a delight and there will be laughs, tears and plenty of Christmas cheer.”
On Sunday 16 December, Lucinda Hawksley returns to the Talbot Hotel at 1pm for a luncheon talk celebrating 175 years of A Christmas Carol. Don’t miss scintillating insights from Dickens’ great, great, great grand-daughter, while enjoying Sunday lunch in the sophisticated setting of The Talbot.
Lucinda Hawksley said: “When Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol in December of 1843, the story was intended as a protest against the injustices of the world he lived in, the legacy of the story continues to have an impact on the world.”
The festival concludes with A Christmas Carol in Concert at 7.30pm on Friday 21 December at The Milton Rooms. Modern-day balladeers, Green Matthews, take the well-loved festive adventure back to its Victorian ﬁreside roots, with a vivid and evocative picture of Dickens’ world.
Musicians Chris Green and Sophie Matthews with special guest Jude Rees use a magical blend of new lyrics, traditional midwinter English folk tunes and carol melodies to illustrate the transformation of ﬂinty-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge into the epitome of the Christmas spirit – warm-hearted, generous and loving. Uplifting and melodic, Green Matthews’ A Christmas Carol recaptures the simple Yuletide delights of fellowship, laughter and good cheer.
While A Christmas Carol was set in the fog of London, it was actually the swirling mists of Malton and Dickens’ friend, a young lawyer from the town that inspired Dickens to create his haunting tale. Local legend has it that it was in his friend’s tiny office that he decided to place Scrooge.
Sat 15 December, 6-7pm: Doctor Who and A Christmas Carol, The Wesley Centre, Malton. Tickets £7 adults, £3 children. To book visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/doctor-who-and-a-christmas-carol-tickets-52604411210
Sat 15 December, 7.30pm: Mr Charles Dickens presents A Christmas Carol, £6-£12, The Milton Rooms. Box Office 01653 600048
Sun 16 December, 1pm: Lucinda Hawksley presents 175 Years of A Christmas Carol, The Talbot. £25 per person incl. two-course lunch, tea/coffee and mulled wine. To book, call the Talbot on 01653 639096.
Fri 21 December, 7.30pm: A Christmas Carol in Concert, £10. The Milton Rooms. Box Office 01653 600048.