How Charles Dickens invented the traditional Christmas
Guess what? The annual John Lewis’s ad has already set the the nation blubbing, there’s a goose somewhere who’s BMI rating is going through the roof and the proverbial old man’s hat is rattling with the chink of tumbling pennies.
And hark, what’s that I hear? Could it be the sound of Noddy Holder bellowing “It’s Christmaaaas” Yes folks, like it or not, the festive season is very much upon us. So, before you can say: ‘Not in November’, we embark on a gentle exploration of Christmas past and discover how it is Charles Dickens who can truly be said to have invented Christmas in what we now accept as its traditional form.
At the weekend we head for Redditch where respected actors Robert Powell and Susan Jameson to explore A Dickensian Christmas complete with musical accompaniment from Clive Conway on flute and Christine Croshaw on piano.
We reveal Dickens the celebrity, the social reformer, the actor, the entrepreneur, and, above all, Dickens the supreme entertainer. We celebrate his life and times through his writings and scenes from his best-loved novels, with a seasonal twist, tasting the varied delights of winter ice-skating, Pickwick's Christmas party, the magic of the newly-introduced Christmas tree, festive feasting and philanthropy, and goodwill to all men! Not forgetting, of course, that perennial favourite, A Christmas Carol, and all interwoven with seasonal merriment and music.
Although he was a writer from the Victorian era, Dickens’s work transcends his time, language and culture. He remains a massive contemporary influence throughout the world and his writings continue to inspire film, TV, art, literature, artists and academia.
*A Dickensian Christmas is at The Palace Theatre in Redditch on Sunday 24th November. Don’t miss it. More info at www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk