Brighton Dome is delighted to host a brand new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, in a unique collaboration between the celebrated stage and screen actor Dame Harriet Walter DBE (RSC, The Crown, Killing Eve, Succession) and Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra.
Abridged by renowned Brighton-based theatre director Richard Williams, the much-loved story of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future will be narrated by Walter accompanied by musical arrangements from award-winning pianist and BPO Music Director, Joanna MacGregor CBE with a brass quintet. The 70-minute performance will feature much-loved Christmas carols including I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In, Coventry Carol, and Ding Dong Merrily on High.
Theatre Director Richard Williams explains:
“A Christmas Carol is among my favourite books and for this version I have two roles. As the adapter for this concert version I have edited the script to allow for the wonderful musical interludes chosen for the BPO brass quintet - spicy arrangements of well-known carols - while keeping the familiar and well-loved characters and story. I have adapted other Dickens novels for the stage and they transform very easily because Dickens himself had a keen sense of the dramatic and a powerful instinct for great storytelling."
"I’m also directing the performance which involved liaising with the production staff at Brighton Dome for the technical aspects, such as lighting, and working with two amazingly talented people - Joanna MacGregor, the musical director of the BPO and our reader, the actor Harriet Walter - to ensure all the elements combine, to create an atmospheric and celebratory Christmas event!”
Two socially distanced performances will take place live in Brighton Dome’s Concert Hall on Saturday 12 December, as part of the venue’s Christmas programme. In line with government regulations, the venue is able to host events to household and bubble groups and received the ‘Good to Go’ mark with enhanced safety measures in place to ensure audiences can safely enjoy some seasonal entertainment after being closed for most of the year.
Joanna MacGregor, BPO Music Director added:
“Harriet and I have collaborated regularly over the years - most recently a staging of Haydn’s The Creation at Dartington Summer School and Festival, where I was artistic director, and at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, part of The Globe. She loves working with musicians: this is going to be a very special performance, and a lovely way to greet Christmas.”
Harriet Walter commented:
“Like everyone, I have been preparing myself for a Covid Christmas, different from any other we have experienced, and I was particularly sad at the prospect of a Christmas without the annual round of services and entertainments I am usually asked to take part in. Then out of the blue came this wonderful invitation to narrate Dickens’ classic story of redemption, A Christmas Carol. It is a story I should be able to recite by heart as for the past several Christmases my American actor husband Guy Paul, has played Scrooge in Rochester New York. Sadly, he can’t perform this year so I shall attempt to make up for that and If I get anywhere close to the spirit of the book it will be largely thanks to my mimicking him!"
"Adding to my delight in this invitation will be the privilege of being on stage for a live performance with the brilliant musicians from the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra. I have narrated a couple of times with Joanna MacGregor and I am always transported by the musical skill around me. I look forward to being part performer, part audience at what promises to be as much of a coming together as this particular Christmas can afford.”
Tickets are £15-20 per person, in household or bubble groups of 3 or 4 as cabaret tables, rear stalls and circle seats. £20 single tickets rear stalls and circle. Family ticket offers for groups of 3 and 4 with under 18s. Book online or via the Ticket Office.
Further events will be announced soon as part of Brighton Dome’s festive programme.