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What the Dickens? - SW London
What the Dickens? - SW London

Fri, 29 Nov

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OSO Arts Centre

What the Dickens? - SW London

Charles Dickens is haunted by the women he mistreated, soundtracked by colourful Victorian songs, carols and folk music

Time & Location

4 more dates

29 Nov 2024, 19:30 – 21:20

OSO Arts Centre, 49 Station Road, Barnes, London SW13 0LF, UK

About the event

A new show where music and theatre collide by award-winning writer Clare Norburn and BAFTA-nominated director Nicholas Renton with colourful Victorian popular songs & street music, old carols and lively folk music performed by a multi-talented cast of seven who act, sing, dance and play instruments - sometimes all at the same time!

It’s Charles Dickens’ last Christmas Eve: 1869. Against his doctor’s wishes, he gives one of his acclaimed theatrical readings of A Christmas Carol, but from the moment the lights go down, his life becomes strangely entangled with his character Scrooge. Dickens’ carefully managed image as a family man, who has created the very quintessence of Christmas starts to unravel. He is haunted by the women he mistreated (his wife and mother of his ten children, Catherine Dickens, and his secret young mistress, Ellen 'Nelly' Ternan), who force him to face up to his past, present and future. Can Dickens learn from the ghosts, repent, and be saved - as Scrooge was saved?

“mesmerising”  - The Guardian on The Telling

“an exploration of the boundaries between art and life...intelligent… finds new terrain” - The Guardian on Clare Norburn’s writing

Age restrictions:

Generally, we believe ages 11+ would enjoy this play – or possibly younger if they are used to going to the theatre. The play isn't scary – it's much less scary than most films of A Christmas Carol - rather it might be a bit serious for very young children. There are some fun moments and musical numbers. It is more enlivening than taking a child to a straight orchestral concert (and we say that as musicians!). We think it depends on the child as well as the age.

Supported by The Golsoncott Foundation and Cockayne – Grants for the Arts: a donor-advised fund held at The London Community Foundation.

Photo by Sisi Burn.

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