Monday, February 8, 2010

What The Dickens ?

"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."
A Christmas Carol ~Charles Dickens, Ebeneezer Scrooge,
Several years ago, our small town, was graced by a visit from Gerald Charles Dickens, great-great grandson of the author 'A Christmas Carol '.

It was the highlight of the town's Victorian Christmas Festival, a seventy -five minute on stage performance and one-man show of a descendant of the beloved author Charles Dickens.

Gerald Dickens performed the dramatization with just a chair, a hat stand, a candle, his top hat, and a walking stick for props. The rest of the show was brought to life with his voice, facial expression, mannerisms, and energy.
Since the story is so well known, Dickens said he didn't have to worry too much about explaining the plot.

Everyone loved the story, and a closeness and camaraderie developed in the audience as we watched a talented storyteller enact his great-great grandfather's story with love and passion.

Fortunately for me, the audience struggled to understand the actor's Cockney accent. It created dead silence voids, where an appropriate applauding should have followed a punch line.
Mr. Dickens had been making note of this, and asked if I would accompany him on stage and help the audience participation, with a few prompting gestures.
Would I accompany him on stage ?

Needless to say it was the best Christmas gift I could have received, and dare say, everyone in this town, is still talking about it to this very day.......
I know I am.
"To Josephine
my Warrington friend".
~ Gerald Charles Dickens.


Anonymous said...

how wonderful!
Charles Dickens is my favorite author.

DJan said...

What a treat! To have both of you on stage, with you acting as "interpreter"! Brilliant! I just finished watching "Little Doritt" (Masterpiece Theatre) from the BBC, 4 discs, and it was so wonderful (written by Charles Dickens many years ago). You are such a blessing!

Betsy Brock said...

Well now, isn't that just the neatest thing?!

donna baker said...

Jo, I just love that.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Oh how special, Jo... What a treat for you.... I love "A Christmas Carol" .. That is just super!!!!

Sunny said...

How wonderful for you and such an honor. Truly a treasured memory, thanks for sharing.
Sunny :)

FireLight said...

Oh, do put the kettle on...Now Brit in Tenn....I think that may have been in late fall of '99 or 2000....he appeared in Birmingham, AL. I could not go, but my two sisters attended....said it was magic...and brought me a recording...I adore Dickens...have been to the house on Doughty Street (museum). More later, past my bedtime!

Unknown said...

What a wonderful memory. How nice of him to send you such a great treasure.
Everyone loves Dickens.
Love your blog.

Patsy said...

That is a wonderful story, what fun that must have been.

Dave Pie-n-Mash said...

So not only are you a posh bird but now you're a theatrical posh bird? Will it never end....
I understand Mr. Dickens problem. A lot of what I say is rarely understood either.
I will have to look up Mr. Dickens and see if he's heading up my way any time soon. It sounds like a good show.

Barbara Anne said...

What a lovely night, a lovely memory, and a lovely memento! Thank you for telling us the story.

Is the snow that surprised Memphis this morning headed your way?

Ready for a cuppa?

Terra said...

That is so delightful that you were on stage helping!
My dh went on a reading Dickens spree a few years ago, and greatly enjoyed all of the books.

L. D. said...

That would have been a special event. I enjoy the PBS shows that they create from his writings.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Marbella: He's my favorite too !

DJan: I loved Little Doritt, it was recently on our local public broadcasting service, such a treat.

Betsy: Yes, isn't that so...

Donna: I will never forget it !

Betsy from TN: I truly couldn't believe he asked me on the stage with him, and I was completely at home !

Sunny: Yes, such an honor.

Firelight: It was actually around that same time, he was touring the whole of the US.
I tried visiting your blog, but for some reason I kept getting a different web page and it took forever to load ?

Katie: He gave me the book before he left that day. I shall always treasure it.

Dave Pie-n-Mash: Yes, I've been working hard on my "How now brown cow", I can relate to people not understanding you....I have a hard time myself sometimes....oooh lol

Barbara Anne: A lovely Winter's afternoon, and we drank Wassail too !

Terra: How exciting !

L.D. Burgus: Me too....i love Masterpiece Theatre !

George said...

What a wonderful experience this was. I can easily imagine that you consider this a perfect Christmas gift. Thanks for sharing it with us.

DeniseinVA said...

That is such a very cool experience Jo and what fun! I would have loved to have seen it all.

Michael said...

Im sure he was so glad you were there to help interpret, as it were. LOL.

Midwest to Midlands said...

How cool! I can relate to the not understanding part, but great you were there and willing to help. By the way thanks for the tip on bleach in the tea cups. I hadn't thought of that and I'm so much happier now that I can get the tea stains out of the cups and sink. Take care!! jane