Acting Ebenezer, in which Mr Dickens assuming many a character of his own devising will attempt to render dramatically his recent ghostly book : A Christmas Carol

Leeds Library at Christmas

Christmas at The Leeds Library 2013

Xmas Leeds Lib

Christmas at The Leeds Library 2011

On Friday at lunchtime David Robertson of Theatre of the Dales brought his excellent one man show ‘Acting Ebenezer’ to The Leeds Library and performed his abridged version of ‘A Christmas Carol‘ very much in the style of the inimitable Mr Dickens. In addition to his powerful acting of the part of CD Mr Robertson has the distinct advantage of looking the image of Dickens himself!

It was the perfect start to Christmas week and the perfect venue for such a literary performance.

Poster

I didn’t like to take photos during the performance and at the end Mr Robertson disappeared in whoosh! So here are some quotes from the book itself and from the flyer left on our seats before the performance.

Christmas Carol

PREFACE

I HAVE endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it. 

Their faithful Friend and Servant,

C. D.                  December, 1843.*

” “A merry Christmas, Bob!” said Scrooge, with an earnestness that could not be mistaken, as he clapped him on the back. “A merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you for many a year! I’ll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop, Bob! Make up the fires, and buy another coal-scuttle before you dot another i, Bob Cratchit!” *

[* Source of quotations from ‘A Christmas Carol’]

And David Robertson writes :

“After the success of Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby, Dickens quarrelled with his publishers, whom he suspected of taking too much of the profits, and rashly told them he himself would bear the cost of their publishing A Christmas Carol.

He wouldn’t scrap the gold embossed cover or the four coloured etchings and insisted on keeping the price to 5/- to be affordable to almost everybody. As it turned out, he landed in considerable debt because so many pirate editions, claiming to be ‘improvements’, reduced his sales. Of course, in the end, A Christmas Carol proved the most popular of all his works and has remained so this day.

I’ve been playing Scrooge in one form or another for twelve years now, starting with a recording I was commissioned to make for students learning English (in which Bah, humbug! was watered down to Oh, nonsense). But I recently met Gerald Dickens, the great great grandson of Charles, and was so impressed by his one-person enactment of Nicholas Nickleby that I’ve been tempted to (gingerly) follow in his footsteps.

I hope you’ll enjoy the result.

David”

We certainly did, thank you, David. And a Merry Christmas Everyone!

Christmas Carol