And thus Charles Dickens' slim little Christmas book gets under way and Scrooge's remarkable journey of reclamation begins. A Christmas Carol is a wonderful read, full of intriguing parallels that hopefully makes us occasionally re-examine our own existence and how we behave towards one another.
For the past twelve Christmas' I have travelled up and down the country, performing Dickens story of redemption in a variety of settings from theatres, churches, schools, country houses and even on one occasion around the fireside of someone's drawing room. In nearly fifty years as an actor I would say that A Christmas Carol contains the perfect script; full of emotion and rich with characterization; an absolute joy to perform.
I first encountered Ebenezer Scrooge eighteen years ago when I was invited to play him for the RSC in a huge, lavish production adapted by John Mortimer. It was, as the Sunday Times reported, 'a success the size of a giant Christmas tree appealing to the grown-up in the children and the child in the grown-ups...'
But you know, once played, never forgotten. Once you have trod the 'path of jagged flints and stones laid down by Scrooge's brutal ignorance', it's hard to get the old boy out of your head, hence why I decided to adapt the story into a show for myself.
Read about my new show Dickens the Actor here