AN AUTHENTIC adaptation of A Christmas Carol is coming to Bridport Arts Centre in time for the festive season.

After a successful UK tour over Christmas 2016, European Arts Company returns with their take on the Charles Dickens’ classic, which comes to Bridport Arts Centre on December 8.

This exciting production, adapted from Dickens’ own public reading scripts and eyewitness accounts of him on stage, recreates the spirit of Dickens original performances. Actor John O’Connor lives in Rochester where Dickens grew up and set many of his stories including Great Expectations, David Copperfield, The Pickwick Papers and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

John said: “I’m delighted to be touring again in A Christmas Carol. Dickens himself toured all over the UK and America performing the story and it’s wonderful to follow in his legendary footsteps. The reaction to the show last year was a delight and there will be laughs, tears and plenty of Christmas cheer.”

Dickens was passionately interested in the welfare of the poor and children in particular and many of his early readings were for charity. Doctor Thomas Barnardo was a contemporary of Dickens and was inspired to set up his first Ragged School partly as a result of Dickens’ writings and campaigning. This tour is in aid of the children’s charity Barnardo’s.

Sue Westbury of Barnardo’s said: “We are delighted that A Christmas Carol is touring once again to delight theatre goers in the run up to Christmas. Barnardo’s supports the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children across the UK and Christmas is a poignant time to remember those children and young people who are less fortunate. We are grateful to European Arts Company for supporting Barnardo’s and helping to raise vital funds.”

Few people know that Charles Dickens originally wanted to be an actor and A Christmas Carol was the first public performance he gave of his own work. After his opening night he said The success was most wonderful and prodigious – perfectly overwhelming and astounding altogether! Dickens enacted the work over 150 times and the effect on the public was phenomenal; he had a magnetic stage presence, riveting eyes, expressive voice and wonderful powers of characterisation. Remarkably, Dickens made more money from his readings than all his novels and stories put together.

This Christmas, experience what it must have been like to be in the audience in the 1800s. Enjoy a seasonal treat in the spirit of Christmas past, present and future.

n A Christmas Carol, Bridport Arts Centre, December 8.

Call the box office for tickets and more information.