Thursday 14th, 7.30pm; Saturday 16th 2pm - Selected Scenes
Friday 15th, 7.30pm; Sunday 17th 2pm - A Christmas Carol (abridged)
In 1824, two days after his twelfth birthday, and at the behest of his parents, Charles Dickens began working, to assist the family finances, in Warrens Blacking factory at 30 Hungerford Stairs, “a crazy tumbledown old house, abutting … on the river, and literally overrun with rats”. A few days after this, his father John Dickens was arrested for debt, and put in the Marshalsea prison for debtors. Mrs. Dickens and the youngest children soon joined him, while the boy Charles took lodgings, walking each day between his lodgings, the prison and the blacking factory.
Although these events lasted for less than a year, the traumatic consequences for the boy suffused his developing imagination, so that much later he could write, “even now, famous and caressed and happy… I often wander desolately back to that time of my life”.
These readings from the novels follow through a line of thought focussing on abandoned and ill-treated children, failed parents and corrupt authorities. Ultimately, the great novelist considers whether or not one can be free of the past, of its power over the imagination.
For this special fundraising event, all tickets are $20.