Reading Dickens’ “Christmas Carol” Aloud


The St.Andrew’s Shakespeare Reading Group decided to read Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” in honor of the season. Above you can see our hostess, Melita Thorpe, with John Watson-Williams dressed for his lead role as Ebenezer Scrooge. It took about 4-1/2 hours to read the entire short novel aloud (with breaks between staves for refreshments and a potluck dinner). We considered using one of the plays but decided that reading Dickens original 1843 text was better – since the plays both add and remove some of Dickens’ excellent prose. We distributed the text among our dozen readers:

  • Taking turns reading narration (about half a page before going to the next reader).
  • Dialogue was spoken as assigned parts.  Some famous parts (including the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come) have no spoken lines. We doubled up on small roles.

It was a delightful evening! Several of us plan to follow up by going to the Dickens Christmas Fair (at the Cow Palace) and to the ACT “Christmas Carol” stage play in San Francisco.

Image Copyright 2013 by Katy Dickinson

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