The Palm Presents A Christmas Carol

The Palm Presents A Christmas Carol

Scrooge. Tiny Tim. Bah — humbug! The words from Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol hang in the frosty holiday air like our chilled breath. More than a century and a half after its publication in 1843, the story of the miser-turned-humanitarian remains a fixture in the tinsel-strewn landscape of the season.

Peter Ackroyd is the foremost living biographer of Dickens and chief literary critic of The Times of London. He also wrote the Foreword to the most recent Christmas gift book put out by Red Rock Press, A Christmas Dinner. Ackroyd weighs in on the enduring popularity of Dickens tale and its grizzled protagonist.

The enduring popularity of A Christmas Carol is that the work combines all the elements of Dickens's imagination: It is an attack upon those who spurn the poor and the unemployed. There are also many religious motifs, which give the book its particular seasonal spirit, not only the Christmas of parties and dancing but also the Christmas of mercy and love that binds a community to itself. All these matters are combined within a story that has all the fancy of a fairy tale and all the vigor of a Dickensian narrative.

Scrooge is, in a sense, a personification of Dickens. In creating the miser, his own real preoccupation with money comes to the fore. It is clear that the author knew where the springs of the fictional character were buried. That is why Scrooge is such a convincing creation.

On Monday, December 22, 6:30 p.m., The Palm presents the Nebraska Theatre Caravan production of A Christmas Carol, starring the tight-fisted middle-class merchant. This Victorian version of Dickens's holiday fable is mounted with a full array of Christmas carols – "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, " "Away In a Manger", "Here We Come A-Wassailing" interwoven with the classic story and performed by a cast of 28. The set, tricked out with a spinning bed, evokes a Currier and Ives print of yesteryear.

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