On Friday, we were invited to watch the new play at East Riding Theatre – A Dickens of a Christmas. The twins haven’t been to ERT before and it’s been a while since I last went (certainly pre-pandemic), so we jumped at the chance. Thank you, ERT.
See our previous review of Little Women for more information about East Riding Theatre.
A Dickens of a Christmas is a fun play about a Charles Dickens travelling theatre crew operating in the time Dickens was alive and adding to his colourful reputation. The crew are waiting for a visit from the man himself to come and see their readings, songs, and recreations of some of the most famous scenes from his work including A Christmas Carol (naturally), Oliver Twist, The Old Curiosity Shop, and The Pickwick Papers.
Does Charlie-boy make it all the way from London to the theatre in Beverley to see this wonderful tribute to his work? You will have to find that out for yourself.
While we wait for him, we are treat to the show. It’s performed by 9 people – a mix of actors and musicians – who between them play some of Charles Dickens’ most famous characters, including little Nell, Fagin, Mr Pickwick, and Scrooge.
It is spooky and menacing in parts. Those who are even semi familiar with Charles Dickens work know he never shies away from all things dark and gloomy. It could potentially be frightening for very young children. There is also some more grown-up jokes, both verbal and visual, which my 11 year olds thought highly entertaining. Typical!
For audience participation, you are required to clap along, boo, and cheer in all the right places. You will be safe sat on the front row.
For older children, and those that are familiar with the work of Dickins, this show is a lot of fun. We enjoyed it thoroughly. It would probably be too confusing for younger children as it’s a collection of scenes, readings, and songs, rather than a full story. The twins were certainly the youngest ones in the auditorium on the night.
There is a mix of evening performances and matinees available until the 23rd December 2022
So what did one of the 11 year old’s think? Here’s her view.
Hello it’s Robyn and I am 11. The Charles Dickens play was a little confusing; there were a lot of different scenes. My favourite was the one which was a little inappropriate! I wouldn’t bring my little cousins to see it because it had things that might scare them like ghosts.
I really liked the songs as they were enjoyable and catchy; my favourite was the 12 days of Christmas one with the gf and bf. I would recommend bringing children that are 11 or over as it is mainly aimed for older people.
Facilities at ERT
Parking is free in the car park to rear after 6pm.
There is a lovely cafe bar. We got some ice-creams during the interval which were very good.
There is disabled seating available.
Disclosure – we were given press tickets in return for this article. All opinion is our own