A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Starring John O'Connor, to Tour the UK This Holiday Season

A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Starring John O'Connor, to Tour the UK This Holiday Season

After a successful UK tour over Christmas 2016, European Arts Company returns with their authentic adaptation of A Christmas Carol, running November to December 2017.

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 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. O'Connor says, 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. The 2017 tour includes stops in Bath, Cambridge and Brighton where Dickens himself did a reading at the Brighton Pavilion on 9th November 1861.

Sue Westbury, Barnardo's, comments, 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.

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.



Performer John O'Connor
Director Peter Craze
Lighting Design Duncan Hands
Sound Design Matthew Eaton
Costume Design Annett Black

Running time: 90 minutes including interval

Box Office Tickets are available from individual theatre box offices.

Visit europeanarts.co.uk/next#tour-dates for dates and more information.


15th November Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury

Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY3 8FT

30th November Rondo Theatre, Bath

St Saviours Road, Bath, BA1 6RT

1st December Stamford Arts Centre

27 St Mary's Street, Stamford, Lincs, PE9 2DL

2nd December The Arts Centre, Edge Hill University

St Helens Road, Ormskirk, Lancashire, L39 4QP

5th December Swindon Arts Centre

Devizes Road, Old Town, Swindon, SN1 1QN

6th December Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham

Osborn Road, Fareham, Hants, PO16 7DX

8th December Bridport Arts Centre

South Street, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 3NR

13th - 14th December The Music Room, Brighton Royal Pavilion

4/5 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE

15th December Cramphorn Theatre, Chelmsford Civic

Fairfield Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1JG

19th December Loughborough Town Hall

Market Place, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3EB

20th December Astor Theatre, Deal

Stanhope Rd, Deal CT14 6AB

21st - 22nd December The Courtyard Theatre, Hereford

Edgar Street, Hereford, HR4 9JR


John is an actor, writer, director and producer, and founded European Arts Company in 2002. He studied Drama at Manchester University before living and working in Japan. As an actor, John was in Four Farces at Wilton's Music Hall (Critic's Choice in The Times) and was Ben/Richard in The Dumb Waiter & The Lover (National Tour). He had a busy evening playing Sousov, Smirnov, Nikita Ivanich and Lomov in Chekhov's Shorts (UK, Ireland and Germany Tour). He also played Richard Hannay in The 39 Steps (Embros Theatre, Athens). Other theatre credits include London Continental (Arcola Theatre), The Boundary (Gielgud Theatre) and Soap Opera (Barbican Theatre). TV includes commercials and work for BBC TV Training at Elstree. John wrote The Trials of Oscar Wilde and adapted The Picture of DorIan Gray with Wilde's grandson Merlin Holland both of which had sell-out runs at Trafalgar Studios and are now published by Samuel French. He has just returned from directing George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion in Italy.


Last year 272,000 children, young people, parents and carers were supported by Barnardo's through more than 1,000 services across the UK, such as young carers, care leavers, foster carers and adoptive parents, training and skills or parenting classes. We work to transform the lives of the UK's most vulnerable children and every year we help thousands of families to build a better future. But we cannot do it without you. Visit www.barnardos.org.uk to find out more.

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