Occupy London presents a reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol – 6pm Friday 30 December at the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral
Adapted by: Timberlake Wertenbaker
Directed by: Josh Appignanesi
Readers will include: Allan Corduner, Alan Cox, Sara Kestleman, Pam Miles, Tim Pigott-Smith, Ian Redford. Plus further special guests to be announced
Produced by: Occupy London
As Dickens’ bicentennial approaches, it seems only fitting for Occupy London to stage a public reading of A Christmas Carol at St Paul’s Cathedral.
Dickens was compelled to write A Christmas Carol out of a strong desire to comment on the enormous gap between the rich and poor in Victorian Britain. It is a similar strength of conviction that has motivated the growth of the Occupy movement to work to transform the growing social, economic and political injustices of our time.
As Giles Fraser, former canon of St Paul’s Cathedral said: “Christmas is the most political of the Church’s festivals … all politics is about people, and without a fundamental sympathy for the plight of other human beings, and in particular for the dispossessed, no political movement for social change is ever going to capture the heart.
“For Dickens, Christmas was the emotional centre of the big society. Peace on earth and goodwill to all.”
In the preface to his book, Dickens conveys his intentions: “I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly …”
Occupy London invites all to join in the playfulness and seriousness of the Christmas spirit, and to ‘haunt pleasantly’ in a way that calls attention to the reality that our status quo is unsustainable and unjust.
James Sevitt, supporter of Occupy London said: “We are here, like Dickens, to creatively disrupt, and to make Christmas mean something beyond a consumerist spending frenzy. This Christmas, and in the year ahead, we invite you to combine irreverent fun with spiritual contemplation and a continuation of the fight against social and economic injustice and the creation of real, direct democracy. Please join us.”