Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Dickens of a Christmas

Gerald Charles Dickens, the great-great grandson of revered British author and social reform advocate Charles Dickens, was recently back at Byers Choice in New Britain for an 11th consecutive year of giving a remarkable one-man performance of "A Christmas Carol" smack dab in the middle of the workshop where the highly-sought-after collectible Caroler and Kindle figurines are made.
Warming up the large crowds that came to see Dickens was the select choir from C.B. West High School:

G.C. Dickens' 2012 U.S. tour comes during a watermark year, the bicentennial of Charles Dickens birth. The Cake Boss himself even made a Dickens tribute cake for the occasion that's on display in the Byers Choice Christmas Museum.

Besides delighting audiences with acting out all of the distinct "Christmas Carol" characters himself, the shows have also partly been a fundraiser on behalf of the Dickens family to get a statue of the "Oliver Twist," "Great Expectations," "A Tale of Two Cities" and "David Copperfield" author erected in Portsmouth, England. Go figure -- there's a Dickens statue in Clark Park in Philadelphia, but no such tribute in his home country.

 The reason, said G.C. Dickens, is that his great-great grandfather specified in his Will that a grandiose memorial was not to be erected in his name because Charles Dickens, a champion of the poor and underprivileged, did not feel it was appropriate. Dickens and Byers Choice president Bob Byers Jr. explained that the bronze statue, which depicts Dickens holding a book and rising from a chair, is a far cry from the Baroque monuments of the 19th century, which went against what Charles Dickens believed in.  Check out the latest on the Dickens statue in England here.
Dickens said that he first became aware of his family heritage during a memorial service marking the 100th anniversary of Charles Dickens' death. He was 6 years old, and quite blown away to discover the Queen Mother sitting in the same pew as he was.
Bitten by the acting bug at age 9, when he was cast in a Nativity play, Dickens first started performing his solo "A Christmas Carol" in 1993 as request from a friend running a charity fundraiser.
Byers called G.C. Dickens' interpretation "The best version of 'A Christmas Carol' I've ever seen."
Bob Byers of Byers Choice gets a new Charles Dickens Caroler signed by Gerald Charles Dickens.

G.C. Dickens, Talk About the Passion photographer Anne Monappella and yours truly.

1 comment:

  1. any people look forward to having their favorite friends on display at this time of year. There are a wide range of figures to choose from, including Twelve Days of Christmas and Christmas Carol sets.