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A Christmas Carol
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General Chat - anything Goes > Is Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL still celebrated in the U.K.?

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message 1: by Robert (new)

Robert Italia (robert-italia) | 495 comments I haven't hidden my admiration for this classic Christmas tale in any of my posts. In Minneapolis MN (where I live), this play has been running each holiday season since I can remember (and that's saying something). Not to mention the seemingly endless reruns of various movie versions on TV. It's even a reading tradition for me. Is it so in the U.K.? What other books are considered Christmas classics? Or is it "Holiday" classics?


Andy Elliott | 1524 comments My family read it every year, usually starting on the first day of advent. I'm planning to continue this tradition also with my own child, although as she's only 18 months old I'm not sure how much she'll enjoy it. As a back up there's always the superb Muppets' Christmas Carol, a surprisingly faithful adaptation (despite the excess fuzzy felt on show) with a pitch perfect performance from Sir Michael Caine as Scrooge.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Christmas.

And several of our authors have written Dickens inspired stories and plays.

Are you familiar with British panto?


message 4: by Robert (new)

Robert Italia (robert-italia) | 495 comments Patti (baconater) wrote: "Christmas.

And several of our authors have written Dickens inspired stories and plays.

Are you familiar with British panto?"


Thanks for the response, Patti (you, too, Andy). No, please write about that.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments As a non- Brit, I really can't comment on panto.

I'll just stand in the upper circle and throw minstrels.


Philip (sarah) Willis | 5174 comments Robert wrote: "I haven't hidden my admiration for this classic Christmas tale in any of my posts. In Minneapolis MN (where I live), this play has been running each holiday season since I can remember (and that's..."

Christmas Carol was a group read here 2 yrs. ago Robert. The thread may still be available in the archive. Personally I love the book.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments I'll dig it up.


message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert Italia (robert-italia) | 495 comments Patti (baconater) wrote: "Here we are

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/..."


Thanks, Patti. Very interesting comments. Regarding the "celebrated" aspect of my question, are the plays/movies just as prevalent as in the U.S.?


Rosemary (grooving with the Picts) (nosemanny) | 9087 comments So a traditional British pantomime follows a certain set of rules -
- usually a Christmas tradition, based on fairy tales such as Cinderella, Aladdin, Mother Goose etc
- No-one takes it seriously. The hammier the better, the fourth wall isn't so much broken as non-existent, and topicality (particularly based on the locale) is to be welcomed.
- The star of the show is the Pantomime Dame. This is a man, usually (but not always) purposely ugly, who gets most of the best lines.
- The male lead is traditionally a young female with good legs, hence the tights. In recent years this role is now often taken by male soap stars instead for bums-on-seats purposes.
- The female lead is (usually) impossible dim. Or naive. But very attractive.
- The bad guy comes up through a trap door (cue Booooo hisss etc), is dressed in black, and has an impossibly moronic sidekick.
- The pantomime horse. The rear end is a prime thespian role. It is expected that the rear end will have an independent attitude from the front.
The audience will expect to be involved viz "Boo" "Hiss" "he's behind you".

And pantomime should contain at least two choruses of "oh no he isn't-oh yes he is"s


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Well done Rosemary!

Now explain cricket.


message 12: by Robert (new)

Robert Italia (robert-italia) | 495 comments Patti (baconater) wrote: "Well done Rosemary!

Now explain cricket."


I'm glad you wrote that, Patti, not me.

And, yes, well done, Rosemary.


Gingerlily - The Full Wild | 36808 comments Patti (baconater) wrote: "Well done Rosemary!

Now explain cricket."


And the offside rule.


Rosemary (grooving with the Picts) (nosemanny) | 9087 comments Cricket - some men in white and a ball. A field. Sun, or rain. Intermittent running, occasional applause. Howzat. (I am Scottish and we don't really do cricket, but I think that covers it.)


Rosemary (grooving with the Picts) (nosemanny) | 9087 comments The offside rule? Huh no idea


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments You forgot the cucumber sammiches.


Rosemary (grooving with the Picts) (nosemanny) | 9087 comments A Christmas Carol is possibly the best constructed novella ever, by the way. Timeless, hence the many remakes and retellings


message 18: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments He's behiiiiiiinnnd you!!! :D

Love panto :D

There's plenty of panto examples on Youtube. Here's a multi-part one that came off the telly (so it suffers a bit from celebrity-itis, but the quality is better than most of the taped in a theatre clips ) http://youtu.be/sulw4U8I-MU


message 19: by Robert (new)

Robert Italia (robert-italia) | 495 comments Guys, a little help, please. I'm being overwhelmed (and I don't do cricket).


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Oh! I work with a bloke who had a part in the Muppets Christmas Carol.


message 21: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Woodland | 140 comments Robert wrote: "Guys, a little help, please. I'm being overwhelmed (and I don't do cricket)."

Robert - real men don't play bat and ball . . . . unless they wish to snooze an afternoon away in the sunshine :-o)
I'm like you, but I don't 'do' any sport, not just bat & ball - life is too short


message 22: by M.T. (new)

M.T. McGuire (mtmcguire) | 7695 comments Rosemary (the Fourth Plinth) wrote: "Cricket - some men in white and a ball. A field. Sun, or rain. Intermittent running, occasional applause. Howzat. (I am Scottish and we don't really do cricket, but I think that covers it.)"

McOther has played it in the snow, albeit in June (in Cambridge).


message 23: by M.T. (new)

M.T. McGuire (mtmcguire) | 7695 comments Patti (baconater) wrote: "Oh! I work with a bloke who had a part in the Muppets Christmas Carol."

I am insanely, INSANELY jealous of him. Henson and Oz were gods, or at least half gods because there's only one left but you know what I mean.


message 24: by Robert (new)

Robert Italia (robert-italia) | 495 comments Geoff (Scouse) wrote: "Robert wrote: "Guys, a little help, please. I'm being overwhelmed (and I don't do cricket)."

Robert - real men don't play bat and ball . . . . unless they wish to snooze an afternoon away in the..."


Well, golf's my last sporting passion . . . hey, wait, what about Dickens'? Any CAROL plays coming up?


message 25: by Darren (last edited Nov 15, 2013 04:03PM) (new)

Darren Humphries (darrenhf) | 6980 comments I adapted A Christmas Carol into a short pantomime. It was my attempt to figure out what appealed to people about it (pantomime, not Christmas Carol).

Dickens' story has everything; a hissable villain, a likeable hero, ghosts, danger, just a hint of social conscience and full-on redemption. What more could you ask for?

Oh, and I'd better not mention The Man From U.N.D.E.A.D.'s Christmas Carol


message 26: by Robert (new)

Robert Italia (robert-italia) | 495 comments Thanks, Darren, for getting us back on topic. A pantomime about A Christmas Carol sounds like quite a challenge. The entire story (I know it's short, but for a pantomime . . . ) ?

I still haven't clicked on the UNDEAD link. Might shatter my innocent notion of Christmas. Maybe later.


message 27: by Darren (new)

Darren Humphries (darrenhf) | 6980 comments The thing with Christmas Carol is that it can survive an adaptation with the Muppets and another with Bill Murray and another with Jim Carrey. Now that's a definition of unbreakable.

My personal favourite is Blackadder's Christmas Carol


message 28: by B J (new) - rated it 5 stars

B J Burton (bjburton) | 2914 comments Yes, Robert, it's still very popular as you can see from the enthusiastic responses. Within a few weeks of publication it was adapted for the stage and eight of the main London theatres were simultaneously running their own productions. This Christmas several London theatres are putting it on. I haven't seen the TV schedules yet, but I'm sure that several of the many film versions will be on offer.
You asked about other Christmas favourites. I have a soft spot for 'Miracle on 34th Street', the original rather than the remake, that is based on a novella published at the same time as the film was released. I also like 'It's a Wonderful Life' based on a self-published novella. There's hope for us all!
I'm sure both of those films will be on TV over Christmas.


message 29: by Robert (last edited Nov 16, 2013 04:28AM) (new)

Robert Italia (robert-italia) | 495 comments B J wrote: "Yes, Robert, it's still very popular as you can see from the enthusiastic responses. Within a few weeks of publication it was adapted for the stage and eight of the main London theatres were simult..."

Thanks, B J. You mentioned some of the others on my perennial list. MIRACLE is actually a good book. A breezy style, admittedly, but did not make the story any less appealing or real. And one of the most clever endings ever.

As long as we're on the subtopic of other Christmas "Classics", I haven't seen anyone mention Pullman. I was raised Catholic. Fell off the religious path for a long while, but slowly making my way back. Never felt offended by his works (I see them more of a warning about people in power -- and how they can abuse that power). HIS DARK MATERIALS series did well in the U.S., but not the movie (snow, talking polar bears--it qualifies for "Christmas", doesn't it?). If anyone wants to comment on this (with all respect to Mr. Dickens), feel free.


message 30: by Robert (new)

Robert Italia (robert-italia) | 495 comments Darren wrote: "The thing with Christmas Carol is that it can survive an adaptation with the Muppets and another with Bill Murray and another with Jim Carrey. Now that's a definition of unbreakable.

My personal f..."


Funny. And so true.


message 31: by Robert (new)

Robert Italia (robert-italia) | 495 comments Briar wrote: "If people liked A Christmas Carol, then my novel
The Twenty-Five Deeds of Hanson Drake
http://tinyurl.com/HansonDrake
...is likely to appeal.

A Christmas Carol ends with Scrooge's transformation..."


Careful, Briar. This post might be considered a drive-by.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Might be?


message 33: by Robert (new)

Robert Italia (robert-italia) | 495 comments Patti (baconater) wrote: "Might be?"

Hi, Patti. I'm trying to be polite (not always easy for me).


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments I struggle with that too. ;)


message 35: by Darren (new)

Darren Humphries (darrenhf) | 6980 comments It's a Wonderful Life is my personal Christmas movie of choice and I watch it every Christmas Eve, much to my family's annoyance.

I also have a soft spot for Miracle on 34th Street, but the remake rather than original. I do like it.

Also, Die Hard. What a Crimbo flick!


message 36: by Robert (new)

Robert Italia (robert-italia) | 495 comments "Humbugs" in every family, eh, Darren? Mine, too. Stick with it, and enjoy.

Totally lost me, though, on DIE HARD. For CHRISTMAS? "Smoke 'em if you got 'em"?


message 37: by Darren (new)

Darren Humphries (darrenhf) | 6980 comments Die Hard is set at Christmas.


message 38: by M.T. (new)

M.T. McGuire (mtmcguire) | 7695 comments Die hard two.


message 40: by Robert (new)

Robert Italia (robert-italia) | 495 comments Patti (baconater) wrote: "http://mancave.cbslocal.com/2012/12/2..."

Now YOU made ME laugh (the world is coming to an end, isn't it? I knew it.).


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Mwah ha ha


Gingerlily - The Full Wild | 36808 comments Robert wrote: "Patti (baconater) wrote: "http://mancave.cbslocal.com/2012/12/2..."

Now YOU made ME laugh (the world is coming to an end, isn't it? I knew it.)."


I can see you belong in this group.


message 43: by Robert (new)

Robert Italia (robert-italia) | 495 comments Gingerlily - Dark and Mysterious Stranger wrote: "Robert wrote: "Patti (baconater) wrote: "http://mancave.cbslocal.com/2012/12/2..."

Now YOU made ME laugh (the world is coming to an end, isn't it? ..."


I've been saying that all along. My sins are forgiven?


Gingerlily - The Full Wild | 36808 comments What sins are those?


message 45: by Robert (new)

Robert Italia (robert-italia) | 495 comments Gingerlily - Dark and Mysterious Stranger wrote: "What sins are those?"

Besides the genuine statement I made in the very top post when I started this thread, I joined this group because I have a book that I thought (think) members might be interested in (there he goes again). Patti advised me to join groups only for common interest-- which is wise, of course, and is what I do. So, I have been working to gain your trust. That effort is genuine, too.


Gingerlily - The Full Wild | 36808 comments Ah. Sins that you haven't committed. So have you opened an author thread yet?


message 47: by Robert (new)

Robert Italia (robert-italia) | 495 comments Gingerlily - Dark and Mysterious Stranger wrote: "Ah. Sins that you haven't committed. So have you opened an author thread yet?"

Yes, my very first post. I did follow the rules, which I appreciate, as well as the thread for authors to do their thing. That helps tremendously so as to avoid awkward moments.


Gingerlily - The Full Wild | 36808 comments I wish everyone was as thoughtful.


message 49: by Andy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andy Elliott | 1524 comments Every Christmas we watch the thirteen films of Christmas without fail:

Muppets' Christmas Carol
Gremlins
Die Hard
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
It's A Wonderful Life
Batman Returns
Elf
Brazil
Trading Places
Lethal Weapon
Home Alone 2 (Mrs E prefers it to the first one, mainly due to the pigeon lady who used to be in Casualty)
The Nightmare Before Christmas
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Actually it's the fifteen films of Christmas, but I have to watch Scrooged on my own (Mrs E can't abide Mr Murray), and Mrs E watches Love Actually alone (I can't abide the opening five minutes).


message 50: by Robert (new)

Robert Italia (robert-italia) | 495 comments Gingerlily - Dark and Mysterious Stranger wrote: "I wish everyone was as thoughtful."

Thanks, but really, it just makes sense.


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