Happy Birthday, Chuck

This year is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens.

Now I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for Charles. As well as being an absolutely brilliant writer, he helped me to get my start in the business.

The first theatre play I wrote that was professionally performed was an adaptation of A Christmas Carol at the Lion & Unicorn theatre in Kentish Town, directed by the wonderful Mr Ray Shell.

It did well. Lots of lovely reviews, including a four-star in Time Out. So. Not too shabby then.

The year after, I adapted Oliver Twist, which Ray also directed. (And while I’m on the subject of Oliver Twist: Nancy is not a prostitute.) Again, great reviews, an extended run.

And one or the other of them has been performed in London every year since I started writing professionally.

So anyhow, I got to thinking. And what I thought was this:

It’s the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth this year. A centenary, no less. Some of you out there might want to do something to celebrate that and not have the wherewithal to pay for a script, or know anyone local who wants to write one.

Mr Dickens has done well for me over the last few years. I’d like to return the favour. So firstly, here are the scripts.

Oliver Twist
A Christmas Carol

Have a read.

If you like them, and you’d like to put them on in the centenary year, then I’ll waive my fees. So any performances in 2012 will be completely free, no matter how large or small the production. (Well, apart from the cost of putting on the show. But that’s your own problem, and one that I’m certain that you’ll be able to cope with magnificently.)

You’ll still need to obtain a licence to perform the play (email me for more details about this) but if you put one of these two plays on in 2012 there’ll be no writer’s fee.

And I’d love the chance to see it if I can.


My stage version of A Christmas Carol is being revived this year by Giant Olive at The Lion and Unicorn Theatre.

It opens on the 7th December 2010 and runs through to the 15th January 2011.

They’re already taking advance bookings, and you can get your tickets here. You might want to book sooner rather than later, as the show sold out on several occasions last time.

The script is also available for your reading pleasure – you can order it via the button on the right of the blog.

More theatre news to come shortly!

(Oh, I’m such a tease…)

Buy now, while stocks last!

So I’ve adapted Dickens again.

This year’s Christmas show at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre in Kentish Town is Oliver Twist.

Already, more tickets have been sold before opening night than for any other show since Giant Olive moved in a year ago. And there’s still a fortnight before the show goes up.

There’s a great cast, including Eddie Kingham (who starred as Scrooge in last year’s production of A Christmas Carol) as Fagin, and I can tell you now that man is doing sterling work. Watch him before he gets famous. And Ray Shell is again working wonders with the directing.

Also? Wipe the memory of the musical from your heads. This is going back to the raw source material, and it can be a dark and nasty place.

Previews start on Monday 30th November at eight of your earth pounds, going up to twelve quid a couple of days later, and tickets are on sale now.