Entertainments, Delights & Diversions
At FEZZIWIG'S WAREHOUSE young Scrooge's employer, Mr. Fezziwig, holds his holiday celebration, and all are invited to join the Dance Party! Bangers & Mash provide lively ballroom and English country dance music, with reels, jigs, polkas and waltzes. You might even see young Ebenezer Scrooge dancing with his sweetheart. The Siamsa Scottish & Irish Dancers (weekends 2-5) are there as well, with lilting Highland tunes and stirring steps, joined on occasion by visiting carolers or dance troupes sporting seasonal bells. When the musicians pause for a well-earned rest, visitors can join in a lively round of "Wink," "Stagecoach," or other Victorian parlour games.
The grand VICTORIA & ALBERT BIJOU MUSIC HALL provides visitors a wealth of entertainments from which to choose. Children will be enchanted by an original and sprightly musical version of the fantasy tale Pinocchio, adapted by the Stark Ravens Players, and the Crummles Theatrical Company presents the melodramatic misadventures of The Villain's Revenge. On the first weekend only, we welcome the return of the wondrous illusionist Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, and on weekends 2-5 star actors of the English stage gather to rehearse a performance for charity in All's Well That Ends Badly. Hilarity ensues as the show brings out how they really feel about each other, in this farce of Shakespearean proportions. Each day you can marvel at the astonishing juggling feats of The Kondor Brothers and enjoy the lovely harmonies of The Coventry Carolers as they sing traditional versions of holiday favorites. The Royal English Opera Gala graces the stage twice daily featuring opera classics as well as a scandalous turn by Le Cancan Bijou. The scene changes at 5:00 to 'Dickens After Dark', when grown-ups will appreciate the more adult fare of the artistic, yet provocative Saucy French Postcard Tableaux Revue (18 and over only, please; free tickets available at the Telegraph Booth).
At the FATHER CHRISTMAS STAGE sweet caroling rings out and Father Christmas himself holds court beside a great toy-bedecked tree, jovially inviting young lads and lasses to join him for a holiday photo memento. Children's fare abounds with the arrival of the Toy Parade and continues with Story Time. Children are chosen to participate in the Stark Ravens' Bold Tailor and the storytelling continues with Tales from Mother Goose. Lewis Carroll's stories come to life as the wee ones can have Tea with Alice or play Croquet with the Red Queen. Just next door you'll also find THE PICCOLO PLAYHOUSE, where children will delight as The Piccolo Puppet Players present Mr. Punch and his lovely wife, Judy. You might encounter the students of Miss Twinkleton's Academy for Young Ladies learning the essentials of deportment, poise and charm; or visit FLOCKMOCKER'S WORKSHOP, where Prof. Phineas J. Flockmocker III will confound you with his curious inventions, dubious facts, and total disregard for conventional science.
Beyond Grenadier's Gate lie The London Docks, Thameside home to the PADDY WEST SCHOOL OF SEAMANSHIP and other nautical riffraff. Look out for carousing sailors! Buy them some grog and they'll sing you a song.
Stepping inside THE ADVENTURERS' CLUB elicits exciting tales of military and scientific exploits, as well as literary and artistic achievement. The Club's walls are replete with mementos of British conquest and exploration. Famous figures of the time congregate to discuss and demonstrate science, military adventure, literature and the arts. You might even see a member of the Royal Household!
Encounter Ebenezer Scrooge at our expanded CHRISTMAS CAROL environmental theatre and watch scenes from Dickens' magical holiday story come to life as never before. Behold the Ghost of Jacob Marley, the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet-to-Come, and the long-suffering Bob Cratchit and his family as they help the old miser learn the true spirit of the season! You might also celebrate Christmas at Dingley Dell with the Pickwick Club, see scenese from Nicholas Nickelby or David Copperfield, and even witness the introduction of the Christmas tree by Prince Albert to Her Royal Majesty Queen Victoria.
As you continue down Fish Street you'll come to Prince Albert's GREAT EXHIBITION STAGE, where brilliant scientists present their inventions and discoveries as well as answer your questions. Come join us in celebrating the birth of modern science!
Pay a call at the THE DICKENS FAMILY PARLOUR and visit with his family, characters from his novels, visiting performers and and occasionally even the illustrious author himself. Partake of festive parlour games, Christmas carols and sing-alongs, and observe a working Victorian kitchen. Even Mr. Scrooge comes by to pay his respects during the holiday season!
Music and dance from around the world grace the SILK ROAD STAGE, where you might hear caroling one moment, and see lively Irish, Middle Eastern, or Morris dancing the next. Enjoy traditional music and dance with The Friday Street Mummers Play, join in English country dance with The Crown & Anchor Dancers, or waltz and polka to the infectious rhythyms of the Bruno Band.
Down by the Thames, sounds of raucous merriment draw the venturesome soul to MAD SAL'S DOCKSIDE ALE HOUSE, where Pipe & Bowl Morris perform lusty traditional dances celebrating beer, flirting, and the pleasures of country life; and the gentlemen of Brass Farthing lift a frothy good ale with their rollicking songs. The Friday Street Fellowship joins the musical festivities and the jolly tars of the Paddy West School of Seamanship troll out Songs of the Seven Seas. Patrons can sing along to rowdy favorites in the Broadside Music Hall Revue, in which comic artistes delivery side-splitting bawdy songs, and a brassy bevy of high-kicking beauties from across the Channel take to the stage in the wicked Le CanCan Bijou.
CHARACTERS ON THE STREET: A multitude of characters come to life from the pages of Mr. Dickens' novels - Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim, David Copperfield and Nicholas Nickelby, Mr. Pickwick and Nancy, mingling with colorful street characters of the period - roving chimney sweeps, musicians, carolers, music hall performers, and saucy sailors. See Robert Peel's new "Peelers" as they patrol the streets of London keeping the citizens of London safe from the likes of Bill Sykes and Fagin's underaged pickpockets. There are over 700 costumed players to entertain you at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair!