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 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 the Stark Ravens Players' original musical version of Pinocchio, and the Crummles Theatrical Company presents the melodramatic misadventures of The Revenge of the Bandit Queen. Luminaries of the music hall take stage in Francis Farrington's Metropolitan Music Hall & Pandemonia Britannica! while Her Majesty's Royal Opera Gala features opera classics as well as a scandalous turn by Le Cancan Bijou. Star actors of the English stage gather to rehearse All's Well That Ends Badly and hilarity ensues as the show reveals how they really feel about each other. The scene changes at 5:30 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. Enjoy a British take on American melodrama with the perennial favorite Jack is Back! followed by the arrival of the Toy Parade. Lewis Carroll's stories come to fantastical life with the Mad Hatter's Tea Party and frabjous tales from a loquacious caterpillar in Wonderland Story Time. Just next door you'll find THE PICCOLO PLAYHOUSE, where children will delight as The Piccolo Puppet Players present Mr. Punch and his lovely wife, Judy. Family fare continues as children are chosen to participate in the Stark Ravens' Bold Tailor, and Rats in the Haggis stop by to musically enchant one and all.
Beyond Grenadier's Gate lie The London Docks, Thameside home to the PADDY WEST SCHOOL OF SEAMANSHIP and other nautical riffraff as well as the Congress of Wonders & Atrocities - possibly the worst sideshow in all of London. Look out for carousing sailors! Buy them some grog and they'll sing you a song.
Around the corner from the Paddy West Stage, you can 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.
Over on Petticoat Lane stands THE ADVENTURERS' CLUB where one can hear 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 also congregate to discuss and demonstrate science, literature and the arts. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood offers an artist salon where guests may sketch live models alongside famous artists like Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Evelyn Morgan and John William Waterhouse.
Continuing along to Cratchit's Yard you'll find the new PENNYGAFF STAGE, featuring scenes from Mr. Dickens' books as well as variety entertainment. Be amazed and amused as Caleb, The Jolly Juggler bumbles through flying oranges and sharply-pointed objects. Marvel at the buffoonery of London's most hilariously silly chimney sweep in The Perniculous Adventures of Jim Chiminey, and Alfie, King of the Street Conjurers returns to the Dickens Fair with his family-friendly, audience participation magic show.
Encounter Ebenezer Scrooge 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! Celebrate Christmas at Dingley Dell with The Pickwick Club, and even witness the introduction of the Christmas tree by His Royal Highness Prince Albert to Her Royal Majesty Queen Victoria.
Just next door you'll find Prince Albert's GREAT EXHIBITION STAGE, where you can view a model of the Crystal Palace, and brilliant scientists present their inventions and discoveries. Join us in celebrating the birth of modern science!
Over on Nickelby Road you might pay a call at the THE DICKENS FAMILY PARLOUR and visit with his family, characters from his novels, visiting performers, and enjoy frequent visits from the illustrious author himself. Partake of festive parlour games, Christmas carols and sing-a-longs, and observe a working Victorian kitchen. Even Mr. Scrooge comes by to pay his respects during the holiday season!
Just across the street, 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 a traditional mummers play with Mr. Brown's Mummers, join in English country dance with The Crown & Anchor Dancers, or traditional Irish Dancing with the Silk Road Ceilidh. Waltz and polka to the infectious rhythyms of the Bruno Band and enjoy exotic Middle Eastern Dance on certain days.
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 jolly tars of the Paddy West School of Seamanship troll out Songs of the Seven Seas and Mad Sal herself brings her girls to the stage in Mad Sal & Her Dockside Roses. 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 IN THE STREETS: 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, Oliver Twist 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 llittle pickpockets. There are over 700 costumed players to entertain you at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair!