Entertainments, Delights & Diversions
2012 info below - 2013 information coming soon!
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 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.
Encounter Ebenezer Scrooge at our new 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!
The grand VICTORIA & ALBERT BIJOU MUSIC HALL provides visitors with 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 thrice daily, all will marvel at the magical feats of The West End Illusion Show. 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, along with the new Royal English Light Opera Gala, featuring operetta 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 lasting 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 and 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.
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!
Around the corner, the wee ones can thrill to a ride on the Jungle Adventure Carousel, while those 8 and above enjoy the new RICHARDSON'S EMPIRE OF WONDERS - a Victorian side show filled with whimsical wonders and curious conundrums.
Just beyond the Corinthian Rose Sporting Club, you will find the CRUMMLES' PENNYGAFF STAGE, hosted by Mr. & Mr. Crummles of Nicholas Nickelby fame. The Crummles Theatrical Company presents the melodramatic misadventures of The Villain's Revenge, and are joined by The Pickwick Club and Mr. Dickens himself for the Pickwickian Revels. The Dunbridge Society for Shakespearean Edification presents Comedy! Drama! Swordplay! as the Bard's classics go dreadfully wrong in All's Well That Ends Badly. Enjoy traditional music and dance in The Friday Street Mummers Play and marvel at the astonishing juggling feats of The Kondor Brothers.
Pay a call on Mr. Dickens' family at THE DICKENS FAMILY PARLOUR. Visit with Mr. Dickens' family as well as characters from his novels, visiting performers and and occasionally the illustrious Mr. Dickens. 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.
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 more than 700 costumed players to entertain you at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair!