Towngate Theatre provides an online Christmas treat

Mick Ferris
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Basildon’s Towngate Theatre is collaborating with the Dickens Theatre Company as it brings its joyously authentic staging of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol to life online this festive season.

The show was filmed earlier this year in the Towngate’s Mirren Studio in accordance with social distancing guidelines.

It’s 1866 and two of Charles Dickens’ closest theatrical companions find themselves trapped in the glare of the footlights.

With the rest of the cast stuck on a train, actress Frances Ternan and Dickens’ faithful tour manager George Dolby take on the daunting task of portraying over 30 characters.

But who will portray Scrooge?

Dickens Theatre Company artistic director, Ryan Philpott, said: “2020 has been tough for everyone and theatres have been hit extremely hard.

“All of us at DTC were determined to get A Christmas Carol to audiences one way or another.

“Thanks to the Towngate team and our production partners Deadpan Films we are delighted to be bringing our show online to the people of Basildon and beyond.

Towngate Theatre manager, Simon Scott-Pierce said: “Whilst it has been an incredibly challenging year for the Towngate Theatre we are thrilled that we are ending the year on such a wonderful note with this free festive screening.”

Although completely free to view on the Towngate’s YouTube channel there will be an opportunity to donate to two charities via their fundraising pages – the Mayor’s chosen charity The Polly Parrot Appeal and Havens Hospice.

The show will premiere at 5pm on Friday December 18 and then can be viewed anytime until midnight on Sunday January 3, 2021.


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