In writing the immensely popular ‘A Christmas Carol’ in 1843 Charles Dickens started a self imposed tradition of writing a new story for Christmas every year. He wrote the Chimes during his stay in Genoa in 1844. The bells of Genoa, chiming all hours of the day and night, broke his concentration. But it was these bells which suddenly gave him inspiration and provided the title.
It is the story of a poor man’s vision of the future which is transformed into joy by acts of compassion and kindness. Toby Veck, a porter who works his patch from under an ancient church bell tower, has the misfortune of meeting Alderman Cute. In the course of delivering a letter for him, Toby hears about plans to imprison Will Fern, an unemployed farmhand. Chancing to meet Will. Toby gives him shelter. That night, Toby, goes out and climbs up the bell tower...
Inspiration for Public Readings
Dickens made an extraordinary journey to London to read this story to a select group of friends. It was then that he realised the emotional power of his writing and first got the idea of reading his works as public performances.
A New Adaptation for 2009
Keeping the original story and the essential Dickensian humour and pathos, this story brings hope for our essential humanity and ability to solve problems. It is thoroughly entertaining, with a happy ending for good measure at this time of year. Running time 90 minutes. Suitable for all ages from 9+
Photo© Paul Neucam 2008
Robert MacCall is a lively and entertaining professional storyteller. Originally from Salisbury, he lives in Hamburg. He trained at The School of Storytelling - Emerson College and has been performing in the UK and abroad for the last 10 years - much appreciated by audiences.
‘Held us all spellbound’