The Victorians heard it here first: Knebworth House connects with its past with A Christmas Carol reading where Charles Dickens once trod

The Hitchin production is based on the spooky stories created by Charles Dickens

The Hitchin production is based on the spooky stories created by Charles Dickens - Credit: Archant

A Christmas Carol has become as much a part of the seasonal cultural menu as movie screenings of White Christmas and Home Alone.

Wesley Hughes will be reading from Dickens at Knebworth House over the festive season

Wesley Hughes will be reading from Dickens at Knebworth House over the festive season - Credit: Archant

Everyone’s familiar with the ultimately uplifting tale of bitter old miser Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the a succession of ghosts, which has never been out of print since first being published just before Christmas in 1843.

Author Charles Dickens – famed in Victorian times for his emotive readings of his own work – knew how to write for a live audience, and his timeless tale has inspired adaptations for film, stage and even opera performance.

But it’s back to basics at Knebworth House on Friday, December 11, when there will be a fireside reading of the work by Herts-based actor Wesley Hughes.

Guests will be offered a glass of warm mulled wine and a mince pie before taking their seats in the stately home’s banqueting hall, splendidly decorated with a huge Christmas tree and winter greenery from the gardens.

The impressive decorated Christmas tree at Knebworth House

The impressive decorated Christmas tree at Knebworth House - Credit: Archant

Wesley said: “I was delighted to be invited to Knebworth for this performance.

“Dickens was a regular visitor to Knebworth, and it’s a thrill to be reading his timeless words in the hall where he performed so many of his works for the Lytton family and their guests.”

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Festive musical accompaniment and carol singing with audience participation are also planned. Doors open at 7pm and the performance starts at 7.30.

The £22 tickets are limited, but you can book yours online at www.knebworthhouse.com.

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