View this Article in Magnus
Edit this Article in Magnus

Christmas night out: Dickens and dinner

Fun festive frolics - and turkey

by Bernadette Fallon

Fairytale of New York regularly tops the poll for the most-played Christmas song, but I don’t need anyone else’s opinion to persuade me that A Christmas Carol is the most magical Christmas story ever written. So it seemed fitting to tuck into my first traditional Christmas dinner of the year before going to see ‘Dickens Abridged’ at London’s Arts Theatre last night. Just around the corner from the theatre, Kamique is a buzzy bar on St Martin’s Lane, bang in the middle of theatre land, now serving its slap-up Christmas menu.

So yes, there’s traditional turkey, carved in chunky circular discs, each with its own herby stuffing. Roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, Brussels sprouts and a fresh cranberry sauce, with whole berries, make up the rest of the dish and it was a great start to Christmas. The menu also offers 8oz rib-eye steak – a good cut of meat, cooked to tender - with a peppercorn sauce and chunky chips. For starters there was goat’s cheese salad and a very nicely marinated plate of grilled chicken skewers served with a sweet chilli sauce. For pudding? Well, what else could it be only Christmas pudding with creamy custard – a dish that smelled and tasted like Christmas! The 3-course Christmas menu costs £29.95 Sunday to Tuesday, £32.95 Wednesday to Saturday; for more information visit – and watch the snow falling on its homepage.

And so to ‘Dickens Abridged’ – an unexpectedly hilarious musical romp through most of the writer’s best known works. Written and directed by Adam Long, a founding member/writer/director of the fantastic Reduced Shakespeare Company, whose ‘Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)’ ran in the West End for nine years and was nominated for an Olivier Award.

Five men with semi-American accents, guitars, a violin, tambourine and a great sense of comic timing pull off a hugely entertaining show. Charging at breakneck speed through Oliver Twist, Bleak House, Great Expectations, Little Dorrit and David Copperfield in the first half, we are treated to highlights, short synopsis and laugh-out-loud character studies from these classic novels – who knew Dickens had such comic potential? It’s largely down to the comic talents of the cast of course, and particularly Gerard Carey who threatens to steal the show – his female turns are particularly hilarious.

Part two features Nicolas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop and a nice long chunk of A Christmas Carol. Interspersed with the novels is a look into Dickens’ own life and relationships, which adds a very poignant tone to the story and blends seamlessly into the action. A note from Adam Long, who grew up in the mountains of Northern California, at the start of the programme describes the show as a ‘mash-up of California and Dickens, The Grateful Dead meets The Ghost of Christmas Past ... with a touch of Marx Brothers thrown in for good measure.’

It’s a great night out and it runs at the Arts Theatre, Great Newport St, London WC2H 7JB, until January 5 (the second last day of Christmas – you could still eat some turkey beforehand). Tickets are £20 - £39.50; book by phone on 020 7836 8463 or online at 

Photo by Hydar Dewachi

More festive ideas - see our favourite 5 books for Christmas

Comment Print

Post your comment

About This Blog

Escaping to the country, abroad or just down the road for a long weekend – exploring the world around you. Follow our team of staff writers and add your comments to kick off the debate.
Read more Subscribe to this blog via RSS

About The Authors

Alice  Jones

Alice Jones

Alice Jones is intern on All About You; she has an obsession for all things fashion and beauty related.

Read more
Carla  Griscti

Carla Griscti

Editorial assistant on allaboutyou; Music lover, travel bee and food fanatic.

Read more
Emma Marsden

Emma Marsden

Food consultant of All About You, loves creating something out of nothing and decluttering.

Read more
Nola  Ojomu

Nola Ojomu

Freelance contributor to All About You. Mission - to have the perfect eyebrows

Read more
Harriet  Edgar

Harriet Edgar

All About You intern; likes fashion, jogging, blogging and EastEnders

Read more
Bernadette  Fallon

Bernadette Fallon

Editor of All About You; an online journalist with a fetish for glossy magazines.

Read more
Adrienne  Wyper

Adrienne Wyper

Deputy editor of All About You. I love cycling, cooking and creating

Read more
Carol  Muskoron

Carol Muskoron

Associate editor of All About You, loves life (mostly) and one-pan recipes (always).

Read more
Rachael  Ashley

Rachael Ashley

SHE's deputy editor and single mum of two embodies the SHE motto 'Busy and loving it!'

Read more
Kate Gilbert

Kate Gilbert

Lifestyle Co-ordinator Good Housekeeping; believes in style,substance and big girl shoes.

Read more
Marie  Campbell

Marie Campbell

Marie Campbell is assistant to the editor at SHE and also writes for the lifestyle pages.

Read more
Natalie  Glock

Natalie Glock

Editorial assistant on All About You; a Parisian in training and amateur baker.

Read more
Ruth  Chandler

Ruth Chandler

Assistant features editor on Country Living, Ruth lives on a smallholding in rural Essex.

Read more
Julia  Goodwin

Julia Goodwin

Editor of House Beautiful since 2006, Julia has been a journalist for over 30 years.

Read more
Josa Young

Josa Young

Josa Young is a writer, cook and internet content consultant.

Read more


View by magazine : View by magazine Prima
Page built from scratch in 3 wallclock secs ( 2.06 usr + 0.12 sys = 2.18 CPU) (click to hide)