It's safe to say that Charles Dickens's legendary energy and high spirits did not die with him, but were passed all the way down to his great-great-grandson. Gerald Charles Dickens's performance of A Christmas Carol, which I saw last night in Occoquan, Va., is ample proof of that.
The Ebenezer Church ("They even named it after me!" announced "Scrooge" proudly late in the show) was very small and crammed full of people, but that was no deterrent to Mr. Dickens. He leaped and sprawled and marched and sidled around the tiny space, pulling audience members into the show, coaxing sound effects from the crowd, coaching us when we came in too early or late. He brought many of us literally to tears at the vision of Tiny Tim's future, and a few minutes later had us shrieking with laughter as Scrooge danced around for joy. It was a performance worthy of the name of Dickens!
Before the show, Mr. Dickens did an autograph signing at the Golden Goose store, and it did my heart good to see how many people, of all ages, were there with various Dickens books in hand to get his signature. Here's a picture of the two of us, taken by a store employee:
And here's his signature on my copy of A Christmas Carol:
By the way, it was not just the church that was named after Scrooge. Earlier in the day, I had run over to Staples for supplies to make Dickensblog business cards to take with me. The employee who came over to help me in the store was named . . . I am not kidding . . . Ebenezer.
Charles Dickens, are you up there playing games with me??