On 1 December 2017, Island Records will mark the 175 anniversary of Charles Dickens’ immortal classic ‘A Christmas Carol’ as celebrated actor Simon Callow and current national brass band champions The Brighouse and Rastrick Band join forces to release a very special album this Christmas. The CD will combine Simon Callow’s acclaimed adaptation of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ together with traditional Christmas carols performed by The Brighouse and Rastrick Band.

Originally self-published by Dickens in 1843, his legendary Christmas tale is now beautifully and dramatically presented afresh by using music to enhance Simon Callow’s superb narration on CD one. A second CD features all of the well-loved full-length Christmas carols performed by The Brighouse and Rastrick Band. The album includes Silent Night, Away In A Manager and O Come All Ye Faithful to name just a few.

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In December 2016 Simon Callow performed a one-man version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Arts Theatre. Directed by Tom Cairns, Simon’s performance was critically praised for its heart-warming and deeply moving festive storytelling of one of the most beloved works in literature, which has become a festive staple for many generations. Now, Simon Callow has taken his theatrical extravaganza adaptation and tells the famous story of Ebeneezer Scrooge for listeners to enjoy on CD this holiday season on his debut Christmas album.

Simon Callow said: “Charles Dickens is one of the supreme storytellers of all time; it’s always been a joy for me to perform not just the characters and the dialogue but to speak in the uniquely compelling voice of the author himself. It’s been wonderful to come back again, for new listeners and to old, to the timeless place in all our hearts that ‘A Christmas Carol’ occupies, this time  with the addition of marvellously stirring music to accompany what is a  story that will never cease to be relevant, moving and funny for as long as stories are told.”

Simon Callow has always had a strong passion for Charles Dickens, having published a biography of him in 2012, along with achieving major success for his performance in The Mystery of Charles Dickens (West End and Broadway) and his portrayal as Dickens himself in BBC’s Doctor Who. Some of Simon Callow’s other well-recognised work includes his performances in Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love and Amadeus. Callow followed in the footsteps of Dickens himself by performing A Christmas Carol to live audiences. Charles Dickens originally brought the classic direct to audiences himself, performing the work live 128 times before he died.

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Formed over 130 years ago, The Brighouse and Rastrick Band are considered one of the great premier brass bands having just been crowned National Brass Band Champions of Great Britain. Today they are supported through fund raising efforts and subscription payments by the general public, taking pride in their reputation on being financially independent as well as having a formidable, first-class reputation for their entertaining performances.

Simon Callow’s adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’ will be released on 1 December.

CD 1

  1. STAVE 1 – Marley’s Ghost
    God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
    The Angel Gabriel
  1. Once upon a time
    Good King Wenceslas
    It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
  1. While all this was going on
    Silent Night
  1. Now, it is a fact that there was nothing at all particular about the knocker
  2. STAVE 2 – The First Of The Three Spirits
    O Little Town Of Bethlehem
    Ding Dong Merrily
    The First Nowell
    The Holly And The Ivy
  1. Come on. Quick! my time grows short.
    The Angel Gabriel
  1. Scrooge was abruptly conscious of being exhausted
  2. STAVE 3 – The Second Of The Three Spirits
    In Dulce Jubilo
    The Sussex Carol
    While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night
  1. Bob said he didn’t believe there ever was such a goose cooked
    Hark The Herald Angels Sing
  1. It was a great surprise to Scrooge
  2. The time is drawing nearSTAVE 4 – The Last Of The Spirits
    Coventry Carol
  1. They entered the city
    Good King Wenceslas
  1. The scene disappeared
    In The Bleak Midwinter
  1. STAVE 5 – The End Of It
    Joy To The World
    The First Nowell
  2. Then he turned his steps towards his nephew’s house
  3. He was early at the office next morning
    Silent Night
    God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

CD 2

  1. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  2. Silent Night
  3. Good King Wenceslas
  4. In Dulci Jubilo
  5. Away in A Manger
  6. The Holy And The Ivy
  7. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
  8. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
  9. While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night
  10. The Angel Gabriel
  11. O Come All Ye Faithful
  12. Ding Dong Merrily On High
  13. Sussex Carol
  14. Hark The Herald Angels Sing
  15. Coventry Carol
  16. The First Nowell
  17. Once in Royal David’s City
  18. In The Bleak Midwinter
  19. Joy To The World

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