The Drive for Political Change

Dickens on The Chimes

“I believe I have written a tremendous book and knocked the Carol out of the field.”

“It has a grip on the very throat of the times.”

“Christmas comes but once a year – which is unhappily too true, for when it begins to stay with us the whole year round we shall make the earth a very different place.”

John Forster, Dickens’s friend and biographer:

“They (the poor) had always been his clients, they had never been forgotten in any of his books, but here nothing else was to be remembered … he had come to have as little faith for the putting down of any serious evil, as in a then notorious city alderman’s gabble for the putting down of suicide. The latter had stirred his indignation to its depths. When he came therefore to think of his new story for Christmas time, he resolved to make it a plea for the poor … He was to try and convert Society, as he had converted Scrooge, by showing that its happiness rested on the same foundations as those of the individual, which are mercy and charity not less than justice.”

The Chimes’s biting satire was intended to effect real political change. It addresses issues of homelessness, vagrancy and self-respect and if he were alive today, Dickens would be clamouring for a capitalist change of heart to address our present ‘Condition of England’ and of the wider world.

Claire Tomalin

In a recent BBC article, Claire Tomalin, author of a new biography on Dickens, points straight to The Chimes to prove that Dickens is talking about what matters in our modern society:

“The ‘hungry forties’ background to A Christmas Carol and The Chimes, for instance, was a period of recession, unemployment and starvation – you don’t need to look far for contemporary relevance.”

Our production of The Chimes will be performed in two locations. Please see below for more information and tickets.

Our Cardiff Performances

St. Johns Church, Canton
7th – 16th December 2017
For tickets call 44(0)29 2030 4400 or go to

Our London Performances

St. John’s, Waterloo, London (Opposite Exit 4, Waterloo Station)
19th – 30th December (no performances 24, 25, 26 Dec)
21st December – signed performance
For tickets got to our ticketsource page to purchase online