A ONE-man play that revives Charles Dickens’ own 160-year-old performance script and uses a “faithful recreation” of his set is coming to Brighton next month.

Dickens was a regular visitor to Brighton and referenced the city in his novel, Dombey and Son.

There is a Blue Plaque on the seafront at the site of the old Bedford Hotel, which he frequently visited, and a similar plaque marks the former residence of his illustrator, Herbert Knight Browne, known as Phiz.

The much-loved Victorian ghost story about the power of compassion and generosity to transform lives was adapted and performed as a one-man play by Dickens himself, one of the first writers to publicly act out his own work.

Actor John O’Connor is taking on the considerable challenge of playing more than 20 characters for this latest staging from the European Arts Club, which goes from freezing house to the welcoming dinner table of the Cratchits.

“In these times of austerity and uncertainty, this beautiful story is as relevant now as it was in 1843,” said O’Connor.

“It’s fascinating to see how Dickens communicated it so directly to his audiences in public performance.

“He made them laugh and cry in equal measure, imparting the true spirit of Christmas.”

A Christmas Carol was performed by Dickens himself at Brighton Town Hall on November 12, 1858, the Grand Concert Hall on November 7, 1869, and at Brighton Pavilion on November 9, 1861.

Writing at the time, The Brighton Gazette reported that Dickens’ performance sent “a charge of emotion through the whole audience”.

Dickens went on to take his one-man Christmas Carol all over Britain and America, and in his lifetime actually made more money from these shows than from all of his novels and books combined.

The show is raising funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Dickens was instrumental in supporting the hospital when it was founded in 1852 and did some early public readings of A Christmas Carol in its aid.

A Christmas Carol will be performed at The Old Courtroom, Brighton, from December 5 to 7.