A Christmas Carol in an old coaching inn? The perfect festive treat

Dickens by candlelight: the Flanagan Collective at the Gillygate
20 Dec 2013 @ 5.08 pm
| News
Dickens by candlelight: the Flanagan Collective at the Gillygate
Dickens by candlelight: the Flanagan Collective at the Gillygate

Two years ago director Tom Bellerby and writer Alexander Wright sat in a local pub and dreamt up something to fill their festive time. Three years later and their production of A Christmas Carol is being performed for the third year running.

But this isn’t your traditional story of ghosts wrapped in chains. This version is set in a pub, with food and drinks and games and singing.

Marley has invited you all around to Scrooge’s house to try and cheer the old miserable bugger up. Needless to say Scrooge is non too impressed to have guests.

The two actors we weave their way through Scrooge’s past, present and future – with a little help from the audience along the way. The evening includes a two course dinner and a glass of mulled wine, as well as some carol singing (kind of) some good old parlour games.

“It’s such an enjoyable show to make. Audiences seem to really buy in to it – in to trying to cheer up Scrooge,” says Tom Bellerby, director. “It’s amazing how many people stick around afterwards to have a drink with new friends. It’s such a lovely feeling.”

This year the show has moved to The Gillygate pub on Gillygate.

“It’s a great old coaching house which Brian Furey has taken over,” explains writer and producer, Alexander Wright.

Brian, who previously ran the Lamb & Lion on High Petergate, plans to close for most of February 2014 to refurbish the pub, reopening with updated bedrooms and a brand new beer garden backing on to the City Walls.

Brian has taken with him an award winning chef John Griffiths, famed for his steak and ale pies. When asked to what his intentions are with The Gillygate his reply is simple: “To have a bloody good pub!”

“The Flanagan Collective is all about good people,” said Alexander. “Brian has shown us great support over the last few years and let produce work in the Lamb & Lion. Now he’s moved up to run the Gillygate, we’re really excited to move with him. We hope to be able to make a lot of exciting things happen there.”

This year John Holt Roberts returns as Marley, reprising his role from 2012, and Dan Wood joins the cast as Ebeneezer Scrooge.

Holt Roberts has spent some of his year at Derby Theatre, working on their main house production of Kes. Wood is fresh out of Jethro Compton’s critically acclaimed Bunker Trilogy in Edinburgh and London, which transfers to Australia in the New Year.


  • A Christmas Carol runs at The Gillygate until December 23 and then from December 27-30
  • Tickets are £25, which includes a two course meal and a glass of mulled wine, and are available from The Gillygate at 01904 654103
  • For all our Christmas 2013 stories, click here