Skip navigation to main content

‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!’ Penny Readings 2012

Written by The Reader, 12th December 2012

IMGP2029 72dpi

From Chantel Baldry, Communications Intern (Events and Publications)

And what a good night it was! Sunday night saw The Reader Organisation fill the Concert Room at St. George’s Hall for our annual Dickensian spectacular, the Penny Readings.

We received a wonderful reaction from the audience and comments left on Twitter revealed the night to be a roaring success.

What a wonderful evening. I have been lucky enough to attend a few of the above concerts and unbelievably they just get better every time.”

A fabulous evening last night at the Penny Readings! Well done to the wonderful folk #thereaderorg#StGeorgeConcert#pennyreadings

“I would like to thank The Reader Organisation for making Sunday night a most enjoyable and interesting evening, look forward to next year.”

It was a night of festive cheer and goodwill as Frank Cottrell Boyce once again had the audience in stitches reading from his wonderfully funny short story ‘AAAHHH!’, our Young Person’s Project Worker, Patrick Fisher, amused us with his festive Dickens improvisation set, and there was a reading full of Dickensian revelry from The Reader Organisation’s very own Kate McDonnell.  The proceedings were beautifully opened by the talented cellist Georgina Aasgaard who performed Bach’s ‘Prelude’ Suite No.3 before returning later with her accordion to perform an audience participation piece.

IMGP2096 72dpiCathy Tyson dramatically brought Scrooge to life in her reading from A Christmas Carol and gave Carol Ann Duffy’s poems new meaning. Whilst, Louis de Bernières' reading of the death of Little Nell in The Old Curiosity Shop was beautiful.

We love a bit of tradition and therefore Professor Phil Davis once again closed the readings with a rendition of the Cratchits' Christmas Dinner passage from A Christmas Carol leaving quite an impression on the audience:

“Phil Davis. Wonderful. Charles Dickens could not have done it better!”

A particular highlight of the evening were the Liverpool Harmonic Gospel Choir who performed Christmas favourites ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ as well as ending with a show-stopping rendition of ‘Lean on Me’ complete with a singing and dancing audience. A wonderful way to close Dickens’ bicentenary celebrations!

Once again, younger readers were invited to join in the Dickens festivities with our Ha’penny Readings held earlier in the day. ‘Kids from one to ninety-two’ enjoyed an afternoon of festive laughter led once more by our MC extraordinaire Patrick Fisher. Patrick was joined by his friends from improv comedy group Sticky Floor who held a peculiar Christmas party attended by a Zombie Elvis and Scrooge himself!

IMGP1984 72dpi

"It's a great event, I can't think of any improvements. Keep up the good work!"

There was a wonderful performance by the talented West Everton Strings who managed to get everyone, old and young, singing ‘Silent Night’. The Reader Organisation's Dave Cookson and Niall Gibney performed the hilarious ‘Conversation Piece’ by Gareth Owen, taken from A Little, Aloud for Children whilst editor, Angela Macmillan read a ferocious extract also from A Little, Aloud for Children.

IMGP2037 72dpi

Particular crowd pleasers included Frank Cottrell Boyce reading a Christmas story with the help of a crowd member who had to act the part of an eager Christmas present-wrapping-robot. Whilst seven year old Cameron brought the house down with his recitation of a poem called ‘The Secret’. Shortly after, a very special guest arrived all the way from the North Pole, with presents for all of the children!


All in all a spectacular day in St. George’s Hall and if you were at either event we would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

Thank you to everyone that made the day a brilliant one. Merry Christmas!

1 thoughts on “‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!’ Penny Readings 2012

[…] radio feature about it here). And of course we were back in Liverpool in December with the Penny and Ha’penny Readings packing out St. George’s Hall once […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact us

Get in touch and be part of the story
You can also speak to us on: 0151 729 2200
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.