b'BAH!HUMBUG!Theatre performances of Charles Dickenstale of miserliness, redemption, and perennial favourite A Christmas Carol haveBah! Humbug! as part of their GCSE been a feature of the festive season sinceEnglish Literature course, and a numberCharles Dickens felt an old the work was first published in Decemberof interesting connections between thelove towards Birmingham, and once 1843, so the recent production stagednovella and our home city of Birminghamdescribed a ring he wore on his finger as in Big School by the Quantum Theatrehave been discovered in the course ofan old Birmingham gift, wishing that if Company followed a yuletide traditiontheir background research. For example,by rubbing it I could raise the spirit that dating back over a hundred and fiftyit was here in the citys town hall inwas obedient to Aladdins ring, I heartily years. Victoria Square that Dickens deliveredassure you that my first instruction to The school performance was organisedhis very first public reading of the story,that genie on the spot should be to place for students in Years 10 and 11 whoto an audience of over two thousandhimself at Birminghams disposal in the have been studying the classic ghostlypeople, a performance that lasted nearlybest of causes. May that be truly said of four hours. We have also learned howus, and all of us.Its behind you!January came and the new term started with a coachful of Year 7 students visiting the Hippodrome theatre in Birmingham to see the classic pantomime Dick Whittington. The sets and costumes were outstanding and our students were soon taking part in the interactive performance, shouting out the classics (Oh yes he is! Oh no he isnt!) with absolute gusto.Standout moments included Dr Ranj from CBBC giving it his all as the Fairy Prince, and the Dame and Dick playing the sweets sketch. Polos anyone? Marti Pellow as the Ratman had the staff laughing and the students semi-terrified with his exaggerated menace and generally scary ways. The ice creams in the interval were pretty delicious too! Thankfully, Dick Whittington triumphed to become Lord Mayor of London, and they all lived happily ever after.All too soon it was time to go back to our coach and return to Handsworth, happy and harmonious after an afternoon well spent. With thanks to the staff who made the trip possible and the students who were such a delight to take to the theatre!20'