MEMBERS of Dorchester Drama are gearing up for their next production Dickens' Children, which will be performed in March.

Rehearsals for the play begin on Monday. (7)

Some 175 years after A Christmas Carol was published, Charles Dickens is as popular as ever, with the BBC working on a new series of adaptations for the coming years.

Dorchester Drama is looking forward to doing their bit with a production of Dickens' Children.

Written by playwright and screenwriter Nick Warburton, Dickens' Children combines scenes from many of Dickens's stories, with narration and with commentary from Dickens himself.

Touching, provocative scenes with Miss Havisham and Jo from Bleak House are balanced against comic action with the Jellyby children, and Miss Petowker: usually played by a man.

Complementing Nick Warburton's short play will be a prologue Dickens' Life and an epilogue Dickens' Hopes, new pieces by Dee Thorne written in discussion with local experts Sue Worth and Alban O’Brien.

Dorchester Drama spokesman Fran Sansom said: "These three pieces will provide a sweeping picture of the man and his work, combining to create a performance that promises laughter, sadness, entertainment, and some Dickens education. Something for everybody, and an interesting and exciting challenge for actors who may be called upon to play several parts."

n Dickens' Children by Dorchester Drama will be performed in Dorchester Corn Exchange, Friday March 29 and Saturday, March 30 at 7.30pm with a 2.30pm matinee on Saturday, March 30. See for more information.