Follow TV Tropes


Useful Notes / Great Dickens Christmas Fair

Go To

A long-running, immersive San Francisco reenactment event dreamed up by the same people who pioneered the modern Renaissance Fair. The Dickens Fair turns a landmark warehouse into Christmas Eve in 19th century London over the weekends in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. As the name suggests, Charles Dickens and his literary creations (particularly from A Christmas Carol) are featured heavily, but there are also plenty of other sights, sounds and even smells offered in terms of food, crafts, and entertainment. It's basically for people who feel that Ren Faires are a little too far in the past, but ComicCon/Cosplay events are equally too modern/futuristic. That qualifies the Fair as either a tourist trap, or the most fun you can have with too many clothes on...

Learn more about the Fair here.

The Great Charles Dickens Christmas Fair provides examples of:

  • Culture Equals Costume: Street urchins don't dress like the Royal Family, and vice versa.
  • Dances and Balls: Fezziwig's Warehouse is literally just this, albeit the working/middle-class version of it.
  • Dance of Romance: This is the entire reason why Fezziwig's Warehouse exists in both the Fair as a whole and in its place in the plotline of A Christmas Carol, as it is where The Ghost of Christmas Past takes Scrooge to see his younger self fall in love with and then get his heart broken by his sweetheart Belle.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Actor/musician Lee Presson encountered this when he first approached the Fair's organizers with the idea of playing Edgar Allan Poe. Asked if the author of "The Tell-Tale Heart" might be a bit...dark for a Christmas-themed event, Presson retorted "Have you READ some of Dickens' stuff?" They saw his point, and he's been Poe-ing it up ever since.
    • Also, Nancy's murder at the hands of Bill Sikes qualifies. That it happens within the PG-13 (and otherwise comically ribald) confines of Mad Sal's joint makes it no less disturbing. The 2014 Fair turned the scene up to eleven with Bet the pickpocket discovering Nancy's body and Sal herself vowing revenge. (It wound up being too effective: the following year, the Fair's organizers requested the entire death scene be scrapped...)
  • Deadpan Snarker: The "Chairman Obadiah Feltrup" character at Mad Sal's Revue:
    Chairman: "Now, there's one thing at Mad Sal's that is strictly forbidden..."
    Fellow cast member: "Sobriety?"
    Chairman: "All right, two things that are strictly forbidden..."
    Audience member: "What about promiscuity?"
    Chairman: "That's encouraged."
  • Den of Iniquity: Mad Sal's Dockside Alehouse. Might also qualify as The City Narrows and Not-So-Safe Harbor.
  • The Drunken Sailor: Paddy West's band sings classic sea shanties, as well as shilling their own "brand" of booze. Also an example of Seadog Beard.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Younger female guests who want to dress up - but don't want to go the full hoopskirt-and-bonnet route - often chose this as a costuming Plan B.