Singer spends two and a half years memorising Dickens novel
A SINGER spent more than two and a half years memorising Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol so that she could raise money for charity.
Auriol Britton, a singer who lives in Bedminster, first began memorising the book in April 2010.
She had previously learned a short extract for the Bristol Speech and Drama Festival but wanted to do more.
Each day the 37-year-old, who is blind, read and learned a short section of a braille version of the novel, which is 64 pages long, regardless of whether she was ill, or no matter how much else she had to do each day.
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Ms Britton said: "I would keep practising a short extract until I knew it, before gradually moving on to the next piece.
"I raised money for Christian Aid because it is practical, helping those in most need throughout the world, regardless of their religion."
The three-and-a-half-hour recital, held at St Stephen's Church in Bristol city centre, raised £125 on the day, as well as £130 online and a £15 donation from the church, with the total raised coming to £270.
Ms Britton is now looking to an even bigger challenge – Great Expectations, an even lengthier Dickens novel.
She said: "I'll learn it in much the same way as A Christmas Carol, going over and over a short section until I know it, and gradually moving forward.
"On the train to London is a good place for this, and once quite a lot of it has gone in, I go back over it and revise repeatedly.
"I don't have a photographic memory, I just work hard at it – anyone can do that – some days I'll only spend five minutes on it, other days half an hour.
"I think Great Expectations will take around 15 years to learn – the logistics of putting on a 20-hour long performance will be somewhat different from those of accommodating A Christmas Carol!"
Anyone who would like Ms Britton to deliver a recital of A Christmas Carol for a group, to raise money for Christian Aid, can contact her on email@example.com.
Anyone who would like to donate can visit www.justgiving.com/christianaid-achristmascarol