Would Christmas really be Christmas without a showing of the famous Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol? – no, we think not!
Everyone must know the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge, written over 150 years ago it is one of the most well known and popular Dickens novels and I’m sure it will be going strong for many years to come.
Although this version by Patrick Barlow is not done using the big film names of Alastair Sim, George C Scott and Patrick Stewart, to name just a few, the cast turn this well known story of being saved from evil and selfishness into an extremely high energy and at times very laugh out loud funny show. However don’t expect the version that we have seen in those classic films, Patrick Barlow keeps the story line and the era correct but modernises the dialogue somewhat with great effect.
The set is a simple miniature London skyline of the 1840s, highly manoeuvrable and used in a multitude of ways as the play progresses.
The highly talented cast were masters of multi-tasking, playing over 30 characters between them.
Ebeneezer Scrooge played by Darren Lawrence was outstanding in his portrayal. On stage for 99% of the production, his part in the play is very intense and requires great energy. Starting off as the miserly, money-grabbing, anti-Christmas employer and ending the show as the much changed generous, heart warming, Christmas loving Uncle.
The other 4 members of the cast played their multiple parts and different musical instruments – including a sprinkling of Campanology (bell ringing), and treated the audience to numerous Carols in perfect harmony.
Peter Ashmore, whose main character was Bob Cratchit played the long suffering employee to perfection. His energy and enthusiasm shone throughout his portrayal of his other three characters.
Sally Cheng played the Ghost of Christmas Past as one of her five characters, she was very believable as she whisked Ebeneezer back to his childhood.
Claire Storey’s version of the Ghost of Christmas Present was colourful, sparkling and surprising (especially how she made her appearance!) and wonderfully portrayed as were her other five characters.
Max Gallagher’s depiction of Jacob Marley battling with his chains was exceptional and he was also responsible for the most unusual depiction of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
The Cratchit “children” were portrayed most unusually by a selection of plates and dishes and Tiny Tim was a combination of metal drinking cups and cutlery – this is where the cast showed their prowess at puppetry.
The acting and energy of this performance is outstanding. These very talented five actors and actresses and the production team have brought together a very different version of this famous classic tale that is well worth a visit to this lovely Theatre by the Lake.
Go and get yourself a dose of Christmas that you won’t forget in a long time, this show will put you in the Christmas spirit for sure.
The show is running at Theatre by the Lake from 22 November 2019 until 11 January 2020.
Book tickets here