As a self confessed semi-Scrooge, I’m not really a fan of anything too Christmassy before the 20th of December. Bryony Lavery’s adaptation of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol totally won me over however, producing a tear in the eye and a cheery Christmassy glow.
I’m sure we all know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and A Christmas Carol: Scrooge is a miserable old man who favours money to festivities. On Christmas Eve, he is visited by the ghost of his old business partner Jacob Marley who warns him that he needs to change his greedy ways and will be visited by three ghosts that night; the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. Mr Scrooge is then taken on a journey of realization through time.
Excitement buzzed around the auditorium of the Rep and the busy audience (of couples, families, groups of friends, the young and the old) seemed to really enjoy the show, helping to create a festive spirit that was felt by all. The cast were outstanding and put on a brilliant performance that you could just sit back and enjoy. All of the actors shone, with particular praise owed to Poppy Tierney who stepped into play Lydia Cratchit and Mrs Dabchick for the night. The musicians dazzled, helping to make the songs and choral pieces slick and professional and the fitting, rustic set helped to enforce a fairytale atmosphere as it changed and altered with each scene yet held clever, underlying significance.
For me, this performance arrived just in time and seemed like a more serious and less clichéd pantomime. The audience’s response said it all with loud applause throughout and laughter and gasps when necessary. The cast, especially the child actors in the chorus, put on a professional and enjoyable performance and if you are still around in Brum in the lead up to Christmas, it is a must see, cementing you in the festive spirit ready for the mince pies and Christmas crackers!
Printed in Redbrick: 11th December 2009