Pros: An excellent stage adaptation of A Christmas Carol that really puts you into the Christmas mood!
Cons: Owing to the fact that it was staged in a library it was quite difficult to see what has happening downstage or on the floor from five rows back.
This was a new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas morality tale, fittingly staged in an old library in central London. The bookshelves of the library formed natural set walls, and a table and chair sufficed as the only set pieces required to bring Victorian London to life.
Here the character of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is reimagined as a woman, played by Sarah Ratheram. We watched Sarah beautifully capture a range of emotions from fear to fury as she was visited by the spirits of her late partner Jacob Marley and of Christmas Past, Present, and future, and they imparted their dire warnings about the impact of her behaviour on herself and those around her. In my opinion the themes of the play will resonate with contemporary audiences searching for meaning and authentic relationships amidst the overwhelming materialism of our international capitalist culture.
Directed by Roberta Zuric, the story is told by three narrators, played by Amy Mallett, Kelly Eva-May and Tom Cuthbertson, who between them inhabited the whole gamut of other characters in the play. All the performances were outstanding; they traversed acting, singing, puppetry and audience participation to bring this story to life. Their versatility as performers made scenes that could have been quite difficult to convey (particularly those including the ghosts of Christmas past and future) really effective and moody.
Roberta Zuric really brought the story to life using the little space available in the library. Two floor standing stage lights and clever use of actor’s torches as uplighters, alongside selective music and sound effects really added ambiance. It could easily have been a traditional theatre.
I would thoroughly recommend this really excellent and pretty low cost Christmas play for adults and children alike. A Christmas Carol will be touring the country until the 19 December 2016, spending only one night at each location. This production is encouraging communities back into the valuable diminishing spaces of public libraries and for this it deserves credit! If you’re based in places like Bristol and Manchester you’ll be glad to know that this play is coming to a library near you soon! However, if you’re a Londoner all of the nights in the capital have already sold out, but you may be able to catch the play in surrounding areas like Essex and Hertfordshire if you don’t mind travelling.
Playing Until: 19 December 2016
Booking Link: https://librariantheatre.com/ Or call your local library