Ghosts. Greed. Puppets. Snow! Bonnets! A perfect small ensemble cast perform all the parts of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol as envisaged by Patrick Barlow. It’s very, very funny, family-friendly level scary and topical as the novel’s declamation for us to ‘have a heart’, to care, to see people are brought up to date with the cost of living crisis and minister’s ‘lifestyle choices’ comments.
Duncan Ley made a fantastic lip-curling Scrooge, curmudgeonly to the end until he remembers his mother’s love for him. (Beautiful singing by Katy Watkins in this tender part). Danny Olsson was a brilliantly heart-felt Bob Cratchit and sundry voices and passers-by! He also performed the feat of being in two places at once — bringing in Tiny Tim and being half the Cratchit children.
Karen Fitzsimmons and Gary Nicholson play everyone else! Loved the feature of flinging snow about every time they went through a door. Beware if you are on the front rows — Scrooge will try to scare you if you’re under 16 or chat you up if you’re a 16+ lady. Mind his offer of a mince pie tete-a-tete after the show.
Somehow too the backdrops are beautifully rendered images of Winchester which adds to the drama — although we’re in ‘Dickensian London!’
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