A Christmas Treat – not to be missed

UKTHEATRE.NET reviews A Christmas Carol:

The splendour of Middle Temple Hall quite takes your breath away.  The tranquillity and beauty of this magnificent space inspired Dickens in his writing and is certainly the perfect setting for his well loved novel, ‘A Christmas Carol’. Leave behind the bustle of the streets of London and be transported back in time to share the experiences of Scrooge, the Cratchits and the citizens of the streets of 19th Century London.

We are asked at the onset: ‘What reason do you have to be miserable?’  Hear hear to that! Leave all negativity outside the door and immerse yourself in this charming production. To the sounds of the four musicians, the soaring voices of the brilliant ensemble and the clanking of ghostly chains, this is a veritable treat.

Chris Courtenay as the ghost of Jacob Marley

The atmosphere is magical. The faces of the children in the audience bore testament to the wonder of the ghosts of Marley and of Christmas Past, Present and Future; adults smiled and gloried in the delight of the singing, delivered so beautifully by this well voiced cast. We almost had to be held back from jumping up and joining in the carols that were interspersed through the various scenes. If only all carols could be sung so sweetly and with such perfect harmonies, all would be welcome at our front door. And of course, who could not be moved by the sight of the future yet to come, the sadness of Tiny Tim and the poor of London. ‘Bah Humbug’ – certainly not!

David Burt with the cast of A Christmas Carol

David Burt’s Scrooge is inspired and we do not doubt his character as it shifts through its many changes. The Cratchits played by Andrea Sadler, Dean Riley, Kerry Loosemore, David Hunter and Leo Mann welcome us into their home to share their joy and their sadness. The versatility of the ensemble, playing a variety of roles, complements and contributes to this joyous spectacle. This is a production not to be missed.

David Hunter as Bob Cratchit and Leo Mann as Tiny Tim

Antic Disposition has set the tone perfectly. The staging is perfect and the intimacy of the hall befits the Victorian setting. The acoustics lend themselves to providing the echoing quality integral to this wondrous tale. ‘A Christmas Carol’ is is a wonderful production for adults and children alike. It will leave you recognising the treasure of your own families and the pity of the poverty that still exists on London streets today.

If you can, grab a ticket. It is well worth it. And of course this would not be a review without those magical words of Tiny Tim:

“A Merry Christmas to us all; God bless us, every one!”

review by Elaine Pinkus at UKTHEATRE.NET