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A Christmas Carol

Published Monday 26 November 2012 at 10:49 by Will Ramsey

Tice Oakfield might be a young Scrooge but he’s an effective one. Stooped with weariness, he exudes bleakness like a fog - though you can’t help being fond of him.

Talkwood Productions’ first national tour, a musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol, captures the great tradition of the English ghost story - being both chilling and charming.

The set pieces show keen creative minds at work - particularly the arrival of the Ghost Of Christmas Future. Instead of the cliched hooded figure, the company uses a huge, hanging black cloth which the actors push themselves into from behind - a brilliantly simple and sinister piece of stage craft.

Sections of the music - particularly the song of the Ghost of Christmas Past and some of Scrooge’s more reflective moments - are glorious, mournful and minor key.

A couple of moments jar. Would Belle, Scrooge’s beloved, really have told him to ‘switch off’ from his work? Similarly a reference to a smoothie - surely unknown in Victorian London - seems out of place.

These minor quibbles aside, this is a show of poise and swagger. Tempering Dickens’ more sugary moments with a dose of something more world-weary, it is the perfect tonic for a bleak winter night.

Production information

The Spa Bridlington, November 24-25, then on tour until January 19

Charles Dickens, Stephen Leask (adaptation), Patrick Rufey (music)
Josh Sills
Talkwood Productions, Tom Barton, Josh Sills
Cast includes:
Tice Oakfield, Anna Simmons, Sam Pope, Lizzy Dive, Stephen Giles, Lucy Ward
Running time:
2hrs 40mins

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15 2014