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A Christmas Carol

Published Thursday 6 December 2012 at 11:24 by Lauren Paxman

For many families, reading A Christmas Carol is as much of a December tradition as decorating the Christmas tree. But however good your dad happens to be at putting on a Tiny Tim voice, after watching Simon Callow’s rendition you’ll wish he could be the one reading Charles Dickens’ novella to you every year instead.

The Dickens-obsessed acting legend steps onto the stage amidst a beautifully-emotive snow storm. You immediately know this production is something very special. Dickens says he wept, laughed and then wept again while writing the story about stinginess and compassion. The audience goes through all the same emotions as Callow energetically embodies the wonderful cast of characters.

Director Tom Cairns knows just when to rein his star in. And his clever, simple design is the perfect backdrop - transporting the audience from Scrooge’s flat to Bob Cratchit’s home simply by moving a couple of chairs. The production is so perfect you will remember Callow’s performance - in particular his Fezziwig dance scene - every time you read the story.

This Carol may not have the flashy effects, catchy tunes and former popstars many pantomimes boast, but your children will enjoy it just as much, and you’ll enjoy it a hell of a lot more.

Production information

Arts, London, 5 December-5 January

Charles Dickens
Tom Cairns
Assembly Festival, Riverside Studios
Cast includes:
Simon Callow
Running time:
1hr 30mins

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