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A Christmas Carol… More or Less review at the Bridge House Theatre – ‘innovative interpretation’

Nichole Bird and Ben Woods in A Christmas Carol ... More or Less at the Bridge House Theatre, London. Photo: Anton Hewins Nichole Bird and Ben Woods in A Christmas Carol ... More or Less at the Bridge House Theatre, London. Photo: Anton Hewins

With an abundance of Christmas Carols around each year, it’s a good idea to do something different to make the show that little bit unpredictable. The flip-side is that audiences may not like the cherished Christmas story tinkered with, but that’s a risk the Bridge House Theatre is willing to take – and it pays off.

The play-within-a-play format achieves just the right balance to keep the audience guessing while still enjoying the essential elements of the seasonal classic. Seemingly about-to-separate husband and wife team Sarah and Charlie Armitage (Nichole Bird and Ben Woods) are forced to perform the play between them when the rest of the company can’t make it to the theatre. Charlie in particular is reluctant to perform, but Sarah promises that if he plays Scrooge, she’ll take on every other role.

The themes of the play are beautifully highlighted as Charlie starts to soften and assists his wife by portraying more characters as the show progresses. In the wrong hands the couple could be quite nauseating, self-satisfied Dulwich types, but the pair have so much charisma they veer away from such stereotypes. And the parlour games scene is a great moment of audience interaction that cleverly shines the spotlight on willing volunteers only.

Ultimately, the extra layer of the story enhances the original and updates the message of redemption. With such talented multitaskers at the helm, this will certainly be the most impressively innovative Christmas Carol of the season.

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Verdict
Innovative interpretation of the Dickens classic which puts a modern spin on this tale of redemption
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