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A (Scarborough) Christmas Carol review at Stephen Joseph Theatre – ‘hoopla and hilarity’

The cast of A (Scarborough) Christmas Carol at Stephen Joseph Theatre. Photo: Tony Bartholomew The cast of A (Scarborough) Christmas Carol at Stephen Joseph Theatre. Photo: Tony Bartholomew
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After stellar success last year with Pinocchio the same creative team returns to Scarborough with a radically different take on A Christmas Carol.

Charles Dickens had the imagination to create a thousand original characters. Yet, even he could not have foreseen that his great killjoy Ebenezer Scrooge would one day leap into the future as a time traveller and be taught to loosen up by a woman with a nut for a head or be shown how to unfreeze by a walking fan.

Four superb actor-musicians, Joey Hickman, Anne-Marie Piazza, Elliott Rennie and Alicia Mckenzie, create a galaxy of screwball characters, tumbling and busking in the round and spellbinding the audience. They end up engaging everybody in the house in a huge snow ball fight and create an atmosphere of mirth and cheer.

Director Paul Robinson, writer Nick Lane and, not least, choreographer Erin Carter have crafted an ingeniously fluid, visually exhilarating experience, combining elements of a Lewis Carroll with a street theatre circle show. Simon Slater’s merry-go-round music is also strangely beautiful in its reflective moments, an essential part of the hoopla and hilarity.

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Imaginative in-the-round reworking of Charles Dickens’ fable for our times