A Christmas Carol ★★★★★ The Old Vic | Nov 13, 2021 - Jan 8, 2022


Since 1843 Dickens' story has defined Christmas and the latest production at The Old Vic honours the original. This interpretation manages to evoke the emotions that Dickens' original readers must have felt as they read this tale of hope and redemption set in the hard realities of Victorian England. Matthew Warchus has created a wonderfully theatrical adaptation which evokes the imagination, rather than seeking a cinematic verisimilitude. Stephen Mangan dominates the stage as the miser and killjoy Ebenezer Scrooge. He moves seamlessly from old, embittered codger to fearful child, to ambitious, young swain. He is supported by an equally strong cast. Jack Shalloo was perfect as the put-upon Bob Cratchit, humble but never cloying. He is well balanced by Oli Higginson as the ever-cheerful nephew, Fred. Karen Fishwick was a suitably demure and forgiving Belle and we loved Amanda Hadingue's redoubtable Ghost of Christmas Past. The choreography of Lizzi Gee was outstanding as were Rob Howell's set and costumes. The bell ringing sequences and music created and sustained a wonderful atmosphere throughout. If you see only one Christmas show this season, this should be the one. We were completely enthralled from our first taste of mincemeat pie to Tiny Tim's familiar benediction!

Rated: ★★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Manuel Harlan.

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