What better way to get into the festive spirit this winter than with a retailing of Charles Dickens’ classic story A Christmas Carol? This year the Royal Shakespeare Company have breathed new life into this timeless piece with a beautifully crafted adaption by David Edgar. There are no gimmicks in this production, just an honest, uplifting and at times gritty look into Victorian England and the touching tale of Ebenezer Scrooge.
We are thrust into the past as the curtain rises on this production amidst the dimly lit streets of 1800s London. Moving set pieces, projection and apt prop design work exquisitely together to mould a unique and realistic atmosphere. The combination of a beautiful thrust stage and 2 walkways running through the auditorium brings the action right into the audience forming an incredibly engaging and unpredictable piece. Clever music and lighting design adds further dimension and proves integral to the story with the mood seamlessly shifting as we are whisked through time and space.
An exceptional cast bring the piece to life particularly well. Protagonist Ebenezer Scrooge is played by Aden Gillett who impressively portrays a plethora of emotions as he is unwillingly objected to this whirlwind journey. Gerard Carey represents the vulnerability and kind nature of unfortunate employee Bob Cratchet with a beautiful and endearing subtlety. Emma Pallant gave a heart wrenching and convincing performance as Mrs Cratchit and Danielle Henry was brilliantly funny and engaging as The Ghost of Christmas Present. Finishing off this stellar cast, was an incredibly strong ensemble and a fantastically talented group of children who switch between roles and decades seamlessly, never putting a foot out place.
Uniquely, this production integrates Charles Dickens (Joseph Timms) himself into the story alongside editor and friend John Forster (Beruce Khan). This addition creates an interesting and sometimes amusing asset to the production, offering the audience second interpretation of the story.
With some impressive magical moments, the stunning snowfall and a few beautifully sung christmas carols to top it all off, you’ll leave the theatre feeling all warm and cosy this winter. This story has great resonance and holds an important take home message which we can all learn from. Completely enthralling from start the finish, A Christmas Carol is the perfect winter warmer.
A Christmas Carol will be at the Royal Shakespeare Company until 20th January 2019. For tickets and information click here.