See Jim Broadbent take to the stage as Scrooge
Product: www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk Price: £20.00 Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)
It's a tale we all know well: the cruel and curmudgeonly old Mr Scrooge hates Christmas, cheeriness and children in equal measure. Caring only for his money, he refuses to show even a sliver of compassion to his fellow man. But, one Christmas Eve, that's all set to change, when he is visited by ghosts from the past, present and future in order to teach him a lesson.
This year there's a new stage version of the classic tale in London, starring the irrepressible Jim Broadbent. It keeps fairly true to the original Dickens' story, with a few knowing nods to being a play (the front door is wheeled on and off to comic effect, for example). Broadbent plays the part in pantomime-style over-the-topness, with lots of gormless gaping at the spirits, and muttered asides to the audience.
By far the most impressive elements of the production are the creative decisions. The set - a concertina of folding rooms - is a thing of great beauty, while the puppetry elements are a marvel. I especially loved the chilling entrance of the first ghost, which combined a puppet and an actress to startling effect.
On the minus side, some of the jokes wore a little thin, especially a visual joke involving spare legs (you have to see it to understand!) when Scrooge and the ghosts were in flight. The ending felt a little bit directionless too - Scrooge truly breaks the fourth wall by declaring 'I'm in a play!', but the idea is lost as quickly as it was born.
If you're in London, and looking for a festive production to delight the grandchildren, this is a safe bet - as long as they don't spook too easily.
Tickets from £20. Find tickets here
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