A Christmas Carol, originally written by Charles Dickens and adapted by Neil Bartlett, was performed at Pegasus Theatre as the Christmas show. It tells the story of a “grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner” of a man called Scrooge. Scrooge receives a chilling visitation from the ghost of his dead partner, Jacob Marley. Marley informs Scrooge that three spirits will visit him during each of the next three nights, to warn him of the fate that awaits him after death if he doesn’t change his ways.
The set for the play was minimal; a bed, a door frame and hat hangers which were then transformed into gravestones, widows, time travel portals and other things. Director Jonathan Lloyd used a mixture of puppetry, shadows and sound to create a sense of place. Embroidered around the stage were pieces of clothing symbolising Christmas. The costume designs were especially suitable for the specific characters and added humour to the performance as they truly identified the character’s personalities.
It was delightful to watch how lighting and sound added atmosphere to the play. The lighting created the mysterious door through which Marley enters and the ghost sounds were harmonised in order to make a desperate sound.
The actors used audience participation to involve the audience in creating different scenes. The actors were very versatile, using different voices, pitch, volume and physicality to represent a fluid variety of different characters. They showed a clarity, confidence and sense of ownership over the production.
The play is recommended for ages 7+ (key stage 2 upwards) and is relevant to students studying drama and English literature.
It is a must-see play and will definitely brighten your heart. It engages your emotions and carries you through the story. I hope the actors enjoyed acting it just as much as I enjoyed watching it.
By Michaela Lastovicka, Young Reviewer.