A Christmas Carol review: An alternative Scrooge but a good one | Theatre | Entertainment


On a raised stage, Scrooge (Rhys Ifans) fulminates against the world in general and Christmas in particular. 

Door frames rise out of the stage and ghosts wander through to torment him, the most spectacular being Jacob Marley, trailing chains like the train of a diabolical wedding dress. 

In between scenes, Dickensian walk-ons sing carols and ring handbells, with music supplied by a band high above the stage.  

The first half is pacy but only strikes one note as Ifans sticks to an unwavering ranting growl that grows tiresome. 

The second half is much livelier with more light and shade as well as stage mischief: fruit and veg are rolled down white cloth chutes, strings of sausages are passed around the audience and Brussels sprouts descend on little parachutes, all for the feast that Scrooge takes to the Cratchits. 

An alternative Scrooge but a good one.

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