The classic tale of ‘A Christmas Carol’ has being reinvented and successfully bought back to its British home in Mark Feakins’ adaptation of the Dickens story.
Set in the Victorian period in London, the story follows grumpy old Scrooge (Phil Probert) whose inhumanity has left him with a life of loneliness. But after three visits from various Christmas ghosts, his life is turned around and his humanity is restored, leaving the audience with that warm hearted glowing feeling.
Opening with Scrooge sat at an alternative version of a desk, first thoughts are that the stage at Sheffield Lyceum is completely bare. But it soon becomes clear that this cast isn’t in need of the huge set and theatrics. Instead, the story is beautifully told on a simple open stage using Christmas presents and other actors as props and relying on the power of acting to ignite people’s imaginations.
Probert as Scrooge is a delight. He manages to combine wit with sombreness whilst keeping the moral of the story intact. All this is helped by a well written script that stays true to the novel.
And of course, not forgetting that this production is a musical, the singing is truly spectacular. A mixture of uplifting and downbeat songs really captures the emotional journey Scrooge is taken on.
This show is full of delightful surprises, witty comments and even a spot of burlesque dancing. Yet the talented cast and remarkable production team manage to retain its originality, giving a simple yet stunning performance of the Christmas ghost story.
The production, by Sheffield Teachers Operatic Society, is running until Saturday, November 17.