By Grace Kendrick, Law MA
The well-known storyline follows a miserable money-lender Ebenezer Scrooge, who on Christmas eve is visited by four ghosts who present his past, present and future. Before Christmas day arrives, Scrooge must confront his identity and find the true meaning of Christmas...
The Bristol Old Vic continues its first season following a recent refurbishment, with a modern take on the all-time favourite tale by Charles Dickens. The play explores the highly relatable themes of an individualistic and work orientated world and calls in turn for audiences to search for a sense of community.Scrooge is played by Felix Haynes, who offers several excellent opportunities to bring out his gift for humour within the performance. Felix’s characterisation allows audiences to connect with the journey of Scrooge’s past, whilst elaborating on the character's iconic sarcasm creates a more likeable character than has been previously seen in film interpretations of the tale.
The Ghost of Christmas Future came early this year! We are delighted to announce that our record breaking #ChristmasCarol will return to charm even more audiences next Christmas! Tickets for the 2019/20 production will go on sale to general public on Fri 21 Dec. #ScroogeReturns🎁 pic.twitter.com/VRgsT9rMky— Bristol Old Vic (@BristolOldVic) 12 December 2018
Other cast members play multiple roles during the performance and each character has their own distinct personality to share. The charm of Scrooge’s nephew Freddie, played by Saikat Ahamed, is an audience favourite. Gwyneth Herbert demonstrates her excellent talent of appearing on and off stage as both a musician and the Ghost of Christmas Present; this helps to tie the characters into the audience imagination.
The artistic director Tom Morris should be congratulated for his creative instincts, which enable the tale to entertain a modern audience. The set itself is stripped-back to allow for a greater focus on the characters, such as the iconic transition of Scrooge through his journey into the past. Morris’ excellent use of life-sized puppetry for the Ghost of Christmas Past brings new dynamics to the staging of the performance. This delights audiences, with the additional hints of pantomime, to ensure their participation maintains energy levels throughout the play. This works alongside an excellent musical score, which adds dynamics between each of the characters. As a family classic tale, this rendition of A Christmas Carol has been well adapted and prepared to accommodate a diverse age range amongst its audiences, offering a perfect alternative during the festive pantomime season.
Our review of #ChristmasCarol at @BristolOldVic is in and it’s a very festive ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ https://t.co/pAqX4UtPiD— Lifestyle District (@LStyleDistrict) 10 December 2018
No bah humbugs from us! 🎄
📸 @geraintlewispic #MerryBristmas #Bristol pic.twitter.com/XRfjtCu7qZ
Dickens' well-loved play has been adapted many times for the stage and screen, making it increasingly challenging to delve into new ways of presenting the story to modern audiences. Yet, the Bristol Old Vic has met this challenge and offered an opportunity to draw Christmas spirit to the centre of this story.
(Featured image credits: Unsplash / Annie Spratt)
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