There is always something quite mesmerising when watching a monologue, the way it engages and draws you into both the story and the physical demands of performance is both exciting and challenging; this production is a great example of when you have an actor at the top of his craft telling a well known story and still finding something new to say.
Clive Francis is Charles Dickens, retelling the age old classic A Christmas Carol, historically Dickens told his stories to packed town halls on a regular basis and I am certain he would have approved of this interpretation.
Francis brings to life each and every character, his Scrooge is the mean spirited man with a heart of flint whose transformation is utterly convincing. The splendid array of melodrama, comedy and rapport with the audience carries the packed house along on at a good pace which never falters.
The staging is simple with a highly effective lighting design that transports the story telling from the cold stone floored office to the opulence of a Christmas cheer filled home; complemented by warming compositions from Phillip Sheppard.
This production allows an insight into the plight of Dickens England the chasms in society and the aching graciousness of Scrooge to be allowed a second chance. Whilst Christmas may be past it is a perfect way to kick start a few new year resolutions should you see a little of Scrooge in your working day.