Tommy Steele loves playing Scrooge so much he’s on his
sixth tour with the Bill Kenwright musical. Audiences love watching him
transform from mean to magnanimous in this great musical with live
On the night I attended the packed audience in the Lyric
Theatre give such a long ovation he has to tell them to go home.
This is not bad for a 74 year old. Yet his age doesn’t affect his energy levels
Charles Dickens story, first
published in 1843, is as popular as ever and gives the Special Effects
Department a field day, especially when the three ghosts appear to teach Scrooge
the errors of his anti-Christmas ways. Paul Kieve is the clever
illusionist behind the disappearance of spooks through walls who pop up again on
The most frightening ghost is the
giant-sized, black-robed Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (Nick Blair).Compared with that evil spectre,
Sarah Earnshaw’s Ghost of Christmas Past is more like a fairy godmother. James Head’s Ghost of Christmas
Present appears on Scrooge’s bed dressed like a giant Henry VIII.
A fourth spirit is the
chain-rattling Jacob Marley, Scrooge’s former partner, who predicts which
spectres will appear.Barry Howard
creates a good balance between a former human being with concern for Scrooge and
a dead partner returning to haunt him.
Scrooge’s conversion impacts
mostly on Tiny Tim, the crippled son of his belittled employee Bob Cratchit
(Edward Handell).On press night the
child is played charmingly by nine-year-old Luca Davis from Macclesfield, the
winner of the Lowry’s Search for Tiny Tim auditions.
In the words of one foot-taping
song, "thank you very very much" Mr Steele & Co for a fun and festive evening.
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