[img]http://hits.guardian.co.uk/b/ss/guardiangu-feeds/1/H.20.3/2279?ns=guardian&pageName=A+Christmas+Carol+%7C+Theatre+review%3AArticle%3A1315209&ch=Stage&c3=Guardian&c4=Theatre%2CStage%2CCharles+Dickens+%28Author%29%2CCulture+section&c6=Alfred+Hickling&c7=09-Dec-06&c8=1315209&c9=Article&c10=Review&c11=Stage&c13=&c25=&c30=content&h2=GU%2FStage%2FTheatre[/img]Stephen Joseph, Scarborough
One never tires of Charles Dickens's Christmas tales,but they are told so often it helps to have a little twist to distinguish yours from the crowd. Chris Monks's production carries the unique selling point of a suggestion that Scrooge may have been brought up only a few miles from Scarborough.
Stereotypes about tight-fisted Yorkshiremen aside, the facts stack up quite well. Dickens made several research trips to the white rose county, and had a solicitor friend in Malton whose offices he claimed to have inspired Scrooge and Marley's. And try saying "'Umbug" with rich, northern vowels: it works.
It also helps to put some flesh on Scrooge's bones, as Kraig Thornber's portrayal is far from the spindly caricature of popular renown. While it usually takes until the closing scenes before we can finally warm to Scrooge, here the thaw begins sooner. The shadow of his unhappy schooldays is all the more vivid for being located just down the road; one even begins to intimate that the unwanted, abandoned child could be a spiritual brother to that other product of a Yorkshire education, Smike.
Its regional slant aside, Monks's production is as traditional as chestnuts roasting on an open fire, with a chorus of urchins, some spooky phantoms and a fine, frosty set with all the trimmings of top hats, mufflers and hearty rounds of wassailing. In short: the perfect Yorkshire Yuletide that we Tykes prefer to keep to ourselves, because we're that mean.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2009 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
View the full article
Guardian: A Christmas Carol | Theatre review
No replies to this topic
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users