After seeing the Rep's christmas shows scince 2003's The Wizard of Oz - this production has been the worst Rep (if not any) theatre show i have seen. I know A christmas carol is a ghost story, but I didnt like how it was emphasised in this play... okay okay I admit that I prefer the nice christmassy versions like Scrooge the musical (which was fantastic last october with tommy steele at the hippodrome - that was 5star material!!) and even the muppet's version, but I know alot of 7year olds or even 8,9 or 10 year olds who would hate this production! The scenery was boring and basically just black everywhere, it didnt make me feel christmassy at all! so please, when the rep reopens in 2013 please leave the rep's christmas show's to the true proffessionals meaning Rachel Kavnaugh and her creative team as the wizard of oz and peter pan were brilliant! i was so exited to see that the next production would be a christmas carol but assuming it would be a little bit different as it was going to be directed by nikaloi foster and not rachel kavanaugh... but now i feel sorry for those poor people of yorkshire who wil watch it next christmas! IMPROVE, REP!!!!!!! - james
13 Feb 10
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company
Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Friday 4th December 2009
It was good to see a new stage version of the classic Dickens’s story and a musical one at that. From the opening sequence with its howling sounds and eerie setting the scene is set for a traditional and yet 21st Century production.
The principal character of Scrooge is played with vigour by the talented and experienced actor Peter Polycarpou and by Act 2 you have warmed to his now repentant character and yet in Act 1 he is more to be pitied and something of a nasty piece of work! The story may well be familiar and perhaps that is the secret of its success as its many elements are as valid today as they were in Queen Victoria’s reign.
All the characters were here, Bob Cratchit and poor Tiny Tim (but played surprisingly by a puppet) and it worked well. The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present & Future were all excellent with Christmas Present having a most jolly personality resplendent in red robes trimmed with white. And who could forget the jovial and most amiable Fezziwig’s whose Christmas party was a highlight of the evening.
The sets and costumes were outstanding and helped create a magical version of Victorian England that incorporated the best of characters and effects.
I enjoyed Jason Carr’s music and lyrics both of which were completely in tune with the story and this production. It was good to incorporate sizeable production numbers along the way and this truly “rep” style production made the most of them with a relatively small cast playing what seemed like dozens of parts. A highly talented and agreeable cast made for 2 hours and 10 minutes of first rate seasonal entertainment that Charles Dickens would probably have approved of and the full house at the Rep certainly had an excellent evening that did not rely totally upon “panto” or Disney and yet enthralled even the youngest in the audience.
I cannot recommend this production anymore than just to say, get your tickets now before they all sell as this is the highlight of the season. Runs at the Rep until Saturday 9th January 2010.
- Clive Fuller
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