REVIEW: A CHRISTMAS CAROL (LOST Theatre) ★★★★
A Christmas Carrol. As traditional as roast turkey and Christmas Pud but better for your soul and for your waistline. When performed as beautifully as this, this story of regret and redemption is a feast for the eyes, ears and heart. What a great start to the Christmas period.
This lovely musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic ghost story, is exceptionally well done. The cast fill the stage in turn with sad melancholy and then bright laughter, with sweet song and with merry dance.
The entire cast, adults and children alike are excellent. They sing beautifully and dance a storm. You could not ask for better. A credit to the director and everyone involved.
The stage generally represents the street in front of Scrooge’s home and this is where all the action of the play takes place. Images are projected onto the the front of the buildings to add atmosphere to particular scenes and your imagination does the rest.
The three ghosts, of past, of present and of future are all played by women which appears to be a theatrical trend recently, but it seems just natural and right some how, in this context. They did however, thankfully, retain a masculine ghost of Scrooge’s old friend, the poor, chain bedecked, Jacob Marley.
So many excellent highlights but I must mention the scene where the entire cast have a good old cockney knees up at Mr Fezziwig’s Christmas party, it was outstanding, even amongst so much brilliant festive fun.
All the music was original and written by the very talented Alan Enken with lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. Excellent songs brilliantly sung. The dancing and choreography was spot on throughout.
A special mention to young Kyarna Shea seven years old, according to Google, and dances like a true pro. She is already an experienced West End hoofer having appeared in The Wizard of Oz and Les Miserables. Surely a star in the making.
A special Yuletide mention for the most Miscast Actor goes to the beautiful, talented, singer, dancer and ballet dancer Jessica Finn who is cast as the Blind Hag. The Perfect Pairing mention goes to the fine dancing and singing couple, the Fezziwigs. Hugh Hastie and Rachel Dobell. Finally a mention for Theatrical Dynasty in the Making to Arthur Tidbury (age 7), Ella Tidbury (age 9) and Oli Tidbury(age 12). Well done everybody.
Piers Garnham as Scrooge brought an element of steel to the heart of the story and has a fine deep voice and a slightly scary demeanour. His conversion from crotchety, mean hearted miser to a kind hearted philanthropist was very touching. Piers has been a member of the Lost Theatre Company for more than twenty years.
One very tiny criticism, there are a few spelling mistakes in the programme including one or two cast names misspelled including Kyarna, which is a bit of a shame. With theatre programmes costing a lot of money in the West End, it is sad to see a lack of attention to detail being made more and more often.
If you want to be entertained and uplifted I suggest that you wonder down to the vibrant Lost Theatre Company in Stockwell, London before 31st December, and take the kids along too. Have a lovely Christmas and may God bless us everyone.
Reviewed by Graham Archer
Photo: Lost Theatre