Wednesday, December 12, 2018

'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens, adapted by David Edgar

12 December 2018

The Ghost of Christmas Future in ‘A Christmas Carol’ always makes me think of ‘A Prayer for Owen Meany’ by John Irving (reviewed here in May 2010) and Owen Meany’s bony finger pointing ominously at Scrooge’s grave. So I was a little disappointed that David Edgar’s adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’ for the Royal Shakespeare Company, which we saw at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon on Tuesday – although otherwise extremely faithful to Charles Dickens – omits that moment at the graveside. Rachel Kavanaugh’s production focuses on the social justice messages of the novel, creating an entertaining show with a serious purpose. Aden Gillett’s Scrooge is appropriately believable in this context and much less of a caricature than he is often portrayed. There is some great stagecraft in the realisation of the ghosts and the journeys on which they take Scrooge, making use of the amazing technical capabilities of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre stage, together with a mixture of digital projection and more traditional stage magic. This isn’t a musical but there are a few songs and some wonderful ensemble dance numbers with very impressive choreography by Georgina Lamb.

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