Beat the Bah Humbugs: Review of RSC’s A Christmas Carol

Got the post-Christmas blues? Cheer yourself up with the RSC’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol which embodies the Christmas spirit- well actually it embodies four spirits…

Writer David Edgar and director Rachel Kavanaugh give the classic cautionary tale a unique spin to bring Dickens to the stage- quite literally- with the perfect combination of humour and mild horror. This quirky adaptation is brought to the audience through Dickens’ (Nicholas Bishop) narration as he travels through scenes with his Editor John Forster (Beruce Khan), using his story to spread the message of the impact of child poverty.

Phil Davis (if you haven’t seen him in Whitechapel you’re missing out big time) plays the role of Scrooge with a convincing distain for everything but, despite this, is as lovable as Oscar the Grouch. Like the audience, he is dragged through a nightmarish Victorian vision of how his and other’s greed brings misery, which is disturbingly realistic due to the haunting special effects.

If all this sounds far too Grim-Reaper and not enough Santa Claus, fear not: there are jigs and laughter galore provided by the larger than life Fezziwig (John Hodgkinson), the sarcastic Christmas Present (Brigid Zengeni), and of course Tiny Tim himself. So go grab a final dose of festivity that will turn even the biggest scrooges into schoolboys.

The play runs until 4th February at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, tickets available online.

(Photo credit RSC)

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