Review: A Christmas Carol
‘There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour’ wrote Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol. Well, there are masses of both (and some fab tunes too) in the musical production of the famous tale at The Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton, this year’s Christmas show.
From the moment the show starts, you realised you’re going to be for a treat: the show opens on a street of Dickensian houses with gradually illuminating windows that looks like a beautifully illustrated Christmas card. All the characters are colourfully dressed – all except the curmudgeonly Ebenezer Scrooge that is, who is top-to-toe monochrome grey, from his lank locks down to his long johns. An inspired touch.
Don’t expect one of those musicals where characters who are talking completely normally one minute, suddenly – and for no reason – burst into song and everyone else shifts in their seats. This is contemporary West End style musical theatre, where pretty much the whole thing is sung – with clever tunes, witty lyrics (that you can hear perfectly) – and accompanied by live musicians up on the stage, adding that extra edge.
You’ll know the story. Curmudgeonly and mean minded Ebenezer is visited by ghost of his old business partner Jacob Marley and then by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future and made to realise the error of his ways. It’s by turn funny, thought-provoking and poignant. When we find out how and why Ebenezer became a miserable miser, it is genuinely moving. There are some fantasically energetic whole cast musical numbers, including one which involves the 1920s Charleston but still fits perfectly with the Victorian setting. The performances from the multi-talented cast are outstanding.
This is a show that will really warm those cockles – grab a ticket if you can. (By the way, did you know you can buy gift vouchers for shows at The Brewhouse? Last minute Xmas gift perhaps?)
A Christmas Carol is on from now until Sun 31 Dec, with a relaxed performance on Thurs 28 Dec for people to enjoy the show with friends or family members who have special needs and is BSL interpreted.