A Christmas Carol Theatre Show Review
By Jake Freeman
With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to deck the halls and pay a visit to The Comedy Theatre for the timeless classic, A Christmas Carol.
Based on the 1843 novella by Charles Dickens, who reportedly wrote the story in just six weeks, tells the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the cold-hearted, resentful and selfish businessman who despises Christmas and those who embrace it. His rudeness extends to refusing to give to charity, even at the Holy time of year. Over the course of Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. After their visits, Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man, seeking redemption and embracing the festive season.
David Wenham plays Scrooge, joining a long list of actors to have played the miser, ranging from Michael Caine to Jim Carrey. Wenham is simply amazing as Scrooge, owning the stage at every turn, even to the point of overshadowing his co-stars. Andrew Coshan is entertaining, providing plenty of comic relief as Scrooge’s nephew, Fred. As the spirits of Christmas, Debra Lawrance, Samantha Morley and Emily Nkomo were also mesmerising in their performance. Anthony Harkin plays the dual role of Scrooge’s cold father and as his late former business partner Jacob Marley who visits Scrooge in his ghostly form. But it was Theo Watson-Bonnice as Tiny Tim who stole the show towards the end of the second Act, earning plenty of “awes” from the audience.
What made this production really work was the clever set design, lighting and costumes, helping to transform the stage into 19th-century London, even employing a snow machine. There was a feeling of Harry Potter when observing the stage setup which is not surprising given Matthew Warchus directed the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play. Sound director Simon Baker deserves a special mention for his excellent use of sounds and effects that added to the believability of the show’s time and period. Finally, the music throughout was splendid, including the songs sung, including classics like “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Silent Night, Holy Night”.
Even though you have probably seen A Christmas Carol a million times by now, the talent from this cast and this production makes it all worthwhile to see it that one extra time and celebrate the story while being together with loved ones at this special and Holy time of year.
The show is conceived and directed by Matthew Warchus and is based on a version by Jack Thorne.
A Christmas Carol is now playing for a limited season until 29 December at The Comedy Theatre located at 240 Exhibition Street, a short walk from Parliament Station. It is suitable for all ages 8+.
The show runs for 2 hours including a 20-minute intermission.
To learn more about the show and purchase tickets, go to – www.christmascarolaustralia.com.au