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A Christmas Carol

by on 11 January 2020

Uplifting Festive Tale

A Christmas Carol

by Charles Dickens adapted by Emma Louise Tinniswood

Step On Stage Productions at Hampton Hill Theatre until 11th January

A review by Milly Stephens, one of our younger reviewers (aged 14)

Step On Stage’s production of A Christmas Carol performed by its Youth Theatre was extremely engaging with scenes from festivity and laughter through to death and poverty.

In Act One, due to the nature of the show, there is more need for chorus than action, but I think that Step On Stage overcame this obstacle very well, as the narration was very strong and engaging. Hampton Hill Theatre is a very big space, but the actors managed to project their voices exceptionally well and there wasn’t a word that I couldn’t hear. The set and costume were outstanding and creative.

ChrCarolCast

Cast of A Christmas Carol with Adaptor and Director Emma Louise Tinniswood

I really loved all the singing and I thought that the Christmas carols were very tuneful and even though it was a short time after Christmas, it still put me in a Christmassy mood, looking forward to next year’s Christmas.

The scene based at the Cratchit family’s house was one of my favourites, as it was realistic and had very good dialogue and atmosphere that made me feel included into a real family’s Christmas lunch. I also loved the scene at the feast with the Fezziwig’s as there was joy and dancing all the time. When the cast sang Five Gold Rings, the Ghost of Christmas Present broke the fourth wall, encouraging the audience to participate and sing along.

At the start of the play you see Scrooge – in this performance played by Scarlett Gladstone, who is a talented young actor, being glum and miserable even though there is so much Christmas merriment, especially at this time of year. (Alice Bray plays Scrooge on alternate performances).

Then Marley, who has been dead for the past seven years, comes to visit Scrooge to give him a warning. Daisy Diamond played the character of Marley extremely well, captivating the audience and leaving them on the edge of their seats. The creative use of haze, clanging chains and echoing microphone heightened the tension.

The first Ghost of Christmas to visit Scrooge was Laura Bergin, as the Ghost of Christmas Past. I thought that Christmas Past was acted very well, as she was delicate with her movements and that she had very good characterisation.

Then the Ghost of Christmas Present came to see Scrooge. I thought that Charlotte Williams brought a great sense of humour to the part and that it was a superb contrast to Scrooge who hated Christmas.

The last Ghost to appear before Scrooge was the Ghost of Future, played by Eli Rogers, who was cold, serious and foreboding and made Scrooge realise he had to change in order to be loved by everyone, not hated.

After the spirits had warned Scrooge of how he was viewed, he changed his ways and began to be generous to the poor and needy, especially the Cratchit family. Scrooge became a changed man.

I would highly recommend this show, as you can never be too young or too old to enjoy this festive tale with its uplifting moral ending. Congratulations to all the cast and creatives from Step On Stage.

Milly Stephens
January 2020

Photography courtesy of Step On Stage Academy

One Comment
  1. Paul West - Live Sound Engineer permalink

    Hi Milly , I’m realy pleased you could hear every worrd. Sound reinforncement was a real chahallenge, so I used boundary mics combined with one wireless radio mic (Marley) to reinforce the spoken worrd and vocals during songs / numbers. Belive it or not all technical aspects of the production (lighting, sound & SFX) were put together at the theatre in two days!! Which is a maasive testiment to Emma & her creative team and the cast!

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