A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
Adapted for the stage by PAUL STEBBINGS & PHIL SMITH
Directed by CHRISTIAN FLINT
Composer - THOMAS JOHNSON
Producer - GRANTLY MARSHALL
Duration: 95 min.
Study material: free of charge
“A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens” - simply to say, this simple phrase brings a smile to most people’s face and why not? It might be the best short story ever written, or the best loved, or the best known or the most enjoyable, it certainly has to be performed, as Dickens himself knew. It’s December and we must have our pudding, our parsnips and our Christmas Carol. The story actually created our modern idea of Christmas, it influences Christmas, it is part of Christmas and it reminds us that there is more to Christmas than a shopping and eating festival.
If A Christmas Carol is the most popular story ever told, then this stage version is possibly the most successful recent adaptation. From Tokyo to Malta, from Munich to Hong Kong, from Liverpool to Madrid and from Prague to Athens, audiences have thrilled to this high powered musical production that moves the audience from tears to laughter. This production is true music theatre. The actors play and sing the score which is far more exciting than a string of carols (although carols there are!).
Well known composer Thomas Johnson (whose credits include a West End hit and the Royal National Theatre) has composed a score that moves and delights, at times foot stomping at other times heartbreaking. The director, Paul Stebbings, is well known for his integration of music and theatre and has won major awards in Europe and Asia.
The story is enormous fun but it is also surprisingly serious. Dickens warns that unless despair and poverty are banished from London, the City will burn in flames. Scrooge is frightened half to death and Marley is forever damned. Not that comedy is forgotten! The Ghost of Christmas Present has a weakness for pantomime....This is an evening for young and old, a Christmas feast of theatre that has delighted audiences in almost every corner of the globe.
Today the truly poor have been banished to the Third World, London and its like are more comfortable places in which to live but we would do well to remember the message of A CHRISTMAS CAROL: that the Christmas Spirit is joyful because it shares its joy and its feast with others, especially the poor. The play is for them and for you. Happy Christmas!
“A wonderful seasonal treat...behind the clever jokes and very hummable tunes is a timely reminder that Christmas is about more than shopping and making money... Touring theatre at its best.”
— SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST (Hong Kong)
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