A Christmas Carol at the Comedy Theatre
An unwelcome visitor: Anthony Harkin, Owen Teale. Image by Jeff Busby
As we approach the pointy end of November, everyone becomes a little more stressed and holiday cheer becomes harder to find. Such was the case that I almost found myself without a holi-date for the opening night of A Christmas Carol
Fortunately, the fates smiled upon me and a chivalrous Christmas Knight
stepped in at the eleventh hour. If the abundance of Netflix movie (title) puns didn’t give it away, I want to stress, Dear Reader, that I am a huge fan of the holidays.
That was evidently the case for the majority of the audience in the crowded theatre. When I asked the lovely ladies sitting to my right exactly what had compelled them to come out in fairly average weather, their adorable response was “We love Christmas.”
Christmas is arguably the central theme of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
. Set in Victorian England, during the late 1800s, this timeless story is brought to life onstage by the talented cast and the amber glow of hundreds of ornate lamps creating an inviting atmosphere reminiscent of Dickens’ description of Mr Fezziwig’s warehouse as “snug, and warm, and dry, and bright as a ballroom, as you will desire to see on a winter’s night.”
The joyful ensemble of A Christmas Carol. Image by Jeff Busby
In contrast, we have the character of Scrooge whose hermit-like desire to be left alone to count his money is strangely relatable especially in these trying economic times. Loving this portrayal by Owen Teale as a gruff curmudgeon which is at times hilarious.
Fred (Andrew Coshan) was characteristically jolly and aptly handsome while Tiny Tim (Mira Feldman, Alexis Abela, Evie Rose Hennessey & Libby Segal) melted our cold hearts (and made us go “awwww…”) with every line uttered - utterly captivating.
Bah humbug. Scrooge turns away carolers as three disapproving ghosts look on. Image by Jeff Busby
Most will be familiar with the redemption story of Ebenezer Scrooge who is haunted one Christmas Eve by three ghosts (even if limited to a Simpsons/Muppets parody or Matthew McConaughey film) so I won’t go into details. However, it's worth noting that Dickens’ themes of social injustice, family, forgiveness and the spirit of Christmas continue to be relevant today. Those prone to deep ruminations will enjoy pontificating about the influence of the past and the connection between money and happiness.
“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
A change of heart for Scrooge. Image by Jeff Busby
For me, the icing on the cake was the red carpet which made us feel like rockstars and mince pies on arrival (yum!) This was made sweeter by the announcement from the cast that a portion of proceeds would go towards Fareshare, a NFP that makes meals for people facing hardship.
All in all, it was a magical night out with lots of unexpected laugh-out-loud moments. While some of the cast's antics were distracting at times, it was all done in fun to keep the audience roused.
If you’re on the fence - this impressive production delivers a thought-provoking message and a bountiful Christmas feast with all the festive trimmings. Plus ample amounts of snow which, depending on where you sit, can leave you looking like you have an unfortunate dandruff problem haha. As Tiny Tim would say "God bless us, everyone!"
Getting into the Christmas spirit
271331 - 2023-11-26 05:21:14