Haydn Radford -A freelance writer born in Adelaide, who loves living here. I write about movies, theatre, entertainment, literary and art events. I am happy to promote & review your events. www.weekendnotes.com/profile/121822
A classic winter's tale
Ebenezer Scrooge with Ghosts of The Present and The Future. Photo by Paul Butler.
I had the delightful experience of attending the Hills Youth Theatre (HYT) production of Ebenezer Scrooge at the Stirling Community Theatre. Based on Charles Dickens' famous novella, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge hates things like happiness, generosity, and Christmas.
With all the imagery of Christmas in England, some folk may ask why is Ebenezer Scrooge not being performed during December? Well, you only have to consider the warm winter costumes and how uncomfortable and what a grueling experience it would be for the cast to perform and suffer during one of our heat waves to realize Stirling in winter is much better suited to this play with its misty scenery and the colourful array of beautiful leafy trees radiating lush colours amidst wisps of smoke from chimneys.
The evening was chilly, and we were welcomed into the Stirling Community Theatre, where wood fires were burning, and hot tea and coffee was available. The walls were decorated out with Christmas decorations and colourful photos of the cast in their costumes setting the mood of Christmas.
The story has been adapted for stage by Josh Sanders, a former HYT student. Josh was a tutor for HYT for a little while. He is now studying performance arts in Ballarat and has written 3 scripts especially for HYT, 'Scrooge' being his latest. Judy Sampson directed this production of Ebenezer Scrooge, while she and Di Mason, as Assistant Director, tutor the students.
Matilda Butler as Ebenezer Scrooge. Photo by Paul Butler.
The performances by this young cast were wonderful with their high energy and enthusiasm. The principal cast is amazing, just as the supporting cast is remarkable. It is a credit to the tutors, the Stage Managers and the cast themselves when you consider there are more than 100 performers and they managed to be on stage, on time without out a hitch, creating a true theatre experience.
While some of the cast have been acting for several years, some of the newer students are experiencing their first show. There were moments when some of the cast could have projected their voices more and delivered their lines a little slower. Productions such as this, offer wonderful learning experiences to these young theatre students. With time, practice and gained confidence they are bound to improve and will reach for higher heights.
Principal cast with Director, Judy Sampson. Photo by Paul Butler.
Their beautiful singing of the Christmas carols interspersed throughout the play certainly made-up for those brief quieter moments.
Even though the play does contain supernatural themes and parental guidance is recommended for young children, the story has its humorous moments, which were handled with polish and were obviously enjoyed by the audience.
It is a colourful presentation and the costumes certainly set the scene of the Victorian era. There is a minimum of prop changes, but what ads tremendous atmosphere to the telling of this story are the computer graphics, animation and lighting by Jon McKay and the lighting production team. I don't want to spoil any surprises with too much detail, but there are moments when the computer graphics and stage actions bring the show to life with a surprising 3D effect.
This is wonderful family theatre entertainment and an ideal opportunity to get into Christmas spirit mid-year as you enjoy this classic Dickens' tale.