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A Christmas Carol

The Albany Theatre presents A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Directed by Kevin Shaw. Runs until 26 December 2022. Review by Hilary Hopker.

Chances are you already know this classic Dickens story. The Albany Theatre have decided to reject panto this year and go for a Christmas tale with a much more serious edge.

The stage transports the audience back to Victorian England and we see a miserly Scrooge, played brilliantly by Paul Nolan, being generally ‘Bah Humbug’ about all things Christmas. The tale takes a dark and dramatic turn when Scrooge’s dead business partner, Jacob Marley appears from below-stage in clouds of smoke to warn Scrooge to change his ways or else.

Then the Ghost of Christmas Past appears and we get to take a look back at Scrooge’s early years and some of the events which have led to his miserable outlook on life. At this point in the play my 11-year-old son was a bit confused about what was happening. So over ice cream I gave him a quick run-down of the plot so far.

The second half was lighter and easier for him to follow. The merriment of Christmas Present presented brilliantly by Andrea Crewe was a beautiful counterpoint to the earlier darker scenes. Tiny Tim was well presented using puppetry and the audience’s heart went out to him.

It provided merry relief before the Ghost of Christmas Future loomed large over the stage. This was my son’s favourite part of the show, that and the ending. I won’t spoil it for you, but it leaves you in no doubt what the true meaning of Christmas is.

A Christmas Carol at the Albany Theatre runs until 26 December.


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