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A Christmas Carol

Date

17th December 2016

Society

Tread The Boards Theatre Group

Venue

The Chrysalis Theatre

Type of Production

Play

Director

Sarah Marshall

Report

Author: Jenny Chandler

Without a doubt, 'A Christmas Carol' is one of my favourite stories of all time. In fact the festive season doesn't begin for me until I have seen one of the many adaptations be it in musical, play in theatre or on film. So I was delighted to accept Tread the Boards' invitation to visit their production this year.

The well-known story tells of the miserable miser Ebeneezer Scrooge whose transformation to everyone's favourite uncle is accomplished by the ghostly visitations of his former partner and the personifications of the Christmases past, present and future who force him to see the world around him and take stock of his life.

The success of this piece is very much dependent on finding an actor who can lead the company and take on the iconic role of Scrooge. This challenge was admirably accepted by Steve Allen who, with his experience, managed to sustain the development of the character from flint-steel beginnings to a more mellow personality at the finale.

I hope the cast will accept that for the main part their characters, although a necessary part of the story were very much supportive of the main role. Every one made the best of their various roles and I know what hard work it is when constantly having to change costume and character, with the change often being a quick one, then back onto the stage to keep the pace of the play going. I liked the little grouping of the Cratchett family and found Thomas Harbige as Tiny Tim very appealing.

I felt the production needed a little further direction at times but take on board that this might be because with just three performers the piece hadn't quite gelled. There was a good use of the stage area both in front and behind the curtain. The stage crew worked well together to affect all the necessary set changes. The lighting and sound effects really helpedto establish and set the mood.

It was nice to see a pretty full house and those present seemed to appreciate the efforts of those on stage. I do applaud the whole company for their dedication and committment at this busy time of year. Yours is a small company but you provide a real service to the local community which, in essence, is what amateur theatre is all about.

Well done everyone and many thanks for the warm welcome extended to my  friend and myself.