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Ebenezer

Date

14th December 2017

Society

Seagull Theatre Club

Venue

The Seagull Theatre Club

Type of Production

Musical

Director

Marion Small and Des Reynolds

Choreographer

Angela Freakley

Vocal Coach

Ashleigh Sendin

Report

Author: Terry Rymer

Not often do you see a production that so successfully blends youth with experience…But here we had a specially designed shortened version of this well known moral Christmas tale which made no apologies for putting the youngsters at the heart of the action and indeed taking many of the major principal roles. The Seagull is to be congratulated in taking the risk of falling between two stools with a Christmas favourite aimed at perhaps the younger audiences or maybe the potential school parties who benefit from seeing their peers perform on a live stage and starting the proceedings at 6.30 (bit early for some!).

 This was a real ‘early’ Christmas treat with all the emotional messages and just a few original vocal numbers to allow an enthusiastic chorus to play their parts, each with a named role, and more than enough to make a real difference. Highest praise to Peter Dellow as Bob Cratchit and Ryan Wilson, whose vocal prowess was of the highest order with even a rap song from Ryan to portray a ‘modern’ trend as Ghost of Christmas Present - well done lads!      Strong support came from Hollie Agger as Mrs Cratchit, and Erik Neumann as Fred, with an attentive wife in Chloe Utting also playing Fezziwigs daughter. Erik also doubled as Young Scrooge and a very impressive and quite scary spectre of the Ghost of Christmas Future. The trio of Ghosts was completed by Helen Lobel as the first of Scrooges ‘worst nightmares’, following the apparition of his ex employee Jacob Marley and his family, now on hard times, as he sets the scene for Scrooges forthcoming soul searching revelations!

There were of course more adult roles, and not least of these was Scrooge himself played with great enthusiasm by Darryl Jones who interpreted his ‘journey ‘ with just the right amount of shock and humility. His scene of total metamorphosis was a real moment to savour and his joy at this self discovery was just that…A joy! We had the stalwart and nicely colloquial aforementioned Ghost of Jacob Marley and Old Joe played by the ever watchable Stu Precious, with a believable Mr Fezziwigg from Ryan Hammond and a comely Mrs Fezziwig from Wendy McRoberts. The other supporting roles were well portrayed and made the ‘crowd’ scenes really exciting and worthy of the audiences accolades…especially the very young  Louie Farman as Peter Cratchit. These names are given an excellent profile in the well presented Souvenir Programme. This will be a future document to treasure. The show is quite short but captures the morality of redemption and forgiveness. It will be a favourite for Schools and youth groups if it isn’t already and The Seagull Group delivered a great, even emotional, evening’s entertainment with the spirit of Christmas to the fore. Well done to all involved…and there were many!..... Merry Christmas!