Scrooge the Musical

Date 23rd October 2014
Society Beaconsfield Operatic Society
Venue Phoenix Theatre, Blyth
Type of Production Musical
Director Dave Cooper
Musical Director Susan Smith
Choreographer Kathleen Holdroyd

Report

Author: Jim Graham

Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” is one of the best known ghost stories of all time and makes an ideal offering for the start of the Christmas Season.  In Beaconsfield’s show a strong cast of 41 characters brought the Lesley Bricusse version to life with some excellent singing, and gave the enthusiastic audience an evening to remember.

Peter Boyd, as Scrooge, gave a marathon performance, being on stage and leading the cast for some 95 percent of the time.  His diction was clear and strong, and a pleasure to listen to.  He made the most of the opportunities presented by the visiting spirits of Marley and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to come.  Peter sang “It’s Not My Fault” very dolefully along with Marley’s ghost (Christopher Carr) and then was very cheerful, supporting the cast with “December the Twenty-Fifth”.  He then met the Spirit of Christmas Present (Michael Douglas) with whom, after the pouring of the “magic wine”, he launched into magnificent duet of “I Like Life”.  He was then visited by the Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come (Peter Moore), and again responded appropriately to the doom and gloom of the future before promising “I’ll begin Again”

Whilst Peter Boyd played a dominant role he did not detract from the many other characters.  Christopher Carr, as Marley, gave a presentation and appearance that was totally over the top.  His version of “Make the Most of This World” was suitably terrifying.  Sally Faulkner, as Christmas Past, led the portrayal of what life used to be like for Scrooge.  Particularly memorable was Kath Dryden, as Mrs Fezziwig, and the Chorus with “December the Twenty-Fifth” a very lively scene.

As the Spirit of Christmas Present, Michael Douglas showed Scrooge about life.  Michael’s singing was powerful as Scrooge mellowed.  Peter Moore, suitably disguised as the Spirit of Christmas yet to Come, graphically demonstrated to Scrooge the coffin he would be in unless he changed his ways.

There were many good supporting roles in this production.  Of particular note was the duet from Stuart Laws (Harry/Young Ebenezer) and Lindsay Spark (Helen/Isobel) singing “Happiness”.  Andrew Herron (Bob Cratchit) led the Cratchit Brood, including Matthew Diston as Tiny Tim, who looked suitably ill.  Other memorable numbers included the Chorus singing “The Ministers Cat”.  A special mention must be made of David Wilkinson, as Tom Jenkins, who led the Company in a rousing rendering of “Thank You Very Much” one of the best numbers in the show.

It was pleasing to see a good number of younger people on stage – long may it last.  The production was slick, taking full advantage of the limited space of the stage.  Lighting and Sound were appropriately atmospheric, with costumes by “In Disguise” being relevant to the period.

It was an excellent show which was thoroughly enjoyed by the capacity audience on the evening I attended.