Scrooge the Musical

Date 2nd December 2014
Society South Moor Musical Theatre Group
Venue Civic Hall Alun Armstrong Theatre, Stanley
Type of Production Musical
Director Joan Oldfield
Musical Director David Johnson
Choreographer Joan Oldfield

Report

Author: Gordon Richardson

Dickens’ story of a miserly man’s redemption by visiting his past, present and future in order to learn from his errors is a true Christmas classic and a family favourite at this time of the year. The role of ‘Scrooge’ is a mammoth undertaking for any actor as he features in just about every scene. Taking on this daunting role and making it his own was Ian Mordue as he portrayed his character from uncaring miserly skinflint into a concerned individual full of the milk of human kindness during the course of the performance.

Although his musical ‘redemption’ number “I’ll Begin Again” is arguably the best known song in the show, it was the emotion engendered during his quartet with the ghost of Christmas Past (Lindsay Kellegher),  his younger self (Joe Coulson) and young Isabel (Kirsty May) - “Happiness” -  that stole the show for me.
The chorus took every opportunity to shine in ensemble numbers, no more so than in “December the Twenty-Fifth” led by the exuberant Mr and Mrs Fezziwig (Colin Coulson and Rexine Perry). The ghost of Christmas present (Andrew Howe) was larger-than-life as he led Scrooge to view his genial natured employee, Bob Cratchit (Lee Passmoor), enjoy his meagre Christmas dinner alongside his on-stage wife (Sue Tait) and family including children ‘Kathy’ and ‘Tiny Tim’ (Jade Laight and Kristien Stokoe respectively). It was this latter character that brought a ‘lump in the throat’ moment as Kristien sang “The Beautiful Day” – a not so easy task to perform as dialogue was going on alongside the song.

The ghost of Christmas future revealed the revelry associated with Scrooge’s demise and the raucous “Thank You Very Much” was well delivered by Nick Goddard in the role of ‘Tom Jenkins’.

Scrooge’s nephew, ‘Harry’, was compassionately played by Colin Gray as the character never gave up his hope for reconciliation with his uncle whilst the iconic role of ‘Marley’s Ghost’ was played in suitably sombre but nevertheless expansive fashion by Michael Green as he ‘slid’ rather than walked throughout his scenes whilst encumbered by his chains. The production was ably supported by many other characters each of which added to the cumulative effect on view, and enjoyed, by the audience with a special well done to the children playing family members, street urchins and such like.

This is not an easy show to perform technically and there were the odd first-night glitches but these didn’t distract from the audience’s enjoyment. Great praise is to be afforded to the stage crew for the multiple scene changes as well as to the lighting and sound crew for covering those changes and for the many sound effects.

Costumes were in keeping with the period and music in the capable hands of MD David Johnson. This was a very good performance thoroughly appreciated by the audience who went out humming and singing along to the catchy rhythms of the musical. A perfect start to the festive season on a bitterly cold evening.
Well done Southmoor...