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David Porter » Reviews » A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 19 December 2011

 

Charles Dickens’ iconic tale of redemption from darkness, A Christmas Carol, is a seasonal but timeless favourite, and The Maddermarket is true to the spirit of the original classic.

Besides the well-known ghosts, the Cratchitt family, the nephew and, of course, the great British curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge (Noel James), the play has many minor parts, some doubled up well by the large company.

The use of some of these characters as a Greek-style chorus to convey the narrative, comment and directly address the audience effectively sheds new light on the familiar.

Movement is restricted on the stage, but even so, the sombre, death-like atmosphere of those Victorian days was captured, including the chill grimness of the counting house.

The tragedy of the impoverished Cratchitts was mitigated by a sense of optimism and deep family love. Scrooge’s terror of the ghosts was mixed with comic touches.

The show will become a must-see this Christmas and New Year.

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