Scrooge

28th October - 2nd November 2019

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Charles Dickens' classic story, A Christmas Carol, is adapted for the stage by Leslie Bricusse in this joyous family musical.

It's Christmas in Victorian London, a time of peace and goodwill to all men. All men, that is, except the miserly moneylender, Ebenezer Scrooge, who refuses to join in the festivities. But on Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by a succession of ghosts, who try to make him change his ways before it is too late!

Production Officials

Director Nora Howcroft
Musical Director    Tim Power
Choreographer Vicki Wilson

Cast

Ebenezer Scrooge  Steve Benson 
Bob Cratchit David Witt
Nephew Harry/Young Ebenezer David Perks
Isabel/Helen Michelle Foster
Tiny Tim Harry Cain
Kathy Cratchit Holly Reevell
Jacob Marley Mike Taylor
Ghost of Christmas Past Julie Ogden
Ghost of Christmas Present David Reeves
Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come David McGreavy
Tom Jenkins David Wilson
Mr Fezziwig/Punch & Judy Man Joe Davies
Mrs Fezziwig/Jocelyn Jollygoode Eileen Reeves
Hugo Harty/Dick Wilkins/Topper Rob Slater
Mrs Ethel Cratchit Jane Bickerstaffe
Mrs Dilber Joyce Foster
Miss Dilber Adrienne Wormald
Mary Pauline Wray
Bess Bev Charlson
Bissett the Butcher Keith Shatwell 
Wine Merchant Meredith Collinson
Mr Pringle Bert Ashton
Mrs Pringle Barbara Martin
Beggar Woman Teresa Harper
Mr Carstairs Paul Duckworth
Boy/Young Ebby Daniel O'Brien
Jenny Mia Beardshall
Martha Cratchit Nina Dickinson
Peter Cratchit Zachary Baker
Belinda Cratchit Ava Greenhalgh

 

Company
Lily Charlson, Kathy Clift, Gill Clough, Gill Davies, Pam Gaffney, Val Greenhalgh, Linda Hardy, Dorothy Jones, Alan Moss, Ruth Prescott, Janet Richardson, Nicola Shallicker, Maria Sharrocks, Joyce Walters

 

Urchins and Schoolchildren
Zachary Baker, Mia Beardshall, Ava Greenhalgh, Daniel O'Brien

 

Photographs by John Tustin

Reviews and articles

BATS

As Christmas approaches, what better way to set off the festivities than bring treated to Charles Dickens classic Scrooge, courtesy of Walmsley Church AODS. Adapted by Leslie Bricusse, the packed auditorium were engrossed in the familiar idiosyncrasies of Ebenezer Scrooge and his miserly ways, of which he is renowned.

As the scene opens, Musical Director Tim Power has created a superb vocal opening number with deep harmonies that not only gave a real sense of Christmas, but also displayed the vocal ability of the ensemble as they effortlessly set the scene, complete with authentic costumes and accessories; we are transported back to 1843.

Steve Benson plays Scrooge to perfection, complete with hair, attire and a pallor that was equivocal to a seemingly malnourished miser, every nuance, mannerism and vocal delivery was clear and concise, resulting in a confident first night performance that led this production throughout. I noticed a few teary-eyed audience members on several occasions as Benson sang and delivered with genuine emotion and feeling.

A visit from Jacob Marley, played brilliantly by an unrecognisable Michael Taylor warns Scrooge of three pending visits from the past, present and future. His resistance to the first visit by his late sister (Christmas past) does little to change his ways. Julie Ogden’s interactions are well-balanced against Scrooges resistance.  David Reeves offers a robust Christmas present, almost standing no nonsense as he points out the errors of Scrooge’s ways, and it is clear that the cogs are turning, as Scrooge seems a little pensive. Christmas yet to come arrives and gives Scrooge an insight of what his miserable ways could lead to and it is here where we see a resurgence as he gives presents to everyone, including his cash, resulting in a joyous ending to this timeless piece.

There were a number of standout performances throughout. David Wilson as Tom Jenkins who, with a comic touch presents his numbers well as he leads the well-drilled company though choreographer, Vicki Wilson’s fitting routines.

David Witt plays a suitable Bob Cratchit, complimented by Jane Bickerstaffe as his wife. Harry Cain as Tiny Tim displays his beautiful singing voice, which sent out a pleasing hush as we listened to every word. Ebenezers almost estranged nephew, Harry was safe in the hands of David Perks, perfectly matched with Michelle Foster as his bride.

It’s great to see younger members take to the stage so confidently and Daniel O’Brien, Holly Reevell, Nina Dickinson, Ava Greenhalgh, Zachary Baker and Mia Beardsall are delightful.

Director Nora Howcroft has ensured this piece is conveyed traditionally and with an ensemble who look right and sound top notch, Scrooge the Musical is a pleasure to watch and from the atmosphere that came across the footlights is a pleasure to be a part of.

Paul Cohen