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A Christmas Carol generates genuine seasonal merriment – review

Manuel Harlan

‘Tis the season, but more often than not, you seem to be just going through the motions at this time of year.

Wrestling with the tide of Oxford Street to get something that’ll do for that aunt who you haven’t seen since last Christmas, or even pending a frustrating afternoon untangling those God-damned Christmas lights to find they don’t even work. Heck, even rebuffing questions about girlfriend’s from your grandmother around the Christmas dinner table. Sometimes you can’t help but ‘bah humbug’.

Matthew Warchus’ production of the victorian classic reminds you why you use to look forward to the big day! A Christmas Carol succeeds in creating a genuine sense of seasonal merriment. The familiar tale of the curmudgeon who is visited by three ghosts is not told, but was shared amongst us.

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In this latest adaptation of the Dickens novel, Jack Thorne dares to dive into the complicated psyche of the quintessential grumpy old man. His relationship with his father is brought to the foreground, enabling Rhys Ifans to bring a refreshing tenderness to Scrooge.

Since Dickens is one whose heavy-narration victorians, it was a stroke of brilliance to have a greek chorus take his place. A sense of the classics is also evoked in having those three ghosts appear as the three fates, spinning, measuring and cutting the life-thread of Ebenezer Scrooge.

So come all ye fretful, you needn’t wait for three visits from three ghosts to re-ignite your christmas cheer, just take yourself down to the Old Vic and bask in the warm glow of this truly earnest production.

Gay Times gives A Christmas Carol – ★★★★☆

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