Review: William Shakespeare’s A Christmas Carol

Mr Fish 22 November 2019

The concept of this play seemed rather strange when I initially heard about it, and I wasn’t entirely sure of what to expect. I didn’t know if this play was going to be a comedy or indeed a straight rendition of Charles Dickens’ classic tale with a Shakespearean twist. It turned out to be the latter, though some brief moments of comedy did appear. Whether this was intentional or not, in some cases, the audience is left to wonder.

Image credit: Anna Gawedzka

All in all, the concept of a Dickens-Shakespeare fusion was carried out quite seamlessly, the work and style of the two masters of their trade very much lending themselves to each other in the writing of Ian Doescher. The story of Ebeneezer Scrooge, played by Gregory Miller, is still the same recognisable festive tale but enhanced with the dramatic expression and language of the Bard. References to Shakespeare’s writing are scattered throughout the performance, some subtle, others more overt such as sections of dialogue (though adapted) from Macbeth. These provide easter eggs to be enjoyed by fans of the Bard’s work, though many may be identified and are inclusive of the less avid theatre-goer as well.

Image credit: Anna Gawedzka

The cast (Gregory Miller, Katie-Lou White, Oscar Matthews, Oscar Wilson, Keshav Nehra, Maddie London, Seth Daood, Grace Beckett, Emma Shen, Eimear Heath, Liora Lederman and Rebecca Wills) though at moments seeming perhaps a little unrehearsed, were impressive in their expression and energy which they devoted to the telling of the tale. Miller’s Scrooge is excellent in his portrayal of greed and misery, transforming to a rather comedic character by the play’s conclusion. Meanwhile, many of the supporting cast switched between costumes, playing several different characters throughout the evening to a respectable standard.

All audience members will be familiar with this tale of Christmas magic by some way or another but none will have likely seen it told quite in the way it is by Ian Doescher and the cast of William Shakespeare’s A Christmas Carol. This play provides appeal to admirers of both great men of literatures’ work and is rich in Christmas spirit.

Forsooth!

Image credit: Anna Gawedzka

4 stars.