Simon Callow Leads A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Arts Theatre, Beginning 29 November
After a sell out run at the Arts Theatre last Christmas, Simon Callow is back, for a limited season, with his universally acclaimed production of A Christmas Carol: a triumphant tribute to the richness of Dickens' writing and to the story's continuing relevance to Christmases past, present and future.
First performed in 1843, this much loved seasonal staple follows the miserly Scrooge's transformative journey, spirited on by a ghostly trio who awaken him to the joy of Christmas, to social indignation, to a celebration of goodness and to the possibility of redemption.
Based on the novelist's own performance version, Callow "becomes Dickens the storyteller, breathing new life into the entire colourful cast and placing the words centre stage within Tom Cairns' powerfully spare staging. This was the first play that Callow ever saw and his virtuoso performance palpably demonstrates his deep affection for Dickens. Callow luxuriates in every lyrical line, vividly conjuring up a gritty Dickensian London in the doing, yet avoiding sentimental excess to create a genuinely moving and more psychologically searching version of this classic tale."
A Dickens veteran, Callow has previously played Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and Mr Fezziwig; and this production marks his third one-man treatment of Dickens, after The Mystery of Charles Dickens and two of Dickens' lesser known short stories, Dr Marigold and Mr Chops. He has guest starred as Dickens in Doctor Who (BBC) in 2005 and 2011 and published a biography of the novelist in February 2012, Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World.
On screen, Simon is best known for roles in Four Weddings and A Funeral, Shakespeare in Love, Room with a View and Amadeus. Hurtling towards 'National Treasure' status, he has worked in television for over 30 years, has directed over 30 shows, including Carmen Jones and the West End / Broadway productions of Shirley Valentine; has directed many operas and written 16 books.
A Christmas Carol is created by Callow with director Tom Cairns, with whom he also joined forces for Being Shakespeare, (West End and Broadway). Further career highlights for Cairns include All About My Mother (Old Vic), Aristocrats (National Theatre), Cocteau's Voices (Royal Opera House) and the acclaimed Scenes from an Execution, starring Fiona Shaw (National Theatre, October 2012).
The whole is supported by sound design by Ben and Max Ringham, who have scored more than 40 major productions in the West End, National Theatre, RSC and Broadway; including Henry IV (2005, National Theatre), The Ladykillers (2011/12, West End and tour), She Stoops To Conquer (2012, National Theatre) and The Motor Show (2012, site-specific, commissioned by LIFT).