BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Citizens Theatre, Glasgow
It's just before Christmas and Ebenezer Scrooge is not exactly in the festive spirit. While he's known for being bitter, it still comes as a surprise to his employee Bob Cratchit that Scrooge doesn't believe anybody should be paid for Christmas Day when they aren't coming in to work.
Scrooge is woken in the night by the spirit of his old business partner. He warns him that three spirits will visit him over the next three nights, each bringing a lesson for him to learn.
Unlike other festive productions I've seen over the last few years, A Christmas Carol relies on the magic of storytelling rather than bells and whistles. The sound effects are created onstage by actors and the spirits are puppets which is utterly charming. While the tale is a mostly solemn affair, there are a couple of singalongs which are traditional with a folksy charm. The sets are beautiful and there's an underlying feeling throughout that is just magical.
Benny Young is a marvellous Ebenezer Scrooge. With a strong Scottish accent making a nice contrast with Victorian London, he delivered the best "bah- humbug!" I've ever heard. Young displays great range between the bitter old miser and the generous man we see at the end of the show.
Tramway is being used as a temporary home for the Citizens Theatre productions while they undergo a two-year refurbishment at their Gorbals location. Tramway is the perfect venue for this atmospheric production as the layout allows audiences to get closer to the action onstage.
Dominic Hill's production of A Christmas Carol was a huge hit in 2014 and you can see why it has returned this year. This beautiful and heartwarming staging will enchant both children and adults this festive season.
A Christmas Carol runs at the Citizens Theatre at Tramway until 6 January 2019.
Photo credit: Tim Morozzo