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Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL-ISH, Soho Theatre

Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL-ISH, Soho Theatre

Nick Mohammed’s brilliant comic creation Mr Swallow is back in his third musical production

 

 

Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL-ISH, Soho Theatre What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to take in a production of arguably Charles Dickens' best known tale, A Christmas Carol? You might think you'll be spending the evening watching Ebenezer Scrooge redeem himself after realising the error of his ways, but Mr Swallow's A Christmas Carol-ish is a much more fun take on a Christmas classic.

Nick Mohammed's brilliant comic creation Mr Swallow is back in his third musical production following the success of Dracula! and Houdini. This time he takes on Dickens' famous work with some creative adjustments due to the Dickens estate not granting him the rights - Mr Swallow wonders whether this might be because he's a man of colour (he ponders incredulously that they let Michael Caine do it with a pig and a frog). Instead Mohammed's notoriously lazy and shrill voiced Mr Swallow replaces Scrooge with Santa.

Santa is too tired to read the letters from the billions of children all over the world, he just wants to be left alone so he can sleep. But soon he's visited by three ghosts who attempt to show him the error of his ways and encourage him to embrace the true meaning of Christmas - that's a lot easier said than done when it comes to Mr Swallow.

Mixing classic pantomime with musical numbers even Lloyd Webber himself would be proud of, Mr Swallow's petulant and hapless Santa is brilliantly supported by Kieran Hodgson who plays assistant Jonathan (as well as Rudolph) and Elms as long-suffering producer Goldsworth (who also doubles as Head Elf and several ghosts).

Sarah Hadland is superb as cruise-ship singer Rochelle, who takes every opportunity to bring up her one stint in Cats. Her Bonnie Tyler-esque ballad about a turkey is one of the most random moments in the show (and that's saying something!), but it left my sides hurting from laughing so hard.

Mohammed's superb comedic writing and timing really does make it feel like the production has gone spectacularly off course. It's genius writing is aided by Matt Peover's tight directing and you can't help but feel utterly charmed by each character, even the self-centered Mr Swallow.

This is an utterly silly and brilliantly funny production, with an added sprinkling of magic at the end which left the audience in awe. This is a show that left me with a smile on my face and looking forward to whatever Nick Mohammed conjures up with next.

A Christmas Carol-ish is at Soho Theatre until 23 December.

Photo Credit: Matt Crocker

 



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From This Author - Laura Jones

Laura is a huge fan of theatre and tries to fit as many productions as possible into her schedule.

... (read more about this author)

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