Monday, April 22

A Christmas Carol – Buxton Opera House

Charles Dicken’s famous ‘Christmas Carol’ is one of the most memorable and most loved Christmas stories of all time and the Chapterhouse Theatre’s latest touring production of Dicken’s famous festive offering is a true to the book recount.

Staged inside the Smaller Pavilion Theatre at Buxton Opera House, The Chapterhouse Theatre have returned once again with their Christmas Carol Production for another year keeping true to the 19th century tale and as a result; it’s the perfect production to go and see if you’re studying Christmas Carol at school or college.

It’s quite a stripped back production with quite sparse hand painted props and backdrops which may seem reminiscent of a school production, but this adaptation has real heart and the team use what props and sets they have to get the best out of it.

The cast are what make this production; a small ensemble that take on a number of different roles to deliver the adaption for stage, modernised by Laura Turner and directed by Antony Law. It shows the talent and resilience of the cast with how quickly they are able to adapt to each role in a heartbeat, one moment they might be playing Marley, the next Bob Cratchit – quite impressive really.

Scrooge is played skilfully by Troy Chessman and is kept busy just playing the one role, joined by Aiden Valentine, Jerome Dowling, Natasha Stiven, Nicola Rainford, Rory Moncaster and Tamsin Harding taking on the remaining roles.

Special mention should go to Jerome Dowling who had heaps of energy as Marley and as the ghost of Christmas Present.

I was particularly impressed with how the cast adapt to a small stage, cleverly working alongside specially created 12ft tall puppets, spooky sound effects and a couple of Yuletide songs performed live thrown in for good measure to keep you entertained throughout.

This isn’t a massive production with all the bells and whistles, but what it delivers is a traditional Scrooge experience which has been painstakingly tweaked year on year by a hard working cast and creative team.

Touring around the UK in all kinds of venues including Cathedrals and Museums, this is a show to add your festive calendar this year, full of heart, music and Christmas Cheer.

Verdict: An Adaption of Scrooge which stays true to the book throughout!

Reviewer: Max Eden

Reviewed: 16th November 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★