Review: Co-op Juniors Theatre Company Christmas Spectacular, A Christmas Carol, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, to December 22

The Co-op Juniors 2013 Christmas Spectacular, A Christmas Carol. Pictures: Mike Kwasniak

The Co-op Juniors 2013 Christmas Spectacular, A Christmas Carol. Pictures: Mike Kwasniak - Credit: Archant

Probably their most Christmassy Christmas Spectacular so far, if you don’t leave feeling jollier than when you went in then bah humbug to you.

Dickens’ classic tale of miserable miser Ebenezer Scrooge’s road to redemption is given a musical makeover, featuring nearly two dozen foot-tapping numbers.

Given the confines of such a well-known story I was worried the cast may have painted themselves into a corner in terms of song choice.

Keeping the exact time period this version was rooted in vague - Scrooge and others wear period costumes, others don’t for example - gave the cast the freedom to rock, pop, carol and even salsa the night away.

The constantly changing, two-tiered set was stunning; especially the Christmas tree that doubled as the time machine the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present use to teach Scrooge the error of his ways.

Well acted, sung and danced throughout, I particularly liked the cleverly choreographed Christmas toy shop sequence and the ghostly happenings segment. Hats off to the cast for tackling Riverdance too.

Richard Rumbellow was perfect as Ebenezer Scrooge, slipping on the dressing gown for the first time since creating the role at the Ipswich Regent in 1997. Another stand-out was Anna Watson as the Ghost of Christmas Present.

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Perhaps one of the biggest highlights for me, the Ghost of Christmas Future, is best left as a surprise. Congratulations Oliver Brett.

Go behind the scenes of the show by clicking the above link now and check out our web gallery.

WAYNE SAVAGE

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