Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is one of the most iconic stories of all time. Centered on the miserable and rude Ebenezer Scrooge, the book – oh who am I kidding, everyone knows the story. There have been countless adaptations of the story and everything from The Muppets to Blackadder to Doctor Who have tackled it.
The MDG Players’ take on the classic tale is a fairly accurate take on the story with added audience interaction and a refreshing take on many elements of the story, making for a fun and original version.
One very fun aspect of the play was the elements which incorporated the audience. Each section of the audience was given a certain role to play, whether it was cheer or ring bells or imitate wind.
My section got given ghostly noises, and in my typical manner I chose to say “Ghostly noises” instead of actually do ghostly noises because I’m, well, me.
This element of the play was very fun and made it something unique rather than just a standard adaptation. Other unique elements included various Christmas carols and hymns being sung (again, not by me. I don’t really like singing) and this once again made the whole experience very entertaining.
Great interaction with the audience
Everyone knows the story of A Christmas Carol so every adaptation has to change it in some way to make it fresh and interesting and one of the advantages of a stage version is that the audience can actively take part.
The characters on stage often interacted with the audience, such as when an audience member was called onto fill in for someone who “forgot” to get on stage. I really like it when the fourth wall is broken in a theatrical setting.
“God bless us everyone”
The story of A Christmas Carol is very strong. The various adaptations all tell the story differently and this version follows it fairly faithfully and I really like how a lot of the dialogue is a lift from the novel, including the famous lines such as:
- “God bless us everyone”
- “To decrease the surplus population” , and
- “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?”
The appearances of the ghosts made the play darker
The depictions of the ghosts were great. The Ghost of Christmas Future is always my favourite part of any version of A Christmas Carol and this version went for the dark, imposing figure that stands and points.
Sometimes less is more. The appearances of the ghosts made the play darker and more complex which I really appreciated. To combat the lack of scenery and limited stage a projector was used to take Scrooge across his past and it worked very well, making the story feel more intimate and personal to the audience.
Lester Parry as Scrooge – snide and cruel
All the characters were endearing and well rounded, with Scrooge, played by Lester Parry, being suitably snide and cruel before he changes his ways.
In conclusion, this was an engaging take on a classic tale. The interactive aspects of the play made it a very interesting adaptation. I found the whole experience to be a hugely original and entertaining evening which I enjoyed immensely.