Cambridge's leading amateur theatre production company

Established 1981

A Christmas Carol
 by Charles Dickens adapted by John Mortimer   directed by Colin Lawrence

The ADC Theatre, Cambridge, December 1999

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Review of A Christmas Carol

SHOW BRINGS OUT SEASON'S SPIRIT FOR ALL
Sara Nathan
Cambridge Evening News 9th December 1999


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, the snow is falling and the fairy lights are twinkling while children scamper around in excitement.  The ADC has been turned into a Victorian Winter Wonderland, the perfect setting for Dickens' classic tale.

The make the perfect Christmas Carol, you need a truly great Scrooge and Malcolm Underwood proves he can "Bah Humbug" with the best of them.  In the spirit of Alistair Sim, best remembered for his portrayal of the old misery in the original celluloid version, this Scrooge is definitely not in a good mood.

As he delights in telling the audience: "Anyone who goes about with Merry Christmas on his lips should be boiled with his own Christmas pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart!"  But in the foggy depths of Camden Town, Scrooge, as we always knew he would, learns the true meaning of family and Christmas.

What works well in the production is the storytelling aspect, when various Victorian characters step outside the tale to gossip and narrate to the audience.  The only problem with this at times the stage becomes overcrowded, which is exacerbated by the numerous set changes as prop hands run on.

While I did not jump out of my seat at Tricia Peroni's Ghost of Christmas Past, wearing what resembled Tina Turner's gold fright wig, seven-year-old Tom, sitting next to me said: "I wouldn't like it if she came into my bedroom at night."  The production is infused with an underlying humour, which livens up the evening.  Even the sentimental scenes with Tiny Tim and David Foyle's enthusiastic Bob Cratchit are not overly melodramatic.

he whole ensemble - all 29 of them - work well together and really seem to enjoy being on stage.  The production almost leaves you with a hankering for roasted chestnuts, roaring to run home and throw Cliff Richard's Mistletoe and Wine on the stereo (I did say almost).
Kids and grown-ups will love this festive classic.