The Christmas music in the Niche offices has been being played since the start of November so, as you can imagine, we are always looking for ways to increase the festive spirit to the max. And how could we not go and see Scrooge the Musical at Curve mid-November when the story epitomises Christmas entirely?
As a Made at Curve production directed by Curve’s Artistic Director Nikolai Foster, we expected fantastic things having been wowed in the past by Bugsy Malone, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Grease. Scrooge the Musical did not disappoint.
The show had all our senses tingling with Christmas joy… and sadness, glee and laughter. Other productions of Dickens’ story have designer Michael Taylor and lighting designer Ben Cracknell to contend with. The sets were incredibly detailed and aesthetically pleasing making full use of Curve’s large stage, from the Christmas decorations humbly hanging in the Cratchit home to the window displays and posters in street scenes. Actors crossed a huge bridge over an industrial setting, tables were full of props, and laundry hung from high above, all taking us back in time to the 1800s. The sets though, as beautifully thought out as they were, were made even more effective with incredible lighting effects. Cracknell has worked wonders with lights and smoke creating intense and dramatic scenes that send shivers down the spine as ghosts come and go and characters dance their way around the stage.
Costumes were colourful and captivating with huge bustles, tutus, buttons, chains, pin stripes and feathers to focus the eye of the audience and convey the social class and personality of each and every character as we learn about their story and background. The music from the orchestra was enthralling adding intensity to the drama and joviality to comic scenes.
Our top rated performances go to Karen Mann as the Ghost of Marley and Anton Stephans as The Ghost of Christmas Present. Mann presents Marley’s spectre in a uniquely chilling haunt. Stephans fits the character of Christmas Present impeccably delivering an exhilarating enactment and our favourite character of the night. And of course, Jasper Britton as Ebenezer Scrooge gave the audience a very likeable Scrooge with a great signing voice perfectly showcasing a man on a journey of self-discovery and love and kindness.
Our favourite scene centred around the dramatic irony of Scrooge witnessing the result of his death and featured the Oscar-nominated hit Thank You Very Much, which was spectacular to hear live bursting from the pit.
Watching the show accompanied by a 12-year-old girl and 40-something male who does not enjoy musicals, I was concerned the younger among us would find parts too scary and that the miser to the right of me would want to leave at the interval – but to see both of them shoot out of their seats at the close of the final scene to kick off a standing ovation was a true Christmas miracle.
Nikolai Foster has created an overwhelmingly exuberant production of Scrooge the Musical for all the family to enjoy and take away that warm fuzzy feeling of Christmas giving, love and happiness.
Book your tickets here.
Recommended for ages 8+
Running time: 2 hr 25 mins (including 20 min interval)
BOOK, MUSIC & LYRICS BY LESLIE BRICUSSE
CHOREOGRAPHER STEPHEN MEAR
DESIGNER MICHAEL TAYLOR
MUSICAL SUPERVISOR & ORCHESTRATOR SARAH TRAVIS
LIGHTING DESIGNER BEN CRACKNELL
CASTING DIRECTOR KAY MAGSON CDG
MUSICAL DIRECTOR NEIL MACDONALD
VIDEO PROJECTION DOUGLAS O’CONNELL