When I saw that A Christmas Carol was coming to the West End (one of my all-time favourites, and a film my family has watched religiously EVERY Christmas for as long as I can remember) I was really anxious to get seats. Unfortunately, when I checked the ticketing websites, the limited run appeared to be sold out! I was really gutted. It wasn’t until my friend and I were looking for something to see that I stumbled upon some tickets for the closing night, I was so happy! I have never clicked “Add to Basket” so quickly.
I couldn’t find much information online about the play beforehand so I was surprised when it was a farce. I had plenty of bad experience with farce and I undoubtedly hated them. However, I thoroughly enjoyed A Christmas Carol. I don’t know if it’s because Jim Broadbent was in it (an actor whom I really admire) or the great and experimental staging, but it was a hit for me.
The stage held a proscenium arch within the theatre’s actual arch, and actors multi-rolled different characters. The farce elements came in with characterisation (particularly Bob Cratchit) and the overall staging of the play, actors moved props such as a door onto the stage when necessary and threw snow at characters, they also operated puppets, it was very well done! Jim Broadbent as Ebenezer Scrooge was genius casting, he was hysterical and played the role perfectly. As it was the final performance of the run, I can only assume (and hope) that there were a lot more liberties taken with the performance as it was the last one; it was extreme and the cast looked as though they were having the times of their lives. It was such a joy to see.
As I have already said, I am not a fan of farce, and I still do not consider myself converted (at all), however, I did thoroughly enjoy this performance and am absolutely thrilled that I got to see it.