Creation Theatre Company - A Christmas Carol
26th November 2004 to 8th January 2005.
From the Newbury Weekly News.
Creation Theatre Company: A Christmas Carol, in the Spiegeltent, at BMW Oxford, until 8 January
Creation Theatres first Christmas production, Dickens A Christmas Carol, brings the company back to the gorgeous, extravagant Spiegeltent at the BMW Mini plant in Oxford.
Director Abigail Anderson, collaborating with the company, adapts Dickens novella by remaining faithful to the spirit (and spirits) of the original while reinventing the narrative for a new audience.
Festive it may be, but this is no pantomime, nor thriller-style ghost story. Dickens explores serious moral issues through the initially detestable character of Scrooge. The author knew what it was like to suffer poverty as a lad therefore his censorious view of Scrooge is a personal attack on Victorians with a fatal lack of generosity. Scrooges attitude towards Christmas and the poor is summed up by his trademark bah humbug putdown. When Scrooge is faced by the three ghosts which reveal the harsh truths about the consequences of his behaviour, this lonely and embittered man is given the chance to redeem himself by improving his character traits.
Matthew Hendrickson makes Scrooge a very human villain, more bemused by his fate than fearful of the supernatural. He is ably supported by an ensemble who are cast in numerous roles in the manner of the RSCs landmark Nicholas Nickleby.
Scrooges journey into the past unearths a personally life-changing moment when his pretty fiancée (Katie Howell) jilts him because she has no dowry. There are higher levels of sentimentality concerning the sickly crippled child Tiny Tim (portrayed by a sorrowful puppet). Heart strings are meant to be tugged where the syrupy content deliberately over-eggs the Christmas pudding.
For Creation, this is the most conventional of their productions so far. The Spiegeltent is configured with a proscenium style stage, skilfully designed by Polly Laurence to provide all sorts of nooks and crannies (watch out for surprises!) but there are still cabaret tables in the auditorium for drinks and interval crèpes from the SIX TV French chef.
From The Times.