‘A Christmas Carol’ written by Laura Turner after the original story by Charles Dickens and presented by the Chapterhouse Theatre Company in Ely Cathedral last week provided some splendid entertainment for our cold winter evenings.
All the favourite characters from the Dickens story were present. Seven cast members played 30 parts and not once did we ‘notice’ the varied and rapid transformations.
The players were: Gareth Cary who was Bob Cratchit, Scrooge Senior, Dick Wilkins and Jimmy; Matthew Christmas played Ebenezer Scrooge; Eliza Jade was Mrs Cratchit, Mrs Fezziwig, Beggar Woman and Charity Worker; Graham Hill was Mr. Fezziwig, Jacob Marley, Ghost of Christmas Present, Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come and Master Robbins; Alexandra Lansdale played Tiny Tim, Ghost of Christmas Past, Lizie and Baker Boy; Amy Llewellyn was Martha Cratchit, Fan Scrooge, Belle Fezziwig, Beth Scrooge and Charity Worker and Zachary Price played Young Scrooge, Fred Scrooge and Peter Cratchit.
Scenes were often framed by full harmony carols. Combined with realistic costumes, scenery and lighting, we could all believe that we had been transported back to Dickensian times. In one continuous story, we witnessed the snarling bah-humbug Ebenezar Scrooge change from the epitome of a Christmas wet blanket to become a joyful, even well-loved, reveller in the Christmas spirit of joy and generosity. Most impressive for me were the directness of the mean Ebenezer Scrooge, the suffering of Bob Cratchit and the fear-inducing ghostly visitors especially Jacob Marley and his eerie voice.
The theme of love, charity and forgiveness permeated events providing a salutary lesson for us all. Director Anthony Law and Producer Richard Main and their team should be very pleased with such a splendid production.
More information about Chapterhouse Theatre Company can be obtained by contacting: www.chapterhouse.org.