Review: A Christmas Carol - Hoxne Hall

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Imaginative, light-in-darkness fictions by St Luke and Dickens created the mass role-play of Christmas.

Christianity nicked the pagan midwinter festival; and commercialism nicked it back. But we always return to the Nativity story and A Christmas Carol.

The inventiveness and gusto of three actors, narration, character changes and swivelling sets told the tale.

Tim Welton, younger than the usual Scrooge, suggested a querulous Victorian preacher rather than the flinty curmudgeon. But his commitment to the role was not in doubt.

The Spirits were suggested by actors holding white muslin with eye lights (Christmas Past) and a black muslin cowl (Christmas Yet to Come). A red gown and fez hardly suggested Christmas Present, though, and needed re-thinking.

Some mild poltergeist activity was no substitute for effects, in the story, like all the bells in the house ringing.

But Danielle Winter and Joe Leat lovingly peopled the stage with Dickensian figures in Amy Wyllie’s production.

BASIL ABBOTT