Review: Christmas Carol - Hoxne Hall

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While Amy Wyllie’s respectful adaptation showed due deference to Dickens’s fine prose, there was much that distinguished this imaginative and hugely enjoyable production from Spinning Wheel Theatre.

Tim Welton gave an unusually muscular performance in the lead role.

In his hands Scrooge is more a brute than a curmudgeon, while Danielle Winter and Joe Leat gave real emotional depth to the usually mawkish Cratchit family.

What really distinguished this production, though, was Becca Gibbs’s brilliantly evocative design. From the grand reveal of the sweeping sets, to the tiny illuminated books, there was a terrific sense of detail throughout, while the puppetry made a genuine virtue out of the small cast and intimate setting.

Charles Dickens’s Christmas Carol is so well known and loved, it might be brave to the point of reckless to embark on yet another version of this classic festive tale.

In the hands of Spinning Wheel theatre, however, the only fault was that it was over too soon.

DAVID VASS