IF ever we needed the season to be jolly it’s now.
A welcome pre-festive break away from the Brexmas blues.
BOST Musicals started the snowball rolling with their latest production of A Christmas Carol.
Stalwart performer Tony Prince donned the top hat and frayed frock coat as Ebenezer Scrooge but this was very much an ensemble piece.
There was also a new addition to the set design – a revolving stage or ‘revolve’ as it is affectionately called.
Surprisingly, director Karen Partington did not use this dramatic device for Bob Cratchitt’s poor-but-warm family Camden town residence.
It is not the familiar songs from the touring Tommy Steele Scrooge, but the lesser-performed Madison Square Garden show which ran for a decade from 1994 and subsequent TV version starring Kelsey Grammer.
There was also a West End debut in 2016.
Mike Ockrent and Lynn Adams (who wrote the original songs with Alan Menken) took many liberties with the Charles Dickens novel making London itself a ‘character.’
A Victorian sense-around was the result on stage.
Here the four ghosts stamp their own mark on the storytelling in very different ways: Jacob Marley (Frank Nance); Christmas Past and Future (Linzi Stefanov) Christmas Present (Michael Pearson).
They did not make grand special effects entrances.
It was their respective vocals and character interpretations that created the ghostly atmosphere.
Choreographer Sarah Walker presented some shovel-bearing gravediggers and sinister monks sporting dark habits.
Other highlights included Marley’s macabre dance and Fezziwigs’ annual party which simply fizzed with energy, colour and fun.
Christopher Simmons as Mr Fezziwig was clearly enjoying his 16th major BOST show.
It was no wonder Scrooge lamented over the fact his former boss made life so much better for his workforce and for so little cost.
But everyone on stage deserved a Christmas present for sheer enthusiasm.
There was snowfall at the finale as Tiny Tim sang ‘God bless us, everyone’ and BOST received well-deserved applause for another successful show and creative year.
Wirral Globe Rating: ★★★★ Spirited Adaptation