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A Christmas Carol is a seasonal treat

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Lauren McGaun, Year 13, reviews the Senior School production of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens:

Set under an impressive, realistic, homely scene, GSAL’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol, directed by Miss Roz Bendelow, is a comforting and entertaining seasonal watch.
The dim, chillingly lit set (Jake Howarth) alongside the bitter, cool air of Scrooge’s smoky room adds to the realism of the production as the audience feel like real onlookers to Scrooge’s Christmas misery.

The star of the show, villain turned Christmas hero, Ebenezer Scrooge (Leela Gaunt) is portrayed as an evil, terrifying, and yet, decrepit master. The excellent makeup artistry of the backstage crew makes all of Scrooge’s minute, ghastly flaws even more apparent to onlookers.

In a story which is led smoothly and succinctly by the narration of Avital Baskind, Jessica Graham and Sam Pearce, Scrooge encounters all the wrongs of his bah humbug ways when he comes into contact with the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future (Julia Coyle and Lucy-Anne Daniels). Pivotal to the success of this production is the emotional depth that the ghosts bring in their torment of Scrooge as his evil demeanour becomes wrecked by the end of the story. Through the cloaked figure of the ghost of Christmas future, the audience becomes even more unsettled as Scrooge’s future looks so uncertain.

The disturbing, freakish appearance of the ghost of Scrooge’s former business partner Jacob Marley (Nicky Davies) arguably captivated the audience’s attention the most. Shackled in chains, the creepy reflection which looks out into the audience is ingrained in the mind for the rest of the show, making what is to come even more frightening.

As the show finishes in collective harmony with all cast members playing a significant part in bringing some much-needed joy to the story, Scrooge’s transformation can be seen as particularly comical. This added sense of joy at the end, shared by the whole crowd, is helped by Tiny Tim’s (Toby Holton) remarkable bravery as the whole audience listen to his beautiful singing in awe. His final utterance of “God bless us everyone” seems to ring true to the spectators who feel an added sense of excitement for the Christmas festivities approaching.

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