A Christmas Carol

Theatre, Children's
2 out of 5 stars
 (© Mark Douet)
© Mark Douet
 (© Mark Douet)
© Mark DouetAnne-Marie Piazza and Paul Hawkyard
 (© Mark Douet)
© Mark DouetMartin Ball
 (© Mark Douet)
© Mark DouetMartin Ball and Lottie Westgarth
 (© Mark Douet)
© Mark Douet

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

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This glum take on Dickens isn't much Christmas fun

It’s taken some time but, after last year’s sell-out Christmas offering ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’, the general feeling was The Rose had finally found the formula to make them serious contenders for south west London’s best in show for many festive seasons to come. Unfortunately Ciaran McConville’s dour, humourless – and perhaps too scary for little ones – take on Charles Dickens’s seasonal classic has put them now well and truly out of the running for 2015.

Mr McConville must have missed the meeting about ‘staying child-friendly’: the production stays so true to Dickens that by the interval the Victorian vernacular had completely sucked any excitement and gusto from the younger visitors that was apparent pre-show in the buzzing foyer – one small boy clinging to his dad’s leg was begging ‘is it the end yet?’

As usual at The Rose, set design, lighting and the unbounded enthusiasm of the Rose Youth Theatre (who make up the most of the cast) almost save the day, and a fair number of adults will indeed come away having enjoyed the show – but they will also be subject to the opinions of their offspring when considering their next seasonal visit.
Almost ironic then that, for The Rose, Christmas past was so much fun, Christmas present is too severe and Christmas future looks bleak.


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