A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, was adapted and directed by Jane Jones. It was performed at St Barnabas Parish Hall from 18th December to 20th December 2021.
Bob Cratchit - Daniel Aarons
Dick / Joe / Paper Boy - Oliver Adkin
Jacob Marley / City Gentleman / Narrator - Hugh Blake-James
Ghost of Christmas Past / Narrator / Charwoman - Tracy Brook
Scrooge - Tim Devine
Mrs Fezziwig / Narrator / City Lady - Judy Douglas
Mrs Dilber - Shirley Hamilton
Martha / Clara - Kathryn Hartley-Booth
Charity Collector / Narrator / Mr Fezziwig / Ghost of Christmas Future - John Hedley
Belle - Christa Kronenburg
Mrs Cratchit / Understudy for Belle - Emily Lamm
Young Ebenezer / Henry / Gravedigger - Ewan McGaughey
Charity Collector / Narrator / City Gent / Gravedigger - Roger Orr
Ghost of Christmas Present / Narrator - Katrina Rublowsky
Fan, May - Maria Scognamiglio
Boy Scrooge / Peter Cratchit - Tilly Powell-Sykes
Fred / Narrator / Undertaker - Rob Wallis
Fiddle Player - Simon Wood
Beggar / Tiny Tim - Ivy Vulkan
Director - Jane Jones assisted by Hayley Blundell
Box Office/FOH - Jan Rae assisted by members of the society
Costume - Sophie Thompson
Hair & Make-up - Maddy Jones
Lighting - Ian Jones
Poster design - Clarisse Hassan
Prop making - Ian Jones
Sound Design - James Brown
Sound Operator - Mark Kelleher
Stage Manager - Elizabeth Holden assisted by members of the cast
Prompt - Marcia Bennie
What a triumph for the Dulwich Players! The entire cast and crew of Christmas Carol are to be congratulated. Not only have they staged another amazing production but they also overcame a number of Covid related hazards in order to do so. In the event only one member of the cast was missing and her role was so well covered by Emily Lamm that the audience barely noticed.
The language used in Jane Jones’s script was largely based on the original novella which gave the whole production an authentic Victorian feel. I particularly liked the way the long descriptive passages were pared down to the essentials and delivered by various members of the cast acting as narrators. It maintained the momentum of the story and kept the audience engaged throughout.
by Lesley Hedley
Despite knowing the story well, the audience still gasped as Jacob Marley’s ghost clanked his chains and roared as he progressed up the centre aisle. However, once he arrived on stage they soon lost their fear and were sympathizing with him. Scrooge was such a misery as well as a miser that it was a pleasure to see him so disturbed by the encounter with his late partner.
The three spirits were just as they should be. Christmas Past was sorrowful when revealing Scrooge’s sad childhood but reproached him roundly for his conduct as an adult. Christmas Present was jolly and festive but also forceful in pointing out the effects of Scrooge’s stinginess on his clerk’s sick son. Christmas Future was the grim reaper, sinister and silent, using a single arm to direct Scrooge as he revealed what would happen if he did not mend his ways.
The original story is essentially a morality tale which still resonates today. However, the play also had all the ingredients of a good Christmas show: laughter and tears; good triumphing over evil; retribution and reform.
Tim Devine gave us a grumpy Scrooge, whose only interest in life was making money and avoiding unnecessary expenditure until the spirits managed to awaken his conscience and he became gradually more expansive and cheerful.
It was a big cast, many of whom played several roles so they are to be congratulated that they all appeared in the right costume at the right time. When they weren’t busy changing clothes they were moving furniture around the set which was admirably simple. There were many scenes but Jane deftly avoided the tedium that scene changes can cause by continuing the action in front of the curtain.
Special mention must be made of the graveyard scene in which Scrooge finally realises the error of his ways. It was beautifully lit, simple yet eerie and created a delightfully spooky atmosphere. The moment when the name of the recently deceased is revealed was highly dramatic - even though we all knew who it was!
Daniel Aaron’s portrayal of Scrooge’s clerk Bob Cratchit was spot on. In stark contrast to his miserable employer he came across as a gentle soul who loved his family and worried about his sick son. Emily Lamm gave us a spirited Mrs Cratchit who had a very low opinion of her husband’s boss but was also a loyal, loving wife and mother. Ivy and Tilly, as Tiny Tim and Peter respectively, were perfect family members, helpful and respectful of their parents in the Victorian manner but also confident and personable. As a family, the Cratchits showed us that money is not everything, we need love and kindness as well. There were several tender moments that brought a lump to the throat and tears to the eyes.
Of all the wonderful props made by Ian Jones, including the gravestones and the coffin, the biggest success was the turkey which the reformed Scrooge buys for the Cratchit family. The audience loved it and it ensured that the play ended on a particularly jolly note.
Congratulations to everyone involved in this wonderful show.