Theatregoers may have no hassle getting their festive repair of A Christmas Carol this yr, stated Mark Lawson in The Guardian. By some counts there’ll be 9 stagings in London alone. The perennial recognition of Dickens’s 1843 story clearly “reassures playhouse accountants jittery about blows to the field workplace from Covid and the cost-of-living disaster”, whereas writers and administrators are drawn to the up to date resonance of Dickens’s assault on wealth inequality.
This yr the RSC has obtained in early with a revival of David Edgar’s adaptation, first seen in 2017 – and set the bar “very excessive” with a model that mixes “infantile pleasures and grown-up concepts”.
Rachel Kavanaugh’s “luxurious manufacturing” supplies the “full, chocolate-box expertise of Dickensian Victoriana, with a cornucopia of wigs, waistcoats and wassail”, stated Patrick Marmion within the Day by day Mail. It conveys Dickens’s social critique with readability, whereas remaining abundantly “joyful and triumphant”.
Chief amongst its pleasures, stated Dominic Cavendish in The Day by day Telegraph, is Adrian Edmondson’s “joyously propulsive” flip as Scrooge. It’s a recognisably “Edmondsonian” efficiency; however he conveys all of the character’s “snarling malevolence, haunted bewilderment and belated contrition-rich kindness”. And if there’s a “ghost of caricature” right here, it solely helps to gasoline the comedy – “with out short-changing the very important pangs of remorse and regret”. If I personally hope there shall be fewer revivals of the Dickens basic subsequent Christmas, that’s actually no reflection of this one.
Edmondson is superb – and so is the entire solid, stated Michael Davies on What’s On Stage. Sunetra Sarker and Rebecca Lacey excel as two of the spirits of Christmas, and there’s a “splendidly cheery flip” from Clive Hayward as Mr Fezziwig.
Certainly, there’s a “heat and heartiness” to the night, stated Clive Davis in The Instances – from the marvellous units and “jaunty attraction” of the rating to the ingenious, gasp-inducing magic methods. This can be a Christmas deal with that “pulls out one plum after one other”.
Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon (rsc.org.uk). Till 1 January