No Bah Humbug in Edinburgh this Christmas if the reaction of the packed out Lyceum Theatre is anything to go by.
It may have only been the end of November, but there was a distinctly festive feeling about this grand old theatre to mark the start of a month long performance of family favourite, A Christmas Carol.
Officially titled, An Edinburgh Christmas Carol, the play by the talented writer Tony Cownie, proved to be a real cracker with young and old alike and as the curtain closed and flakes of snow fell on the audience, it was clear to see what a winner the show proved to be.
Set in a poor 1800s Edinburgh, with a backdrop of the dramatic castle, Cownie has cleverly adapted the Charles Dickens classic to inject a dash of Scottish and a huge dollop of humour and it works magically.
Ebeneezer Scrooge, the man who hates Christmas and is as mean as mean can be, is cleverly used by Cownie to send out the message of Presbyterian Scotland, who for hundreds of years, refused to recognise the important date in December.
Not only is he a misery to his nephew, Fred, and clerk Rab Cratchit, but is backed by the high archy, who refuse to allow any public show of Christmas spirit, with carol singers from the theatre’s community choir, regularly chased off stage by a portly policeman, determined to stop any fun.
Crawford Logan is an excellent Scrooge, clearly enjoying his role as the tight-fisted toff as he fights off the Christmas spirits, disguised as Lang Syne (Joanne McGuinness), Nouadays (Steven McNicoll) and Ayont (Taqi Nazeer) as they play mind games with his conscience.
The added ingredients of a sub plot featuring four legged Edinburgh hero Greyfriars Bobby, as he faces being chased by the dog catcher and forced off his master’s grave in Greyfriars Kirk, again intertwines a local legend, with Bobby, being a Skye Terrier who is said to have sat on his owner’s grave in the kirk for the rest of his life.
With excellent scenery from designer Neil Murry and musical accompaniment led by Pippa Murphy, the small cast effortlessly play a number of characters with aplomb. Scot Squad and River City favourite Nicola Roy is hilarious in her roles as Mrs Bigchin and Mrs Busybody and shows her sensitive side as Scrooge’s young love Belle who is joined by Liam King as youthful Ebeneezer.
Richard Conlon has fun playing the poor done by Rab Cratchit and keeps the laughs coming with his other roles as Rev Rednose, the headmaster and Auld Jock.
His wife, Mrs Cratchit features Belle Jones, who also stars as Lottie Longbones and Mrs Fezziwig and Hannah Low takes on the roles of Mrs Thomson and Fan, with Charlie West juggling well with his parts as Charlie the policeman, Young Marley Jacob and the businessman.
Much to the delight of the younger audience, the roles of Tiny Tim and dog Bobby are led by skilled puppeteers Stacey Mitchell Hannah Low and all in all, it’s a fantastic night out which will get you in the spirit of Christmas!
An Edinburgh Christmas Carol runs at The Lyceum Theatre until 31st December 2022. For ticket and show information, please visit: https://lyceum.org.uk
Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.
Photographs courtesy of The Royal Lyceum Theatre – credit: Stuart Armitt
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