ACT Reviews 2022-2023 Season

A CHRISTMAS CAROL the MUSICAL music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, book by Mike Ockrent and Lynn Ahren Director - Andrew Lee Musical Director - Ed Nurse Choreography - Emma Swain Alderley & Wilmslow M.T.C. Annually, for ten years, this musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella “A Christmas Carol” played at the theatre at Madison Square Garden’s, New York City. It eventually came to London and was presented in a concert style presentation with Robert Lindsay as Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge and his ghost-led journey have been given the full Broadway treatment. The music by Alan Menken, who also scored “The Little Mermaid” and Aladdin”, does not reach those Disney heights. The show is dark, reflecting Ebenezer’s ghostly dealings, although there are a few brighter moments in the duet between Scrooge, the younger, and fiancée Emily. “A Place Called Home” is a moving and touching love song. The lyrics by Lynn Ahrens (Rag Time) seemed to lack the Dickensian dramatic colouring. There is a certain sparkle missing, a sparkle that is in abundance in the Leslie Bricusse version. The stage was set in black with no scenery except for a few set dressings. Without any indication of location it was difficult to follow Scrooge’s adventures. The lighting plot was sombre and dramatic and became integral to the concept. As the orchestra was out of sight the sound balance between music and vocals never overpowered each other. The ensemble opening depicted Victorian London street life; their work throughout was so committed. The company was full of energy, enthusiasm and musically delivered strong choral singing. This is where we first meet the younger members of the cast contributing to the drama. We also meet Tiny Tim who is the pivotal figure in the story (“He Bore a Little Crutch” - but where was it?). Charlotte Tarus endearingly