After delighting Melburnians last year, the five time Tony Award winner and West End sensation, A Christmas Carol, is returning to the Comedy Theatre. Written by Jack Thorn (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and directed by Matthew Warchus (Matilda the Musical), this interpretation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a must-see. This year, the production will star Owen Teale as Scrooge. It features twelve Christmas carols and plenty of fun and immersive moments. It will play in Melbourne from November 12 to January 7.
A Christmas Carol
This classic story follows Ebenezer Scrooge, a selfish and greedy old man that detests Christmas. After uncanny visits from Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come, Scrooge is changed into a better man.
This adaptation premiered at London’s The Old Vic in 2017, and has since become a Christmas staple. It opened on Broadway in 2019, and won five Tony Awards, including Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre.
Last year, the role of Scrooge was played by David Wenham (The Lord of the Rings). This time around, it will be played by Tony Award winner Owen Teale, who you might recognise as Alliser Thorne from Game of Thrones. Teale is reprising his role of Scrooge, after playing him in The Old Vic’s 2022 London production. This will be his first time back on an Australian stage since the 2004 tour of Dance of Death.
Teale will be joined onstage by Debra Lawrance (Ghost of Christmas Past), Bernard Curry (Bob Cratchit), Sarah Morrison (Belle), Samantha Morley (Ghost of Christmas Present), Anthony Harkin (Marley), Andrew Coshan (Fred), Stephanie Lambourn (Mrs Cratchit), Aisha Aidara (Little Fan), Grant Piro (Fezziwig), Deirdre Khoo (Jess) and Kaya Byrne (Nicholas).
A strong element of A Christmas Carol is its calls for compassion and social justice. In keeping with the themes of the play, the performance will raise money for FareShare, a charity that has been cooking free and nutritious meals for people doing it tough since 2001.
Show review (2022 production)
This show is a good time no matter what, but if you’re looking to really get into the Christmas spirit, be sure to take your seats 15 minutes before the show starts. Then, you’ll be treated to pre-show festivities, with plenty of merry tunes, interactions with cast members, and free fruit and mince pies.
Once the show begins, you’ll be blown away by the spectacular staging and moving storytelling. Visually, the show is wonderful to behold, with glimmering lanterns and stunning effects. The live carols spaced out throughout the performance also help you embrace the holiday season, with familiar favourites like Joy to the World and O Holy Night.
Perhaps the best part about this show is just how merrily chaotic it gets. Towards the end of the show, the audience is forced to join in on the fun. Not in the terrifying audience participation way, where one person gets singled out. But in a collective way where everyone needs to pitch in to help keep the scene moving. This moment of chaos is utterly hilarious, and also helps spread an uplifting message about supporting each other and the community.
If you’re looking for a good time, or you need some Christmas cheer, watching this play is probably the best thing you can do for yourself.