Let’s be honest: it is Christmas time but the traditional celebrations would not be complete if you don’t hear, watch or read the story par excellence of the merriest time of the year.
Due to the popularity of Charles Dickens’s tale and the many performances it inspired over the decades, the challenge sets high for the artists to take a different creative approach every time.
Great Immediately Productions New York in connection with the University of Chichester Conservatoire have embraced the task and deliver a delightful show on their last tour stop in London, at the beautiful St John's Smith Square. It features a striking company and the sensational 56-piece Spectre Orchestra, under the direction of James Lelean.
"A Christmas Carol: The Concert" is the only known adaptation of Dickens' 1843 novella written as a dramatic concert, with singers backed by the fantastic symphony orchestra and combining all with original lyrics inspired by the text, at times humorous at times more reflective.
Dickens' novella was written almost 180 years ago, and historians believe it was instrumental in rekindling a sense that Christmas should be celebrated as a festive holiday. "A Christmas Carol: The Concert" keeps that tradition alive. It offers a new take on a timeless story, blending the sweep of symphonic performance with, intense, beautiful dramatic musical theatre. It brings the music to life in a way that other productions cannot.
Composers Christianson and Hauser have managed to evoke the grime and darkness of 19th-century London, as well as the hope and compassion in Dickens' tale.
Whether already familiar with the mercy and the ghosts or new to Dickens’ pages, this adaptation will easily have the audience relishing the wits and the more thoughtful sets of the story. It plays at St John’s Smith Square for two nights only, but it is such a good show that we are pretty sure it will come back for Christmas 2023.