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A Christmas Carol

Scrooge comes Alive on Stage this Christmas

by Louw Mulder

Jason K. Ralph as ScroogeThe age old tale of the miserable Scrooge in Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, is evergreen and familiar to theatre goers worldwide especially with the silly season in full swing! For the first time ever, the tale of goodwill and cheer, has been adapted for the stage by Elizma Badenhorst, with the aim to entertain and delight the whole family!

In this collaboration, VR Theatrical teamed up with CrewWorks, to create a 75-minute joy-filled experience, perfect for the Christmas Season. The story is narrated using Christopher Dudgeon’s voice, with original music composed for the stage, by Wessel Odendaal. My opinion, is that the narration made it so much easier for the young ones to follow the thread of the story, so that they can enjoy everything happening on and around the stage so much more.

The production of A Christmas Carol is simple, yet very amusing, and will captivate theatre goers, young and old. With animated projection, designed by Naret Loots, the story flows seamlessly, with every scene of Scrooge’s past, coming to life. I thoroughly enjoyed the idea of the audience members getting drawn into Scrooge’s experiences throughout the show. This was evident by hearing the young laughs in the audience.

The role of Scrooge is played by the very talented Jason K. Ralph, who we previously loved as Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Show. He played his role effortlessly, encouraging audience members to travel with him on a journey of reflection and understanding. I thought that Ralph had the talent to theatrically force the audience member to grow on his character, and all the various conversions of Scrooge himself.

All other characters are played by Loots, and I thought she did a marvellous job in keeping everything together. From various ghosts; past, present and future, to all the other little characters that came along Scrooge’s way, she executed these roles with determination and eagerness. Loots’ talent was already showcased as part of the Wig and Wardrobe team in the recent VR Theatrical production of The Mystery of Irma Vep, as well as in Rock of Ages, where she was the prop master. I believe her contribution to A Christmas Carol was very valuable, and contributed a big deal to its success.

Although the stage is small, It is used to its full potential  Audience members can prepare themselves for ghosts entering from the back of the house, puppets caressing the changing Scrooge, and even singing along to some favourite Christmas carols.

I would really suggest that families include A Christmas Carol as part of their festive to do list! It is not too long for the young ones, and for the adults, this one-act experience, is guaranteed to give you that warm and fuzzy Christmas feeling, with an emphasis of Goodwill to all men.

Bah, Haumbug! The famous exclamation of Ebenezer Scrooge will be heard this Christmas season at Pieter Toerien’s Studio Theatre between 27 November and 7 January.

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