Pantoesque Scrooge is full of cheer

A Christmas Carol is on at Leeds Playhouse
A Christmas Carol is on at Leeds Playhouse

The prospect of watching Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens in a former scene-dock didn’t fill me with seasonal joy.

I dislike the works of Charles Dickens. Their dark and depressing side really does not appeal to me.

But I was in for a surprise. The former breeze block palace had been transformed into a warm and welcoming Dickensian-themed foyer and Amy Leach’s production far from depressing.

Leach has made A Christmas Carol into a frothy pantomimesque production without losing any of the realities of Dickens original work.

The setting is brilliantly conceived and seamlessly moves from scene to scene retaining its Victorian murkiness and spooky ambience.

The combination of John Biddle’s music and Lucy Cullingford’s choreography make this a joy to watch.

Leeds Playhouse have certainly pulled out all stops with its first Christmas pop up theatre show. The star of this production must be their brilliant designer Hayley Grindle, and the technical staff who take this production to another level with their creativity and skill.

Leach’s production stays true to the original story but what I loved about it was the tongue-in-cheek approach and quirky twists.

Christmas Carol is a high-energy show. The nine-strong cast are from the Playhouse resident ensemble and show ow multi-talented they are singing, dancing, playing multiple parts.

Leach has also introduced an element of panto into the show with ghosts hiding Scrooge’s shoes and the Ghost of Christmas present resplendent in a green tutu.

There’s Santa and Rudolph yet we also see pathos from Scrooge. #

The spooky entrance of Jacob Marley and the Ghost of Christmas to Come is chilling but won’t frighten the kids in the audience.

As Scrooge Robert Pickavance has made the role his own. I loved his take on the grumpy old man who turns into a comedy caricature prancing and dancing.

It is on at Leeds Playhouse until January 19.

Tickets: 0113 213 7700