Show: Scrooge – The Musical
Venue: Banstead Community Hall
Credits: Book, music and Lyrics by James Leisy
Performance Date: 22/11/2019
Scrooge the Musical
Paul Johnson | 23 Nov 2019 11:08am
(no photos available)
BANOS Musical Theatre transports their audience back to Dickensian London for their performance of Scrooge, a musical play, based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Director Jeffrey Chinappen does a good job bringing this version of Scrooge to life on stage. Jeffrey is an experienced director and the concept of this piece is good, however, in my opinion the writing leads the show to be a bit static and lacking in pace in places.
The music is in the capable hands of Sarah Higginbotham who conducts from the floor with great enthusiasm! Performing to a music track isn’t easy as there is no way to vary the pace, but Sarah does well to keep everyone in time. Personally, I would have preferred live music, although I realise that this isn’t always a possibility within budget.
First-time choreographer, Roz Copeland makes a wise decision to keep the dance and movement simple, tailoring the routines to suit a mixed ability cast. She is able to achieve a very good effect by doing so.
The set is visually simple, but effective, however the stage crew have quite a task to get the bulky pieces of furniture and flats moved around the set, seemingly with minimal room in the wings.
Lighting and sound are appropriately atmospheric although several of the mics fail intermittently throughout the performance which is a little distracting.
The full company is costumed well with make-up and hair, including a few wigs, in keeping. Good attention to detail in personal and stage props is evident, which is often overlooked in an amateur production.
Some theatre performances give everyone, seasoned or inexperienced, a chance to shine and BANOS provide this opportunity with Scrooge. I think it is fair to say that some actors shine more brightly than others and most certainly the brightest in this performance is Paul Bullock as Ebenezer Scrooge. This role is a real challenge as, if nothing else, Scrooge is hardly off the stage. Paul has excellent stage presence and takes on this demanding role with enthusiasm and expertise. He interprets both the script and musical lyrics very successfully. His diction is clear at all times and I love the delivery of his musical numbers and facial expressions!
The ensemble is used effectively throughout the musical and there is good small group interaction in numbers such as Deck the Halls. The ensemble backing is a little loud over the dialogue in Born on Christmas Day but in the main the balance of ensemble / solo work is very good and the cast look very comfortable in the company numbers. It is wonderful to see that there are many new faces to BANOS for this show and encouraging too to see several talented children on stage.
Setting some scenes on the floor as well as the stage itself gives the audience a multi-level experience and this is used to good effect. There is some very fine character work by a number of the cast members in the ‘background’, one example being in Scrooge’s office with Thomas (Oliver Whiter), Richard (Sean Munro), Harrie (Amy Whiter) and Bob (Fin O’Regan).
Each and every member of a show contributes to the success of the performance, however I would like to give a special mention to the following:
Deborah Gibson as Spirit of Christmas Past; wonderful puppetry work and very tuneful singing in The Child Knows.
Roger Gibbs as Marley’s Ghost; a good performance with a difficult song well handled and even a prompt asked for in character, much to the audience’s amusement!
Alma Griffiths as Spirit of Christmas Present; nicely sung solo, super laugh and I love the costume and wig.
Oliver, Sean and Amy (as mentioned previously) in Ebenezer Scrooge; well sung and a well-rehearsed dance.
Charlie Steward as Tiny Tim; lovely clear dialogue, and your performance in Miracles Still Happen At Christmas tugged at the audience’s heartstrings.
A lovely start to the Christmas season… even although it’s only November!
- : admin
- : 22/11/2019