Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Christmas Carol

David Robertson is the best Scrooge in the world, of course. He has been Scrooge every Christmas with Theatre of the Dales for some years now and in fact I don't think it's Christmas until I've seen David as Scrooge do that quick costume change into his nightshirt.

Every Christmas there's been a different cast to accompany him and the show has toured to many venues in Yorkshire over the years: and is, indeed, touring at the moment with two shows tomorrow, one in North Yorkshire and one in South Yorkshire.

But today there was a slightly different performance. Theatre of the Dales has done several outdoor plays in the summer with great success. So what could be more natural than A Christmas Carol outside? In a Woody Glade. At night. In December.

Here was the Woody Glade this morning, looking lovely in the winter sunshine.

You can see the pallets on the ground:

Now that, by this evening, was a stage. The transformation was astonishing and never fails to surprise me. A carpet over the pallets and some lighting and four actors all giving it masses of talent and energy and commitment. Over sixty people came to watch. It rained at first but then thought better of it. And here is Scrooge in his nightgown with the ghost of Jacob Marley:

It was really too dark to get a good photo and I didn't want to keep using the flash and annoying the actors.

The audience loved it and I always cry when Scrooge undergoes his transformation after meeting the three ghosts.

There are lots of things I don't like about Christmas, but Charles Dickens knew a thing or two about what it should be about, and so do Theatre of the Dales.


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