A Christmas Carol – Bristol Old Vic REVIEW
Heartwarming and ingenious the Bristol Old Vic’s festive production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ are back doing what they do best. The new adaptation by artistic director Tom Morris is brilliant and he is supported by a strong team of designers, composers, and dynamic cast.
Felix Hayes as Scrooge gave a memorable performance and (hate to use a cliche) really stole the show! It was so easy to feel so strongly for Scrooge from beginning to end which is a testimony to Hayes’ brilliant acting.
The overriding message of community within fragmented family and friends is powerfully conveyed by expertly executed techniques and a cast with no weak link.
The bare stage and scaffolding gave a different twist on a traditional Christmas set. This also allowed them to play with levels and experiment with the moving staircase. The rest of the scenery was minimal with a four poster bed taking centre stage.
The original songs were catchy and clever, with a slightly panto twist at the end. Music was performed live by three on stage musicians who also doubled as actors. The multi rolling was effective and efficient throughout.
I won’t give away anything but the ending is packed with colour, joy and a little panto sing-a-long which left the entire audience on a high. It was the perfect balance between feel-good festive fun and a high quality performance of some serious gravitas.
It’s a production that has clearly had time, energy, effort, love and thought poured into it. That was abundantly clear, and one of the biggest reasons Bristol Old Vic are as successful as they are.