Christmas has come early to the Lichfield Garrick this week and, based on the audience’s reaction tonight, it is welcomed with huge enthusiasm! Scrooge is a real triumph for this young and talented company and the large cast is well drilled by director Ben Cole and choreographer Claire Flavell. The effective staging of the entire show meant that the many young people never looked cramped on the stage. The Christmas Past scene featuring the ghostly dancers was a real highlight!
The set was simple but effective; making scene changes slick and allowing a smooth, flowing production which was generally fast-paced. Further pace could have been gained in some of the more dialogue-heavy scenes by the young actors picking up cues more quickly, but I am sure this will improve throughout the week. The cast who had to fly coped very well with this and never did it deter from their performance!
There are some wonderful performances and there really are too many individuals to mention by name, but I must give special praise to Josh Edge who portrayed Scrooge with real skill and talent. His comic timing, sense of pathos and powerful singing voice combined to create a memorable and professional-standard performance. The Ghost of Christmas Past (Jessica Harrison) had a lovely singing voice and the Ghost of Christmas Present (Fiona Winning) provided great comedy in a larger-than-life performance. Will Foggin was an excellent Tom Jenkins who performed with energy and a has a very pleasing singing voice whilst Young Ebenezer (Ben Hayfield) gave a lovely performance and his duet with Scrooge was a real highlight of the show. All the young people who took a solo part within the ensemble should be really proud of themselves.
Despite some interesting moments when sound effects and props did not behave themselves, this was a very slick and professional production. Musical Director George Stuart led a well-controlled orchestra and had clearly worked extremely hard to ensure that the complicated chorus singing was well-handled by the young cast.
This is most certainly a production that everyone involved with WBOS Youtheatre should be really proud of.
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