A Christmas Carol, RSC Stratford Upon Avon, 5*****: Rod Dungate

Stratford Upon Avon

A Christmas Carol: Charles Dickens, adapted by David Edgar


RSC, Theatre

Runs 2h 25m, one interval. Till 20 January 2019




Review: Rod Dungate, 15 December 2018

Could this be your best present this year?

A little dicky-bird had whispered in y shell-like that the RSC’s A Christmas Carol in some respects may be even more beautiful than last year. This was a statement, frankly, I doubted, how could this be brought about? But the fact is, adapter David Edgar, director Rachel Kavanaugh, and the RSC team have brought about this miracle. How they have achieved this, I do not know.

But this year’s Carol appears to have further enriched the fertile merging of Dickens and Edgar views of our social malaise while never losing sight of the requirements of a successful Christmas tale. The emotional highs are higher and the depths of despair deeper. With superb honesty in the playing this terrific cast draw us to the very edge of sentimentality but support every moment with honesty and truth. There is no chance (to borrow from Oscar) that we may view the death of Tiny Tim and laugh; no, no, out come our handkerchiefs.

Aden Gillett’s Scrooge is a complex creation. Gillett never misses an opportunity to draw out the humour in the script, yet with consummate skill he colours the language so that Scrooge’s loveless childhood is ever seen to inform his present. Gillett can do this in an instant, even with a single word: ‘Home’. Scrooge’s abuse, the terrible abuse of children in cruel Victorian enforced labour, are heart-rending kept centre-stage, both by the Ignorance and Want motif and, what a moment!, when Dickens reveals his own background – powerful playing from Joseph Timms here.

Rachel Kavanaugh directs the play’s large forces with an eye to both the tiny detail and the whole. The rhythm of the show subtly shifts, holding our interest. And the big scents (the Fezziwigs, the Cratchits) are never generalised and we are drawn into their world. We care about these people.

There is so much to delight; but not room enough to cover it all. But note must be taken of Danielle Henny’s down-to-earth Ghost of Christmas Present – funny yet with a steely resolve to get her point across to Scrooge.

It is all one of the best seasonal gifts you could want

Charles Dickens: Joseph Timms

John Forster: Beruce Khan


Ebenezer Scrooge: : Aden Gillett

Caroller: Abbey Elston / Eve Hatz / Pheobe Nock

Mrs Trowel: Danielle Henry

Lady Tibshelf: Claire Carrie

Bob Cratchit: Gerrard Carey

Mrs Baudock: Victoria Blunt

Mr Baldock: Sam Jennkins-Shaw

Fred: Tom Byrne

Tim: Thomas Dawson / Tommy Duxbury / Kieron Lilly / Benjamin Pritchett

Ghost of Jacob Marley: Stephen Elliot

Ghost of Christmas ast: Claire Carrie



Boy Scrooge: Jack Hobson / Joe Mc Cormack / Giannia Saraceni-Gunner

Fanny: Rachel Winters

Coachman: Sam Jenkins-Shaw



Mr Fezziwig: Clive Harward

Mrs Fezziwig: Danielle Henry

Celia: Bethany Linsdale

Isabel: Jessica Murrain

Mrs Snapchat: Emma Pallant

Mr Tumbler: Steven Elliott

Herr Uber: Matthew Dale

Slingshot: Joseph Prowen

Wicker: Kwami Odeen

Tinder: Ollie Elston Rhys Mulligan / William O’Halloran

Mr Hinge: Sam Jenkins-Shaw



Catherine: Sally Cheng

Victoria: Abbey Elston / Eve Hatz / Pheobe Nock

Henry: Jack Hobson / Joe McCormack / Gianni Saracini-Gunner

Carlotte: Anastasia Bridgewater / Louisa Cooper / Emilia  Danks-Smith

Their Father: Sam Jenkins-Shaw

Doctor’s Boy: Ollie Elston / Rhys Mulligan / William O’Halloran

Charwoman: Danielle Henry

Doctor: Matthew Dale



Ghost of Christmas Present: Danielle Henry

Jane: Rachel Winters

Her Aunt: Claire CarriAmy: Bethany Linsdale

Mrs Cratchit: Emma Pollant

Martha Cratchit: Bethany Linsdale

Belinda Cratchit: Sally Cheng

Peter Cratchit: Ollie Elston / Rhys Mulligan / William O”Halloran

Susan Cratchit: Anastasia Bridgeater / Louisa Cooper / Emiilia Kanks0 Smith

Joseph Crachit: Jack Hobson / Joe McCormack / Gianni Saraceni-Gunner


Caroline: Victoria Blunt

George: Sam Jenkins-shaw

Robert: Clive Hayward

Lucy: Jessica Murrain

Ignorance: Jack Hobon / Joe McCormack / Gianni Saraceni-Gunner

Want: Anastasia Bridgewater / Louisa Cooper / Emilia Danks-Smth

Ghost of Christas Future: Abbey Elston / Eve Hatz / Pheobe Nock


The Future

Fist Businessman: Steen Elliott

Second Businessman: Matthew Dale

Old Joe: Clive Hayward

Laundress: Claire Carrie

Young Man: Goey Phillips


Sings: Samantha Hull / Shiv Rabheru


Director: Rachel Kavanaugh

Designer: Stephen Brimston Lewis

Lighting Designer: Tim Mitchell

Composer: Cathering Jayes

Sound Designer: Fergus O’Hare

Choreographer: Georgina Lamb

Illusionist: Ben Hart

Assistant Director: David Siebert

Musical Director: Malcolm Forbes-Peckham

Casting Director:Helena Palmer, Matthew Desbury


(Full credits will follow)


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