Christmas really wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to one of this countries Great British theatres. In our household it is very much a family tradition, nothing quite like wrapping up on a cold winters night and heading to London’s west end to get us in the festive spirit. And my favorite British Christmas story? It has to be Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol of course. A personal favorite from one of this countries greatest storyteller.
It’s fair to say I’ve seen quite a few productions of this classic British tale but this weekend, my husband surprised me with tickets to A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic. A rare treat at the moment, with a young pup in the house, these days I’m quite content these days with a cosy night in, safe in the knowledge that this was, the 5-month-old puppy wont trash the house! But the very trustee dog sitter was arranged and after a rather hectic day of trying to finish my Christmas shopping, will I ever learn, it was time to go. I mean Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without an 11th hour gift-buying extravaganza!
So on Saturday evening, after a lightning dash from Waterloo, we arrived at the Old Vic with 3 minutes to spare, just enough time to grab a cheeky tipple before we find our seats and the tone of the evening was set, as we descended the steps to the bar the air was filled with the rather comforting smell of mulled wine and we swiftly ordered 2 glasses before hurrying back up to our seats in the stalls.
As we stepped through the auditorium doors we were instantly transported to another world, actors already on stage in their Dickensian attire and parading the isles, welcoming us in and handing out mince pies. Our eyes darted about the stage, the actors, the set, the ceiling. The atmosphere was alive the set, spectacular. We had just been transported to a world of dreams.
In awe of our surroundings we nestled into our seats and lapped up the atmosphere that I can only imagine was reminiscent of a Victorian music hall. This was going to be fun.
The bustle of actors continued to mull around us and before we knew it the hum of the crowd, turned into the hum of the cast, as they moved into their positions on the stage and began the most exquisite performance.
It’s here I’m a little hesitant to say too much, not wanting steel any of the magic of the act, but I’m sure you all know the Christmas Carol story as well as I do, so there wont be any spoiler alerts on that part.
What I will say is it was Dickens story telling at its very finest, from the set, to the acting, the costumes and to the exquisite carol singing performed throughout. Jacob Marley’s chains will remain a phenomenon, as his character almost glided with ghost like presence onto the stage and I was transfixed, totally immersed in the story in this stunning performance.
The highlight, aside from the brilliant portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge by Rhys Ifans and the exquisite rendition of Silent Night, was the snow. I wont say any more but it certainly brought the magic that night and truly filled the air. It was the spirit of Christmas in all its glory and its certainly is a production not to be missed.
So if you’re looking for a little Christmas cheer this week or a last minute gift that celebrates this countries heritage and one of its most respected authors, then pick up tickets for The Christmas Carol at The Old Vic for an evening of truly magical story telling.
It certainly gets British Products recommendation.
And if you cant make the theatre then why not gift a piece of great British history, with a copy of Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol and enjoy a truly Dickensian Christmas.