A Christmas Carol review – Bridge Theatre

After another theatrical hiatus due to Lockdown #2 it felt good to get back to the Bridge for this dark, delicious serving of festive Dickens.

My previous visit here was three months ago to see Ralph Fiennes flying solo. This time we are treated to a cast of three.

And what a cast: Simon Russell Beale (worth the ticket price alone), who plays Scrooge, along with the ever-wonderful Patsy Ferran and the vocally versatile Eben Figueiredo.

The last time I saw Simon Russell Beale on stage was in the sublime The Lehman Trilogy. This version of A Christmas Carol shares much of the same DNA. Three actors narrate the story while taking on multiple roles, often with simple swish of a scarf or the donning of a hat.

Nicholas Hytner’s production makes use of a few simple props, puppets, back projections and geysers of fog to conjure up an atmospheric, and often scary, Dickensian London.

Suspended above Bunny Christie and Rose Revitt’s set is a spaghetti of chains which clanks into action with each ghostly visit. Gareth Fry’s sound design – alive with whispering voices – is superb.

This may not be on the lavish scale of, say, the Old Vic’s annual crowd-pleaser, but it’s well worth putting on your Christmas list.

A Christmas Carol is at the Bridge Theatre until 16 January 2021.

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