NODA Report
(A Christmas Carol - The Musical - 2011)


A CHRISTMAS CAROL.         Willow Tree Theatre Company          New Hall           December 2011  

Director:  Michael Gilbert.  M.D:  John Fitton.  Choreographer:  Debbie Shearman.

On entrance to the auditorium, an impressive, creatively designed set,  gave the once diminutive stage at the new hall, an impression of a large Victorian street, realistic and smoky with balconies and street lamps,  the scene was set as close to a Dickens novel as could be imagined. Meticulous attention to detail was satisfyingly overpowering , continuing from start to finish across the board.

Cast entrance confirmed that the audience were in for a special treat, their singing, melodic and confident with distinct harmonies heard, despite the best efforts of the lively band to drown them at every musical opportunity.

Scrooge (Leon Searle) easily convinced as the snarling, morose misery with consistent, expressive mannerisms and body language. All cast worked hard to successfully establish their character identities with a fine balance of heart tugging from the Cratchit's combined with the energetic jollity of the Fezziwig's ball. All flowed seamlessly from scene to scene, combined  with imaginative choreography,  beautifully performed with style and grace.

Marley’s appearance from the fireplace created a stir, demonstrating the extensive  skill of the costume and make-up team, his hypnotic, eerie appearance  was not achieved from a two minute dab with a make-up sponge, that’s for sure! This show was tight, polished and as ‘lavish as it could get, not akin to an overly display of opulence, but from the generous contribution of talent and skill from cast and company which culminated into this memorable production.