Wrington Drama: Scrooge’s Christmas              Review by ST in the Wrington Journal, February 2013
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Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' was cut down to size, and adapted as a musical, by John Graham for the Wrington Drama Club's Christmas production. To quote from John's programme note: "...how to make it a Musical? I could not use any of the songs from 'Scrooge' as this would infringe copyright. So I looked carefully at the text and the first idea I had was for The Spirit of Christmas Past who, I had already decided would be played by a young girl. She could sing 'Walking in the Air' from The Snowman, perfect for the scene... Gradually I found the songs I needed, all except for Marley's Ghost who I felt needed to have a song. So I have written a song based on the words Marley speaks to Scrooge...” Unfortunately, very shortly before Christmas, John was taken ill, and had to relinquish the reins of the show. With admirable fortitude and determination, the cast carried on regardless, with assistant director Julie Kingcott, and choreographer Laura Leggett bravely coming to the rescue and managing, in a very few rehearsal - crammed days, to turn what might have been a terrible flop into a resounding success. Full credit should also go to the titanic efforts everyone back stage must have made to get the show up together in such a short time. The performance I saw was after the Journal copy deadline, and I haven't really had time yet to marshall all my thoughts and impressions. Perhaps I might be forgiven if I just single out some outstanding performances, and leave it at that: Simon Medd was a grimly convincing, and ultimately endearing Scrooge. Mark Halper, as both the Ghost of Jacob Marley and the Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come, was mesmerisingly eerie and doom-laden. Phil Giorgetti was a jovial and fittingly bacchanalian Spirit of Christmas Present. Newcomer to Wrington Drama Adam Hall is a real find: he played Fred, Scrooge's nephew, and Julie Kirby was excellent as Emily, the latter’s wife. But the stars of the show, who acted, danced and sang the rest of the cast off the stage, were the children of Wrington Youth Drama, among them Nellie as the Spirit of Christmas Past, Elise as Mrs Cratchit, Megan as Clara, Cameron and Abigail who were Young Scrooge and his sister Fan, and last, but certainly not least, young Sam, who was Tiny Tim. “God bless us, every one!”
Photos by Papa Razzo
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