A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Little Baddow Drama at the Memorial Hall
John Peregrine’s Scrooge revelled in his badness, though his conversion from “Bah Humbug” to “Go buy a turkey” was a bit sudden. His nephew, Fred (Paul Bonnici) was persuasive. Especially convincing was Steve Holding, who speaks with his eyes, as the ‘umble Cratchit. Ken Rolf, too, every inch the jovial Victorian gentleman, shone a new light on the Fezziwig’s family dance sequence. And Jeff Green was compelling enough as Marley’s ghost to put shivers down my spine.
The children were at the heart of the production, Matthew Turner as Young Scrooge, Alex Dale-Doczy as Oscar, Lily Beer as Cratchit’s daughter and, especially, small, frail-looking Steven Turner, struggling manfully with his crutch as Tiny Tim.
The play was shot through with all the good nature of a well-organised village production, in the Ambridge tradition (but a bit more convincing). The costumes were superb, the ensemble work by the large, unwieldy cast was totally in character and, joy of joys, an actual real, live, violinist, Anton Archer, to squeeze the last dregs of melodrama out of the production.