Review: Scrooge - the Musical, Manor Pavilion Theatre, Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 17:00 25 November 2019

Martin J Kingston as Ebenezer Scrooge. Picture: Brian Rees

Martin J Kingston as Ebenezer Scrooge. Picture: Brian Rees

Brian Rees

Christmas came early to the Manor Pavilion Theatre when Sidmouth Musical Theatre and Sidmouth Musical Comedy Societies joined forces to present Scrooge - The Musical by Leslie Bricausse, based on A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.

Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserable miser who hates Christmas, and is only interested in the interest on his interest.

Everyone around him is in his debt, and holds him in low esteem, but his kindly, overworked and underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit suffers in silence for the sake of his family.

On the night before Christmas Scrooge is taken on a journey by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future to show him the error of his ways, and he begins to see that Christmas is not such a 'humbug' after all.

Principals slipped in and out of the chorus as townsfolk, and the myriad of costume changes, all the outfits well-planned and just right, must have made for a hectic time backstage.

The whole production had a strong 'company' feel, with a natural mix of adults and youngsters, and the chorus song and dance numbers were particularly memorable.

Vicki Angus Campbell made a delightful Ghost of Christmas Past and sang beautifully, as did Vicky Evans playing both Scrooge's former fiancée and his nephew Harry's wife.

Torquil McNeilage as Marley, and Tony Wilson as Mr Fezziwig, certainly brought their characters to life, or not in the case of Marley. Adam Owen-Jones sang manfully through a massive beard as Christmas Present, Jake Burlow made his mark as Tom Jenkins, and Tim Landy displayed Cratchit's kind-hearted nature.

Daniel McLoughlin made a perfect Harry, and also the younger, more amiable Ebenezer, changing convincingly as he became more irascible. Hardly off stage and displaying every emotion, anger, fear, happiness and loss, Martin J Kingston as Scrooge was simply superb.

With a big cast and a big set, director Nigel Broome did well to co-ordinate the action.

Strong musical accompaniment came from the orchestra, under experienced musical director John Griswold, and the choreography was well designed by Samantha Morris.

It only remains to say Merry Christmas and Thank you Very Much.

'TRICIA BARCLAY

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