Reviewed by Louise Watts
Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” is probably the most iconic festive story of all time. Adapted many times to suit all ages and tastes, the story itself remains unchanged. That in my opinion is the most telling point – the story itself is unadaptable!
Last evening, I took my 11-year-old daughter to The Capitol theatre in Horsham to see “Engine Shed’s” production of the Charles Dickens classic. Performed in their intimate studio with a capacity of around 100 people, the story was told by just 2 actors – Jack Lane and David Benson.
David played the miserable, humbug Ebenezer Scrooge and Jack played everybody else! Playing multiple characters is no new skill for these two, having performed together as a double act in “Dad’s Army Radio Show” where they also played multiple roles.
The performance itself was very traditional. The set was beautiful, very festive and easily adaptable to suit all scenes. David played Ebenezer to perfection and was completely believable even with minimal props. Jack played his multitude of characters fantastically. From past experience, I have struggled with keeping up with multiple characters being played by the same actor. This was not the case with Jack however and my daughter also had no problem keeping up, thus demonstrating his incredible acting talent and versatility. It never fails to amaze me how actors remember all their lines to begin with but to remember the lines and which character you are with each line is something really impressive.
The story itself is a real Christmas must see. The miserable man who comes good thanks to the help of his old friend Jacob Marley and three spirits – Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas future. To learn about what caused Ebenezer to be so grumpy to begin with and to see him come around in the end is a real Christmas thought provoker. It is all too easy in life to get caught up with the things that are really not important and to forget what is.
The running time of the show was just over 1 hour with no interval, which was just about the perfect time to tell this incredible story. The story flowed well and at no time was it slow to progress or flying too quickly. It was delivered with perfect acting and perfect producing.
The Capitol was as always, a lovely venue. Parking is easy and free in the local car parks in the evening and in all the times I have attended The Capitol, I have never had an issue finding a space. It is also only a few minutes’ walk from the train station making it very easy to access by many forms of transport. The bar was open and selling alcoholic and soft drinks as well as snacks. Staff were friendly, accommodating and very helpful as usual and the atmosphere within the theatre was captivating.
Tickets to this incredible festive must see start at only £15 and I would encourage anybody local wanting to feel a bit of festive cheer and tradition to make their way to the Capitol and book some tickets.
Tickets cost from £17 to £18 (booking fees may apply).
A Christmas Carol is at The Capitol in Horsham from 13-24 December 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.thecapitolhorsham.com or call the box office on 01403 750220.
The Capitol Horsham, North Street, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1RG | 01403 750220