Review: A Christmas Carol, The Spring, Havant

Building work on the new theatre

The Kings opens up its wartime secrets

0
Have your say

Havant Light Opera bring us Christmas a month early at The Spring with John Gleadall’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, this time in the guise of Mean Old Man.

This big-hearted, well-intentioned production brings the story bang up-to-date and into the world of the pay-day loan-shark; Jacob Marley becomes a Rastafarian, and Bob Cratchit’s family are the ultimate in twenty-first century dysfunctionalism.

There’s a distinct whiff of under-rehearsal, though. Some of the ensemble commit to the work and are off-book; others read every word and note from their folders. I have no problem with that as an artistic choice if every member is doing the same thing, but this piecemeal approach is a bit rough round the edges.

Some of the songs are clever – I particularly liked Jacob Marley’s number – and some are rather lovely – particularly the duet for Young Ruby and Older Ruby. There are also less-satisfying songs whose simplicity betrays the show’s origins as a half-hour piece written for junior school-children.

The men are out-sung by the women by a mile, the male ensemble being quite ragged in their attack and lacking in volume.

The enthusiasm of the cast carries it through, though.

Until Saturday.

Back to the top of the page