This is the third Chichester Festival Youth Theatre Christmas show I’ve had the pleasure – nay, joy – of watching and let’s get straight to the nitty-gritty.
This is probably the best piece of theatre I’ve seen all year.
And that’s exactly what it is – Theatre with a capital T. It’s creative; it’s exciting; it’s live-action and puppeteering; it’s singing and dancing and acting of a professional standard and it’s exactly what you need to set you up for Christmas.
Of course the cast have the full financial and creative backing of the theatre, and certainly that shows, but these are untrained amateur youngsters you’re watching – and you have, so many times, to remind yourself of that. It’s very easy to forget.
So much is worthy of note, but mention must go Ed Waller (Bob Cratchitt), Joseph Marchant (Topper/Dobber, whose singing voice is excellent), Romina Hytton (Christmas Present) and, of course, Brendan Lyle’s lynchpin performance as Scrooge. A weak Scrooge means a weak show – but there’s no worry on that count here.
And the cast responsible for creating and voicing the puppet-figures of Jacob Marley, Christmas Past and Christmas Yet To Come need to be proud of a good job wonderfully done.
Until January 2.