A Christmas Carol

The Old Vic's Christmas Carol is a gift laden visual treat with a production that just keeps on giving. Peter Gray reports.

It has become one of the highlights of the London festive theatre season and Stephen Thorne’s bombastic production of A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic is showing no signs of slowing down.

Andrew Lincoln provided a more than able turn as Scrooge in 2020, and the production has turned to comedy actor Stephen Mangan to fill the role in 2021. 


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Mangan has an impressive list of credits to his name, with starring roles in Green Wing, Episodes and Misery.  The star certainly looks the part too with his impressive mane of tousled auburn brown hair.

A Christmas Carol is worth seeing for Stephen Thorne’s delightfully over the top production, alone, however. Thorne uses every trick in the book to delight audiences and most of those tricks work a treat, too. 


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I will not divulge the specific techniques that the production team use to achieve their ends, but, suffice to say, theatre goers should be prepared for quite a few surprises. Those surprises come particularly thick and fast in a final 15 minutes when the production momentarily breaks the fourth wall of the drama. The ending may not thrill the most stringent Dickens purists but most people will welcome the show’s thrilling change of pace.

Indeed, the production is the best thing about the show. From the moment the audience enter the auditorium to be greeted by carol singers handing out mince pies, to those final bombastic minutes as Scrooge prepares for the big feast, Thorne’s production is full of lovely touches. And whether it be little ones like the beautifully sung carols, or larger set pieces like the final fourth wall breaking fifteen minutes, A Christmas Carol is choc a bloc full of delights. 

The Old Vic’s A Christmas Carol is a delightfully fun filled spectacle that will warm even the hardest of hearts and undoubtedly prove the most welcome of Christmas gifts.

The Old Vic’s A Christmas Carol will run between the 13th of November 2021 and the 8th of January 2022. More information about the production can be found here.

For information on other great festive events in London, please click here.

-London's Best Events-
What: classic Dickens
When: 13 Nov 21 - 8 Jan 22
Where: The Old Vic