Christmas Carol – Press

Review: A Christmas Carol, New Earswick Musical Society

Thursday 9th November 2006

There are a number of events which alert us to the unstoppable onset of the Christmas season.

There’s the arrival of Christmas displays in shops around mid- September, there’s the sight of the Christmas lights going up around town throughout November, and then there’s the first Christmas shows of the season.

Tuesday night at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre witnessed the latter with the opening of the New Earswick Musical Society’s production of A Christmas Carol.

The scattering of empty seats around the theatre might not have boded too well, but those who were in attendance were soon jolted into life as the curtain rose to reveal a stage full with cast members, who immediately launched into the first musical number.

Considering this was a musical adaptation by the notable Michael LeGrand and Sheldon Harnick, the songs maybe could have been a little catchier, and I was often left longing for the cast to launch into a tune I’d recognise.

However, there’s no doubt the cast did sing with some gusto, especially the younger members, led by the impressive Amy Fletcher in the role of the young Belle.

The central rotating stage prop was well made and attractive, but would have felt somewhat inadequate had it not been for the occasional addition of tables and chairs. The props, costumes and lighting all combined to create a Christmassy period setting and, barring some odd glitches with the speakers, the music was without fault.

The cast was led by Vic Heard as Scrooge and Steve Padfield as Fred, both of whom were impressive in their leading roles. Considering Heard has spent as much time playing the drums at the theatre as he has on the stage, it was all the more admirable that he managed to get Scrooge’s body-language and voice (both in speech and song) down to a tee, and create a truly convincing character with “Bah-Humbugs” aplenty.

Undoubtedly the finest voice of the night belonged to society stalwart Padfield, whose solo songs always drew the loudest applause.

Although much of this night’s crowd was of a slightly older generation, there was no doubting that this production would entertain all ages and, despite it only being November, it was capable of raising the Christmas spirit in all but the Scrooges among us.

Review: A Christmas Carol, New Earswick Musical Society

Thursday 9th November 2006

There are a number of events which alert us to the unstoppable onset of the Christmas season.

There’s the arrival of Christmas displays in shops around mid- September, there’s the sight of the Christmas lights going up around town throughout November, and then there’s the first Christmas shows of the season.

Tuesday night at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre witnessed the latter with the opening of the New Earswick Musical Society’s production of A Christmas Carol.

The scattering of empty seats around the theatre might not have boded too well, but those who were in attendance were soon jolted into life as the curtain rose to reveal a stage full with cast members, who immediately launched into the first musical number.

Considering this was a musical adaptation by the notable Michael LeGrand and Sheldon Harnick, the songs maybe could have been a little catchier, and I was often left longing for the cast to launch into a tune I’d recognise.

However, there’s no doubt the cast did sing with some gusto, especially the younger members, led by the impressive Amy Fletcher in the role of the young Belle.

The central rotating stage prop was well made and attractive, but would have felt somewhat inadequate had it not been for the occasional addition of tables and chairs. The props, costumes and lighting all combined to create a Christmassy period setting and, barring some odd glitches with the speakers, the music was without fault.

The cast was led by Vic Heard as Scrooge and Steve Padfield as Fred, both of whom were impressive in their leading roles. Considering Heard has spent as much time playing the drums at the theatre as he has on the stage, it was all the more admirable that he managed to get Scrooge’s body-language and voice (both in speech and song) down to a tee, and create a truly convincing character with “Bah-Humbugs” aplenty.

Undoubtedly the finest voice of the night belonged to society stalwart Padfield, whose solo songs always drew the loudest applause.

Although much of this night’s crowd was of a slightly older generation, there was no doubting that this production would entertain all ages and, despite it only being November, it was capable of raising the Christmas spirit in all but the Scrooges among us.

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