REVIEW: Eastbourne College sparkles with a Scroogilicious rendition of Dickens

Eastbourne College. A Christmas Carol.
Eastbourne College. A Christmas Carol.

What a Scroogilicious show!

When I’d finally managed to squeeze my way into the packed house it was to be greeted by an epic set. I loved the nuances, the details on it, like the quirky doors, the beautiful pile of books, the scope that the various levels might give, the hints of the cityscape.

Eastbourne College. A Christmas Carol.

Eastbourne College. A Christmas Carol.

The crowd scenes are incredibly time consuming and yet so powerful as the stage suddenly erupts into life. Genius moments of freeze-framing added a classy edge and forced the attention onto old Scroogey boy. You might have felt when rehearsing that this was all feeling really daft but it is so effective. Again the sense of team work was palpable and the coordination impressive.

Cratchit-Scratchit bobbed and ducked his way through the gloom and yet conveyed his essential humanity and dignity in the face of the employer from hell, and what an amazing family he had! They can sing, they can dance, they can squeeze a tear and raise a smile all within the space of moments. If anyone deserves a break in life it has to be them! Tiny but-not-so-Timid played his cameo for all it was worth.

The Fezziwig Jig was a triumph of frolicking fun and delightfully depicted the simple joy of a scene well executed; crisp, clear and energised throughout. On we went...old Scroogey wondering what he’d done to deserve these appointments from the Ministry Of Meanness. The transition from the Dark Arts supremo to the Angel of Hope was deftly handled and although his whiskers looked as though they’d come from a recent Hercule Poirot film Ebenezer was masterful in his ability to shrink and grow as the role demanded.

The ghostly hauntings from the Hammer House of Horror were excellent; loved all of them although the weirdo Lady in Black almost gave me heart failure when she glided past. I also thought the ‘terrible twins’ were spot on and added an eerie sense of edginess. Having a cast which has real voices that can really sing is a massive advantage and made the ol’ Christmas Toons quite an emotional roller coaster.

Thank you for a really enjoyable and thought-provoking evening and I hope that the rest of the week goes as well as the first night. By Paul Lowden, Teacher of English.