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Review: A Christmas Carol, St Nicholas' Chapel

Those attending Lynn's St Nicholas' Chapel last night would have been feeling full of festive cheer after a heartful adaption of Charles Dickens' most famous Christmas tale was acted out.

Five young actors from This is My Theatre made up the cast for 'A Christmas Carol' with the audience being handed a song sheet to join in with festive classics, kicking off with the '12 Days of Christmas' at the start of the show.

The music was jaunty, yet also haunting at times, especially Simon Stallard's solo performance of 'O Come, O Come, Emmanuel'.

A Christmas Carol at St Nicholas' Chapel, King's Lynn
A Christmas Carol at St Nicholas' Chapel, King's Lynn

And the acting, like the music, was as faultless as ever from the Sussex-based company This is My Theatre.

Ethan Taylor excelled as Ebenezer Scrooge, and superbly conveyed the full range of emotions which the protagonist goes through during the tale.

The transition from grizzly and mean-spirited then conflicted, horrified and aghast becomes euphoric, even hysterical by the climax of the play, and Ethan performed the role of the well-known character exceptionally well.

"The spirit of all three will strike within me," Ethan declares during his epiphany having been visited by the ghosts of Christmas in an attempt to change his miserable attitude, which especially affects his underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit.

"I do not know what to do. I am light as a feather, as giddy as a drunken man..." It's an ending we all know and love, and its enjoyable to see it acted out in the close quarters of the chapel venue.

The ubiquitous Patch Harvey was seamless when changing between many roles including Scrooge's nephew Fred, the pained ghost of Jacob Marley, the Ghost of Christmas Present and Scrooge's headmaster in the past.

Also impressive when interchanging between roles were Jennifer Biggs and Simon Stallard with the latter conveying the harrowing scene of Bob Cratchit mourning over the dead body of his son Tiny Tim.

Fortunately this was merely an apparition of what Scrooge's behaviour could entail rather than a reality he has already caused. Nevertheless it's an important scene in the story, and one Simon gets spot on.

Throughout the play, Hannah Baxter-Eve combines acting with narrating, which she does eloquently, clearly and charismatically. Her narrating binds the performance together and enables the audience to follow along clearly.

All in all with just over a month to go before Christmas, this play has certainly made me want to watch Charles Dickens' story again. I'm sure I will be doing just that as we get closer to December 25.

For more information on This is My Theatre go to www.thisismytheatre.com.

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