Muddy reviews – A Christmas Carol – The Core at Corby Cube
I’ve watched over a dozen theatrical versions of A Christmas Carol and never have I, as the curtain has gone down, thought ‘Oooooh yeah, I’d love to go out for a pint with that Scrooge.’ Until now that is. Gary Sefton, who plays the role made famous by the likes of Alastair Sim, Michael Caine and Simon Callow, is in good company, and by God does he step up to the plate. If I had to choose, I reckon he’s more of a naughty Albert Finney with a very twinkly, twinkle in his eye, kinda Scrooge. He had the audience oooooohing, ahhhhhing and everything inbetween. And he’s not just a pretty face…no, no, no! Not only does he take the starring lead, he also adapted and directed this version of The Dickens’ classic and before that was treading the boards at London’s Old Vic, alongside acting GODDESS, Glenda Jackson in King Lear. King Bloody Lear I tell you! No messin’ here. I don’t go to the Corby as much as I go to Northampton for The Royal & Derngate, but I should, because I love it; the shows are always top notch and the team at The Core always deliver!
On the night, the Core was transformed with candles, mince pies, mulled wine, carols and some ghostly goings on, in this, the first major production to be created at the venue since the inaugural year’s Hansel and Gretel. The rest of the seven-strong professional cast were superb and played multiple roles to aplomb (they were also joined by a community cast of really talented kids from the area). But..! I have to give a special nod to Andy Williams (no, not that one), who played a decidedly on-point, ghostly Bob Marley (excellent stage effects) and a terribly excitable Fezziwig! A terrific actor with lots of warmth and grace (especially for one so tall)!
You all know the story, and this version is pretty true to the original. Wealthy miser Ebenezer Scrooge is all set to greet Christmas Day with his traditional “bah humbug” until the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future come along with their spooky quirks. The show features some of the best-loved characters including Bob Cratchit and his son Tiny Tim and Core Director Nick Walker is, not surprisingly, pleased as punch! “I am thrilled that we created our own Christmas show for The Core again this year… and that we are able to welcome back the brilliant theatre maker Gary Sefton. He is renowned for creating shows full of energy and anarchy, and is giving The Core and A Christmas Carol that treatment this year! It is such a great story that translates across all age groups – and with the chance to throw snowballs at Scrooge, I’m sure it will leave audiences with a really warm glow to kick off the festive season”. Oh yes, I didn’t mention the snowballs and audience participation did I? (now, now, don’t hide away)! If you want to dance, you can, if you want to throw snowballs, you can, but you can also hide behind the big guy in front and not meet any of the cast members eyes (don’t judge, I had very high heels on ; ) There is singing, dancing, special effects – yes, snow – and lots, lots more!
A Christmas Carol, is showing at The Core at Corby Cube until Saturday 31 December and I can’t rate it highly enough. Gary said to tell all of our friends, so here I am telling you to go, and take your kids, your folks and even the neighbours. I wasn’t feeling particularly Christmassy until the weekend. I am now (oh and P.S. it’s only an hour long and no interval, I was tucked up at home with a hot chocolate by 8.30pm)!
Recommended for ages 6 and above, A Christmas Carol is being presented by The Core until Saturday 31 December. Tickets for standard performances are £12.50*, with concessions at £10.50, schools tickets at £9. Tickets for premium performances (24 – 27 December) are priced at £13.50, with concessions at £11.50. For a full details of performance times or to book, call Ticket Office on 01536 470 470 or visit www.thecorecorby.com.
* A transaction fee of £1 applies to telephone and website bookings only. Does not apply in person, or to groups, and is per-transaction, not per-ticket.