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Scrooge: A One-Man Christmas Carol Show – Livestream

Scrooge is a new play written by Ewa Emini (also directing) and Joe Facer (also acting) and is a contemporary take on Dickens’ timeless classic Christmas Carol. While I could not attend the run at The Space this December (13-16th), I was able to catch up on the recording On Demand as it is currently available on The Space’s website until 2nd January 2024.

Scrooge - Photo credit: Ewa Emini.
Scrooge – Photo credit: Ewa Emini.

Let’s start with the easy part: the quality of the recording is great, both audio and video, no technical issues and professionally shot, so there is no risk of missing something. This aligns with other performances I have seen streaming On Demand from The Space, a worthy initiative to make theatre more accessible.

Scrooge is a one-man play and reimagines Dickens’ tale in modern times (noughties and 2010s): Scrooge and Marley are high-flying business partners in a company on the verge of going public. While the overall plot follows A Christmas Carol, the play distinguishes itself by diving deep into Scrooge’s mind and exploring the possibility that he was not haunted by ghosts, but instead, he had a mental breakdown caused by his inability to deal with life’s events and his sacking from the company he dedicated much of his life to. Scrooge cannot cope with what he lost in his dedication to work and career and with how he treated people he loved in a maddening pursuit of economic success.

You will not find the cheery Disney approach to the story here, the plot is much gloomier, more twisted, and closer to real life. The delving into Scrooge’s psyche is interesting, very modern, and beautifully written. My only doubt is with the one-man show format: Facer plays the title role, terrifically I might add, with other characters brought to life by off-stage audio recordings; however, he also takes over playing other characters from time to time, creating a bit of confusion and resulting in a slightly difficult to follow plotline. While I understand this may be done on purpose, to represent the complex mind of the character and the breakdown of his ego, I wonder if the play would have worked better as a two-person show.

Overall, I enjoyed the modern retelling of Dickens’ classic tale and the professional recording and hope many people will get the chance to catch up on this performance online over the Christmas holidays.

4 stars

Review by Fabio Ghiotto

Did Scrooge truly experience haunting by the ghosts, or did his actions lead to a pivotal breakdown during the Christmas season?

“SCROOGE” is a contemporary reimagining of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, offering a unique perspective on this timeless tale. Through a captivating one-man performance, it combines live acting, dynamic movement, and experimental lighting to submerge the audience in a fresh interpretation of the classic story.

This adaptation delves deep into the inner workings of Scrooge’s psyche, emphasizing the profound impact of societal expectations that affect us all. It explores how a lack of self-reflection and an inability to express our true selves can blind us to the consequences of our actions.

Voices:
Jacob Marley: Shaun Chambers
Kennedy: Marlow Stainfield
Penny: Tamara Hayes Elliott
Francesca/Sarah: Renee Eskildsen
Fred: Bradley Mell
Oswald: Zack Arlo
Fan: Nell Weik-Clark
Movement Facilitation: Laura Lucia Duqe, Deidy Lucas, Florian Emini
Voice Facilitation: Ross Hardman
The Ghost of the Present costume: Celine Castillon
This is the online, on demand event which can be viewed until 11pm on the 2nd of January 2024.
https://space.org.uk/event/scrooge-livestream/

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