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Scroogey Shows 2022 Round-Up

By | Published on Monday 12 December 2022

If you’re a regular reader of our publication you will be aware of the high esteem in which we (well, one of us) holds Charles Dickens and our very real regard for his classic seasonal tale ‘A Christmas Carol’.

For every year, we devote possibly a little too much time to telling you all about the latest London-based adaptations of this well loved story of yuletide redemption. And this year, it seems to us, there are more stagings of ‘Scrooge’ than there have ever been before.

Perhaps it’s because the themes – particularly the depictions of poverty and its related evils – strike more of a chord in times when more and more people are struggling to heat their homes and afford to eat regularly.

So, I thought we might take a look at the myriad productions we’ve come across in 2022 – and I think it’s probably best to start with those that we’ve already covered in recent weeks.

Firstly, you may remember a recent Q&A with Geoff Aymer, writer of ‘Scroogelicious’, a musical, contemporary-set, family-friendly version that’s on at Theatre Peckham until 23 Dec and has been getting great reviews.

Now let’s take a look at the ones we’ve already tipped so far this year (well, the ones that are still running as I type, at any rate).

There’s a one-man storytelling version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ at Baron’s Court Theatre until 24 Dec; John O’Connor’s recreation of Charles Dickens’ readings of the book at Greenwich Theatre on 19 Dec; and Dolly Parton’s musical ‘Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol’ at the Southbank Centre until 8 Jan.

And there are more acclaimed solo adaptations too: one written and performed by Clive Francis at the Tabard Theatre on 18 and 24 Dec.

And a second adapted and performed by James Hyland, which was on at ArtsDepot when we first tipped it, but which will also be performed at the Old Red Lion Theatre 23-24 Dec.

We’ve also recently mentioned a couple of shows that aren’t what you’d call faithful adaptations, but of course they count, nonetheless, as Scroogey productions.

Nick Mohammed is doing Mr Swallow’s version of the time honoured classic – ‘A Christmas Carol-ish’ – at Soho Theatre until 23 Dec, and – at time of writing – you can still book for Sh!t Theatre’s annual favourite ‘Sing-A-Long Muppet Christmas Carol’ (ticket availability limited, though), on at Battersea Arts Centre until 19 Dec.

Meanwhile, over at the Marylebone Theatre, you can see ‘A Sherlock Carol’, which, as you may have already guessed, is a Sherlock Holmes/’Christmas Carol’ mash-up.

And don’t forget the adaptation by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm over at the Rose Theatre in Kingston, which sticks to the original themes and locations but has changed the sex of the miserly protagonist.

Right, onto ‘Christmas Carol’ related stuff now that we haven’t mentioned previously, some of which has been up and running for a while. Why haven’t we tipped those productions yet?

Well, it’s generally because here at ThisWeek we tend to prioritise shows that are on at smaller, fringier venues and – whilst we do occasionally also recommend stuff at the bigger theatres – generally, we tend to avoid the West End or shows by very famous companies or people.

Not least because you probably know all about them already, because they’ll have lots of publicity and reviews.

Anyway, let’s run through some of those other ‘Scrooge’ productions…

First, The Old Vic’s acclaimed returning production, helmed by AD Matthew Warchus, adapted by Jack Thorne and starring Owen Teale, until 7 Jan.

Second, Nicholas Hytner’s also-returning three-man ‘A Christmas Carol’ with Simon Russell Beale at the Bridge Theatre until 31 Dec.

Third, ‘Ghosted: Another F**ing Christmas Carol’ at The Other Palace, which is another gender-swapped version with “an exuberant trio of queer ghosts”, which we possibly shouldn’t have ignored because it’s in the studio space.

And, of course, London’s also seen the return of The Lost Estate’s immersive dining/Scrooge experience ‘The Great Christmas Feast’.

And now onto adaptations of ‘A Christmas Carol’ that we haven’t yet talked about in our Three To See tips for the simple reason that they haven’t begun their runs yet – or, at least, as I write this they haven’t.

We would have mentioned these in the recommendations in the last couple of Three To See editions of the year, but now that we’ve got this whole feature on ‘Christmas Carol’ shows, I’m just going to mention them here.

There’s another return to consider, the very excellent Antic Disposition’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the highly atmospheric Middle Temple Hall from 20-29 Dec. Jack Studio present their promising staging, another solo version, adapted by Ross McGregor and starring Tice Oldfield, from 13-30 Dec.

And there’s more one-man stuff: solo show veteran Guy Masterson takes his version to The Playground on 17 Dec; meanwhile, ‘Scrooge’ at The White Bear Theatre, is a one person, modern retelling.

Nearing the end now, but’s there’s still two more to talk about: first up is a staging by D-Live, who specialise in Deaf-led groundbreaking theatre. Their adaptation ‘Scrooge’, on at Camden People’s Theatre from 20-23 Dec, is for hearing and non-hearing audiences alike, and features the use of digital live theatre, which sees actors interacting with screen actors.

Finally, it’s the slightly irresponsible and definitely funny one: Sh!t-Faced Showtime return to Leicester Square Theatre with ‘A Pissedmas Carol’, doing their usual thing of getting one cast member royally drunk before the show, from 15 Dec-7 Jan.

And I think that might be about it. If you’re reading this and are thinking “they missed out OUR definitive / innovative / mashed up / radical production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ taking place in London during the festive period”, then please do let us know and we will mention it in the final tips of 2022.

Merry Scroogemas!

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