MONDAY 12 DECEMBER 2022 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
SCROOGEY SHOWS 2022 ROUND-UP
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.

CLICK HERE to read our Scroogey Shows 2022 Round-Up.
Shows to see in the week ahead - including performances from people and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.


FAMILY SHOWS>>

Snow | ArtsDepot | 15-24 Dec
Well, it's not long until Christmas now is it? How did that happen? Before I have even got a quarter of the way through my pre-Christmas to-do list? But happen it has, and that means that, regarding the business of show, we have lots of family stuff to attend to. First up is 'Snow' at ArtsDepot, which is a lovely, immersive, festive and - you guessed it - snowy adventure for little ones aged two to five. Read about it here.

Snowed In | The Place | 14-24 Dec (pictured)
"There is a village high up in the mountains. In the winter it glistens with frost". Yes, another snow themed show for you, this time over at The Place, an interactive family show for ages five and over involving dancing, singing and snowballs. It's the work of Anatomical - aka award winning performers Anna Williams and Tom Roden - creators of previous successes 'The Buildy-Uppy Dance Show' and 'The Doodle Dance Show'. More here.

Grandad, Me... And Teddy Too | Polka Theatre | 2 Dec-29 Jan
One that started earlier in the month but which somehow didn't make it into that week's tips, which is a shame, because it looks ace. That said, we haven't missed much and it's on until 29 Jan, so you have plenty of time to see it. It's about Mia, whose grandad lives far away on the other side of the world but finally comes to visit... and a heartwarming show ensues. Suitable for ages two to five, all the details right about here.


UM, MORE FAMILY SHOWS>>

The Wizard Of Oz | Hoxton Hall | 13-24 Dec
Yes, more family shows, and, compared to the previous section where two of the shows were for very small people, this lot are probably better for those of you with older children. For lo, we are in panto territory with this fab-looking production of 'The Wizard Of Oz' that promises all the usual elements - "goodies to cheer, baddies to boo, songs to sing along to and heaps of joining-in silliness". Click here.

Rumpelstiltskin | The Park Theatre | 13-14 Jan (pictured)
And yes, we have more pantomime for you! 'Rumpelstiltskin'- "an upside down re-telling of the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale" - is the latest Christmas show from Charles Court Opera, who are well known for their fabulous boutique pantos. And of course, as every year, they're doing a more grown up adult only version for those of you attending without small ones. Lots of info on the venue website here.

The Wing Scuffle Spectacular | Beckenham Place Park | 15 Dec-8 Jan
Now we are leaving pantomime behind us and heading over to Beckenham Place Park, where the brilliant Revel Puck Circus are poised to begin a run of 'The Wing Scuffle Spectacular', a high-skill circus show featuring acrobatics, tightropes and physical comedy. And don't worry about the weather - it takes place in a well heated big top. Find out more and book tickets here.


NON CHRISTMASSY THINGS FOR THOSE OF YOU FED UP OF ALL THIS CHRISTMAS STUFF>>

Not A Girl Not Yet A Woman | Camden People's Theatre | 16-17 Dec
Now I know that we have been covering a lot of Christmassy stuff - and it's because the Christmassy stuff dominates at this time of year. But it must be vexing for those of you who don't celebrate or don't like Christmas. Hopefully these three are relatively Christmas-free. First up, an interesting examination of the transition between being a girl and being a woman. As you might well have guessed. More here.

The Wife Of Willesden | Kiln Theatre | 14 Dec-11 Feb (pictured)
You may well have seen this one before, as it was first staged in the autumn of 2021 to much acclaim. But now it's back, so if you didn't see it then, you can now. If you hadn't heard about it before, it's Zadie Smith's adaptation of Chaucer's 'The Wife Of Bath', set in 21st Century North London, featuring Claire Perkins in the title role. Info and booking here.

Hauntings | Playground Theatre | 13-16 Dec
Quite a lot of people seem to view ghost stories as a fairly Christmassy thing (Is it because of Scrooge? Or just the storytelling tradition?), so maybe there is some kind of connection here, but a scary story is also just a scary story, so I feel it's definitely okay to have this in the non-Christmas selection. This involves three supernatural tales from MR James and EF Benson, told by award winning performer Gerard Logan. Details here.


UM, BASICALLY MORE CHRISTMAS STUFF, SORRY>>

Fagin's Last Hour | Old Red Lion | 19, 21, 22 Dec (pictured)
Yes, okay, this isn't really Christmassy, but you know, it's Dickens, so the festive connection is there in more ways than one. This is a one man thing, adapted and performed by the acclaimed James Hyland, who also performs his much-praised solo version of 'A Christmas Carol' at the Old Red Lion after this. It's a powerful piece, a dark tale, set in the hour before Fagin's execution. More here.

The Grotto | Drayton Arms Theatre | 13-30 Dec
And from here on in it really is all about Christmas again, even if it's a bit dark. And yes, this looks a bit dark because it's a seasonal comedy horror which sees Leyla and Pete - who are workers in a Santa's Grotto - facing a series of "ghastly, gruesome and inconveniently Christmassy challenges as they desperately attempt to save their wretched souls". Read more about it on the venue website here.

Christmas Tales | White Bear Theatre | 19-20 Dec
The last tip of the week is for something with 'Christmas' actually in the title, so there's no doubting this one's festive credentials. There are three seasonal tales, one a modern retelling of the Scrooge story, one about a squabbling couple awaiting their daughter's return from carolling, and one about two sisters who are escaping family festivities by clearing out their aunt's home. Read more and book your tickets here.
At TW:CULTURE we champion the best in fringe theatre, comedy and culture.

Year round, we pick the best shows happening in London and online each week, providing handy Three To See recommendations and interviewing the people behind those productions.

Plus each summer we also cover the biggest cultural event in the world: The Edinburgh Festival.


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