Rhys Ifans stars as Scrooge in Jack Thorne’s new adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol, which is running at London’s Old Vic Theatre until 20 January 2018. Here, Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews.
On a bitter Christmas Eve night a cold-hearted miser is visited by four ghosts. Transported to worlds past, present and future, Ebenezer Scrooge witnesses what a lifetime of fear and selfishness has led to and sees with fresh eyes the lonely life he has built for himself. Can Ebenezer be saved before it’s too late?
The Guardian: ★★★★ “Matthew Warchus’ production also uses every resource available to turn Dickens’s dream-like story into an inclusive experience.”
The Telegraph: ★★★ “Those who love a short-cut to enchantment will be smitten but what’s frustratingly elusive is a sense of engulfing dread.”
Evening Standard: ★★★★ “Matthew Warchus’s fluid, set-free production makes use of some beautiful arrangements of carols, whose own lines of haunting poetry underscore the thrust of Dickens’s words.”
The Stage: ★★★★ “Ifans has a lot of fun getting the audience to collaborate on the staging of the intensely festive finale, but Thorne’s adaptation also acknowledges the unconvincing rapidity with which Scrooge redeems himself and injects a note of ambiguity into the final scenes.”
Time Out: ★★★ “There’s the sense that, in order to keep things fresh, Thorne and Warchus have been reluctant to fully indulge the sentimentality of a story that’s defined by it.”
The Times: ★★★★ “Tiny Tim warms hearts of one and all on magical night.”
The Independent: ★★★★ “Matthew Warchus’s magnificent staging provides everything you might want from a theatrical adaptation of Dickens’s timeless (and never more timely) morality tale urging social responsibility and compassion.”
Broadway World: ★★★★★ “The adaptation is fairly faithful to the original and is as Dickensian as you could hope for in atmosphere.”
British Theatre Guide: “a charming and genuinely magical contribution to the Christmas season, which has enough novelty and wit to win over the hearts of even the 21st-century inheritors of the Scrooge mentality.”
Theatre Cat: “So it is Dickensian and modern, clever and heartfelt, gripping and touching and tuneable and serious and sometimes funny.”
The Jewish Chronicle: ★★★★ “The spirit of the evening is beautifully evoked by the chorus with a gorgeous display of bell-ringing, an infectious folky score and snowstorms that fill the entire theatre, which alone make the heart swell with pleasure.”