Lyceum Theatre, London
The London Musical Theatre Orchestra is fast becoming a staple part of my Christmas tradition, with the company’s glorious performances of A Christmas Carol really bringing the joy and festivity of the season to life, and of course, providing a wonderful night of top quality musical theatre.
Based on the classic novel by Charles Dickens and with music by Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens and a book by Mike Ockrent, A Christmas Carol tells the tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge as he’s visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future and is forced to evaluate the way he lives his life.
Under the expert hand of Freddie Tapner, the LMTO brings out all the best parts of this beautifully virtuosic score. Menken’s music brings a Disney-esque vibe to the story which actually broaches some dark subjects such as homelessness and poverty, and manages to evoke a whole range of emotions.
Griff Rhys Jones brings the miserable but endearing Scrooge to life with a wonderful and fresh portrayal. His performance is supremely entertaining and he manages to enthral, even in this semi-staged concert production.
As the hilarious Mr and Mrs Fezziwig (among other characters), Nicolas Colicos and Rosemary Ashe have the audience in the palm of their hands whilst they give supremely humorous and vocally powerful performances.
The vocal delights on offer in this concert are second to none, with Cedric Neal providing smooth riffs and a delicate but powerful tone that’s to die for and Jeremy Secomb bringing the ultimate scrooge to life in a menacing but humourous rendition of Link By Link, in which he shows off his booming voice. David Hunter is charming as Bob Cratchit alongside the fantastic Caroline Sheen as his wife and Jon Tarcy gives a memorable performance as Young Scrooge.
I’d like to be visited by the three ghosts just to be serenaded by them. Miriam-Teak Lee is sass embodied as the brings the Ghost of Christmas Past to life. Her vocals are super strong and she really brings magic to the stage with her performance. Lucie Jones’ voice continually astounds; her clear as can be vocals and stellar diction bring Emily and The Blind Old Hag to the forefront of the show and equally, as the ghost of Christmas Future who never utters a word, Lucie still magnetises the audience and gives a subtle performance that you can’t be drawn away from.
The young cast are great, as are the LMTO Chorus who are perhaps the strongest chorus at an LMTO concert yet. Completely in sync throughout their humourous numbers and close harmony pieces, they ground the piece and bring a magnificent Christmas choral feel to the show.
The true festive kindness was shown when two young girls in front of us beamed from start to finish and shared a single sweet between them during the final song. Cheer and love enveloped the theatre throughout this magically festive, and brilliantly performed evening. Get yourself to the Lyceum Theatre next Monday for a jubilant night of theatre.