Andrew Lincoln will star as Ebenezer Scrooge in this year’s Old Vic: In Camera version of Jack Thorne’s A Christmas Carol from 12-24 December 2020. Directed by Matthew Warchus, the festive favourite returns for its fourth year and this time will be streamed live from The Old Vic stage.
As with previous Old Vic: In Camera streams, the empty auditorium will be the show’s backdrop but this production will be, for the first time in the series, presented as a full-scale show with live musicians, theatrical lighting, set and costumes, and with a cast of 18 performers. In total, 80 freelance creatives, actors and musicians will be employed to create this year’s production.
The cast joining Lincoln will be, amongst others, Melissa Allan, Rosanna Bates, John Dagleish, Tim van Eyken, Sam Lathwood, Eugene McCoy, Myra McFadyen, Gloria Obianyo, Maria Omakinwa, Golda Rosheuvel, Michael Rouse, Clive Rowe and Sam Townsend. With Rayhaan Kufuor-Gray, Lara Mehmet, Lenny Rush and Eleanor Stollery sharing the role of Tiny Tim.
Director Matthew Warchus said:
“When I began my job as artistic director five years ago I boldly (naively) put up a neon sign in the lobby radiating Lilian Baylis’ favourite quote – “Dare, Always Dare.” With those galvanising words ringing in our ears, I am delighted to announce that Andrew Lincoln has joined us in what must surely be one of the most ambitious and complex pieces of live streamed theatre attempted in the pandemic so far.
“The Old Vic’s A Christmas Carol has moved and entertained over a quarter of a million people in London and New York over the last three Christmases and we made a pledge last spring that we would still present it, in some form or other, even in this most challenging of years.
“In doing a project of this size we don’t expect to be able to make any profit for the theatre but rather we will be continuing our mission of staying connected to audiences of all ages, providing much needed work and income for dozens of freelancers, and generally celebrating the important role live theatre has always played in bringing us together to share amazing stories. I hope you can join us.”
Warchus is joined in the creative team by set and costume designer Rob Howell, composer and arranger Christopher Nightingale, lighting designer Hugh Vanstone, Simon Baker (broadcast sound and video),Lizzi Gee (movement), Jessica Ronane CDG (casting) and associate director Jamie Manton.
The production will be performed for just 16 performances with 80,000 tickets available across the run from £10-£65, with all ticket prices offering the same view.
Through staging and pricing the production in this way, The Old Vic hopes that it will break even and any profits that are made will go towards funding the charitable activities of The Old Vic: artistic, education and community work that serves its beneficiaries. During the pandemic The Old Vic has seen a 75% reduction in box office income for live performances – its main source of income. Yet its core costs remain, supporting staff and its Grade II listed building as well as continuing with outreach work within communities who need it more than ever.
On 17 December broadcaster Dermot O’Leary will be joined by Andrew Lincoln in the second instalment of the Old Vic: In Conversation series.
All state schools in Lambeth and Southwark (up to 18 December) and UK care homes and will be offered a free link to view the performance
FoodCycle, which provides nutritious meals and conversation to communities across the country, will be The Old Vic’s Charity Partner for 2020. Writer Jack Thorne, together with his wife Rachel, has pledged to match all A Christmas Carol FoodCycle donations received from the public up to £250,000.