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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Flutsch

A Christmas Carol: Creation Theatre

★★★★

Review: A Christmas Carol, Creation Theatre, at The North Wall, until 6 January. Tickets from £11.50. Book here.

[Disclosure. I was a Creation Theatre trustee from early 2020 to early 2022. I received free tickets for the purposes of this review.]


Actors on stage, dressed in costume, for the show A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Nicholas Osmond plays Scrooge

Creation Theatre has given Oxford an exquisite Christmas production this year with a classic retelling of Charles Dickens’ beloved tale.  While this is a traditional retelling, Creation’s version emphasises the social justice dimension of Dickens' narrative, adding a layer of relevance to legacy that feels especially timely.

Two actors on stage dancing in the theatre show A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
Graeme Rose and Emily Woodward

If you’ve found Creation’s past Christmas productions too zany for you, then you may enjoy this more traditional and thoughtful show.

Group of actors on stage for the show A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
The whole cast on stage

In Creation’s version, Victorian London is brought to the stage in all its desperate glory, with six actors playing just under 40 parts.  As many Oxonians know, Creation Theatre is the only theatre company in the UK that employs actors full time in a repertory company. 

Man playing Scrooge in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
Nicholas Osmond as Scrooge

Actors who work together for long periods of time tend to develop a kind of sixth sense around each other and this translates into beautiful and nuanced performances.  While all of the actors deliver compelling performances, it’s this wonderfully mysterious synergy, now fully developed, that results in such a polished show.

Girl playing Victorian character in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
Anna Tolputt

The production looks truly enchanting with gorgeously shabby costumes in cold, delicate colours. The original songs, composed by the late Gareth Jones, are engaging and the choreography is charming – the whole thing comes together as beautifully accomplished theatre.  If you are looking for a Christmas show that has more substance than sheer spectacle, then I can thoroughly recommend Creation Theatre’s production.

 

All photos provided to me by Creation Theatre and © Geraint Lewis.

If you enjoyed this review, you might enjoy my review of this year's panto at the Oxford Playhouse which you can find here. You might also enjoy my other reviews of Creation shows, which you an find here.

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