The Best of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

A Christmas Carol

A CHRISTMAS CAROL LIGHTS UP MELBOURNE WITH OWEN TEALE AS EBENEZER SCROOGE!

Winner of 5 Tony Awards, the magical A Christmas Carol, adapted by Jack Thorne, and directed by Matthew Warchus (Matilda the Musical), has made a triumphant return to Melbourne, answering the clamour of fans.

A rallying cry for social compassion, and an extraordinary tale of redemption and hope, Dickens’ 1843 novella tells the story of a cruel and cold-hearted businessman, Ebenezer Scrooge, who locks himself away from life – especially at Christmas. In a supernatural intervention, Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, forced to confront the error of his ways and offered one final chance to change for the better before it’s too late.

Headlining this festive spectacular is the incomparable Owen Teale as the ‘bah-humbugging’ Ebenezer Scrooge. Teale’s portrayal is gruff and grumpy, yet spot-on, infusing the role with energy and intensity. The second act, following Scrooge’s cathartic moment, reveals a beautiful transformation, showcasing Teale’s stunning and heartfelt performance.

Renowned for his role as Alliser Thorne in HBO’s Game of Thrones, Teale’s return to the Australian stage is a momentous occasion, marking his first performance in the country since the 2004 tour of the West End production Dance of Death.

Teale shares the stage with an exceptional cast, including Debra Lawrance (Ghost of Christmas Past), Bernard Curry (Bob Cratchit), Grant Piro (Fezziwig), Sarah Morrison, Samantha Morley, Anthony Harkin (Marley), Andrew Coshan (Fred), Stephanie Lambourn (Mrs Cratchit), and other stellar performers. The ensemble brings reimagined cherished Christmas carols to life through singing, dancing, and magical handbell playing. A live band, with toe-tapping tunes, adds a folk touch that will have you clapping along.

The ensemble’s magnificence shines as they invite the audience to interact, making for a truly enjoyable experience. Highlights include the audience’s involvement in assembling the Christmas feast and receiving oranges and delectable mince pies before the show begins.

While easily scared children might find some moments in the first act intense, the second act promises fun and frivolity. The simple yet clever set design transforms seamlessly into multiple locations, capturing the dark and eerie feeling of Dickensian Victorian London. Effective lighting manipulates the mood, creating magical moments on stage, complemented by sound and special effects that heighten suspense and magic.

If you’re looking to awaken your Christmas spirit or appreciate top-notch theatrical productions, A Christmas Carol is a must-see. Even the most stoic Scrooge would find it hard not to adore this incredible piece of live theatre.

Catch A Christmas Carol at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre on Exhibition St. until January 7, 2024.

For more information or to book tickets, visit www.christmascarolaustralia.com.au

By Michael Kent