The shops may start blasting out Christmas songs from early November, but the start of December will always feel like the moment that you can legitimately start the real Christmas countdown, and what better way to kick off than with A Christmas Carol?
Following The Guild of Misrule’s impressive productions of The Great Gatsby in 2016 and Neverland last year, the ambitious troupe is back at Theatre Deli with Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol – once again drawing the audience into the tale, as part and parcel of the cast and the story.
We join Jacob Marley as uninvited guests around a dinner table in Ebenezer Scrooge’s parlour, as the penny-pinching Scrooge is confronted by the ghosts and memories of his miserable past and his mean ways. Over a two-course Christmas dinner cooked up using ingredients from local suppliers – yes, you really are served an actual dinner – Scrooge succumbs to the festivities and games, and mingles with guests, finally learning about the true meaning of Christmas. Around our table, along with recommendations for Scrooge to watch Home Alone and Home Alone 2 (but not 3) and listen to Michael Bublé, came the suggestions of spending time with family and friends, giving presents, singing songs, and as the production’s programme suggests, "having a damn good knees up".
As we’ve come to expect from The Guild of Misrule, the cast has some tricks up their sleeves, which we won’t spoil here – but you can expect a few surprises along the way. The set too is once again imaginatively executed, realistic but with a touch of magic, supplemented by musical interludes that add to the atmosphere.
As tends to be the case with immersive theatre experiences, the more you engage here, the more you’ll get out of it, and there were some brilliant moments of conversational improv between the actors and audience members. As there are just two cast members in the production, there’s plenty of room for the audience to interact with and add to the narrative.
Transforming from uninvited intruders into welcome guests by the end of the evening, we were rather sad to leave Scrooge’s parlour. Book your tickets and bring your friends – you’re guaranteed a fun and memorable evening that ends with bucket loads of feel-good factor. If this doesn’t get you in the festive spirit, nothing will.
- Words by
- Emma Liasides