Review: Reading Rep A Christmas CarolBy Caroline Cook
December 29, 2012
Reading Rep presents A Christmas Carol
Until Wednesday, January 2
The remains of the turkey might have been eaten and the chime of carols no longer heard on the radio but the festive warmth created by Reading Rep's latest production will last long after the holiday season.
Reading's resident theatre company has produced a heart-warming family show with touches of humour and Christmas magic to delight all ages.
Television and stage veteran Ian Cullen takes the title role of miserly Scrooge and creates a wonderful grumbling figure, huffing his way around the stage as he is guided through past, present and future.
His guide, the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future are a varied trio, with Rick Romero playing each so differently you could almost be mistaken for thinking it was a different actor in each role.
For the past, dressed in a skin-tight red body suit and comedy Christmas hat, Romero is amusing and impish, before switching to a broad-Scottish ghost of Christmas present, and then the dark, cloaked ghost of the future.
Scenes of Scrooge's life are played out by a talented supporting cast who switch into different roles seamlessly, at one moment bringing youthful energy bounding around the stage, and another a touching scene around the coffin of Tiny Tim.
Dickens' classic tale is stuck to faithfully by the company with a few blink-and-you'll-miss-them modern twists which make your lip curve up into a smile.
A sprinkling of snow, and some acoustic carols at beginning and end add some festive charm to the production, making sure you'll leave the theatre with a heart-warmed glow, even if you're going into a rainy Reading night outside.