What is Christmas without a spot of Dickens? Well, Let Them Call It Mischief provide a complete rendition of A Christmas Carol with only 7 actors and a fairly sparse set of props. And the result? A Fringe Christmas cracker.
The story begins with a narrator who opens a book and reads to the audience from the first page, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. And from the off it’s clear where this production will lead; dippy characters, crazy dance routines and general silliness.
The well-known story zips along with an energetic cast who are able to move in and out of character at the drop of a hat- this is particularly true of Maxwell Tyler. Alyssa Noble meanwhile leads the cast fantastically well in the- quite frankly- unexpectedly broad variety of dance routines. Claire Cartwright makes an exceptional hung-over Victorian housewife, Benedict Waring plays the part of Scrooge with a combination of blissful ignorance and knowing irony, and Elliot Ross is sweeter-than-pie in his role as Bob Cratchit. There’s a spoof Victorian market scene (semi-skimmed milk, anyone?), a Star Wars reference and a well-placed nod to the Muppet Christmas Carol. Really, what more could you want? More?! You want more?! (Sorry, wrong Dickens.)
The only criticism of this show is that it’s so upbeat that even the mean-spirited and scary characters are quite affable. Scrooge is make-believe mean and the ghosts are un-frightful, but then this is a comedy and there are plenty of laughs, so it’s an excusable fault.
This is one to see if you’re looking for a fresh reworking of a classic and an all-round feel good Christmas treat.