On Friday me and specially chosen members of the brood went to see ‘A Christmas Carol’ and I have to say…I was underwhelmed.
Maybe it was something to do with all the publicity surrounding the project. Let’s face it, ACC has been written about in glowing terms by all the critics and the audience reaction has been positive all round. Seems everybody had a Christmas ball. That is until I came along. I’m sorry, but this curmudgeon was unimpressed.
Since I came back unmoved on Friday evening, I’ve been racking my brains to try to discover what it was about A Christmas Carol that left me so ‘empty’.
Of course, it’s a great Christmas story. In other words, a load of sentimental tosh designed to twiddle the Christmas heart strings. But you know that before you take your seat. I knew perfectly well what I was getting for my money, so it couldn’t have been that. I was even prepared to shed a few crocodile tears. But they didn’t come.
The acting was fine. A little too much poncing about for my liking. Too much striding. For me there’s nothing worse that actors striding (usually in tight leather trousers). Chest out, huge steps whilst declaiming to the far distance. It wasn’t that.
The music was fine. Even the ‘dancing‘ was tolerable.
A particular dislike of mine are Child Actors. The fact of the matter is that it is rare to come across kids who can actually act. Plus the fact their little voices don’t carry which I felt was a problem in this production. Also, they always look like butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths. So bloody sweet and innocent. Annoying. Personally, I think they (the RSC) would do better employing short people in the roles of children. However, the presence of children actors was not enough to make me dislike this over-done famous Christmas romp.
In the end I think it might have been the David Edgar script. It seemed rushed. Like he only took it on because it was a good earner and as the story had been done to death over the years he (David Edgar) didn’t have to put too much work into it. A dead giveaway that I might be right was the fact that the ending was very abrupt and sudden. I’m also a little suspicious that the Royal Shakespeare repeated themselves (same Christmas show as last year, albeit with a different Scrooge). Maybe they couldn’t afford a new Christmas show-Only joking.