NODA South-East Councillor, Kay Rowan, reviews the recent production of A Christmas Carol by The Nomads at The Nomad Theatre in Surrey (find us).
A Christmas Carol – a step back in time to the Dickensian era. An true evening of nostalgia tinged with memories of Christmas’s past. This adaptation by Graham Botterill espoused all the nuances of the original novella but benefitted greatly from the technical advances in stage direction. The script was thoughtful and enhanced the action of the play.
The pleasure of espying this delightful theatre is only heightened by the splendid theatre vestibule and surroundings. All the front of house staff were dressed in period costume which further developed the “mood” ready for the performance.
The whole area of the stage was used at some point utilising the revolve to good effect. Very effective use was made of projection and video and the fly tower came into its own throughout. There was a minimum of props and furniture but quite enough to create the right effect on each and every scene. I particularly like the opening scene with Bob Cratchit’s desk down stage left with Scrooge’s alcove and the fire just to the left on the apron. The sound and lighting effects were very good throughout creating just the right amount of dismal glow without having to strain to see what was going on.
All the costumes, hair and makeup were particularly appropriate in all scenes. Mr Fezziwig’ hair was a joy to behold.
The use of songs by the ensemble served to raise the atmosphere of Christmas and family entertainment rather than promote music and singing for its own sake. All the music was well chosen
and executed. The solos were delightfully clear. The use of recorded music was very judicious with the right level, length and style inserted into the play at appropriate moments.
The adaptation of this Dickens novella was excellent. Graham is to be congratulated on his insight both of the original story, the ability to stage all the different scenes and guiding this fine cast to such a high standard of performance. The cast were a real team – this was exemplified by all the parts they undertook. – 20 actors for 60 parts! A truly outstanding production on all levels.
Congratulations to everyone involved for bringing this gesture to Christmas to the stage of The Nomad Theatre and for giving the audiences so much pleasure.
Kay Rowan – NODA South-East Councillor
The Nomads are members of NODA, which has a membership of 2500 amateur theatre groups and 3000 individual enthusiasts throughout the UK, staging musicals, operas, plays, concerts and pantomimes in a wide variety of performing venues, ranging from the country’s leading professional theatres to tiny village halls.