By the end of An Edinburgh Christmas Carol I was giddily filled with Christmas cheer. Arms looped across the audience as we all sang, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, and snow delicately swirled atop our heads. Not a dry eye in the house. Yeah, it was pretty magical.
Sat in the Lyceum, I grinned throughout the play. The woman to the right of me turned at the interval to say: “it looks like the cinema come to life!”. I genuinely felt as if I were ten years old again, really living in the magic and wonder of Christmas. At my old age and with genuine need to check my phone every ten minutes, that’s real bona fide escapism.
Adapted, of course, from Charles Dickens’ well-loved A Christmas Carol, folklore has it that Dickens’ inspiration for the novel came from a trip to Edinburgh where he happened upon one Ebenezer Scrooge’s tombstone in Greyfriars Kirkyard. This play, under Tony Cownie’s direction, really feels as if it has brought the novel back home. Set in Victorian Edinburgh, and with the addition of everyone’s favourite dog Greyfriars Bobby, there’s more than enough feel-good mischief to go around.
What was truly brilliant, aside from the performances, was the set design. A truly first-class experience. Tiny Tim and wee Bobby are expertly directed puppets, the stage effortlessly transforms from Scrooge’s bedroom, to Old Town, to the castle, and the smoke-filled arrivals of the three spirits deliberately envelops the audience rows. There I was, in Victorian Edinburgh right inside the story itself.
Okay, I know you might think I have been a little overzealous in sharing my wide-eyed delight, but this performance soars above all holiday-related cheesiness and enters full blown, warm-glow inducing Christmas cheer. And if that doesn’t convince you, then a bah humbug to you sir!
An Edinburgh Christmas Carol runs at the Lyceum Theatre until 4 January 2020.