Watch A Christmas Carol in a Castle this Christmas

AD - We have press tickets

A Christmas Carol is perhaps my favourite Christmas tale. It never gets old and over the years we have watched it in various forms from the Muppet version on DVD to a modern interpretation at Northern Stage last year and the new Disney remake in the cinema a few years ago. 


Watch A Christmas Carol in a Castle this Christmas





We have never watched it in a Castle though so I was super excited to hear that a version of A Christmas Carol will be touring the North East and Yorkshire this Christmas stopping at historic and interesting venues along the way.


A Christmas Carol - Information


  • Expect stunning larger than life puppetry, atmospheric live music and a sprinkling of ghoulish cheer.
  • Tickets are available on the door on the evening. 
  • This production is brought to you by the award-winning Theatre Space North East. They are based in Sunderland where their studios are community funded.
  • The puppets from the show are courtesy of Life & Limb Puppetry who are based in Newcastle and have spent years running workshops and entertaining the North East and beyond.
  • The production played at Newcastle Castle last year and was so successful that this year, it is going on a mini-tour around historic and unusual venues across North East England and Yorkshire. 
  • Last years performances sold out in less than 48 hours.
  • The themes of the story are all the more pertinent in 2019 with food bank usage and homelessness on the rise. There will be collections at the end of each performance for those less fortunate and venues will be collecting for local food banks and also collecting feminine hygiene products 
  • The show is suitable for all ages but some scenes may be a little on the scary side for the very young.
     


A Christmas Carol Tour Schedule 


Watch A Christmas Carol in a Castle this Christmas


A Christmas Carol - Review 




We watched A Christmas Carol at Alnwick Castle. As our tickets were checked, we were encouraged to buy drinks from the bar and asked not to take a seat until invited.

As we sipped our drinks and admired the Christmas Trees and decorations in the grand castle setting, some of the cast scampered in and started moving around the room and interacting with the set. As an audience, we just stood there and didn't really know what was happening. This really helped to build the anticipation and atmosphere in the room.

Eventually, our storyteller for the evening entered the room, we were seated and the performance formally started.



The setting is very intimate - chairs practically form part of the set and are placed around a giant £5 note which is where all of the action takes place. I have never been so close to the action and it really felt as if you were looking in on somebody's life alongside Scrooge throughout the evening.


There are 6/7 actors and the performance lasts around 80 minutes without an interval. All of the cast except Scrooge play multiple characters with super quick costume changes and simple props. Considering we were in a grand castle, the performance space is very small and intimate the use of simple props (and humans as props) is fantastic and very creative.

We see a human clock ticking,  people take form of a wardrobe and oven and two benches are everything from a Gravestone to a bed, door, writing desk and everything in between. It feels like magic watching this inventiveness and you 100% believe what you are seeing.

The Ghosts and Tiny Tim are played by puppets and they are simply brilliant - we each had our favourites too.

I really enjoyed Marley - I could feel his torture and the puppeteer who played him was outstanding. Steve was really impressed with the ominous ghost of Christmas future who despite having no lines, was a real presence in the room.

I had a soft spot for Tiny Tim and even had a little tear in my eye during the scene where he is clearly unwell and dancing in the kitchen with his parents before his mother rocks him to sleep - beautifully done.

The ghost of Christmas present was a real surprise and lots of fun - she was an all-round favourite and finally, the ghost of Christmas past was a real character and Harry's favourite. 


Scrooge is played by a woman which gives the story a bit of a modern twist and although the text is over 100 years old, it is scary how the theme of the story runs true today. The actress playing Scrooge was fantastic - I could feel pure evil run through her veins at the start and really enjoyed watching her transformation and equally feeling her giddiness & glee at the end of the story.

The original text is quoted throughout with little twists here and there and it is perfectly done - nothing too complex or wordy for little kids and the balance is just right. The main focus is definitely on the acting and staging with the cast staying in role even when they are off stage.

I need to give a little shout out to the lighting and music too - both perfect and really enhanced the story and key scenes.

This version of A Christmas Carol is like nothing I have seen before - the combination of intimacy,  fantastic puppetry, a range of characters and fast-moving pace whilst staying true to the classic text is wonderful to watch. All of us agreed it is the best version of the play we have watched - both on stage and on film (yes, it even trumps A Muppet Christmas Carol).

Poverty, inequality, wealth, a fair society & charity are all themes which are very important in modern life, even more so with a general election looming and this play really brought these issues to the forefront of our mind yet spectacularly entertained us too - a fantastic alternative Christmas night out with the family.

I wish Theatre Space North East the best of luck with the tour - I am sure it is going to be a huge success. If it is playing at a venue near you, I urge you to go and see it. 




A Christmas Carol - Tickets 


Tickets are available via https://arctix.co.uk/ and priced at £16 each for general admission. Concessions are available for £13 (Students, U16s, NHS/Emergency Services, OAPs) and family tickets are available for £60 (all tickets + fees).

Tickets will also be available to purchase on the door on the evening. Doors open 15 minutes before the performance.


Let me know if you fancy this one! 




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