A Christmas Carol
Performed 30th Nov to 3rd December 2011
A Christmas Carol - December 2011
Riding Mill Drama Club has a professional edge
As a huge fan of Christmas and everything associated with it, a trip to Riding Mill to see the drama club’s interpretation of A Christmas Carol promised to be a fitting way to kick off the festive season.
Filing into the packed parish hall for the final performance in a four-night stint with the rest of the audience, I realised that the long-established club who are renowned crowd-pleasers, have quite a following.
And on my first outing to see them, what awaited me did not disappoint.
Whilst telling the well known story of cold-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge who begrudged giving his lowly clerk Bob Cratchit time off for Christmas Day, and how visits from three spirits woke him from his stingy stupor to the realisation that money isn’t everything, every single cast member shone.
Innovative set design, good use of stage space, and in fact the entire parish hall, created a sense of atmosphere and eeriness when necessary, while allowing unforgettable characters including miserly Scrooge himself (Sandy Gardner), his pompous but well-meaning nephew Fred (Shaun Fenwick) and Marley’s Ghost (Mike Smith) to engage the audience with laughs throughout.
Impressive lighting, sound effects and smoke whenever one of the production’s many ghosts drew near, also helped create tension and an air of anticipation in all the right places.
Meanwhile, Steve Larkin as Bob Cratchit put in a solid performance, as did young William Lockey who showcased his singing voice and put in an adorable performance as Tiny Tim.
He led the way in a cast which included an encouraging number of young actors and actresses who were key in making this production the success it was.
Special mention too, should go to the Ghosts of Christmas Past (Hazel Osmond), Present (Steve Mobbs) and Future (Hazel Harrison) who, ably assisted by fantastic costumes, gave convincing performances which captivated viewers.
Rousing Christmas carols performed by chorus members, including The First Noel and Silent Night, had the audience singing along as well as providing clever distractions from set changes which helped build drama and suspense between scenes.
Not many local amateur dramatic groups can boast a live orchestra. So the presence of five musicians gave Riding Mill Drama Club a professional edge.
Directed by Eileen Davidson and produced by Celia Bridges, the club’s interpretation of a Dickens classic left a lasting impression.
Gemma Brown Hexham Courant Link