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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Broadbent’

I was (eventually, unseasonably) drawn to this revival by the pedigree of director Phelim McDermott and the opportunity to see Jim Broadbent after such a long time, plus favourite Samantha Spiro – oh, and a cheap ticket offer. Sadly, I was disappointed.

Writer Patrick Barlow has been faithful to Dickens but he has turned it into a bit of a panto. The staging and performances mirror this; everyone seems to trying so hard to produce pleasing seasonal family entertainment that the story has almost lost its moral and emotional spirit. The big issue for me, though, was that it’s a small-scale show completely lost in what seems like an even bigger theatre than the Noel Coward normally feels like. A fringe production lost on a West End stage.

There were things to like about it, and touches of McDermott’s trademark flair and inventiveness, but nowhere near enough. It felt like seasonal ‘product’ and given the undoubted skills of those involved it left me feeing cheated, I’m afraid.

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