A Christmas Carol the musical is an all-time favourite Dickensian story, composed and written by the renowned Alan Menken, Mike Okrent and Lynn Ahrens. The trio has adapted a magical score and script, depicting the nasty Scrooge amidst the Christmas cheer of the London inhabitants. In the spirit of the season, the Lost Theatre Company tried their hand at the musical, garnering a cast of over 20 actors with ages ranging from seven to 60.
As with many family productions, quality must be sacrificed in the understanding that most of the children actors are enjoying their first theatre experiences. This production accommodated a wide range of ages and skill levels, and unfortunately this disparity in skill was very obvious to the viewer. Actors onstage demonstrated definite moments of “excited”, “spooky” and “morose”, but unfortunately these moments were forced rather than character-based. I longed to be able to read the back-stories to each character, but I couldn’t see past the obvious neglect the directors had towards character development.
Throughout the musical, outdated and poorly executed projections flashed on the set, putting a stamp of mediocrity on the production. The backing track poorly represented Menken’s vibrant score, and oftentimes it drowned out the actors’ voices onstage. Some of the downtrodden townspeople wore uncharacteristically sparkly makeup, whilst I felt that basic costume details could have been remedied for an altogether more polished outcome, but somehow these elements were overlooked.
That being said, I still had an extremely enjoyable evening. The scenes glistened with the addition of some well-executed choreography and tricks. Some of the actors’ shone through with their harmony lines and stage presence, but this needed to be matched throughout the cast for the production to soar. Like the best of chick-flicks, a bad rating doesn’t correlate to a bad time, so if you’re feeling a bit Bah Humbug this Christmas, visit the Lost Theatre!
By Ranga Liliu