by Alec J. Ruddick
This is not a good facility for staging such an ambitious musical, but thanks to the Technical Team it worked extremely well. With so many difficult scenes to cope with and the Flying, the continuity did not effect the story coming alive well.
The singing, from both the principals and chorus was a great challenge which was mastered superbly.
The chorus singing and dancing at times was quite thrilling and a great deal of energy was put into the production.
Musical Director John Dempster controlled the Orchestra and singing well.
The Sets by Scenic Projects Ltd were very atmospheric and the Dickensian clothes from Perceptions were attractive and worn well.
Make-up was good, but I would have liked Tiny Tim to be more pale.
I could not fault the casting.
Geoff Heard as Ebenezer Scrooge gave a masterful performance and epitomized everyone’s conception of the part.
Mike Bolton as Bob Cratchit sang well and had the right pathos without making it sugary.
Tiny Tim (I saw Edward Howell) sang beautifully and has a good clear voice, and Vince Kemm as Tom Jenkins put everything into this part and danced extremely well.
Director and Choreographer Barry Mcilroy produced a stunning show that always looked good and sounded terrific with many imaginative surprises.
I was most impressed with the whole production and congratulate everyone concerned with it.
by Melissa Terry
There was nothing amateur about this production by Salisbury amateur operatic society last, under the directorship of Barry McIlroy.
Charles Dickens’ classic tale A Christmas Carol was brought to life with much enthusiasm and professionalism by this talented cast, which seems to improve its productions with age – last year’s Annie could have been a difficult act to follow.
Scrooge was billed as a traditional musical for the whole family, and my only criticism is that it was a little bit long. However, my family thoroughly enjoyed being whisked back to Victorian times, with the fabulous costumes and well-designed sets to match.
The company was in fine vocal form on the night and I thought Nicky Burgess, who played Isabel, young Scrooge’s fiancée, had suburb tone. The children of Ivy team looked as if they relished the parts they played. As Tiny Tim, Daniel Simmons’ rendition of The Beautiful Day was particularly heart-warming.
But the most memorable was the portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge by Geoff Heard. He had the audience believing we were watching a real Scrooge, a cantankerous, people-hating miser who cared more for money than humankind. Scrooge’s grumpy characteristics have obviously been a foundation in the creation of Filch, of the Harry Potter stories.
During the aerial theatrics by Scrooge and his ghosts, the wires were wound the wrong way and Marley ended up flying through the scenery. However, this kind of mishap reminds the audience that it is a live shoe and wholly adds to the entertainment.
Bah humbugs were replaced by lashings of human kindness by the close of the show and the audience went away feeling nostalgic and Christmassy
Special mentions must go to set designers, who created a masterpiece of a backdrop, which changed from Cheapside to Scrooge’s bedroom before our very eyes. Plaudits also to the orchestra, which provided a great accompaniment to the musical numbers and brought the whole production together in one great night of traditional festive entertainment.