The Rose Theatre’s much anticipated adaptation of the Dickensian classic A Christmas Carol will undoubtedly leave even the most Scrooge-like visitor feeling festive.

Surrey Comet:

Director Ciaran McConville fills the production with imaginative sets and routines 

Adapting the Christmas classic for the stage may seem a monumental task for any director given the story’s familiarity and the many versions we have grown to love - most notably from The Muppets - but director Ciaran McConville takes the challenge into his stride.

Keeping the audience’s interest with a story so familiar is his biggest obstacle, but he achieves this through injections of humour and intelligent use of set design and production.

Snow-like petals fall from the ceiling and litter the audience as the ghost of Christmas past eulogises of Scrooge’s long forgotten joyous Christmases. In a play with such a dark and foreboding tone until its climax, such creativity provides welcome respite.

There are also some nice homages to Kingston itself with the Bentall Centre sitting nicely in the set’s backdrop.

Surrey Comet:

There are some powerhouse performances from accompanying characters

Of course the play will always in some way rely on the performance of the famous character of Scrooge himself, and thankfully Martin Ball delivers the line “bah, humbug” as good as anyone you’ll see.

But it is the support cast who steal the show. Each ghost of Christmas is as intriguing and immersive as the last and the Cratchitt family are likely to warm anyone’s heart.

The music and dance numbers are less carefully crafted, and unfortunately feel shoehorned in to offer light entertainment to an otherwise flawless production.

But on the whole this classic tale of a bitter old man discovering his Christmas spirit is the perfect way to cherish your own.

  • A Christmas Carol runs until January 3, Rose Theatre, 24 – 26 High Street, Kingston, tickets from £10, call the box office on 020 8174 0090 or online at

Surrey Comet: