Cranbrook Operatic and Dramatic Society

Our 2017 AUTUMN MUSICAL WAS :

SCROOGE : THE MUSICAL
Book, Music and Lyrics by LESLIE BRICUSSE

Scrooge : The Musical

Performances took place at
Queen's Hall Theatre at Cranbrook School


Extracts from the Programme:-

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NODA REVIEW
Author: Anne Lawson
A Dickensian Christmas with Ebenezer Scrooge in Leslie Bricasse’s well written and exciting ambitious period costumed musical. An excellent choice for a true company show allowing all ages to explore most interesting characters – something for everyone. The challenge was taken up by Lisa Ferris and Rachel Croft-Golding as directors with Peter MD allowing in us the audience to enjoy the end results from all the hard work put in. The story – evocative at times but with a joyous merry conclusion portrayed by well-cast principals, ensemble, and little ones, we were transported back to 1843 London where bitter, miserable Scrooge had lessons to be learned.
It was good to see this musical production was generously sponsored by Costa, Hartley Dyke Farm Shop, the optician Peter Jones and the Waterloo House Tea Rooms. Together with a dedicated group of Officers and the huge band helpers enabled a well- rehearsed group of actors to perform the familiar story. A good programme front cover – dark with a lit candle creating a silhouette of Scrooge with tilted top hat. Detailed information inside was both interesting and informative. The interesting photo gallery was neatly exhibited in the foyer. Well-designed and constructed by the four-man team, the open set had three large angled red brick arches, black back drop – beautiful arched wooden door and pillar with orchestra placed below and into the wings. From my position I could only see a keyboard player and the conductors arm. Excellent sound balance although perhaps dressed in period costume those on stage wouldn’t have looked quite so incongruous.
Bricusse’s musical numbers, with copious lyrics were well rehearsed and executed with bags of energy. Not an easy task with added interesting and balanced movement and shapes. The downstage areas were well dressed – Scrooge’s office furnished with a desk, perfect lectern with painting above – good set of steps. Props appropriately distributed. The stage extension with grill created a great mystical effect for the phantoms to appear through with the addition of cued bursts of dry ice and colour. The other inset was the churchyard set with cold grey headstones set in leaf swept grass for Bob, sympathetically portrayed by Glyn Roberts, to mourn before Tiny Tim’s little wooden cross – quite moving.
Above was the beautiful shop frontage of the beguiling toyshop. Other scenes were cleverly set using the roll-on four poster bed, outside scenes using a barrow, baskets, and boxes. Large puppets were well made for the Punch & Judy show, amusing turkeys, the Cratchit’s fully laid out dining table, bunting etc. all placed and moved efficiently. Penny, James and Elly tirelessly managed the technical side which was complex.
Costumes throughout were delightful provided by Sharon and Rita from street urchins to posh ladies, costers to gents. Both the costumes and the makeup were all in keeping which with the very good headgear and footwear completed the images well.
A mammoth part for Andy Fairweather with both script and musical lyrics which he interpreted effectively becoming a different man after being so frightened by the four ghosts. Convincing were Peter Ashby as Jacob Marley – Scrooge’s old partner followed by delightful Ghost of ‘Christmas Past’ cheekily played by Charlotte Maughan Jones. Jez Druce a big charismatic Ghost of ‘Christmas Present’ in statue and presence – a wonderful coloured robe, red beard and wig, with wreath headdress most impressive and a splendid laugh! Our 4th Ghost was of ‘Yet to Come’ was nicely played by Colin Barnes who also doubled up as the Punch and Judy Man. Ensemble movement was always inventive, practised and obviously enjoyed.
Other cameos roles were worthy of mention, but you were many, plus the children, congratulations on providing a first-class piece of musical theatre.

Photos will be available soon!


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