With the Christmas decs only just down and stashed away until the end of the year, a party of Year 11 students extended the festive celebrations with a visit to a staging of ‘A Christmas Carol’ on Saturday January 12th at Stratford.
The Royal Shakespeare Company was performing its adaptation of Dickens’ novella at the theatre, which has a splendid setting alongside the River Avon in Shakespeare’s home town. The ‘one-room’ theatre with its 1000+ capacity is designed to create a more traditional Shakespearean performance area with a stage reaching out to the audience on its three sides. On this occasion we were transported back to the early Victorian era with Dickens depicted in the midst of creating his work, animatedly discussing his ideas with his publisher on the cobbled stage.
Ebenezer Scrooge appeared, suitably grumpy and miserly whether in his cold counting house, in walking the London streets or in his sparse rooms. Plenty of surprises followed such as the four poster bed suddenly emerging from the large trapdoor in the floor complete with Marley’s unfolding ghost! The festive scenes involving Fezziwig, the young Scrooge’s employer, were delightful and there was a great deal of dancing, all providing a contrast to the now adult Scrooge’s attitude. Finally, Scrooge is of course transformed and redeemed through the efforts of the three spirits - and Tiny Tim lives to announce ‘God bless us, every one!’
This was a wonderful way of revising our GCSE English Literature text especially as regards the context of the story. Many thanks to staff for their time and efforts, to Long Mynd coaches for transporting us safely and to our super students – whose behaviour was commended by other theatre-goers. A final treat was seeing the actors emerge from the stage door and posing for pics with students. All in all a grand day out!