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FIRST LOOK: Rehearsals are underway for A Christmas Carol at Shakespeare North Playhouse Theatre

2 years ago

FIRST LOOK: Rehearsals are underway for A Christmas Carol at Shakespeare North Playhouse Theatre
Credit: Meg Terzza

Christmas is just around the corner at Shakespeare North Playhouse, the theatre has released sneak peek behind the scenes images of the rehearsals for A Christmas Carol.

Lovingly adapted for the stage by writer Nick Lane and brought to life by director Ellie Hurt, this production at Shakespeare North Playhouse is Dickens like you’ve never seen before!

A fast, furious and whacky musical retelling of the original text but with a distinctly Prescot feel. 

Originally produced for the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Nick’s eccentric adaptation has been uniquely transformed for Shakespeare North Playhouse to see the classic tale taking place in our very own Prescot town. 

Credit: Meg Terzza

Christmas Carol Writer Nick Lane says:

“The opportunity to write the first Christmas show at the Shakespeare North Playhouse was something I grasped with both hands – and, if my feet had any kind of grip strength I’d have grasped it with them too. It’s an amazing theatre in the heart of a town I felt instantly at home in; Prescotians are incredibly welcoming and a number of them really helped me get to know the place. I hope I’ve repaid their time and their care with something delightfully silly, and I look forward to seeing the Cockpit Theatre filled with excited kids – and yes, I’m going to say ‘of all ages’ because when it’s Christmas I’m just as big a kid as any of them!”

A Christmas Carol features a small but mighty quartet of actor/ musicians. Zoe West as Scrooge, Jessica Dives as Liza Grub, Abigail Middleton as Clara Winks and Eddy Westbury as Pod/Marley.  

Shakespeare North Playhouse
Credit: Meg Terzza

Known as the meanest man in Prescot, Ebeneezer Scrooge would cancel Christmas if he could! That is until one fateful night he is given the fright of his life, as three mysterious visitors make him see that there is more to life than counting out his pennies. What ensues is a wild and bonkers romp filled with musical nonsense and festive whimsy- there’s even a time worm thrown in for good measure! Experience a tale of friendship, compassion and humanity that’s jam packed with local references. Can the meanest man in Prescot change his ways before it’s too late? Or will he always be a ‘hard-faced bat, selfish, scrimpy and stingy?’

Credit: Meg Terzza

Director Ellie Hurt who’s recent directing credits include Hamlet at the National Theatre and associate director for the musical Fantastically Great Women who changed the world says: 

“We’re so excited to bring this brilliant and hilarious version of A Christmas Carol to Shakespeare North Playhouse this Christmas. This is Dickens’ classic story like you’ve never seen it before, in an outrageous and silly adaptation by Nick Lane, full to the brim with live music and with the people of Prescot at it’s heart. The resonance of this iconic story feels stronger now than ever, with the ever-growing divide between classes and the living crisis we are facing, the urgency of this story feels more potent than ever before. This is a story with an important message of compassion and humanity, and it’s told through an uplifting and bonkers show with hilarious characters and a whole host of instruments. Let’s celebrate the people of Prescot for this beautiful new theatre’s first Christmas!”

Shakespeare North Playhouse
Credit: Meg Terzza

A Christmas Carol is written by Nick Lane and directed by Ellie Hurt alongside musical director Jessica Dives. Set design is by Hannah Sibai, sound design is by Ernest Acquah and lighting design is by Simisola Majekodunmi. Movement director is Grace Goulding. Rosie Pearson from Pearson Casting is casting director. 

This will be the first Christmas production to be staged inside the Cockpit Theatre at Shakespeare North Playhouse, featuring familiar local references and a sprinkling of pantomime fun- it’s one for the whole family to enjoy! 

Shakespeare North Playhouse
Credit: Meg Terzza

Creative director of Shakespeare North Playhouse Laura Collier explains:

“It’s our first Christmas here at Shakespeare North and I can’t think of a better production to kick off the festive season! Nick and Ellie’s version of A Christmas Carol encapsulates all the magic of Dickens’ beloved classic, but in true Prescot and Shakespeare North Playhouse style, does things a little differently!”

A Christmas Carol will be running from the 25th of November 2022 to the 7th of January 2023. 

For more information and to book tickets head to Shakespeare North Playhouse’s website here or call our booking line 0300 303 4204. 

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