What the Dickens? Classic Christmas tale becomes a musical

George O’Doherty, left, and Barry Park are appearing in Scrooge this December.

George O’Doherty, left, and Barry Park are appearing in Scrooge this December.

A MUSICAL re-telling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is being brought to life at the Old Mill Theatre this December.

Written by James Leisy and directed by Justin Freind, Scrooge is closely adapted from the music and screenplay from the 1970 film of the same name.

It follows the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge who, through greed, has lost all that is good but undergoes redemption on Christmas Eve after being visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

“Composer James Leisy calls Scrooge ‘a musical play’,” Justin said. “It has all the wonderful characters we know and love from A Christmas Carol and it’s a lot of fun for all the family.

“One of the biggest challenges directing this show is how to stage it – the Old Mill Theatre stage isn’t exactly huge so it’s been an interesting challenge trying to work out how we are going to set it and make it work.

Atira Shack, left, Hayley Grant, Craig Menner, Orlando Borg and Tahlia Menner play the Cratchit family in Scrooge.

Atira Shack, left, Hayley Grant, Craig Menner, Orlando Borg and Tahlia Menner play the Cratchit family in Scrooge.

“Also, with a cast of about 25, it’s a challenge where they will all go, even off-stage. I may have to hang some of them from the rafters because we only have two dressing rooms. But that’s the fun of live theatre and, in the end, it’s usually the challenges that make us want to do this.”

First performing at age seven with the Bridgetown Repertory Club, Justin has been on the stage ever since. He has appeared with the Midnite Youth Theatre Company, Music Theatre Company of WA, Regal Opera, Gilbert and Sullivan Society of WA, Music Spectrum and the West Australian Opera, as well as working in the UK and New Zealand.

“When the Old Mill Theatre was looking for a show to end 2016, I straight away thought of Scrooge,” Justin said. “I was musical director of the show at Melville four years ago and it’s a great one to do again.”

Barry Park plays the title role in Scrooge, a musical version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Barry Park plays the title role in Scrooge, a musical version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Scrooge plays at 7.30pm December 2, 3, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15 and 16 with 2pm matinees December 4 and 11. Tickets are $25, $20 concession – book at http://oldmilltheatre.com.au/tickets or on 9367 8719.

The heritage-listed Old Mill Theatre is on the corner of Mends Street and Mill Point Road, South Perth (opposite the Windsor Hotel and Australia Post).

 

 

Weekend Notes

Weekend Notes has run a story on Scrooge, which can be viewed at http://www.weekendnotes.com/scrooge-old-mill-theatre/