Events

Review: A humorous festive classic

Harriet Joyce reviews Incognito Theatre’s performance of A Christmas Carol

Alejandro Domingo as Scrooge in Incognito Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol
Alejandro Domingo as Scrooge (Credit – Incognito Theatre)

Incognito Theatre’s 60-seat space in Friern Barnet was sold out for the opening night of last month’s run of A Christmas Carol.

This version of Charles Dickens’ classic tale of a misanthrope forced to seek redemption when met with three Christmas spirits was directed by Bob Bradick, using Karen Louise Hebden’s Derby Playhouse stage adaptation of the Dickens’ novel, which casts a small number of actors in multiple roles.

The play engagingly sticks to the most significant parts of the original novel, such as the narration of Scrooge’s pessimistic character through the ensemble’s sometimes comical use of choral speaking.

Incognito’s cast were also extremely skilled at quick changes to deal with the creative challenge of having to play multiple roles. Their use of facial expressions and body language was extremely intricate and helped differentiate between the characters. It was specifically impressive at expressing the change of the characters’ social class, which is a central theme of A Christmas Carol.

The tongue-in-cheek performance also brilliantly broke the fourth wall with the audience to poke fun at the fact they were dealing with a slightly smaller budget in the special effects department than a large, professional theatre would have done.

The production successfully used the techniques of promenade theatre, with characters coming out of different stage and theatre entrances to fit with the theme of the omniscient narrator and all-knowing spirits.

The production was particularly well suited to the intimate theatre space in Holly Park Road where Incognito’s cast rehearse and perform their regular productions. Attending the opening night felt like joining a tight-knit community, with many members of the audience being family or previous members of the group, which has been staging productions since 1935.

That community atmosphere was enhanced by fantastically sung festive carols – with the musical direction led by Joey Bradick – that helped make Incognito’s A Christmas Carol a humorous, festive night out.

More information about Incognito Theatre and their upcoming productions can be found here: https://www.incognitotheatre.co.uk/

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