A Christmas Carol
Report by Mrs Parker
An adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, written and directed by Jack Hoskins our new Head of Drama, was successfully performed on 29 and 30 November, culminating in a fantastic last night on Saturday 1 December. This aptly seasonal story tells the tale of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, how he is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve - and how he learns to become generous and welcome the true Christmas Spirit into his heart and home.
This challenging venture has been in rehearsal since the start of term, and has aimed to be inclusive: the casting was originally open to all in Years 11, 12 and 13 - then grew even larger as some students from Year 10 were drafted in too. By the nights of the show, approximately 70 students were involved in the cast, technical crew, backstage and front of house.
The atmosphere of this adaptation was set appropriately by the haunting a cappella singing of Nicola R, with verses from Silent Night. Then our narrator, Charles Dickens himself, played by a mesmerising Kent-Harris R, opened his toy-box of characters. Influenced by steam-punk style, five of our Year 10 embodied The Mechanicals, and brought on the players of the story itself: the people of London. They also controlled and revealed scenes in the moving pod, opening the gauze doors to let us into worlds of work and home.
Jolley G carried the considerable weight of the role of Ebenezer Scrooge brilliantly, scowling, grumbling and snapping at everyone - and only gradually realising the error of his ways. As the continual link throughout the narrative, Jolley brought his natural stage charisma to the Ogstoun stage once again with enormous success.The most famous ghost, Marley, complete with chains made his first appearance via multiple screen images, then manifested in “person” - captured with great force by Fabian J.
Although it is impossible to list everyone in the cast in this review, mention must be made of our multiple ghosts; Christmas Past - Georgie I, Letty H and Poppy M - floating, silvery, eerie and child-like, Christmas Present - Hermione D M, Saskia B and Katie H - scarily funny, roaring fit to make Brian Blessed proud, resplendent in red velvet and, yes, green hair, and Christmas Future, embodied by huge ghost puppet, but brought to life by Louisa R, Nicola R, Ellie L and Alice D, manipulating the spirit and Scrooge with their unearthly choral speaking.
Many cameo roles and multi-role play by the rest of the cast provided a strong sense of ensemble as Scrooge was transformed into Uncle Ebenezer. The performances were supported hugely by the World of Tech, via microphones, vocal effects, underscore, sound effect, projections, mood lighting fit to challenge the best of cameras, and last but never least, the SMOKE. Rob Parker lead his team over many hurdles to whip wayward equipment into submission in time. Right beside Jack Hoskins was a team of Kim Barton, Sarah DaBell, Laura Bowman and Laura Parker - covering the rest of production values: costume, props, hair, make-up and cast-care.
Well done, congratulations and many thanks all round - to performers and production crew, to audience and refectory. Merry Christmas and God Bless Us Every One.
Follow this link for more pictures from A Christmas Carol.