A Christmas Carol, The Hippodrome, Bristol Review

A sparkling visual feast for the eyes and easy on the ears, BLOC Productions brings Dickens’s heart-warming story, A Christmas Carol, to the stage as a musical extravaganza, whilst losing nothing of the pathos and magic of the story. There are some glorious ghostly special effects, a terrific tap-dancing sequence and rousing singing to set you in the mood for the festive season.

Simon Vardakis is outstanding as our miserly Scrooge, barking bah-humbug at every opportunity whilst waiting to have the error of his ways shown to him by the three spirits, the ghost of Christmas past played by Dani Copperstone who has a fabulous voice, the lively and energetic Christmas present taken up with gusto by Tom Carron and the dark and foreboding Christmas future was wonderfully terrifying danced by Jessica Bell. But not before Kieren Logan-Gallen made us gasp as Jacob Marley anchored in the afterlife by weighty chains and cash boxes but still managing to fly about the stage at speed.

The delightful Mr and Mrs Fezziwig brought to life in great style by David Evans and Louise Couzens threw an annual Christmas Ball of such amazing proportions that I wished I’d been invited myself and their protestations of festive fun could have melted even the stoniest of hearts, even Mr Scrooge. The beleaguered Cratchit family Bob (Michael Griffiths), and his wife Emily (Emma Griffiths) were a tender reminder that money doesn’t equal happiness and not forgetting Tiny Tim, a confident debut performance from young Tommy Marks. Jaryd Evans as the youthful Scrooge has a fine voice, as does Belle his lady love played by Amber Mears-Brown.

We really enjoyed the show which has a full orchestra, always a bonus, terrific costumes and at the end the audience were covered in a light dusting of snow just to make it the perfect Christmas experience!

Jacquie Vowles

14 Nov – Sat 18 Nov 2023, St Augustine’s Parade, Bristol, BS1 4UZ


  • Mike Lewis
    November 16, 2023 at 8:03 am

    A first class version of the festive tale. Christmas is never Christmas until I’ve seen at least two versions of this fabulous tale. This year Christmas arrived a little early at the Bristol Hippodrome. Costumes and scenery were first class. The snow falling on the audience at the end was a lovely surprise! The acting and singing throughout were excellent and a memorable variation on the familiar tale came when Bob Cratchit fainted when Scrooge gave him a rise. The audience reaction is the giveaway to a show. Despite being only half full, the response at the end was spontaneously loud and enthusiastic. One nitpick. The orchestra rather drowned out some of the speech in the early stages. One fault with modern head mics. But it would be churlish to emphasise that small technical problem. The orchestra overall were very good and added to a warm feeling throughout the show. This is a lovely version of Dickens tale and all credit to the cast and production team. A thoroughly enjoyable evening. It was also lovely to see the familiar, smiling face of Sherrie Eugene Hart, signing at the side of the face

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