Its nearing Christmas and the theatre world is beginning to hum and whine with the oncoming season of celeb-driven pantomime, Nutcrackers and carol singing specials. A perennial favourite for all those who like a trip to the theatre as part of their Christmas festivities is A Christmas Carol, as heartwarming and comforting as chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
A very promising production of this much-loved but somewhat overdone Dickens staple is the one-man Patrick Stewart version at the Albery from 7th December. In true Ebeneezer Scrooge style, our beloved shiny-headed ex-Starfleet Captain and leader of mutantkind has hogged all the roles for himself and will be playing the famed miser as well as the ghosts, Bob Cratchit and - gawd bless us, everyone! - Tiny Tim. We're not sure how he's going to do it but by golly, we're keen to see him try. Clearly he manages it well as Captain Picard - sorry, Professor X - no, wait, Patrick Stewart was given an Olivier award for the original production back in 1993.
This one-man Christmas Carol is up against the slightly more crowded production Scrooge the Musical, complete with songs, dance and Tommy Steele at the London Palladium. For theatre-goers the choice is hard: basking in the glow of Steele's cockney miser and multitudinous stage school darlings dancing their little hearts out as downtrodden but picturesque Victorian paupers... or relishing the Royal Shakespeare Company intonations of our man Paddy "doing" Tiny Tim. The choice is yours. Make it so!
Scrooge the Musical is currently at the London Palladium, more information and booking available here. A Christmas Carol opens at The Albery on 6th December, more information and booking available here.