A Christmas Carol - but not as we know it

Halifax Playhouse, King Cross Street
Halifax Playhouse, King Cross Street

Halifax Thespians: A Christmas Carol, The Playhouse, Halifax

Purists be warned - this is most definitely not a dramatisation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

The well-loved tale struck irreverent playwrights David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jnr as perfect fare for their Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society whose repertoire includes many a murdered classic.

It truly takes ‘am dram’ to new depths of deliberate comic ineptitude and amateur thespians of the first order are required to exhibit the woeful timing, shambolic stage management, bungled lines, missed cues, terrible piano playing and discordant singing, to say nothing of clashing personalities and off-stage irregularities of every description.

Halifax Thespians, directed here by Veronica Moran, relished their opportunity to show how “bad” they could be. Lesley Travis’s Thelma heroically tried to hold things together as Scrooge, but was scuppered by Brenda Chapel’s dominating PA Mrs Reece (Tiny Tim and four other parts) jollying the audience along with excruciating charades and community singing, Christine Thurlow’s Mercedes playing Bob Cratchit, Belle and a Boy with a limp and a neckbrace following an altercation with a supermarket trolley, Penny Wadsworth’s bright and bushy-tailed Felicity impersonating a motley set of characters, and Craig Tucker’s hapless Gordon, occasional ghost and bit-player, scene-shifter and general dogsbody. Some of the audience found it hilarious, others were clearly bemused.

On until Saturday, December 8.