SCROOGE, glorious Scrooge! Now what can we say about the oul’ divil incarnate, Ebenezer Scrooge? Breathing life into Dickens’ timeless tale for the season, ‘A Christmas Carol’, is a Limerick production that will entertain and delight at Belltable this weekend Friday 15 and Saturday 16, 8pm.
“This is the third run of ‘Scrooge’ in 20 years. We first did it in Georgian House in 1997, a site specific production that began in the foyer, moved through the salon and out to the stables in the garden.”
The reminiscence is that of Margaret Hough of Spotlight Stage School. She is director and devisor of this “choral adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’. Note, it is not a musical!”
For this work Margaret brings forward the 21-strong choir with which she sings, award winning Seoda Chamber Choir, and the Actors Co-op. Together they staged ‘Scrooge’ last year with the great John Finn RIP as Dickens. Brian McNamara is Ebenezer, a man who would peel an orange in his pocket, lest he have to share it.
“This production is dedicated to John’s memory,” Margaret makes clear, having buried her friend and collaborator three months ago. Indeed, his sister Bríd Finn is stage manager and prop artist for this nostalgic piece for which choir member Brenda Murray designed and made the purple hooded robes of twilight.
Michael Young is on piano; Maire Keary Scanlon conducts the 80-minute ode to altruism and opening our hearts. “The breadth of work that Maire does is phenomenal,” observes Margaret, and all say aye to that.
Now for cast members: Brian McNamara’s College Players pal Padhraic Hastings is Dickins/ Poole/ Tutor and Nigel Dugdale is Bob Cratchet and mob member.
“Nigel Mercier is treading the boards for the first time in over 20 years – I’m very proud of that. Brian McNamara in character just gets richer all the time, he is beautifully nuanced and phrased. We have a boy soprano as Tiny Tim, Roan McCaffrey who is the most magnificent soprano.”
Novelist Roisin Meaney has several parts as with Kim Bourke, Eoghan Cantillon Mann and the Hennessys, Aoife and Amber. Look out for new additions, Clapton’s ‘Tears in Heaven’ from Roan, the ‘Pie Jesu’, Elgar’s ‘Snow’. Lovely.
Book for this theatrical Dickens fest on www.limetreetheatre.ie