Studio32 brings festive joy to audiences

Studio32’s production of “A Christmas Carol” played to sell-out performances at the Cardenal Belluga Theatre, San Fulgencio last week. Audiences were treated to a wonderful mix of songs, dances and festive cheer as the company presented Charles Dickens’ classic story of Scrooge in a gloriously entertaining musical production.

This talented company are well-known for the summer musicals, but this is the first time that they have moved away from pantomime for their winter show. Studio32’s chairman Philip Wilson commented: “This year brings to fruition the company’s aim to focus entirely on musical theatre. This is the first full-scale musical that we have staged in winter, and my sincerest thanks go to all of our company have worked so hard to bring together this major production.”

Set in Dickensian London Ebenezer Scrooge is transformed on Christmas Eve by three ghosts who visit him and persuade him to change his miserly ways. Bill Nicholson gave a strong performance as the lead character Ebenezer Scrooge, a major challenge for any actor as he was very rarely off-stage.

Bill delivered some fine singing and acting, and there were wonderful charismatic moments as we saw the character evolve through the show. This culminated in a dramatic finale where the enlightened Ebenezer comes to realise that, far from being a humbug, Christmas and family are rather good things after all.

Alice Wakeford, Nick Morgan, and Lindsay Kendall gave excellent supporting performances as the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future respectively. All three performers demonstrated remarkable dancing talent as well as acting and singing, and audiences were treated to some wonderful tap dance routines, acrobat, and modern ballet.

Jacob Marley, both living and ghost, was played with confidence and style by Dianne Oliver who only took on the understudy role four weeks ago when someone was taken ill. A fine character performance, both solo and in company, the ghost song “Link By Link” was a particularly entertaining number.

This show featured many wonderful cameo roles, including Mr and Mrs Fezziwig played by Mervyn Williams and Bev McEwan, who led a rousing and cheery Christmas Ball scene that had audiences clapping along. This was countered by the more serious supporting roles of Bob Cratchit and his family, played by John Palmer, Alicia Wakeford, and Ashelie Oxley. A special mention has to be made for the part of Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit’s son. This complex character role was played with great sympathy by Jacob Baylis, who had the unforgettable final line to deliver – “God Bless Us Everyone”.

The company song and dance numbers were lively, entertaining, and full of colour and the chorus were clearly all working hard together. Some slick scene changes, a variety of interesting effects including snow and video projections, resulted in a show that left audiences calling for more in a rousing finale. Great entertainment, and the company have raised over 3,500 euros for charity with this show – what a wonderful start to the Christmas season!