November 01, 2002

A Christmas Carol

After being involved in one way or another with twelve of the previous Pirton Players’ productions, it was exciting and refreshing to be a member of the audience for a change, and to experience the show ‘for one night only!’.

And what a superb evening it was – thanks to the vision of the Director Paul Kerswill, and the obvious hard work of the well-chosen cast. Opening with a modern day family settling down to a story about a certain Mr. Scrooge, the action moved to a set in keeping with the unique atmosphere that Dickens created for this timeless tale.

Tom Gammell was born to play the role of Scrooge (sorry Tom!), and carried it off with just the right mixture of gruffness and “humbug”! Equally you also felt sorry for Scrooge as the play progressed… there was a very strong sense of a real person underneath the mask, whose heart was breaking as he realised how tragic his life had become.

There were some wonderful effects, particularly where a portrait hanging above the fireplace ‘moved’ and rippled when Jacob Marley wanted to make his presence felt – and the light used to send Scrooge to other scenes in his past / present / future was especially effective.

There were many other fine performances, including a hilarious pair of Charity Workers (Jill Rogers & Sarah Farr) who had obviously spent far too long in each other’s company as they did everything in unison; Dennis Sexton who as the Ghost of Christmas Present was simply resplendent in a costume that appeared to leap off the stage; and several mature performances by Daniel Eccles (Tiny Tim), Alasdair Warwicker, Harry Bethell and Rosie Eccles as well.

Live music was even provided between Acts II and III by a group of talented ‘minstrels’ and this gave momentary relief from the dark mysterious atmosphere that had been expertly created over the previous two acts. The set design was ingenious, and worked well – although Spartan it was perfectly in keeping with the play, and one’s imagination was sparked on many occasions as something caught your eye that (perhaps) wasn’t really there!

Congratulations to everyone involved with the production – it was entertaining, amusing, and enthralling. Just the right way to start the run up to Christmas and to leave you with many questions in the back of your mind. Roll on 2003 and the varied programme of “Our Country’s Good” and “Oliver!” which will, I’m sure, be of the same extremely high standard. [Review by Steve Thorpe]

Director  -  Paul Kerswill

Producer - Dudley Gentle

Cast

Agnes  -  Janet Tackley
Apprentice Scrooge  -  Neil Insull
Belinda Crachit  -  Kaitlin Warwicker
Bob Crachit  -  Dudley Gentle
Boy  -  Kaffe Jungreuthmayer
Businessman  -  Graham Gibbs
Businessman  -  Peter Johnson
Businessman  -  Neil Insull
Charity Worker  -  Jill Rogers
Charity Worker  -  Sarah Farr
Cockney  -  Lorna Sexton
Cockney  -  Helen Walker
Emma Fezziwig  -  Danielle Turnbull
Fanny Fezziwig  -  Hannah Dawson
First Girl  -  Valentina Sexton
Fred  -  Paul Ribbans
Ghost of Christmas Future  -  Harry Bethel
Ghost of Christmas Past  -  Janet Tackley
Ghost of Christmas Present  -  Dennis Sexton
Lad  -  Alasdair Warwicker
Marley (and Young Marley)  -  Richard Eccles
Martha Crachit  -  Rosie Eccles
Mr Fezziwig  -  Peter Johnson
Mrs Crachit  -  Susie Warwicker
Mrs Fezziwig  -  Julie Dawson
Peter Crachit  -  Cameron Warwicker
Sarah Crachit  -  Sarah Milton
Scrooge  -  Tom Gammell
Second Girl  -  Molly Kerswill
Sprite  -  Eleanor Dawson
Sprite  -  Alasdair Warwicker
Sprite  -  Kaitlin Warwicker
Sprite  -  Molly Kerswill
Tiny Tim  -  Daniel Eccles
Young Scrooge  -  Kaffe Jungreuthmayer

Crew

Box Office  -  Sarah Farr
Costume Hire  -  Harlequin Hire
Costumes  -  Helen Walker
Director  -  Paul Kerswill
Foyer Design  -  Ann Fausset
Front of House  -  Derek Jarrett
Lighting  -  Neil Shearer
Musician  -  Valmai Guess
Musician  -  Helen Walker
Musician  -  Susie Welch
Musician  -  Peter Harding
Musician  -  Maxine Shearer
Musician  -  Roger Blackburn
Producer  -  Dudley Gentle
Programme  -  Penny Picken
Programme  -  Juliet Alexander
Props  -  Liz Chapman
Props  -  Liz Gentle
Publicity  -  Jill Rogers
Refreshments  -  Pam Finbow
Set Construction  -  Graham Gibbs
Set Design  -  Beth Harding
Sound  -  Dave Wallace
Sound  -  Keiron Jones
Stage Manager  -  Val Bryant
Tea Lady  -  Pat Duffy
Tea Lady  -  Hilda Handscombe
Wardrobe & Make-up  -  Dawn Ribbans

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