A Christmas Carol by Liverpool University Drama Society

In the theatre, no matter what kind of actor you are, there is a golden, perhaps even platinum rule that should always be observed. If you’re performing in a theatre anywhere, remember: The show must go on. Ellipsis can happily report that this message wasn’t lost on the LUDS team who performed their closing night performance of A Christmas Carol in the Harold Wilson room by hook or by crook.

Outside of their usual haunt, the Stanley Theatre, Liverpool University Drama Society hosted a more intimate show in one of the Liverpool University Guild’s upper rooms. The lack of a stage brought the audience closer to the play, and with it created a more relaxed ambience, aiding the comedic stylings of the evening.

The acting talent on display was, as is expected from LUDS, excellent. Cast highlights included the fantastic Frances Denman who gave a nuanced performance as the Ghost of Christmas Past; while the show is a comedic one, she demonstrated considerable dramatic skills that could lend itself to a bigger, more serious play – keep your eyes peeled for her in the coming months. Also turning in a great performance was the narrator, Shaun Murray, whose class act in the role was the glue that held the show together. As the title character, Guy Nichols did a terrific job as Ebenezer Scrooge, including a fantastic bit where he stayed completely in character through the intermission – great dedication.

However, the overall production of the play didn’t go off without a hitch. The play was littered with little ‘incidents’ that stopped it from being a truly perfect show; highlights included The Ghost Of Christmases Yet to Come visibly corpsing several times, tripping over props, and accidentally dropping a massive profanity to the biggest ovation of the night (You thought you’ve had bad days at work…), Ebenezer ‘accidentally’ getting soaked with water, and part of the set collapsing onto the audience. Yet, warts and all, the play was still an entertaining runaway success as the cast were able to recover from these incidents brilliantly; and since the production was already a highly tongue-in-cheek affair, everybody still had fun, which is perhaps the most important thing to bear in mind concerning a play like this – the cast stuck the landing, and that’s all anyone will remember.

Similar to their production of Hamlet, this run of A Christmas Carol was in aid of charitable causes: this time for Barnardo’s, the organisation working with at-risk children and young adults.

As a whole, the LUDS’ production of A Christmas Carol wasn’t perfect, but in making mistakes, the cast collectively showed how good they were by keeping the show going on, which is the most important thing. All in all, their production made for a very merry Christmas.

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