Scrooge: A One-Man Christmas Carol Show is a modernised reimagining of the Charles Dickens’ timeless tale ‘A Christmas Carol’. Directed by Ewa Emini, in this tale, we meet a modern-day businessman ‘Scrooge’ as he evolves in his career, and the depths he goes to in order to succeed. The concept of having a modern-day Scrooge is effective, as it brings relatable elements into the performance that give opportunities for the audience to reflect on and resonate with.
Joe Facer does an incredible job of bringing the cynical, and quite frankly, evil Scrooge to life. Facer is relentless and enthralling from the offset so that you are instantly drawn into Scrooge’s character and find yourself questioning the reasons to the breakdown of his psyche. Bringing the story to life, Facer plays an array of other characters with quick costume changes, or changes in physical characterisations and his performance is commendable.
The staging is fairly simple, but Facer uses the space well. Entering and leaving through doors on the stage to change characters, and moving around erratically, using different layers to encapsulate the change in Scrooge’s emotional state. Facer often interacts with the audience in a desperate attempt for his character to gain human interaction, and this works incredibly well.
Sound effects and voiceovers are used to support the storytelling, and whilst they worked to some effect, sound issues on the video recording led to some of the dialogue being drowned out, making it difficult to follow the plot in parts. There is good use of lighting to dictate when Scrooge’s character changes from past, present and future, and good use of blue spotlights to portray the more emotional parts of the piece.
Whilst Facer managed to deliver an engaging piece as a one-man show, playing an array of different characters and trying to fit this all into a short run time, left the piece feeling slightly confusing and lacklustre. The piece seems slightly rushed overall, and whilst themes of mental health are briefly explored, there seems to be a lack of depth to them.
Overall, Scrooge: A One-Man Christmas Carol Show has the potential to spin a classic tale into a modern retelling, making a thought-provoking and relatable piece of theatre. Facer is an incredible performer and with some fine-tuning on the production elements and the script, this could be an incredibly captivating and unique perspective.