Review: ‘A Christmas Carol’, Pendle Borderline, Colne Muni

Pendle Borderline Theatre Company's cast for this week's "A Christmas Carol" at the Muni in Colne

Pendle Borderline Theatre Company's cast for this week's "A Christmas Carol" at the Muni in Colne

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THERE is lots of fun in this week’s production of “A Christmas Carol” at The Muni in Colne - it is Dickens difference!

Staged by Pendle Borderline Theatre Company, it is based on the delightful Dickens story but adapted by David Robertson and directed by Peter Allen.

And on the opening night it went down very well with the audience.

You expect to see people like Scrooge at the start, but when the cast in Victorian costumes walk round The Muni you find its a modern era - it reveals they are actually “Pendle Carol Singers”, who are planning to sing all over Colne including Asda! But they the singers then decide to stage Dickens - and it turns into “A Christmas Carol”.

The lively cast plays all sorts of great roles, and are joined by a key violinist - Emily Hawke - who also provides lots of entertainment.

Borderline have staged it to mark the 200th anniversary of Dickens’ birth.

Alan Hargreaves is very entertaining when he becomes Scrooge - it is quite an active performance and he is a great character. Other cast members play all sorts of different things. There are three generations of the Bailey family taking part.

Alan plays Jacob Marley’s ghost and other people, son Simon Bailey is Scrooge’s nephew, Bob Cratchit’s wife and lots of different characters, and granddaughter Rachel also appears as lots of varied people.

John Cummings is the Ghost of Christmas Present and Lynne Cummings plays both the Ghost of Christmas Past and Bob Cratchit. Other parts are performed with skill by Lily Arkwright and Kerry Smith. They are all great personalities providing lots of presence on stage.

So who plays Tiny Tim, then? No one - it’s a very realistic puppet!

And there is lots of good carol singing as well as a whole series of classy violin sounds. It starts as a “Star of Wonder”, and other attractions include “O Little Town of Bethlehem”, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, “We Wish you a Merry Christmas”, “Comfort and Joy”, “Ding Dong Merrily on High” and “Good King Wenceslas”.

So it is a lively performance and there were lots of claps on the opening night. There are great costumes and the scene looks simple but well.

You can enjoy “A Christmas Carol” at The Muni tonight, Friday and Saturday, at 7-30pm.

Peter Dewhurst