What is Christmas without the tale of Scrooge and “A Christmas Carol” in some format? Over the years we have seen various renditions on screen and in Theatres, but non struck me, and left such an impact as that of Hull Trucks rendition of this classic. On Tuesday evening I met one of my fabby friends down in Hull to go check it out, and had a fabulous festive evening of laughter, emotion of all kinds, and many a reflection of life and what this season is all about!

Adapted from Dickens A Christmas Carol, director Amy Leach brings Charles Dickens classic into Hull – complete with an incredible set, Hull accents, gags, music and chilling ghouls. It is, and was an incredible performance, and I have never felt such a roller-coaster of emotions before in such a short space of time!

From sadness and compassion at the scene of illness and poverty, to fear, laughter, joy and contemplation brought to us through the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future. I sat in anticipation at each ghost that appeared, spine chilling and creepy, and tension filled the air throughout as each one was presented in such a creative and magnificent way. I have never seen anything like it on stage – the costumes were unbelievable; with Marley’s creepy chains and harrowing presence, to the ghost of Christmas past glowing and moving in a way that made me hope she didn’t get any closer! I can’t even comment on the Ghost of Christmas Future as I could barely look I was the spooked!!! Mixed in with the dim lighting and smoke, these scenes were done in an amazing way and had us on the edge of our seats.

In contrast we saw “Present” burst into life with a jovial spirit, jokes and accompanied with music and dancing, decked in colour and sparkle! One minute I wanted to run, the next I wanted to burst in song with them all! It was absolutely brilliant and with such a small cast, the quick changes between characters and costumes were executed seamlessly.

It opens on the docks of Hull, dark, smoggy and dingy, and a place where sickness is apparent and poverty and suffering are ripe. What is Christmas for these people? How can joy be found in this area of the world? Who will help those who face increasing debt and a need for the simple necessities of life?

We are all familiar with the great change that then comes with in Ebeneezer Scrooge, as through 3 ghostly visitors he is given an opportunity to have his eyes opened to those around him, and his power to be able to help. He is given a change to renew himself and write a new chapter. It remains true to much of Dickens classics with a few extras thrown in for good measure!

From gags, to music and an incredible set, and costumes, it is creative, captivating and a marvellous show throughout. It captures you from the start and takes you on a journey that as a spectator will leave you wondering what more you can do?

It is a great symbol of Hull story and how it itself has been lifted from a label of modern poverty through “The city of Culture”, into a more hopeful future.

Since seeing “A Christmas Carol” at Hull Truck Theatre on Tuesday evening, I have not stopped telling people how great and spooky it was, and recommending it. it was absolutely spectacular and very memorable – a must see this season no doubt. As I watched it and have the goal participate in #LightTheWorld this season, it is a true reminder of our own powers of charity. Let us use the opportunities around us, to live our lives in the present and make the best of the opportunities we have to share with others the spirit of this season, and bring joy and light to them.

A Christmas Carol is been shown at Hull Truck Theatre, in the heart of Hull, right now until Saturday 6th January. Tickets vary between £10 – £22! I wouldn’t take young kids as its quite scary, but am considering taking Ethan (maybe) who is 7. 

*Thank you to Hull Truck Theatre for allowing me the opportunity to come and review this performance in return for a review. Pictures are thanks to Andrew Billingham 

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Yesterday I went with the majority of Naths fam to see “A Christmas Carol” at a fairly newly opened theatre in Beverley or rather one I never knew existed until yesterday… it was absolutely mint! The theatre was small which I love as it feels so personable and there were only a handful of actors, again something I love because they really get to showcase their talents as they flit between characters. Don’t be fooled though because small does not mean poor or amateur, the effects and use of stage were fantastic, music and performance engaging and brilliant! Overall it had an excellent balance of emotion, tradition and humour, it was produced and delivered in rather an abstract way which made it unique and as it was 8+ it was also Ethan and Megan free so uninterrupted – bliss! The music was brilliant and young singers especially were sensational.

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A sneaky shot of the finale – please excuse my poor photography

I absolutely loved it! I love the theatre anyway but it was so well done and being with a lot of family always equates to a good laugh/day out. I have read and seen so many versions of A Christmas Carol in my life, but I never fail to be touched by Scrooges quote following the visitations of the spirits;

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!” 

I never expected it though to ring so true to me this year but after loosing Poppy 4 months ago it really made me reflect and taught me a couple of lessons as I evaluated how this Christmas had been.
Like with Scrooges experiences when we remember things that are in our past it can tear us up, it can bring sadness, heartache, regret even, it can also bring happiness and Joy but for me I related as I remember the sadness of this year and the difficulties associated with the build up to the season. Though I have been viewing this as a negative thing I can also look at the many lessons and opportunities for change loosing a child has given me, it sounds odd to say that but really there are times when I feel the loss of Poppy brought us both a new perspective in life and with that new goals, new wants and new desires for what we hope for in life..until this Christmas I found this a negative effect, of course all I want is my baby girl, of course it breaks my heart at what has happened but I cannot change it and thinking about the “what ifs” will only eat away at me bringing more sadness and more anger, but the more I think about it the more it can be a time for us to change what we dont like in life, get rid of what burdens us as spend less time focusing on things that are gone that we cannot control, in order to heal and in order to be in control of grief it is essential to not spend time on thinking of how things could have been if only this or that were different or If I had or hadnt done this then things would be different.. we all do our best and sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes despite our very best efforts life just doesnt go how we would like, the past can teach us to be stronger, to fight more and dream bigger…

Christmas present taught me that with infant loss the build up is worse than the event itself, other than occasionally feeling somewhat deflated, both Christmas eve and Christmas day were peaceful and I felt a portion of my heart was healed as we reflected on the birth of Christ, the birth of salvation, sung carols and songs, gave gifts and laughed together and of course ate a load of yummy food. I’m glad I chose to spend the time with our family and that the Christmas spirit was abundant because I feel a little lighter and as I said a little more healed. I found a beautiful poem (Courtesy of Pinterest) on Christmas Day that though emotional to read brought so much comfort to me and warmth:
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So as I approach the new year and look to how I will live in the future, I know it will be hard, I know from others I will always feel sadness at my loss and I will always find the build up of anniversaries and Christmas tough but as I remember her I can also remember the good times, how she has helped me be more understanding of others, more sensitive to the pain of others, more firm in my faith, more desire to mother better and the special place she will forever hold in our hearts and our family. I have learnt this Christmas time that though things in life are unbelievably tough at times we can find peace and we can find Joy, these thoughts and lessons will strive within me in hope that I can continue to feel happiness and joy despite the hearty problems of our life.

Life may not always go to plan and it is likely we will face heartache and difficulty but do not let that be your whole future, let each painful day strengthen you for a better future and seek a moment of joy in the present to help you survive it all, however painful our life is I have learnt that to shut out the lessons that they teach would be very foolish and like Scrooge, potentially soul destroying.

Ps – If you are in the Yorkshire area, get yourself to East riding theatre very soon and see the excellent production of “A Christmas Carol”

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