“Bah Humbug!” — LUTG presents a loyal adaptation of A Christmas Carol


On December the 3rd, a full audience was treated to Lancaster University Theatre Group’s A Christmas Carol. Performed in the Jack Hylton Room in County College, this was one of the three plays created by the society this term, the others being After Life and Brief Encounter.

The story, originally written by Charles Dickens in 1843 is a beloved classic. Set in a town in Victorian Britain, Scrooge (played by Ian Quint Leisner) is a selfish miser who will not give even a penny to those who wish to be his friend. Through dealing with themes of family, the joy of giving and the meaning of the holiday with the help of the Ghosts of Christmas Past, present and Future, the old man learns to find tenderness in his heart and rejoice in the festive spirit of the season.

The play retained a serious tone overall with small bursts of humour, but seeped into morbid territory upon the arrival of the Ghost of Christmas Future. Wearing a costume inspired by a 17th century plague doctor, with one long, spindly claw, the foreboding theme of death drifted eerily through the JHR and had the audience fall into silence.

“Imogen crafted the ‘Ghost of Christmas Future’ costume using papier machè for the mask and dark material for the eyes.” Explained Floris Bujard, stage manager. “The main body of the costume was composed of a recycled graduation gown, layered with a clock, long spindly fingers made from paper and black tape.” Which she stumbled upon on Pinterest. “Ultimately, we wanted the ‘Ghost of Christmas Future’ costume to reflect the notion of death, whilst also remaining true to the original design of the character.”

The production began its promotional campaign on the 19th of October, posting daily on its Instagram account until the show dates. It accumulated 130 followers.

Due to its age, A Christmas Carol is now within the public domain and can be used without restriction in creative projects. The team seized this opportunity to write this stage-play adaptation based almost entirely on the original sentences used within the novel. Whilst this approach was a successful in creating a faithful retelling of the tale, perhaps what truly brought the set to life was the talents of the cast. Every person involved gave an abundance of effort when immersing the audience into their world, and having the interval serve as a moment of interactive theatre between ourselves and the actors was a fun addition to the evening.

“It’s been a great privilege to write, adapt, and direct LUTGs production of A ‘Christmas Carol’” said director and writer Isaac Gavin. “I am extremely proud of everyone involved. This show didn’t exist eight weeks ago, with the script being finished in less than a week!”

Isaac notably emphasised how important it was to work as a team, and how much his friends had contributed to the success.

“It has been massively rewarding, and the talent on display from the cast and crew is phenomenal.” He said. “It’s been a pleasure, and I want to thank Jasper Isaacs and Floris Bujard especially as without them there would be no show for me to direct.”

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