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This year the Citizens Theatre, which is a professional theatre, performed the well known pantomime “Scrooge”.

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Introduction

This year the Citizens Theatre, which is a professional theatre, performed the well known pantomime "Scrooge". I have been to the Citizens Theatre many times previous to seeing "Scrooge". The Citizens Theatre is internationally recognized theatre with a proscenium arch stage and shows a variety of different plays, some very traditional and some very contemporary. As a child I was always amazed by the set and costumes used in the Citz's pantomimes, it seamed that no corners were cut. So with this in mind I expected, not so much of a panto, but more of a theatrical performance with great visuals and I would say I was correct to say this. I am fairly familiar with the pantomime "Scrooge" adapted from the Charles Dickens' book "A Christmas Carol" as I have seen it in other theatres prior to this year at the Citz. The Citz's, I thought was maybe not as traditional as the other versions but it was equally, if not more so, entertaining. I went to the pantomime twice whilst it was on, first with my peers and then with young children. IT was very interesting to see how they both reacted. The Story of "Scrooge" is about a man called Ebenezer Scrooge, a wealthy business man full of greed counting every penny entering and parting his pocket. On Christmas Eve he is visited by the ghost of his deceased business partner Jacob Marley, who has come to warn Scrooge of what awaits him if he carries on with his greediness. ...read more.

Middle

He appears from the floor when Scrooge's light suddenly cuts out. His costume is amazing with a death gown shredded with blood smeared across it to signify that he is dead and has been tortured for his sinful life. Although impressive, Jacob Marley's entrance was quite alarming and younger children found it quite scary, especially along with the chains on his wrists and ankles acting as the chains binding him to hell. Compared the quietness of the room before, this huge explosion of noise is very effective. He comes to warn scrooge and is desperate to get the message to him, we can tell this by the way in which he attempts to get closer to him but the chains stop him, there is also wind blowing against him stopping him making contact with Scrooge. The rough tone of voice that Jacob Marley uses also shows us how desperate he is as he used a low pitch at a medium pace but at such a loud degree that they seem like he's screaming. Whilst Jacob Marley is visiting Scrooge there are background noises of screams and chains which made the atmosphere even tenser along with the dim lighting. Jacob Marley stands out in the play because of his dramatic movements with him grabbing for Scrooge and the actor manages to make this the scariest part of the play. My favorite character in the play was Bob Cratchit because he carried through the theme that you don't need money to be happy but love. ...read more.

Conclusion

Ultra-violet lights were used and in the dark the figures really stood out making them seem ghostly. All the actors sang the Christmas carol "In the Deep Midwinter" which is very slow somber tone. Smoke machines were used adding to the spooky atmosphere and bringing the mood right to the audience. If I had been directing the play I would've changed very little. I would've changed the pantomime qualities to it as they were neither one thing nor the other. I think it was just attempting to turn it into a traditional panto which it quite clearly was not. I would make the lighting less shocking as, at points it was not so pleasant on the eyes of audience and they needed to turn away, distracting them from the play. The visuals were excellent, the costumes, set and make-up were all impressive. I think that there was definitely a message in the play was that money is not as important as love and will not bring you happiness unless it spreads happiness. The play showed this by making Scrooge an unlikable person at the start when he was full of greed, and then a happier man when he finally realized there is more to life than possessions. Although it was a pantomime, which is meant for the family, I would not say it was suitable for young children as they could find it quite scary but after the age of ten it was suitable for all and I'm sure enjoyed by all. I really enjoyed "Scrooge" and the atmosphere of the theatre and would definitely make a point of going to see the Citz panto next year. ...read more.

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