Where can I begin with my review of Elmhurst’s production of Charles Dickens a Christmas Carol?
Well, what a night! I would have gladly paid a shilling or two to spend the evening being entertained by this wonderful group of boys. Lucky for me it was free.
Let’s talk about these pint-sized thespians. I’ll start by saying it was an unbelievably mature performance. Testament not only to their passion for the performing arts but to their drama teacher Mr. Brook who must moonlight as a magician because he conjured up such an impressive performance from his cast. The carefully choreographed scenes were performed to perfection by boys that frankly not only executed the play with faultless performances but also managed to tap dance on our emotions, swinging between humour and empathy like pros.
The brilliant set design, inspired use of lighting, excellent composition of the musical score all added to the professional feel. It was easy to see that a great deal of care had been taken over every detail which when all combined made this a standout show in my many… many years of dutiful parental audience attendance.
I didn’t feel the need to check my emails or wish I had remembered my headphones. I was enthralled from the moment the mist started flowing and the play opened with the haunting solo vocal performance by Alexander. Time whisked away, and in the blink of an eye, we found ourselves erupting in applause, showering praise on the phenomenal cast. Alexander took care of all the musical flourishes pretty much on his own. Not missing a beat during the whole play.
Emilian cheeky portrayal of Bob Cratchit and Haresh’s woeful Scrooge brought Dickens’ characters to life in a way that tickled my funny bone and pulled at my heartstrings. Zayan, as the near-death Tiny Tim, had us all in stitches, with his fretful parents grinning like holiday elves over their supposedly ailing son on a table.
The costumes were a stroke of genius. The humorously blood-stained apron on Fezziwig reminded us of his undertaker role, Scrooge’s silk dressing gown exuded Peter Sellers vibes, and Bob Cratchit’s colossal corduroy jacket was a sartorial triumph.
Yet, beyond the splendid aesthetics, it was the camaraderie among the boys that truly stole the spotlight. Whether a line slipped from memory or not, there was always a supportive prompt, turning potential pitfalls into seamless moments. Their on-stage solidarity was a heartening spectacle.
I’m already counting down the days to the musical. Bravo, Elmhurst! You Sleighed it.
By The Stage Sage