A Christmas Carol

Old Vic Theatre
The Cut, Waterloo, London

Public Previews: 20 November 2017
Opens: 29 November 2017
Closes: 20 January 2018

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Nearest Tube: Waterloo

Location street map

Show times
Mon 20 Nov at 7.30pm
Tue 21 Nov at 7.30pm
Wed 22 Nov at 7.30pm
Thu 23 Nov at 7.30pm
Fri 24 Nov at 7.30pm
Sat 25 Nov at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sun 26 Nov no shows

Mon 27 Nov at 7.30pm
Tue 28 Nov at 7.30pm
Wed 29 Nov at 7.00pm
Thu 30 Nov at 7.30pm
Fri 1 Dec at 7.30pm
Sat 2 Dec at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sun 3 Dec no shows

Mon 4 Dec at 7.00pm
Tue 5 Dec at 7.00pm
Wed 6 Dec at 1.00pm and 7.00pm
Thu 7 Dec at 7.30pm
Fri 8 Dec at 7.30pm
Sat 9 Dec at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sun 10 Dec no shows

Mon 11 Dec at 7.00pm
Tue 12 Dec at 7.00pm
Wed 13 Dec at 1.00pm and 7.00pm
Thu 14 Dec at 7.30pm
Fri 15 Dec at 7.30pm
Sat 16 Dec at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sun 17 Dec no shows

Mon 18 Dec at 7.00pm
Tue 19 Dec at 7.00pm
Wed 20 Dec at 1.00pm and 7.00pm
Thu 21 Dec at 7.30pm
Fri 22 Dec at 7.30pm
Sat 23 Dec at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sun 24 Dec no shows

Mon 25 Dec no shows
Tue 26 Dec at 7.30pm
Wed 27 Dec at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Thu 28 Dec at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Fri 29 Dec at 7.30pm
Sat 30 Dec at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sun 31 Dec at 2.30pm

Mon 1 Jan no shows
Tue 2 Jan at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Wed 3 Jan at 7.30pm
Thu 4 Jan at 7.30pm
Fri 5 Jan at 7.30pm
Sat 6 Jan at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sun 7 Jan no shows

Mon 8 Jan at 7.30pm
Tue 9 Jan at 7.30pm
Wed 10 Jan at 7.30pm
Thu 11 Jan at 7.30pm
Fri 12 Jan at 7.30pm
Sat 13 Jan at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sun 14 Jan no shows

Mon 15 Jan at 7.30pm
Tue 16 Jan at 7.30pm
Wed 17 Jan at 7.30pm
Thu 18 Jan at 7.30pm
Fri 19 Jan at 7.30pm
Sat 20 Jan at 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Runs ? hours and ? minutes

Seat prices
£? to £?
(plus booking fees if applicable)

A Christmas Carol

Jack Thorne's new stage adapation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol in London starring Rhys Ifans

On a bitter Christmas Eve night a cold-hearted miser is visited by four ghosts. Transported to worlds past, present and future, Ebenezer Scrooge witnesses what a lifetime of fear and selfishness has led to and sees with fresh eyes the lonely life he has built for himself. Can Ebenezer be saved before it's too late?

An uplifting family show suitable for ages 11 and above - contains haunting supernatural themes and some content which younger audiences may find upsetting.

The cast features Rhys Ifans as 'Ebenezer Scrooge'. Directed by Matthew Warchus with movement by Lizzi Gee, designs by Rob Howell, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, music by Chris Nightingale and sound by Simon Baker.

Rhys Ifans in A Christmas Carol in London at the Old Vic Theatre public previews from 20 November 2017, opens 29 November 2017 and closes 20 January 2018 - the first preview performance on Saturday 18 December 2017 has been cancelled


A Christmas Carol - Simon Callow 2016

Previewed 8 December 2016, Opened 15 December 2016, Closed 7 January 2017 at the Arts Theatre in London

Simon Callow stars in Charles Dickins' A Christmas Carol in London for a four week holiday season

As the ghosts spirit Scrooge from the present to his past and future, Dickens takes us on a magical journey from the miser's dank and creaking house to cosy hearths, and from snowy graveyards to joyful festivities. This treasured story offers a celebration of goodness, a plea for justice and the promise of redemption.

Based on Dickens' own performance adaptation, Simon Callow and director-designer Tom Cairns have created a one-man theatrical extravaganza of festive story-telling that is both heart-warming and deeply moving.

This production was originally seen in London here at the Arts Theatre in 2011 (previewed from 8 December 2011, opened on 10 December 2011 and closed on 14 January 2012) and again the following year (from 29 November 2012 to 6 January 2013). Simon Callow's West End credits include Sean Mathias' revival of Samuel Beckett's play Waiting For Godot, playing opposite Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, at the Haymarket Theatre in 2009, the leading role of 'Count Fosco' in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical The Woman in White at the Palace Theatre in 2005, Simon Gray's play The Holy Terror at the Duke of York's Theatre in 2004 and Peter Ackroyd's one-man play The Mystery of Charles Dickens which enjoyed a combined run of some six months firstly at the Harold Pinter Theatre in 2000, transferred to the Noel Coward Theatre in 2000, returned in 2002 and returned again to the Playhouse Theatre 2012.

When this production was originally seen in London here at the Arts Theatre in December 2011, Charles Spencer in The Daily Telegraph described it as being "Beautiful and magical" adding that "Simon Callow is an absolute master when it comes to Dickens, relishing the language, the social indignation, the humour and the magnificent greatheartedness of the writer who hastened his own death with passionate public readings of his work that held Victorian audiences spellbound... But what really matters in Tom Cairns's attentive production is Dickens's words, and Callow brings them to life with a precision and relish that holds his audience spellbound... There will be many bigger, flashier shows on offer this Christmas, but none, I suspect, that will leave one quite so warmed and moved as this one." Quentin Letts in The Daily Mail highlighted that "it is a measure of Simon Callow's skill - and Charles Dickens's story - that the evening works... It may not be the most visually arresting of evenings, but your mind supplies plenty of pictures. Lovely." Sam Marlowe in The Times explained how "the production, inspired by Dickens' own public readings, springs few surprises. But it glows with humour and compassion, and Simon Callow makes a masterly storyteller, tracing the tale's emotional journey with precision and relishing the writing's linguistic curlicues like mouthfuls of plum pudding... Callow and Tom Cairns adroitly handle the novel's blend of sentiment, celebration and social comment; the result is a piquant pleasure." Sarah Hemming in The Financial Times said that, "taking Dickens' own performances of the text as his starting point, Simon Callow gives what is basically an enhanced narration... Tom Cairns' staging is remarkably atmospheric... A quietly spellbinding piece of theatre." Lyn Gardner in The Guardian wrote that "Simon Callow and Charles Dickens go together like plum pudding and brandy butter, and there is a candied fruit richness to this one-man version. Its simplicity of staging - which draws on Dickens's own style used for public readings - gives the words a chance to breathe and implores the audience to bring their imaginations to the storytelling... Tom Cairns's design and direction offer a hint of fog, a sprinkling of snow and a tickle of fairylights, but the magic is in the writing that conjures not just ghosts, but Dickensian London itself, in all its dark poverty and blazing humanity... there is an appeal in its understated quality, and belief in the transforming power of stories." Simon Edge in The Daily Express commented how "it's refreshing to return to the original text in Simon Callow's warm-hearted and enthralling one-man show. Using the novelist's own performance version of the story, which Dickens used to read to large audiences, Callow dispenses with the Gothic cliches that tend to pile like snowdrifts around this seasonal tale... So this 75-minute show is not quite the phantasmagoria promised in the marketing and at times it's hard to shake the feeling that we are suffering the stinginess of the old Scrooge... But it's churlish to dwell on budgets when this is such an impeccably performed piece that returns so unfussily to Dickensian basics."

Simon Callow in A Christmas Carol in London at the Arts Theatre previewed from 8 December 2016, opened on 15 December 2016 and closed on 7 January 2017


A Christmas Carol - Jim Broadbent 2015

Previewed 30 November 2015, Opened 9 December 2015, Closed 30 January 2016 at the Noel Coward Theatre in London

Patrick Barlow's stage adaptation of A Christmas Carol, inspired by the novel by Charles Dickens and starring Jim Broadbent as Ebenezer Scrooge.

The cast features Jim Broadbent as 'Ebenezer Scrooge' along with Adeel Akhtar, Amelia Bullmore, Keir Charles, Samantha Spiro, Jack Parker and Kim Scopes. Directed by Phelim McDermott with choreography by Toby Sedgwick, designs by Tom Pye, lighting by Peter Mumford and sound by Gareth Fry.

When this production opened here at the Noel Coward Theatre in December 2015, Paul Taylor in the Independent highlighted that "there's a lovely mixture of the traditional and prankishly modern in this version... The miser here becomes a loan shark who, in Jim Broadbent's captivating performance, glories in his victims' distress with a gleeful gusto... genuinely inventive and heart-warming." Ian Shuttleworth in the Financial Times thought that "director Phelim McDermott and designer Tom Pye have captured the joy of playmaking and storytelling... Towards the end the players even break the fourth wall and acknowledge the audience; this element is only patchily successful, but it is part of the motivating notion that we are sharing this tale and are all part of the fun together." Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail said that in this "boiled-down version... after a decidedly ordinary first half the show does finally warm up in its final ten minutes, when Mr Broadbent is allowed to slip into his trademark congenial routine. A good ending to a disappointing night." Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph hailed the "mischievous twinkle about everything the company of just five - supplemented by two puppeteers - get up to. Comedy is brought to the fore... The spirit is one of send-up... All told, this is a surprising, quirky reading which traditionalists may find hard to stomach, but Dickens' hardy perennial is robust enough to take the knockabout." Ann Treneman in the Times explained that "Phelim McDermott, the director, keeps it cracking along but at times we are simply overwhelmed... but, in the end, this play belongs to Jim Broadbent, who holds it all together magnificently, even while wearing a nightcap and some very dodgy looking bedsocks." Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard praised Jim Broadbent's "detailed performance, alert to Scrooge’s pomposity and also to the sheer ordinariness of his vices," adding that "Phelim McDermott's production is full of invention, with neat puppetry and plenty of cheeky, lo-fi vibrancy. But at times it feels clumsy... The tone of Patrick Barlow's writing is equally uneven... the result is a show that's a mixture of the inspired and the ponderous. Not a case of 'Bah, humbug!' — but not exactly a Christmas cracker." Lyn Gardner in the Guardian asked: "Has there ever been a Scrooge quite as genial and cuddly as the one offered by Jim Broadbent?... With an almost permanent twinkle in his eye... it’s a larky, high-spirited production that operates as a play within a play... All this is quite fun, warm and silly... the danger is that amidst all this bonhomie, and with Broadbent’s Scrooge so essentially loveable and baby-faced even when supposedly at his most curmudgeonly, the story’s backbone – its redemptive arc – is lost."

"This wonderful production will have you longing for a figgy pudding and humming carols all the way home. Jim Broadbent has great fun as Dickens' miser Scrooge. This iconic tale can sometimes be a little dark, but this show has humour to spare. The staging is imaginative. Puppets are used to good effect... All the cast - four actors and two puppeteers - are excellent." The Sunday Mirror

"It is much to the credit of Patrick Barlow's splendid adaptation that the political message survives all the rumbustious fun and theatrical magic... Jim Broadbent is a less scary Scrooge than some, more cranky misanthrope than lost soul, but he is wonderfully endearing when he blusters with the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present and deeply moving when, having come to terms with his own damaged childhood, he resolves to help the crippled Tiny Tim. Much of the evening's enchantment springs from Phelim McDermott's inventive direction, which plays deliciously with theatrical conventions... In addition, there are charming puppets, both string and shadow; brilliant flying effects using sets of false legs; captivating clowning; and a splendid quartet of supporting performances from Samantha Spiro, Amelia Bullmore, Adeel Akhtar and Keir Charles, who have so many quick changes that their dressers should also take a bow." The Sunday Express

"This sounds like a guaranteed Christmas cracker: Dickens, Jim Broadbent as Scrooge, the writer Patrick Barlow and the director Phelim McDermott, whose puppet-based Shockheaded Peter really was theatrical genius... Tiny Tim is a teeny little puppet, no higher than your knee as he poignantly limps along with his wooden crutch, and the work of the two professional puppeteers, Jack Parker and Kim Scopes, is wonderful throughout. The trouble is, the delicacy and subtlety of the puppets' performances points up the lack of these qualities in some of the flesh-and-blood acting, which is too often shouty, extravagant and way over the top. ... If he lacks edge, Broadbent is still irresistible, with his tufty hair sticking out over his ears, and there's another fine performance from Adeel Akhtar, whose Bob Cratchit has just the understated and compelling presence lacking in some of the other performances. This Christmas Carol is fun, up to a point, but it lacks sincerity." The Sunday Times

"Tom Pye's delightful design takes its cue from Benjamin Pollock's toy theatres and pop-up story books, with a charming Victorian decoupage proscenium arch. Cardboard cut-out doors, a gramophone and panoramas of London are rolled on and off as required. And all is performed with terrific spit-and-sawdust gusto by a versatile cast of five, plus two puppeteers... But, but, but - and call me a mean old Scrooge - Phelim McDermott's show is too much of a lark, and so sloshed with Christmas spirit that all Dickensian darkness dissipates... Still, there's plenty of fun to be had, what with the ridiculous fake legs Scrooge and various ghosts put on to make them look as if they are flying through time and space, and Samantha Spiro venting her inner Barbara Windsor, with Psycho-style dagger and screeching sound effects as the Ghost of Christmas Present. Best by far are the puppets and puppetry: children suggested by empty bonnets; an extraordinarily expressive, pink-cheeked little Ebenezer Scrooge; a one-legged Tiny Tim. Here the show becomes a magical celebration of the imaginative power of theatre. Dickens would have loved that." The Mail on Sunday

Jim Broadbent in A Christmas Carol in London at the Noel Coward Theatre previewed from 30 November 2015, opened on 9 December 2015 and closed on 30 January 2016.


A Christmas Carol - Horla 2005 and 2010

Previewed 21 December 2005, Opened 22 December 2005, Closed 7 January 2006 at the Trafalgar Studio 2, returned
Previewed 21 December 2010, Opened 22 December 2010, Closeed 8 January 2011 at the Trafalgar Studio 2

The Horla Theatre Company returns to presents Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol in London in a stage version adapted for the stage by Joanna Volinska and directed by Alistair Green. Following the success of Christmas productions including GRIMMS Trilogy and Rumplestiltskin and Other Grizzly Tales, Horla return to London with another festive treat for all the family.

Christmas, for the bitter old miser Ebenezer Scrooge, is not a good enough reason to be jolly. But then one Christmas Eve he is visited by the spirit of his late business partner Jacob Marley and three other ghosts...

The Horla Theatre Company production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol stays true to the original novel, concentrating on the darker aspects of the story, and is performed using mime, physical theatre and live music by an ensemble of actor/ musicians. This production of a well-loved classic will be the perfect entertainment for the whole family. "May it haunt their houses pleasantly" - most suitable for children of 6plus and their brave adults.

A Christmas Carol in London at the Trafalgar Studio 2 previewed 21 December 2005, opened on 22 December 2005 and closed on 7 January 2006, returned with previews from 21 December 2010, opened on 22 December 2010 and closeed on 8 January 2011.


A Christmas Carol - Patrick Stewart 2005

Previewed 6 December 2005, Opened 7 December 2005, Closed 31 December 2005 at the Noel Coward Theatre in London

Patrick Stewart in his award-winning one man show A Christmas Carol in London which he has adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens for the stage himself.

Through a wealth of acting virtuosity and flair, Patrick Stewart, renowned for his starring roles in Star Trek, X-Men and at the Royal Shakespeare Company, brings to life the colourful characters in Charles Dickens' classic tale. This production is the perfect Christmas treat for all ages, offering a wonderful opportunity to rediscover this timeless story.

Patrick Stewart, who plays all the characters in Dicken's classic Christmas tale himself, won the Olivier Award for 'Best Entertainment' when he performed A Christmas Carol in London at The Old Vic Theatre in December 1993. When he staged the production in New York he won the Drama Desk Award for 'Outstanding Solo Performance'.

"We always knew Patrick Stewart was a far more versatile actor than when he was star-trekking the galaxies in sci-fi rompers... Stewart won an Olivier award with this show in 1993 and one sees why. It's not just that, in this increasingly slovenly era, his diction and projection are so immaculate... it's that he combines energy with subtlety... Indeed, I'd be surprised if Dickens himself, who destroyed his health taking one-man readings of his work round America, wouldn't have acknowledged this as the theatrical Christmas Carol . His humour is there. His sentiment is there. So is his anger." The Times

"This is a masterclass of storytelling from Patrick Stewart and, doubtless, few can play a bell chiming midnight better. He is also pretty good as the doorknocker, which transforms into the living image of his dead partner, Jacob Marley; excellent as a scratchy violin; and he conjures up the Cratchits' turkey dinner so magnificently, I swear I could smell the sage-and-onion stuffing. So why was I impressed but never riveted? Because, as with so many one-man shows, this feels like a virtuosic display of talent rather than an emotionally involving piece of theatre." The Mail on Sunday

"Star Trek legend Patrick Stewart blasts the dust off all the holly and mistletoe and presents us with a fresh interpretation of one of Charles Dickens's greatest hits. His Scrooge, unlike the over-the-top memory of Alistair Sim, is central. As actor, director and adapter, Stewart gives us a master class as well as a masterly portrayal. He manages to perform and narrate the seasonal tale with the enthusiasm of someone discovering it for the first time, filling the stage with more characters, more tears and more laughter than are to be found in the whole of the gigantic Scrooge musical currently at the Palladium." The Daily Express

Patrick Stewart in A Christmas Carol in London at the Noel Coward Theatre previewed from 6 December 2005, opened on 7 December 2005 and closed on 31 December 2005.