Scrooge The Musical

Previewed 20 October 2005, Opened 8 November 2005, Closed 14 January 2006 at the London Palladium
Previewed 24 October 2012, Opened 6 November 2012, Closed 12 January 2013 at the London Palladium

Leslie Bricusse's award-winning musical Scrooge in London starring Tommy Steele in the title role for a strictly limited Christmas season!

The spectacular musical extravaganza Scrooge is a heartwarming family story based on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, with stunning sets and costumes, specially created illusions by magician Paul Kieve (acclaimed for the magic effects in the Harry Potter films) and a fantastic musical score which features the Oscar-nominated hit Thank You Very Much. Director Bob Tomson's and designer Paul Farnworth's production has gained vast critical acclaim and played to sell-out audiences all over the world. With choreography by Lisa Kent, musical direction by Stuart Pedler, lighting by Nick Richings and sound by Ben Harrison.

"The legend is back. Former teen idol Tommy Steele, now a spritely 75, stars in Scrooge, the musical based on Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. And Tommy is once again performing in the vast theatre where he's been a headline act more than any other performer in its 100-year history. His trademark grin is as wide as ever, his teeth blinding in the spotlight. But he’s perfect as this essentially fluffy version of Dickens’s old miser. His shuffling, bah-humbugging, Christmas-hating persona conceals a chipper side, bursting to get out a song or two. Leslie Bricusse's musical sticks closely to the novel... The musical comedy naturally dilutes the story’s surreal, nightmarish quality... Musically the show exudes a bland pleasantness, but Thank You Very Much and a nice seasonal raspberry, I Hate People, are highlights. This is really a night out for old fans and their grandchildren, and Steele doesn’t disappoint them. There's clearly still life in the old trouper yet." The Mail on Sunday

"Old-fashioned Christmas shows don't come much better than this. Paul Farnsworth has pulled out all the stops for Leslie Bricusse's musical, and designed a murky Victorian London... Tommy Steele is Scrooge - he's well struck in years now, but you'd hardly guess it, and he makes Scrooge truly lovable in the end. This show is a real Christmas present." The Sunday Times

"What a star! No, not Tommy Steele - I mean Charles Dickens. Perhaps I'm being unfair on Tommy, who, amazingly, will be 69 next month. He still has enormous stage presence, and that famous grin, full of teeth requiring sunglasses to view close up, is as infectious as ever. Trouble is, Tommy's not really cut out to play Dickens' horrible old miser. His Scrooge always has a chipper Cockney lurking below the surface. 'What you got to be happy abaht?' he demands of his debtors. But soon it's 'I like life, life likes me' and 'Thank you very much' - two of a cluster of jaunty, samey songs from composer-lyricist-scriptwriter Leslie Bricusse. Still, there are plenty of real treats in director Bob Tomson's Christmas cracker of a production, including Paul Farnsworth's sets and Paul Kieve's breathtaking special effects. And Dickens' story remains as heart-tugging as ever. Who doesn't reach for a hanky when Tiny Tim pipes up: 'God bless us - every one'? As for Tommy, it's 36 years since he first played the Palladium and 16 since he was last there. What a pro!" The Sun

Tommy Steele, pop legend and star of such Hollywood hits as The Happiest Millionaire, Finian's Rainbow and the legendary Half A Sixpence, returns to the London Palladium - home of some of his greatest triumphs - as 'Ebenezer Scrooge'. Tommy Steele has become synonymous with The London Palladium which, over a period of more than four decades, has played host to some of his biggest hits including Hans Christian Anderson, The London Palladium Show, Dick Whittington and, of course, Singin' In The Rain - which Tommy directed as well as starred in. This production of Scrooge the Musical previously played at the London Palladium in 2005. Amazingly Tommy Steele has now headlined more performances than any other star in the history of the London Palladium.

Leslie Bricusse's film musical Scrooge, starring Albert Finney in the title role, was originally released in 1970. The stage musical version was first presented in the UK in Birmingham in 1992 with Anthony Newley in the title role - a couple of years later this production, starring Newley, was first presented on stage in London at the Dominion Theatre for an 11 week Christmas season in 1995. The musical was then revived in London for another Christmas season at the London Palladium in 2005, this time with Tommy Steele playing the title role.

Scrooge the Musical in London at the London Palladium previewed from 20 October 2005, opened on 8 November 2005 and closed on 14 January 2006, returned previewed from 24 October 2012, opened on 6 November 2012 and closed on 12 January 2013.

Scrooge - 1995

Previewed 5 November 1996, Opened 12 November 1996, Closed 1 February 1997 at the Dominion Theatre in London

Leslie Bricusse's award-winning musical Scrooge in London starring Anthony Newley in the title role along with Tom Watt as 'Bob Cratchit' for a strictly limited Christmas season!

"With the season of goodwill terrifyingly close, this is no time to be miserly with praise. But nor will I be a humbug and say that Scrooge is my kind of Christmas cracker. Leslie Bricusse's musical is an expanded version of the most likeable Albert Finney film... Anthony Newley, who has made this show as much his as The King And I was Yul Brynner's, plays the most famous cheapskate in literary history as an irritable old eccentric, rather than the vile scoundrel of Dicken's Christmas Carol. He sings Bricusse's score with lots of vibrato and waving of arms but as these are songs which, with the exception of the rousing Thank You Very Much, speed in one ear and out the other, by-passing the memory completely, it is a great deal of effort for little reward. Saving graces are Paul Kieve's wondrous illusions for Jacob Marley's ghost and the trio of Christmas spirits and a spectacular production which has no trouble filling a stage as big as Norfolk." The News of the World

"Here is Leslie Bricusse's heart-lifting but not exactly mind-taxing Scrooge, with Anthony Newley injecting his customary humour and pathos into the role of Dickens's granite Ebenezer. But why invoke Dickens? The musical Newley has been carting round the regions for the past few Christmases, and now brings to London's Dominion Theatre, owes its being to what the programme calls 'the CCF/CBS Theatrical Motion Picture Scrooge'. The novelist is not given a formal credit, which may explain why the Scrooge we get is not 'hard and sharp as flint', nor seems chilled to the soul with inner permafrost. Here, he is a fey old curmudgeon, a fantastical grouch who potters about the stage mumbling 'Bah, humbug', nicking tanners from beggars and not-too-convincingly incanting: 'I hate Christmas, I hate people.' The pity is that he under-reacts to some splendid Tussaud effects. Bob Tomson's fluent, pacey production owes much to Hugh Vanstone's designs and Paul Kieve's illusions... Still, this is the season of reconciliation and forgiveness and I am sure there are parents and children who will enjoy the spooky door-knocker, the jumping Cockneys, the tiny chorus of bandaged Marley clones, the sight of Newley somersaulting through the air and much else. Then maybe they can go home and read a story called A Christmas Carol. They may well enjoy that more." The Times

"You would need an industrial steam hose to get to the sentiment of this muzaky version of A Christmas Carol. Anthony Newley humbugs away while patting his padded stomach and croaking his solos in a losing battle with the band. Everyone else — shopkeepers, carolling choirboys, assorted spooks — all have to keep a low profile at the back of Paul Farnsworth's Victorian grot sets... The evening's chief attractions are Paul Kieve's endearing low-tech panto illusions and the flying stunts of the late Jacob Marley (Stephen Earle) swathed in chains. The music and lyrics are soppy and the result, though harmless, is hopelessly bland." The Daily Express

Scrooge in London at the Dominion Theatre previewed from 5 November 1996, opened on 12 November 1996 and closed on 1 February 1997.