Review: Scrooge, Leeds Grand Theatre

Although the work of Charles Dickens is often looked upon as being a true record of the times, the same cannot be said for Leslie Bricusse’s musical.

Based on A Christmas Carol it translates the tale into a rather cheesey pantomime version, missing the darker side of the story and the misery and hardships of the period.

With the Ghost of Christmas Past resembling the fairy godmother, the Ghost of Christmas Present in a sparkling Sultan costume that lights up, and a stage full of clean-faced, beautifully dressed smiling characters, this sugary sweet, all singing and dancing production, first staged in the 70s, comes across in today’s world as rather dated.

It dispenses a feelgood factor across the footlights and won’t leave you coming away from the theatre feeling depressed or with a social conscience, quite the opposite.

Bob Tomson’s production is fast moving, pacey and seamless, laced with special effects and illusions including a magic mirror and a disappearing ghost.

Reprising the role of Scrooge that he’s played for over a decade, Tommy Steele has amazing energy for a performer well into his seventies.

His characterization is pure perfection, but at times he was battling against an overly loud orchestra particularly towards the end of the show.

Supported by an ensemble that double and treble roles, Scrooge is a great family show and the perfect way to ease you into the pre-festive season.

To Dec 7.