Charles Dickens’ classic tale has been adapted by Tony Cownie and moved to Victorian Edinburgh.
As per the traditional story, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three spirits of Christmas – in this version: Auld Syne, Nouadays and Ayont – who attempt to convince him to change his mean and miserly ways. The peculiarly Scottish twist (other than the grand backdrop of the Castle) is the introduction of Greyfriar’s Bobby.
The little Skye Terrier is fabled for spending fourteen years in the Kirkyard, protecting the grave of his master. The old man, Jock, was, we’re told evicted by Scrooge, and now, Bobby has no owner, no licence – and is at the mercy of the city dog-catcher. Only Scrooge, himself, can save Bobby…
It’s a plot line that feeds in remarkably well, and is well-placed to add some comedic moments. Added to that, Bobby, is a puppet, as is the sickly Tiny Tim, Rab Cratchit’s youngest son, and the skill with which the puppeteer works really adds to the magic.
Crawford Logan, as Scrooge is excellent, and all the cast give very good, very enthusiastic performances, exactly what’s required in a Christmas production. The community choir carollers is a nice touch too.
There are darker moments that might need some warning for younger or more sensitive audience members: the ghost of Jacob Marley is creepy in the extreme, and the ghost of Christmas future is somewhat headless, but the overall sense – and inevitable outcome – is of a fun and happy show.
Finish up with a chorus of Auld Lang Syne and snow drifting from the ceiling of the auditorium and that’s Christmas entertainment all wrapped up.
Runs until 31st December. For dates and tickets, go to: https://lyceum.org.uk