Director – Valarie Ball
Musical Director – Arnold Ashbrook
Choreographer – Jennifer Deakin
Production Manager – Aaron Cawley
Lighting Designer - Phil Redman
Wardrobe Co-ordinators – Lesley Silcock & Carmel Middleton
Props Co-ordinator - John & Jeanie Brocklehurst
Scenery – Neil Silcock & Andy Carrick
Programme – Andy Carrick & Lindsay Watkinson
Marketing – Rachel Kirkbride
Front of House – Alison Ball & Gemma Lawless
Keyboard – Arnold Ashbrook
Clarinet – Derek Wilson
Guitar – Steve Powell
Drums – Steve Jones
Ebeneezer Scrooge - Neil Silcock
Bob Crachit - Roy Green
Spirit of Christmas Past - Rachel Kirkbride
Spirit of Christmas Present - Roy Youds
Marley’s Ghost - Joe Youds
Tiny Tim – Tyler Ouseley
Mrs Crachit – Carmel Middleton
Nephew - Tom Buckler
Young Girl - Charlotte Rees
Lizzie - Andrea Jones
Florrie - Julia Shannon
Performed at the Frodsham Community Centre, Frodsham, Cheshire on the 10th - 14th November 2015
Music by Arnold Ashbrook
Lyrics by Peter Ashbrook
Directed by Valarie Ball, Musical Direction by Arnold Ashbrook and Choreographed by Jennifer Deakin.
The Amazing Mr Scrooge tells the story of Charles Dicken's Christmas Carol' in music and song. The production requires two main choruses. One being that of the Common Folk of London, the oth being that of the Spirits. Some of the Chorus can double as Carollers and also take on parts of other walk on characters.
This musical started out as a 20 minute Christmas show written by Arnold Ashbrook and his father on a reel to reel tape machine. It has been developed into a full length musical out lining the well-known story of Scrooge and his ghostly visitors on Christmas Eve.
Packed with some great songs the musical cleverly incorporates two choruses (carol singers and spirits) to part narrate some of the story and reiterate most of the themes from the principles.
First night nerves soon disappeared with both soloists and ensemble work gaining in strength throughout the performance I especially enjoyed ‘Only one day’ (Roy Green), ‘You can never recapture’(Charlotte Rees), and ‘God bless us everyone’(Tyler Ouseley)
Being totally sung through it could prove difficult for an audience to follow and a challenge for the singers but not in this case as the story line came out well and the principles all gave very good performances.
The community centre at Frodsham created a very intimate atmosphere and you felt drawn into the story, sitting in the cabaret style tables at the front of the hall, with flickering candles putting you into scrooge’s sitting room.
Scrooge was well played by Neil Silcock, as were the three spirits who visited him, and by the end of the night the audience really felt for him as he saw what could happen if he didn’t change his ways.
The costumes looked really good and were of the correct period, the spirits costumes also worked well. I would try to ensure that quality seen in the costumes follows through in to all aspects such as make up. Being in such close proximity to the audience you could see that the ageing of Scrooge needed to be continued to the hands.
Due to the size of the stage and the large chorus there were one or two masking problems but these did not detract from a great show.
The chorus numbers rang with beautiful rich harmonies and at no time was anyone drowned out by the small four piece accompaniment which is a credit to the Musical Director and Composer Arnold Ashbrook.
This society have some excellent youngsters whose facial expressions and constant interaction with the story line is to be credited and I think special mention should be made of Tiny Tim (Tyler Ouseley), a great voice and a star for the future.
Both the Director and the Choreographer have obviously put a lot of work into this production to create a show which flows well and conveys the story not only through the songs but also through the movement as well.
It was a breath of fresh air to see a musical which is new to me and I am sure a lot of the audience who came to watch felt the same. It really put me in the Christmas mood and delighted the audience, as could be seen with the spontaneous clapping to the music in the final song.
I had a truly enjoyable evening, well done on an excellent show and thank you for the hospitality on the night. I look forward to seeing you again soon for ‘Boogie Nights’.