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Review: A Christmas Carol at The Capitol, Horsham

The Capitol saves Christmas! Muddy's commercial director Sally went along to one of the few shows performing to a live audience in 2020. Here's her verdict.

My 9-year-old daughter and I were thrilled to be able to attend one of the few shows out there this Christmas – the Enid Shed Theatre Company’s A Christmas Carol at The Capitol, Horsham. Our Muddy prescription was a big dose of feel good factor – and that is what we left with, smiling all the way home.

As a self-confessed Dad’s Army and Goodnight Sweetheart mega fan, the cast of Jack Lane and David Benson had me at hello.

I remember being entranced by A Christmas Carol as a girl and now my daughter has seen an unforgettable performance, history continues to repeat itself.

Told by just the two actors (when in Covid….) David took the role of misery guts Ebenezer Scrooge – and Jack, multiple roles. My nine-year-old found this mesmerising. “Mummy, he’s more than one person!”

The classic story makes for topical discussion with your child afterwards, as you meander through the past, the now and the future with Scrooge, his old friend Jacob Marley and of course, the three spirits of past, present and future. Be prepared fo terror if you stray from good choices, people!

The set was absolutely beautiful and the props minimal, but spoke volumes. The puppeteering of Tiny Tim Cratchit was remarkable and it always amazes me how the actors integrate with the set changes so effortlessly.

David played the role of Scrooge powerfully, I can still hear his voice in my ears as I type! The journey from past pain to grumpy present, demonstrated incredibly by Jack from start to finish was on point. I honestly think this story was even more thought provoking after the year we have had and an apt reminder we all hold the power to map our present and futures.

In my programme, it is noted that by 1844, there were at least nine stage productions of A Christmas Carol playing in London alone, one of which was authorised by Dickens himself. I’m hedging my bets that he thoroughly enjoyed looking down at last nights performance.

Overall, I would challenge anyone to fault the cast, moving production and venue.

At a performance time of only 1h10 flew past while we were so engrossed – and no interval meant it all flowed beautifully. I also have to give special thanks to the staff, who were all smiles, welcoming all visitors and directing them safely to their seats. Parking opposite The Capitol for an evening performance was also simple.

We left feeling festive, full of smiles and grateful that The Capitol is back after its extended Covid-driven break and determined to bring joy to Sussex because we don’t take these moments for granted after the year we’ve had. A special and jolly Muddy thank you to all at The Capitol.

A Christmas Carol, The Capitol, Horsham, until Dec 29

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