Lord Chamberlain’s Men took the onus of ushering in Christmas this year by dumping Santa and by cosying up to the spirits of Christmas, first thought of by Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol.
Mr Scrouge, played by Vishal, a moneylender by profession and a Grinch at heart is the embodiment of everything that Christmas does not stand for. He shuns his family on the day and gets his kicks out of counting his money rather than his blessings. But the past, present and the future spirits of Christmas show up on Christmas eve and take him through a journey of his life. What is, what it had become and what it most likely would shape into.
Some raw nerves were touched and some deep buried feelings were stroked. In the end, Mr Scrouge doffs that façade of his mean and selfish spirit and dons the Santa hat and showers his family with love. Even though the audience expected this, the refreshing way of getting to the happy ending kept everyone engaged. The play, directed by Riyaz Usman, is pretty long, almost two-and-a-half hours, and it takes a lot of effort to put such a long production in place. Especially when except for Mr Scrouge, every actor has to play multiple characters. Vishal did a wonderful job of holding on to his character with his lisp and his body language. There were a few technical glitches on the part of others. Most of the actors did not know the carols and it looked a bit off when they were trying to mouth it which clearly was not in sync with the audio. Even the tech department needed to up the game a bit. The sound cues and the background score were mistimed. In many cases the actors weren’t even audible since they were out of the range of the microphone.
What his Lordship’s Men lacked in technicality, they made up for in spirit, after all it was Christmas. The enthusiasm of actors and the will to go on for so long, was commendable. In the New Year, the group is coming with a new production soon, so in case you missed this one, you might be on the lookout for that. Till that time, happy holidays everyone!...