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A Christmas Carol (Old Vic Theatre)

Old Vic Theatre

The Cut, Lambeth, London SE1 8NB 0344 871 7628

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  • Synopsis
  • Theatremonkey show opinion
  • Reader reviews
  • Performance schedule
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Ends 7th January 2023.


Mean man taught a lesson by four (no, it never was three) ghosts. Owen Teale is this year's man.

A new adaptation by Jack Thorne, with Matthew Warchus directing the another revival of this Christmas 2017 hit, back life for a sixth spell-binding year, by continued popular demand.

A reader warns that, if bringing children who require booster seats, to arrive early. Apparently, there are not nearly enough to go around.

(seen at the afternoon performance on 29th November 2022)

Just a quick update this year, as the monkey has said most of it before. Owen Teale is a senior Scrooge, somewhat melancholy rather than brutal. The awakening of his Christmas spirit is less surprising than usual, more a relief the ghosts help him to channel it.

His sister Little Fran (Melissa Allan) has a simplicity and sweetness that is irresistible, while his missed love opportunity Belle (Lydia White) has an interesting journey from Cockney undertaker’s daughter to quietly refined lady, a nice interpretation.

Her father Fezziwig (Alastair Parker) matches her simple philosophy and his disappointment at being unable to hand his business to Scrooge is sincere in its understatement.

Sebastien Torkia gives Scrooge’s relative Fred a much-needed depth, Roger Dipper is an intelligent Bob Cratchit but not bright enough to avoid being upstaged by Casey-Indigo Blackwood-Lashley’s Tiny Tim... a little meddling with the death scene could fix that if it isn’t going against the spirit of the season...

Quick notes too for Samuel Townsend with a lovely few moments as Young Ebenezer and a round for the spooks not already mentioned - Jenny Fitzpatrick, Julie Jupp.

The show itself feels stripped right back this year. Sticking far more rigidly than last to the script, the little asides are missed. On the plus side, the energy from the ensemble and the voices this year are exceptional, as are the musical arrangements chosen.

It’s the usual classic. If you haven’t seen it go, if you have, go again as usual, like the monkey does.



(seen at the afternoon performance on 30th November 2021)
After a year confined to streaming-only, the show comes back stronger than ever with a cast and production capable of silencing the rowdiest school party upper circle audience.

Stephen Mangan is simply the perfect git. His Scrooge ignores his inner humanity but is fully aware of it and how best it is avoided. By being a git. His transformation is thus a very credible psychological breakthrough, another actor bringing originality and fresh insight to the role.

Of this year’s newcomers, the notables include Jack Shalloo is a sincere and devoted Bob Cratchit, Karen Fishwick a pure-ringing Belle, Rachel John a beautifully vocal Mrs Fezziwig / Brenda and Suri White making an unforgettable optimistically bright Tiny Tim.

A moment too for Amanda Hadingue, who has to follow Myra McFadyen as Ghost of Christmas Past. That she “ages up” perfectly and finds the same warmth as her predecessor is an outstanding achievement.

Old lags James Staddon as Fezziwig and Andrew Langtree as Marley have lost nothing over time either, both deeper and more focussed settling into familiar characters.

The show itself weaves a powerful magic all over again. Little tweaks as always to music and Mangan has a ready quip or three – particularly for shy audience helpers. A tiny moment for the monkey itself when Scrooge pointed out the hungry ape on the front row when offering turkey... that’s what you get for starting a matinee at 1pm, sunshine.

Mince pies and fruit available as usual. Bell ringing and period carols. Snow. Action all over the auditorium and the same energy as ever.

Tickets are available, please buy them, as this show blesses every one.

5 star standing ovation.



Notes from previous years. Some actors have now left the cast.
The monkey rarely has time to see any production twice. This exception, though, is worth it and is now as much a part of its annual West End Christmas as the Palladium panto.

After the first year Warchus resolved all the issues of timing in the first few minutes, with the actors now chatting amiably with the audience (orchestrating a "Mexican Wave" through the dress circle), passing out treats and gathering together to dance before the show starts in earnest.

The opening scenes now make sense and flow with the same rhythm as the rest. 

Returnees like Myra McFadyen (Ghost of Christmas Past) show the others how it is done, a real pleasure to see them again. Oh, and Lara Mehmet (Tiny Tim) steals the entire show...

This reached the full 5 stars from the monkey in 2018. That year, it observed two bratty tweenagers, moaning pre-show about everything. Wide-eyed, open-mouthed and giggling with delight just 2 hours later. The pure magic of great theatre.

Don't miss it - and remember on the way out to stop by the manager's office and demand it is revived for 2020/21 (you did, well done - editor 2020), you'll thank yourself next year that you did.

Legacy reader reviews

(1 review from the current production)

29th November 2022, afternoon.  We had stage seats, J61-63 as recommended 😉, same seats as a couple of years ago when Stephen Tompkinson starred.

I absolutely loved this year’s version, fantastic performance by Owen Teale and I was impressed by some of the guys’ voices. I would give it 5 bamboo sticks 😀.

I love the interaction with the cast, a Merry Christmas handshake from Scrooge included 😀. 


(4 reviews from the 2017 production. Some actors have now left the cast) 

Last night (29th November 2017) I had a wonderful time at the Old Vic for a lovely production of A Christmas Carol. 

The Old Vic seem keen to fill every seat to add to the atmosphere(they also hand out free satsumas and mince pies to get the whole theatre smelling of Christmas!) so I was able to pick up a last minute bargain of £5 seats. These were N22 and N23 in the stalls.But I see these are normally on sale for £90 and if I had paid full whack I would not have been happy, since they feel far too low. AndI usually target the stalls front rows so am used to looking up at the stage. But here the ‘normal’ stalls are too low for my taste.And also there seems very little rake, if any, in the first few rows, so my shorter companion had a small problem seeing over the hair of the person in front of her. If going again I would aim for the stage stalls or the circle. Since the stage is raised and brought forward, the circle seats are closer to the action than normal. 

Andy Wyatt 

We fought our way through the crowds to the Old Vic for the evening performance on Saturday 4th December 2017. The tube was horrendous,but we just about got there on time. A lovely greeting, not a mince pie fan myself, although they did look nice, but I was persuaded to a satsuma, which went down a treat. 

We were in the back row of the seats on the stage, S49 and 50.Tight is not the word for it, I could only just sit down, and my knees were jammed into the seat in front, but the view from there wasperfect. I was concerned at the beginning, I didn't like the entire cast talking at once, but as soon as Scrooge appeared it was just magical. Proper theatre, we cried, we laughed, we cried again. Rhys Ifans was quite brilliant. The passing through the audience of the food was quite a genius comical touch. The ghosts all played their parts very well, and my respect for John Dalgleish grows every time I see him, he may never better the Ray Davis turn, but he really is showing his range to great effect. 

Apart from the pain in my knees, which I totally forgot about after the first couple of scenes, it was the perfect pre Christmas treat. I can't recommend this enough, one of the best I've seen this year.

We went to see A Christmas Carol last night (12th December 2017) at the Old Vic- are now in a festive mood and ready for Christmas! Loved it. Some lovely touches. Great voices. Great cast. Fascinating production, loved the little surprises! What a strong actor Rhys Ifans is. 

We were in the stalls P38 and 39 - my over 6 foot companion had no complaints about leg room, we liked the space around us for coats and bags. We felt totally involved with the performance - obviously,lost a little bit of stage right- but nothing happened there as far as I know, plus we couldn't see the musicians whom I guess were in a box at the right. If I could go back and see it again tomorrow, Iwould! 

In early December 2017, I attended "A Christmas Carol" at the Old Vic. Seat A29 in the Dress Circle was a lovely seat. It was discounted, due to a "reduced view" by a safety rail, but that was no problem. I was delighted to have such a great view at a lower price. I also got snowed on during the production, which was a fun moment! 

Sylvia M. Giustina 
Oregon, U.S.A. 

The monkey advises checking performance times on your tickets and that performances are happening as scheduled, before travelling.

7pm: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 December 2022; 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 January 2023.

2.30pm: 25, 26, 29, 30 November 2022; 17 December 2022.

1pm: 3, 7, 10, 13, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 29, 31 December 2022; 4, 5, 7 January 2023.

Runs 2 hours 5 minutes approximately, including one interval.

During the "Holiday Season" from 12th December 2022 until 1st January 2023, the above schedules will vary.
Charts showing scheduled performances during this period are available using the links below:

For Monday 12th December 2022 until Sunday 19th December 2022, click here.
For Monday 19th December 2022 until Sunday 25th December 2022, click here.
For Monday 26th December 2022 until Sunday 1st January 2023, click here

No performance on 2nd January 2023.

Theatres use "dynamic pricing." Seat prices change according to demand for a particular performance. Prices below were compiled as booking originally opened. Current prices are advised at time of enquiry.

"Peak Dates" are at venue discretion, the system will indicate prices on enquiry.

Old Vic Theatre full price seating plan
All performances from 24th November 2022 onwards


Old Vic Theatre preview price seating plan
Preview performances from 12th to 23rd November 2022 only
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