A complete guide to all the ‘A Christmas Carol’ shows in London
Each year, theatres across London deck their stages with enough Christmas decorations to be seen from space. There’s shows suitable for all occasions too, including star-studded pantomimes, Nativity retellings, and seasonal comedies. One story has elevated itself to become a “must-see” to really make December complete: A Christmas Carol.
Charles Dickens’s festive tale is perhaps one of the most famous stories of all time. Set on Christmas Eve, the story follows Ebenezer Scrooge as he's met by three ghosts over the course of one night. Whisked on a time-travelling adventure to confront his way of life, he eventually changes for the better. Each year, there’s a multitude of A Christmas Carol productions around the city, all adapting this well-known classic into a Yuletide extravaganza. 2020 is no exception, with three separate A Christmas Carol shows in the West End.
Here’s our complete guide to all the takes on A Christmas Carol shows in London in 2020.
Is A Christmas Carol a play or a musical?
Productions of A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic and A Christmas Carol at the Bridge Theatre are both plays. In the Old Vic show, audiences can expect to hear original music, conceived and created by Christopher Nightingale. As the Bridge Theatre show is new for 2020, it’s currently unknown if there’ll be live music.
A Christmas Carol at the Dominion Theatre is a musical, performed with the London Musical Theatre Orchestra. The production features music by Disney composer Alan Menken, with lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and a book by Mike Ockrent and Ahrens.
Are they all new productions of A Christmas Carol?
A Christmas Carol at the Bridge Theatre is a new production, which will receive its world premiere in London in 2020. It’s written and directed by Nicholas Hytner, one of the founders of the Bridge Theatre.
The Old Vic will be home to A Christmas Carol for the fourth consecutive year. Dickens’s story was adapted by Jack Thorne and directed by Matthew Warchus. In 2019, this production of A Christmas Carol transferred to Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre.
The production of A Christmas Carol at the Dominion Theatre is not a new show. In fact, the musical premiered in New York in 1994, quickly becoming a must-see annual event. In London, audiences have been able to see A Christmas Carol most years, with performances usually taking place at the Lyceum Theatre.
Who is playing Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol?
Having an opportunity to perform this career-defining role is not something to be scoffed at.
At the Old Vic, The Walking Dead’s Andrew Lincoln will make his return to the stage, after a decade away from theatre. He’ll be the latest in a series of prestigious actors to lead the Old Vic’s Christmas tradition of A Christmas Carol, following Paterson Joseph, Stephen Tompkinson, and Griff Rhys Jones.
The Dominion Theatre will see Brian Conley as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. He’s no stranger to West End shows, recently starring in 9 to 5 at the Savoy Theatre. Now one of Britain’s beloved television comedians, did you know he’s an Olivier Award-nominee too? He began his career treading the boards, with performances in Me and My Girl and Jolson.
Away from the West End, three cast members will share the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. In fact, Simon Russell Beale, Patsy Ferran, and Eben Figueiredo will share every role in A Christmas Carol at the Bridge Theatre between them. Across the three actors, they’ve won four Olivier Awards, with The Independent calling Beale the “greatest actor of his generation.”
Who is in the cast of A Christmas Carol?
Over at the Dominion Theatre, a star-studded trio will portray the ghostly figures in A Christmas Carol. Lucie Jones will play the Ghost of Christmas Past, with Cedric Neal as the Ghost of Christmas Present and a West End debut from Jacqueline Jossa as the Ghost of Christmas Future. West End theatregoers are bound to recognise all leading cast members, including Matt Willis, Martyn Ellis, Rebecca Lock, Sandra Marvin, Sam Oladeinde, and Jeremy Secomb.
If you’re looking for an intimate production of A Christmas Carol, the Bridge Theatre is the place to go. The new adaptation only stars three people: Simon Russell Beale, Patsy Ferran, and Eben Figueiredo. We’re definitely intrigued to see this multi-roling cast in action.
When does each production of A Christmas Carol open in London?
Can I see A Christmas Carol online?
All performances of A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic will be available to watch online, rather than in person. The production can be livestreamed around the world too, with more information available here.