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Brookside Theatre hopes to bring magic of Christmas to Romford with iconic musical

PUBLISHED: 15:00 12 December 2018 | UPDATED: 07:49 17 December 2018

The Brookside Theatre is putting on a performance of A Christmas Carol until Saturday, December 22. Picture: Ted Sepple

The Brookside Theatre is putting on a performance of A Christmas Carol until Saturday, December 22. Picture: Ted Sepple

Ted Sepple

Audiences are invited to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas at Brookside Theatre’s festive musical, A Christmas Carol.

The Brookside Theatre is putting on a performance of A Christmas Carol until Saturday, December 22. Picture: Ted SeppleThe Brookside Theatre is putting on a performance of A Christmas Carol until Saturday, December 22. Picture: Ted Sepple

The classic tale is one of Charles Dickens’ most well-known stories and this December, Brookside Theatre will be retelling the Christmas story as a musical.

Ebenezer Scrooge, a mean and lonely man prefers money to people.

However, this Christmas Eve will be like none that he’s experienced before as he is visited by the ghosts of Marley, his ex-partner and those of Christmases Past, Present and Future.

Scrooge is about to embark on an incredible journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas.

The Brookside Theatre is putting on a performance of A Christmas Carol until Saturday, December 22. Picture: Ted SeppleThe Brookside Theatre is putting on a performance of A Christmas Carol until Saturday, December 22. Picture: Ted Sepple

Steve Probert, 67, from Shenfield, is playing the key role of the narrator, Charles Dickens himself.

He told the Recorder: “It’s the most iconic Christmas story ever written.

“The journey through the night, the meeting of three different ghosts and the fact that Scrooge changes from being completely miserable to someone who is like Father Christmas the next day - it’s unbelievable.

“It’s that little bit of magic which is what Christmas is all about.”

The Shenfield actor added that the costumes were, “really authentic” to the Victorian time period that the musical is set in.

“Jai Sepple [theatre manager] has got these magnificent projections which show the various streets lit up, they’re fantastic.

“As I open the show, I’ve got the job of trying to get the audience engaged straight away.

“Then there are various pieces of narrative throughout the show.”

James Knowles, 32, from Purfleet, is playing one of the more festive characters, the ghost of Christmas Present.

He said: “We’ve had some really good rehearsals.

“Everything is coming together and all of the effects and lightning looks fantastic.

“The ghost of Christmas Present is a spirit that only appears on Christmas Day and that’s his life, he only lives one day.

“He has over 1,800 brothers who come to spread Christmas cheer.

“Obviously he’s there for a very special occasion in the musical, to try and change Scrooge’s ways.”

Speaking about the popularity of A Christmas Carol, James said that the moral of the story can be explained in some of the musical’s song lyrics - “Money brings just tears, what’s the point of money?

“The only thing you can do with money is give it away”.

“It’s a fantastic story. It really does symbolise the whole purpose of Christmas,” said James.

“It’s not the night to be selfish, but the night to think of others. It’s a very wholesome time of year.”

The Purfleet actor added: “The ghost of Christmas Present is a very bright and colourful character.

“He wears a giant robe and obviously he has his holly wreath on his head.

“He’s very big and boisterous character which suits me down to the ground.”

Lucy Lombard, 18, from Dagenham, is playing the character of Belle.

She said: “They meet at Fezziwig’s school and are engaged for about two years, but then he puts money before her.

“It’s really nice because it’s a really relatable story which everyone holds close to their heart.”

For the Christmas musical cast Christmas is always a special time of the year.

Steve said: “I absolutely adore Christmas. I have done ever since I was a kid.

“[The show] has sort of taken me back to all those years ago when I believed in magic.”

For James, Christmas is all about family.

He said: “My partner and I will always travel to each others parents.

“Gifts are secondary to everything.”

Speaking about why people should see A Christmas Carol, Lucy said: “I think everyone across all ages will enjoy it - there will be something for everyone.

“It’s a really good family show and hopefully a lot of people will come to see it.”

A Christmas Carol plays at the Brookside Theatre in Eastern Road, Romford, from Wednesday, December 12, to Saturday, December 22.

For tickets call 01708 755775 or visit brooksidetheatre.com.

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