A Christmas Carol at the Chicken Shed

Chickenshed theatre company have created a wonderfully, spectacular adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel which the whole family will enjoy. With a talented cast of more than 250 and a 20 piece orchestra playing original scores, the stage is filled with colour and drama throughout the show.

Scrooge’s well-known character transformation is accompanied by wonderful dances and singing from the ghosts who show him the error of his ways, the huge Cratchit family and a host of colourful Victorian characters. The lead actors are all excellent as is every member of the cast down to the very youngest. The children and young people are very accomplished performers and we only saw a quarter of the whole. There are actually 4 casts of children who take it in turns to perform on alternating evenings. This exuberant show is well-paced with lots of laughs. Look out for Colin the dancing monkey and the black humour of the “He’s Dead” song and dance

The impressive set design features a sweeping staircase and Victorian houses on 2 levels which open up to reveal their interiors. The costumes are beautiful and made in a range of gorgeous colours and include sailor suits, glamorous dresses and spectral disguises. A Christmas Carol is a real feast for the senses.

And that is one of the beauties of Chickenshed’s inclusive style of theatre. Everyone is catered for and it certainly makes for a very dynamic and moving show. Every spoken part is imaginatively and beautifully signed by other actors as are the songs and many of the dances also incorporate sign language. Watching as a hearing person, I found that this enriched the whole piece. I tried hard to imagine what it would be like to watch without being able to hear the music and singing and realised that this show would be wonderful. The theatre also offer touch tours for people without sight.

The atmosphere at Chickenshed also marks it out as unique. Any Christmas show anywhere in the country would of course have that buzz of pre-festive excitement but at Chickenshed there is a real depth and warmth from everyone from Box Office staff to stewards to audience which is truly heart warming. We loved the show and I cannot recommend it highly enough!

The ethos behind Chickenshed is that everyone is welcome and everyone is valued and equal. This is the vision which makes Chickenshed special. The founders Jo Collins and Mary Ward believe that diversity and inclusiveness should be a way of life. Their vision has touched the lives of thousands. Since 1974, the company has produced more than 1000 performances of extraordinary theatre as well as running youth workshops and education programmes.

Do get involved! If you get the chance, go and see a performance for yourself. A Christmas Carol runs at the theatre until 12 Jan and is also on television. Sky Arts are showing it at the following times over Christmas:

26th Decemberat 15.00

27th December at 12.00

28th December at 08.30

30th December at 11.30

In the New Year, Chickenshed’s first production will be Tales from the Shed, a magical show for the under 7s.

Contact: The Chickenshed
Chase Side, Southgate
London, N14 4PE

Admin: 020 8351 6161
Box office: 020 8292 9222
Text phone: 020 8350 0676
Website: www.chickenshed.org.uk

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