Review: A Christmas Carol at Liverpool Playhouse

Toby Park & Sophie Russell in Spymonkey's A Christmas Carol. Photograph by Johan Persson_

By Andy Green

AS Christmas shows go they don’t come more classic and traditional than this timeless masterpiece by a certain Charles Dickens. Who knew he was a magician?

Spymonkey’s take on this most festive of tales is beautifully bonkers – it’s as mad as a heavy goods vehicle full of frogs.

It’s hard to believe that there’s only a cast of four but they do have a plentiful supply of hats! Spymonkey are Toby Park, Petra Massey, Aitor Basauri and Sophie Russell and between them they deliver an absolute delight of a show.

Mr Dickens himself (played by the utterly crazy Aitor Basauri) opens the show and sets the tone for the silliness that is to follow.

The show roughly follows the plot of the novel…ish. One of the many highlights is the ghost of Christmas present (Basauri) ‘flying’ around the stage with a shrunken Scrooge (Park) quite literally in tow.

It’s difficult to describe how wonderful this production is without spoiling it if you’re going to see it – and you should!

There’s inventive use of puppetry, a brilliant band, fabulous ad libs when things don’t go quite right and a refreshing lack of profanity.

Spymonkey have proved that you can produce hysterically funny theatre without being coarse or crass.

A masterpiece of madness.