Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan


Making “A Christmas Carol” into a musical must have sounded like a good idea. There’s a lot of roistering about in the story, from Fezziwig’s party to the festive Spirit of Christmas Present to Scrooge’s joyful rebirth. But you also have to find a winning song for when Ebenezer is feeling grumpy, and Leslie Bricusse hasn’t managed it, among quite a few other shortcomings. Bricusse is a lot better with quirky material like Stop the World, I Want to Get Off than with a traditional story like this, and he hasn’t managed to come up with a single memorable song here. Albert Finney will never make my list of memorable Scrooges, and that’s too bad. Alec Guinness as Marley’s Ghost is pretty good, but the kid doing Tiny Tim is awful. It is so easy in that role to slide over from the sympathetic to the simply pathetic, to where you just want to swat the cheerful little cripple.