Review - A Christmas Carol in Concert (Lyceum Theatre)

Spirited musicianship has always been a hallmark of London Musical Theatre Orchestra, and nowhere is that made clearer than in its returning musical production of A Christmas Carol, in concert.
Griff Rhys Jones and Miriam-Teak Lee in A Christmas Carol
Photo credit - Nick Rutter
Alan Menken, Lynn Ahrens and Mike Ockrent’s merry musical is a London Musical Theatre Orchestra favourite, which returns to the Lyceum Theatre this December, having played to sold out audiences in both 2016 and 2017. Of course, with Christmas just around the corner, the popularity of A Christmas Carol in concert is hardly surprising, and yet its return is favourably received.

This sprightly retelling of Charles Dickens’ beloved novel brims with warmth and humour, and a fair share of big ensemble numbers keep toes tapping as Scrooge embarks on his revelatory jaunt into the supernatural. From Jacob Marley’s intense yet eerily jaunty Link By Link, performed with fascinatingly dark charisma by Jeremy Secomb and an ensemble of long-imprisoned souls, to the uplifting Christmas Together, led by the Cratchit family, A Christmas Carol is a musical which revels in rousing choruses.
Griff Rhys Jones and Jeremy Secomb in A Christmas Carol
Photo credit - Nick Rutter
Musical Director Freddie Tapner’s enthusiastic conducting is a pleasure as always, and the 32 piece London Musical Theatre Orchestra sound richer and more jubilant than ever before. A starry cast of musical theatre performers add another layer of pizazz to the already glittering production, and Griff Rhys Jones is the epitome of Scrooge, the mean and miserly moneylender, and gives a masterfully characterful vocal performance, combining confidant singing with the brisk and blithering persona that has made the character such an enduring and unforgettable one.
Miriam-Teak Lee, Cedric Neal and Lucie Jones are spooktacular as the trio of Ghosts sent to save Scrooge’s soul, and the multi-roling of Lucie Jones as both the silent, stoic and bone chilling Ghost of Christmas Future, and Emily, the fiancé Scrooge drove away with his greed and selfishness, is an inspired move. Lee’s motherly Ghost of Christmas Past may have given Scrooge a glimpse into the trauma of his childhood, but his bitterness, self-hatred and regret over the loss of Emily clearly haunts Griff Rhys Jones’ Scrooge more unrelentingly than any of the three spectres who pay him a visit of Christmas Eve.
Freddie Tapner of London Musical Theatre Orchestra
Photo credit - Nick Rutter
This December, there’s no better way to escape the cold for an evening than by enjoying the big-hearted joy of London Musical Theatre Orchestra’s A Christmas Carol; a festive five star success.