A Circus Carol, Theatre Royal review: A clever spin on classic tale

A Circus Carol at Norwich Theatre Royal Picture: Dave Guttridge

A Circus Carol at Norwich Theatre Royal Picture: Dave Guttridge - Credit: Dave Guttridge

A Circus Carol is part of Norwich Theatre Royal's festive programme A Right Royal Christmas and sees Charles Dickens' timeless tale get turned on its head.

It was created last year as an alternative to panto for the Norwich Playhouse stage by Lost in Translation Circus, based at The Oak Circus Centre in the city.

A Circus Carol at Norwich Theatre Royal

A Circus Carol at Norwich Theatre Royal - Credit: Dave Guttridge

The company tours around the world, but with shows cancelled this year due to coronavirus it focused its efforts closer to home.

This included teaming up with Norwich Theatre to create Interlude in Chapelfield Gardens, with a summer season of shows.

This Christmas they have brought back A Circus Carol, which has been reworked for the Theatre Royal stage, and it tells the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge through the medium of circus.

The show takes the bare bones of the story, with the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, and fills it with mesmerising circus.

A Circus Carol at Norwich Theatre Royal 

A Circus Carol at Norwich Theatre Royal - Credit: Dave Guttridge

The actor that played Scrooge commanded the stage and both him and the narrator had the majority of the dialogue and were vital in the storytelling.

One of my favourite routines was when Scrooge was visited by the ghost of his former business partner Marley, who twisted himself and flipped around chains dangling from the roof as a warning to stop being selfish. 

A Circus Carol at Norwich Theatre Royal 

A Circus Carol at Norwich Theatre Royal - Credit: Dave Guttridge

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Another highlight was a solo piece where the performer balanced a gold ball on her body, to represent Scrooge's greed, while bending and balancing on poles and it was seriously impressive.

A trapeze routine was also superb, though I felt it need a little more narration as I wasn't sure what it represented.

A Circus Carol takes the traditional story and injects it with the magic of circus and it was really refreshing.

A Circus Carol at Norwich Theatre Royal 

A Circus Carol at Norwich Theatre Royal - Credit: Dave Guttridge

I felt extremely safe throughout, with four separate entrances with partitioned queues and bubbled seating, and it was brilliant to be back in a theatre. 

The Theatre Royal team have done a stellar job at bringing three alternating shows to the stage this Christmas - the others are Panto in a Pickle! and She Go Does it Under the Christmas Tree... with Friends. 

A Circus Carol runs until December 23 - book at norwichtheatre.org or call 01603 630000.



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