Reveiwed by Janice Bailey
The Hills Youth Theatre Production of Ebenezer Scrooge is well worth a trip to Stirling and a couple of hours of your time well spent. The added bonus is that you can get a little Christmas cheer in June! This production of Ebenezer Scrooge is scripted by a former ex-student/tutor Josh Sanders and the story doesn’t fundamentally deviate from the classic. It has however been written to allow performance opportunities for every HYT student – a logistical nightmare – but amazingly brought together under the capable direction of Judy Samson. The principal cast are well-rehearsed and don’t falter throughout the production.
Kudos must go to Matilda Butler as Ebenezer Scrooge whose pivotal role holds it all together. I was particularly impressed by Zoe Hilton’s characterization of Christmas Future. Without speaking a word she manages to create a character who is scarily sinister and she does not drop character even at the final bows. Impressive! Each group of children knows exactly what they have to do and they do it with enthusiasm. Their entrances using the aisles and exits are all done with expert precision. Jon McKay does a superb job with the projections and sound effects, eliminating the need for set changes and preventing breaks in the flow of the story.
The costuming is amazing and demonstrates what can be done with a dedicated team of selfless mums and helpers, all doing their bit to make every character look absolutely wonderful. It is a great touch using some of the students as ushers at the beginning of the show and I always enjoy ‘the guard of honour’ the students make at the end so they can thank the audience.
Many of the principal characters are using radio microphones but if there is one slight criticism I found it difficult to hear some of the characters who haven’t yet learned the skill of projection. However, this is a minor flaw in the overall enjoyment of what is a great show. Well done to the Hills Youth Theatre and to everyone involved in any facet of the production.