Review / ‘Marley’ in a suitcase – not much to say

Share Canberra's trusted news:

CHARLES Dickens’ much-loved “A Christmas Carol” is one of his most well-known stories, which has also had several film adaptations over the years, including a musical version.

Craig Alexander, plays all the roles
Craig Alexander, plays all the roles
It’s the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, who changes from a bitter old miser to a man of happy generosity after learning the error of his ways on Christmas Eve through visits from the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.

“Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” focuses on the ghost of Christmas Past – his deceased partner, Jacob Marley.

Marley, it seems, has gone to a spirit world where he has been required to sign a contract to promise to make Scrooge see the error of his ways. He maintains an uneasy relationship with an Irish sprite who seems to be supervising him. A narrator steps in occasionally to keep the story clear. All characters are played by Craig Alexander in a very physical, amusing performance of great intensity.

Director, Shelly Higgs, has given the show a minimalist production which works very well. It is referred to in the program as ‘a show in a suitcase’ where everything used – lights, props, set pieces – all can fit in a suitcase. The use of all these bits and pieces is quite imaginative and enjoyable.

Until Marley’s first appearance to Scrooge as the ghost of Christmas Past, the show works well, detailing a back story for Marley that is quite interesting and entertaining. After that point and continuing into the second act, Marley seems to become more of an observer of the remaining incidents in “A Christmas Carol”. His continuing presence then seems irrelevant and contrived.

There really isn’t anything else to say that Dickens hasn’t already said in his original story and Marley is just not interesting enough to justify making him the central character here.

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleReview / Mixed bag in world-music concert
Next articleHarrison wins in AMP’s ‘Tomorrow Makers 2015’
Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

Leave a Reply