Last week, we braved the wintery weather (bah humbug!) to ascend the heights of Alexandra Palace for the opening night of A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story, Mark Gatiss’s retelling of the classic festive Dickens tale.
The climb up to Ally Pally is worth it for the panoramic London views alone – not to mention this fantastically atmospheric Christmas treat of a show, which combines an incredibly inventive set with an energetic, versatile cast, spooky special effects and even some full-throated carol singing!
Mark Gatiss – who you might know from his work on Doctor Who, Sherlock and League of Gentlemen – makes a spine-tingling (and chain jingling) appearance as the ghost of Jacob Marley, Scrooge’s business partner and fellow miser. He’s joined by a stellar cast including Nicholas Farrell as Scrooge.
After a pandemic delay (it was originally due to open in 2020), the production opened at Nottingham Playhouse last month, before transferring to the gorgeous setting of Alexandra Palace Theatre, where it runs until 9 January.
Alexandra Palace Theatre itself is truly spectacular, and has to be seen to be believed – this cavernous Victorian venue first opened in 1875 to entertain audiences of up to 3,000 with a mix of panto, opera, drama and ballet, but later fell into disuse and lay empty and derelict for 80 years. The ‘sleeping giant’ was finally awakened with a restoration which began in 2016 – and a grand reopening in 2018.
This video gives some insight into the mammoth task of restoring the massive theatre.
If you fancy experiencing this atmospheric festive delight for yourself (and the legendary Ally Pally views!), you can book your tickets for A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story right here on Official London Theatre.