Writer/director Susie McKenna and composer Steve Edis are known for their long-time collaboration on Hackney Empire’s famed pantomimes, which draw large audiences to the North London venue each year. This festive season the pair bring their talents to London’s West End, staging their new adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol at the Arts theatre with a stellar cast led by Gareth Hale as Scrooge.

McKenna’s adaptation centres on Christmas-hating Sidney and his nephew Danny, who accidentally get locked in a theatre. The last thing they expect is to have to perform A Christmas Carol on stage in front of an expectant audience, aided by two out of work actors, the resident theatre cat and a mouse with stage fright. But of course this is no ordinary night at the theatre. The unlikely team set about putting on a show with whatever props and costumes they can get their hands on, whisking the audience away on Scrooge’s magical journey to rediscover his love of life, mankind and Christmas.

The role of Scrooge in A Christmas Carol is played by Gareth Hale, one half of the comedy duo Hale and Pace. Hale’s acting credits include Family Affairs and The Royal on television, plus stage productions of Bouncers and My Fair Lady.

Hale is joined by a hugely experienced cast which includes Rebecca Thornhill (Les Miserables, The Witches Of Eastwick), Simon Lipkin (Avenue Q) and Michael Matus (Imagine This, Timon Of Athens). Sharon D Clarke, a regular face in Hackney’s pantomimes and in the West End, lends her voice to Bentolina the theatre cat, while Charlie the theatre mouse is voiced by Matthew White (director of Little Shop Of Horrors at the Menier Chocolate Factory and West End).

For more about A Christmas Carol at the Arts theatre, read the Big Interview with Gareth Hale.

Looking to see some musical theatre? Find out more about London musicals.

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