Gareth Hale will play Scrooge in Susie McKenna and Steve Edis’ adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which is to open in the newly refurbished Arts Theatre in November this year. A Christmas Carol, produced by Tiny Tim Productions, will preview from 11 November, with the press performance on 25 November, and is booking until 10 January 2010.
Susie McKenna - writer and director, and Steve Edis - composer and arranger, are regular collaborators best known for their award-winning Christmas productions previously staged at the Hackney Empire. They are joined by associate director and choreographer Frank Thompson, designer Lotte Collett, musical director Ian MacGregor, lighting designer David Howe and sound designer Richard Brooker. The puppet designer and fabricator is Scott Brooker.
The cast – who between them play over 30 roles - is led by Gareth Hale as Scrooge, who is joined by Simon Lipkin, Rebecca Thornhill and Michael Matus, as well as, the voices of Matthew White as Charlie the Theatre Mouse and Sharon D. Clarke as Bentolina the Theatre Cat, and puppeteers Brian Herring and Erin Lister.
A Christmas Carol is the first in what will be a five year initiative between Tiny Tim Productions and the Arts Theatre, presenting Christmas entertainment for family audiences. This year the Arts will transform its front of house areas to create a Victorian themed foyer offering Dickensian treats.
When Christmas-hating Sidney and his nephew Danny 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, and a sumptuous sprinkling of festive charm is about to transform this Dickens classic like never before...So as they set about putting on a show with whatever props and costumes they can get their hands on, and with a little help from the audience too, we’re whisked away on Scrooge’s magical journey to rediscover his love of life, mankind and Christmas.
Actor and comedian Gareth Hale is best known as one half of the comedy duo Hale and Pace. With Norman Pace, their comedy partnership fronted several television programmes such as Hale and Pace, Pushing Up Daisies, The Management, The Saturday Gang and Jobs for the Boys. Hale played Doug MacKenzie from 2003 – 2005 in Channel 5’s soap Family Affairs and in 2008 he joined the cast of The Royal to play head porter Jack Bell. On stage he has toured the UK as Lucky Eric in John Godber’s Bouncers and Alfred P Doolittle in Trevor Nunn’s production of My Fair Lady. Last month Gareth Hale and Norman Pace returned to Australia for their eighth national tour.