Friday, 21 December 2018

REVIEW: LMTO’s A Christmas Carol at Lyceum Theatre

“I’m just not feeling very Christmas-y yet...” (Harriet Langdown, 5 minutes before curtain up)

“MY HEART IS SO FULL. I CANNOT WAIT FOR CHRISTMAS NOW!” (Harriet Langdown, 1 minute after curtain down)

LMTO has done it again. 

This production of A Christmas Carol is a staged concert format, so if you’re looking for elaborate set pieces and fancy costumes, you’re in the wrong place - but if you’re searching for beautiful music played by a stunning orchestra, the best of the West End singing a dramatic score and the most enthusiastic and passionate conductor on the face of planet Earth, you’re in for a winner. LMTO reprise their smash-hit production in the same theatre where they made their debut in 2016, and what a treat it is. 

In a cast led by Griff Rhys Jones as the infamous Ebenezer Scrooge, A Christmas Carol is a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel of the same name. Also starring Jeremy Secomb as Jacob Marley, David Hunter as Bob Cratchit, Miriam-Teak Lee as Ghost of Christmas Past and Lucie Jones as Emily (and other roles). 

The principal cast is supported by a choir of 16 wonderful voices who build such a blissful wall of sound. Without them this evening simply would not have been so magical. There was an enormous amount of talent in this show, but Jeremy Secomb absolutely blew my mind. With credits like Sweeney Todd, Javert and The Phantom to his name, one expects a certain type of voice but Secomb is in a whole new league of his own. He showcased the best of his vocal ability and powered through “Link By Link” in a show-stopping performance. I was still picking my jaw up off the floor during the interval. 

Soon-to-be star of Waitress at the Adelphi Theatre is David Hunter. His Bob Cratchit was wonderfully kind, earnest and tender. Alongside the fabulous Tobias Ungleson as his son, Tiny Tim, the pair stole hearts and melted us all into a big puddle of love and Christmas spirit. 

Miriam-Teak Lee as Ghost Of Christmas Past was wonderful - so effortlessly light, we felt like we were flying with her; aided further by a stunning choice of gown with a cape enhancing the illusion of wings even further. Her performance was perfectly engaging and I’m so thrilled she joined this line-up. 

We were also treated to Cedric Neal as Ghost of Christmas Present. What a fabulously fun and charismatic number “Abundance and Charity” was - full of energy and a real toe-tapper. Exactly what one hopes for from a show filled with Christmas spirit! 

I must commend Mikey Impiazzi as Jonathan/Young Scrooge. He may well have one of the most animated faces in London. Wonderful comic timing for such a young performer - I don’t doubt we’ll be seeing much more of this fabulous boy in years to come. 

The evening was a total delight, bursting at the seams with joyous Christmas cheer and fabulous music. Freddie Tapner has created something truly magical with LMTO and to find a show of this nature where the orchestra are such a focal point is a rarity. I always look forward to seeing what they do next and I cannot wait to see what 2019 will bring. 

Review by Harriet Langdown

Rating: ★★★★

Seat: L20 Stalls | Price of Ticket: £49.50
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