At St George’s Hall, there is, until 18th December, a piece of theatre available which takes you up close and personal to the story of Ebenezer Scrooge as A Christmas Carol is given an artistic tweaking in the form of Ghosts of Christmas Past.  The purpose of this forty five minute show is to not just tell what, in my opinion, is the greatest piece of fiction ever, but to give the audience a context to not just the time but also the purpose of Charles Dickens’ perennial.

Dickens’ tale of poverty, hardship and the necessity for human kindness strikes far too familiar a chord in these days.  But it is surely for that reason that a visit to this venture is to me a must for those who have time free this yuletide.  I love this story so much, but coming away I felt my heart lifted by this take on the tale.

In part my heart was feeling relief that the face to face theatre, in some moments millimetres apart, did not require audience participation or too grand a scare.  Unlike traditional theatre which requires the players to fill the auditorium with their voice and personas, the style of those acting in the catacombs beneath Liverpool’s grandest building drew all of us in.  Literally at times as you stretched your sinews to get that fraction closer without breaking the invisible wall between Victorian England and modern life.

I would say though that unlike The Muppets’ or Disney’s versions of A Christmas Carol this is not for young children.  There are no song and dance numbers, comedic interludes or comfortable seats.  Instead there is darkness, tension and a time machine into the past.  It is also probably not suitable for high heels, so if you are going to an earlier show before a meal and drinks you might want to walk around the rooms underneath the surface with your late night flip flops on.

Does this sound like your idea of how to spend an evening?  If your answer is no, you’re going to be visited tonight by the Three Ghosts of Liverpool Noise, you’ll be buying your ticket tomorrow.  If your answer is yes, then you might as well follow the links to get your ticket here.

Gary Lambert