A Christmas Carol
Rhys Ifans takes on Scrooge
If Christmas with Rhys Ifans sounds like a riot then the Old Vic is the place to go and see his take on Dickens's famous miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, in a new production of A Christmas Carol.
This new version of the haunting tale has been re-written by surely Britain's most in-demand playwright, Jack Thorne, who wrote the West End mega-hit Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as well as reworked Woyzeck that played at the Old Vic in 2016.
The show, which is directed by the theatre's artistic director Matthew Warchus, is described as "a joyous new production, full of heart and festive cheer". It takes the audience along on Scrooge's journey through Christmases past, present and future, as he witnesses what a lifetime of fear and selfishness has led to and sees with fresh eyes the lonely life he has built for himself.
Ifans memorably played the Fool (in a Superman cape) to Glenda Jacksons's much lauded King Lear at the Old Vic in 2016, although he's probably best known to cinema audiences as Hugh Grant's off-beat roommate in the film Notting Hill. He's also known for his reputation as a party animal and mischief-maker-in-chief, but the passion with which he throws himself into every role he plays, and his charismatic stage presence, mean he is always an interesting and hugely watchable actor.
As Roger Michell, who directed Ifans in both the films Notting Hill and Enduring Love, told The Daily Telegraph: "[Ifans] never plays bad people... He plays good people who've lost their way or made mistakes." And that is Ebenezer Scrooge in a nutshell.
For a different take on Scrooge's story there is an immersive version of A Christmas Carol by Watch Your Head being performed in the State Apartments of Windsor Castle this Christmas.
Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1NJ
16-30 December, with additional dates in January expected to announced. Age 7+
The Old Vic theatre is about to celebrate its 200th birthday in May 2018 with a special season of world premieres, including The Divide by Alan Ayckbourn, Fanny & Alexander, based on the Ingmar Bergman film (both opening February 2018), and Mood Music by Joe Penhall (opening April 2018).
More for fans of Ifans
Rhys Ifans will be starring alongside Indira Varma in Eugène Ionesco's absurdist drama, Exit The King, at the National Theatre, directed by Patrick Marber (opening July 2018). The 1962 play is about a crumbling kingdom and a dying king, whose line "Nothing's abnormal when abnormal has become the new normal" could arguably have been written now.
20 November - 20 January
Old Vic Theatre
London SE1 8NB
Recommended for ages 11+
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