Bristol Theatre News

Christmas Carol is in Fine Form at the Tobacco Factory




1. Chris Bianchi as Scrooge
2.  Paul Mundell as Marley’s Ghost

3.  Heather Saunders, Kali Hughes, Paul Mundell, Felix Hayes, Tom Wainwright – Various Characters  and Chris Bianchi as Scrooge

4. Chris Bianchi as Scrooge



There can only be few who are not familiar with Scrooge’s journey to redemption in Dicken’s Christmas Carol. It’s the old, old classic story of man meets ghost, ghost shows man the error of his ways, man reforms.


This new adaptation by Toby Farrow, with music by Liz Purnell, is given a fresh Bristol make over whilst retaining the best of the original.


As we were told that the show was suitable for ages six years and up, we found a six-year-old girl to take with us.


We chose a child who had never, ever been to the theatre before, and who imagined it to be a bit like the cinema. Knowing this child there was a strong likelihood that this would be a hellish night, that there would be endless audible questions, copious toilet trips and far too many E numbers for her to sit still.


Knocking the edge off of the nerves with a mulled wine, it was amazing to find the child did sit still, laughed her head off, and was both genuinely wrapped up in the story and impressed with the general spectacle of theatre. It was a breeze though the old purse was bled dry for ice cream, drinks and confectionary.


As soon as it was over our test child said without prompt: “Can we see another one? It was excellent. It was so brilliant I want to go to the theatre again. I loved the ghost of Christmas Presents. He was so funny. We didn’t even know he was there. Wow!”


It was fantastic to see a traditional piece of theatre truly inspire a member of the Disney Princess 24 hour cartoon generation.


Chris Bianchi was the perfect Scrooge relishing his humbug moments and backed up with great gusto by an excellent supporting cast.


Paul Mundell as Marley and Felix Hayes as the Ghost of Christmas Now were fantastic festive spirits and Tom Wainwright provided touching moments as the ever put upon Bob Cratchitt.


The pace was good and the plot entertaining, sometimes hysterically funny, sometimes with genuine tinges of sadness.


The length was perfect and there wasn’t a single child leaving the auditorium on a toilet trip that we noticed.


This was a genuine, feel good family show without the saccharine, “he’s behind you” malarkey and generally made you feel that yes, life is too short to work in finance.


The Tobacco Factory Theatre has pulled another Christmas cracker, and this theatre year after year without fail, puts on Bristol’s best festive treat. Do not miss.