The much-loved classic tale A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens will be revived by the Royal Shakespeare Company this Christmas, starring Adrian Edmondson as Ebenezer Scrooge.
The show will play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon from 26 October 2022 to 1 January 2023.
Rachel Kavanaugh, who is currently directing new show Great British Bake Off – The Musical, is to direct.
Adrian returns to the RSC after Twelfth Night in 2017. His other stage credits include The Rocky Horror Show, Waiting for Godot, Bits of Me Are Falling Apart, The Boy Friend, and Once Upon A Time in Nazi Occupied Tunisia. On TV, Adrian is best known for The Young Ones, The Comic Strip Presents…, Bottom, Blackadder, War & Peace, Bancroft, Save Me, Cheat, Out of Her Mind, Back To Life, Summer of Rockets, One of Us, Upstart Crow and A Spy Among Friends.
Other cast includes TV actress and presenter Sunetra Sarker as The Ghost of Christmas Present; plus Beth Alsbury (Hinge), Lauren Arney (Belinda), Sally Cheng (Isabel), Eamonn Cox (Swing), Rachel Denning (Mrs Baldock), Adrian Edmondson (Ebenezer Scrooge), Gavin Fowler (Charles Dickens), Clive Hayward (Fezziwig), Jack Humphrey (Tim), Beruce Khan (John Forster), Rebecca Lacey (The Ghost of Christmas Past), Bethany Linsdell (Caroline), Michael Lyle (Father), Alexander Moneypenny (Swing), Conor O’Hara (Swing), Emma Pallant (Mrs Cratchit), Joseph Prowen (Fred), Sunetra Sarker (The Ghost of Christmas Present), Rachel Seirian (Swing), Oliver Senton (Uber), Mitesh Soni (Bob Cratchit), Liyah Summers (Fanny), Giles Taylor (Marley) and Georgie Westall (Swing).
Adrian Edmondson said in a statement that: “A Christmas Carol in an extraordinary book. It’s been in print continuously since 1843. So it must be saying something very important that catches our imagination. A lot of people think it’s about Scrooge and ghosts, which of course it is, but at the heart of it, it’s about poverty and our individual reaction to it. So it couldn’t be more relevant today than it has been in the past 30-40 years. Not since rationing really. Actual poverty in our streets. People at food banks. That’s the driving force of it for Dickens. He’d read a report on poverty and was considering writing this as a dry pamphlet, but wrote it as a story because he thought it would connect more. And, of course, it does. So it’s hard to find a play that’s more relevant, especially one you might enjoy. I’m really looking forward to playing Scrooge. Why, you might ask, would you watch a show about a really horrible person? You watch it because you’re cheering him on, urging him to become a better person. You’re on his side, you want him to turn. I think that makes him one of the most fundamentally interesting characters in literature, and a great part to play.”
Adapted by David Edgar, his socially-conscious adaptation of Dickens’ classic fable opened in 2017 to critical acclaim in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, where it played to sell-out audiences.
A Christmas Carol is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh and designed by Stephen Brimson Lewis with lighting by Tim Mitchell. Music is by Catherine Jayes, Sound Design by Fergus O’Hare with Movement by Georgina Lamb.
Adrian Edmondson’s wife, Jennifer Saunders, is currently starring in Sister Act at the Eventim Apollo in London, alongside Beverley Knight.