In the immortal words of Scrooge, “A merry Christmas to every-body! A happy new year to all the world! Whoop!”
What better time to post this sketch of the wonderful Welsh actor Rhys Ifans as one of Charles Dickens’ most memorable characters in the Old Vic production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL in London. It’s the ultimate redemption story, the cold-hearted miser who despises the festive season, until the Christmas Spirits fill him with love and joy.
We saw the excellent production a couple of weeks ago and Rhys signed this drawing for me yesterday at the stage door.
Jim Broadbent, one of Britain’s finest character actors, has returned to the London stage as the seasonal skinflint Scrooge in a new adaption by Patrick Barlow of Dickens’ classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Noel Coward Theatre.
Last seen in THEATRE OF BLOOD at the National, a decade ago, the multi-award-winning actor’s portrayal of Scrooge is more high-spirited than mean-spirited, played with a ‘permanent twinkle in his eye’.
It’s New Year’s honours time and I was reminded of when Jim declined an OBE in 2002, after winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as British critic and writer John Bayley in IRIS. He stated that there were more deserving recipients than actors and the British Empire was not something he wanted to celebrate. But he didn’t decline to sign my sketch and, as usual was very gracious at the stage door.