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Peterborough based Lamphouse Theatre have been keeping us entertained online this year and just as they’d taken to the stage with their version of A Christmas Carol… Tier 4 scuppered them!

However the good news is that this amazing one-man show can still be seen online.

ESP didn’t get along in time to catch it at the Key Theatre so to see if it’s a worth a watch we welcome guest reviewer Vicky Wild to give us her feedback…

If I said “One man Christmas Carol”, what might you think? An old Scrooge in an armchair with a candle scraping a performance together to make the best of a bad year?

Certainly not in Lamphouse Theatre’s version at The Key Theatre in Peterborough. Instead, what I witnessed was an interactive rock and roll, comedy, magical, musical extravaganza – nothing like anything I had ever seen before!

That one man (Tom Fox) played a whopping total of 45 characters on stage with such dynamism, energy and panache that the audience was completely enthralled from start to finish. The Christmas spirit was alive and well without a doubt.

It was a family show that delighted everyone from young children to my 60-something parents. Audience heckles were actively encouraged and became intrinsic parts of the performance as Fox effortlessly knocked out hilarious perfectly timed comic retorts.

He had set himself the ambitious task of doing everything within the show from his own special effects, puppetry to costume changes that were astounding to watch him accomplish. If his trousers fell down or if his accent unexpectedly changed he brought us in on the joke as he found the joy in recovering from it spectacularly.

Fox received a richly-deserved standing ovation celebrating this multi-talented extraordinaire – a real homegrown Peterborough treasure. This area certainly deserves a place on the theatrical hot spot map and Lamphouse Theatre Company (previously performing their version of ‘A Jungle Book’ at The Stamford Arts Centre last year) are trailblazers for it.

“Why hasn’t Hollywood found him yet?” said Dad.

“Absolutely brilliant! How does he do it?” said Mum.

“Well, that sure kick-started Christmas!”  I said.

Sadly, we watched his second and final performance as the city plunged into Tier 4 a few days later. On alternate nights, professional performer Richard Parnwell was also due to perform this same show and thankfully managed to squeeze in three performances to socially distanced audiences before the final curtain dropped.

Luckily, however, Lamphouse Theatre had a contingency plan and has filmed both versions of the show produced by Becky Owen-Fisher. It is now available to download and view digitally via The Key Theatre website. Highly recommended viewing to cheer on Christmas 2020.

Vicky Wild


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