The London Musical Theatre Orchestra made its West End debut with a cosy and heartwarming concert performance of Alan Menken’s A Christmas Carol.
If there is a better way to get into the festive spirit or even truly believe in Christmas than watching A Christmas Carol or listening to Alan Menken, Lynn Ahrens and Mike Ockrent’s beautiful musical then I have yet to discover it.
Taking things a step further on from their first public concert performance of State Fair, the London Musical Theatre Orchestra has once again managed to assemble an all-star cast to create a beautifully heartwarming performance that received a standing ovation at the end.
The cast was led by the wonderfully charming Robert Lindsay as Scrooge, who despite playing someone so unlikeable managed to make him somehow have a unique charm of a misunderstood character through his constant abrupt speeches and muttering “Bah Humbug” consistently that seemed to delight audiences.
But there is ample support from the rest of the cast too, with Madalena Alberto impressing vocally as the Ghost of Christmas Past and Hugh Maynard delivering plenty of personality as the Ghost of Christmas Present.
Of course, it isn’t just the cast that impresses. The London Musical Theatre Orchestra celebrate the magnificent score perfectly, consistently using a delicate touch and adding a playful nature to proceedings, particularly when it comes to numbers such as ‘Mr Fezziwig’s Annual Christmas Ball’ that is so delightful to listen to that it is no wonder that your toes start tapping along.
At the same time, the orchestra are able to create a haunting atmosphere, with a hint of darkness such as when Scrooge is being confronted by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley that sends shivers up the spine.
A number of songs really stand out, the joyful ‘Abundance and Charity’, the affectionate ‘Christmas Together’ and the somewhat aggressive sounding ‘Link By Link’, provide plenty of variety and pleasure.
However, there are moments during which there were some sound issues in which the music seemed to overpower the vocals. But despite this, Alan Menken’s score and Lynn Ahrens’ lyrics fit in with the story perfectly and are filled with emotional impact that the performers and orchestra are able to draw out perfectly. The stage also seems extremely crowded, with perhaps a number of cast or characters needing to be cut down slightly to make the flow of the performance be a little bit easier.
God bless the London Musical Theatre Orchestra for once again delivering a a high quality concert performance of a score that is heartwarming and emotionally engaging to listen to. Good natured and whole hearted fun.
The London Musical Theatre Orchestra will release details of its 2017 season soon. For more information about the orchestra visit: http://www.lmto.org/