We chatted to Rose about starring in the Reading Rep’s production of A Christmas Carol.

Hi Rose, how does it feel to be part of this production of A Christmas Carol? It feels great to be working in a theatre again after the COVID hiatus and especially to be working on such a classic festive story after Christmas was (sort of) cancelled last year! I have always loved the story but never performed in it so am really enjoying exploring the characters and ideas.

What made you want to be part of this production? I grew up in Oxford so I knew about theatre happening there and then lived and worked in London for a long time where of course so much work is made. But it was exciting to hear about new work being produced in Reading and to be able to get involved with the company. I love how much
Reading Rep is involved with the local community; they do so much more than the show itself to involve local children and adults in their work and it’s been great to meet some of these groups during rehearsals.

What was it about Beth Flintoff’s adaptation that caught your attention? In Beth’s version Bobbie Cratchit is a single mother living with her own mother (Belle) and daughter, Tiny T. I was really excited about this storyline because I think its a common family set up which isn’t explored very much. I certainly relate to it as my own mum is looking after my daughter while I’m working on this show! Beth’s adaptation feels very relatable – I think an audience will recognise the characters from people in their own lives, but it still has that traditional Dickensian feel too which makes it so deliciously Christmassy.

Could you tell me about the characters you play? I play Bobbie Cratchit who is Scrooge’s Clerk at Huntley and Palmers’ Biscuit Factory. She is very smart, but her bright spark has been dulled by the strain of supporting her family on a pittance wage and being under appreciated and tormented by her boss, Scrooge.

I also play the Ghost of Christmas past who is the first of the spirits to visit Scrooge. She is quite
enigmatic but certainly has some moments where she gets to terrify him!

Finally I play Kitty, the wife of Scrooge’s nephew Fred. She only makes a brief appearance but is
quite a lot of fun as together they represent everything that Scrooge isn’t – happy and full of love for
Christmas!

Why do you think people love the story of A Christmas Carol so much? I think people love to be deliberately scared and I certainly remember the ghosts haunting Scrooge from when I first read and saw adaptations of the story. I also think people love the redemption of Scrooge – it’s a wonderfully hopeful thought that somebody could be so awful and then change so drastically for the better. There is also a good nostalgic dose of Christmas which I think most people like to indulge in!

How does it feel to be performing at the Reading Rep theatre? It’s a really welcoming company to be part of and the cast and creative team are all lovely. The theatre itself looks great and it’s exciting to see the set and design elements coming together as we go into tech week. There’s a great little bar too so it has everything you need for a festive night out!

By Emma Clarendon

A Christmas Carol begins performances at the Reading Rep on the 3rd December and will continue to play until the 31st December.