No festive season is complete without revisiting the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. From December 3-23, you’ll be able to witness the story of A Christmas Carol unfold in The Painted Hall of Old Royal Naval College. The experience will be like embarking on your own trip into the past, but on this occasion it’s just the historic architecture and age-old novella doing the time-bending legwork – there’ll be no ethereal beings whisking you away. This enchanting adaptation will be enough to turn even the surliest of frowns upside down, and the opportunity to see the grand venue won’t hurt either.
Not only will you revisit those classic Charles Dickens’ characters, but you’ll also get to see them break out into song, as this is a musical version of the tale. A cast of five multi-talented actors – who also play the musical instruments – will be performing original numbers. Close your eyes and listen as the powerful voices and riveting music fills the giant hall, immersing you in melodies on an epic scale.
The Painted Hall will no doubt be a magical setting for the musical. Once you step on to its polished marble floors you will be spoilt for choice on where to look. We would recommend gazing up at the domed ceiling. Like peering into another celestial world, the fascinating painting depicts over 200 figures that artist Sir James Thornhill used to chronicle political change and naval endeavours of his time. An entanglement of regal kings, floating cherubs and shield-wielding warriors can be spied across the sweeping work of art, each seemingly emerging from a backdrop of fluffy white clouds.
Moments later, your eyes will likely travel down to the painting spanning the West Wall; where King George I and family are framed by Corinthian columns and the phrase ‘Iam Nova Progenies Coelo’ (‘Now a new generation descends from heaven’). See if you can also spot Thornhill himself – standing with his arm outstretched among the painted crowd.
Once you settle in to seats and the play is underway, it won’t be long before you’re lost in the world of Dickens’ once more. A trip to the theatre, museum and an art gallery rolled into one, you’d be a fool to miss this. Make sure to snap up tickets fast so you can join Scrooge as he discovers the true meaning of Christmas and soak up the impressive Baroque interior while you’re at it.