A Christmas Carol will be streamed free for care home and local schools.
Well, once you’ve fought The Walking Dead, a few walking spirits shouldn’t pose much of a threat, right? Andrew Lincoln – whose heretofore most memorable Christmas moment was declaring his love for Keira Knightley in Love, Actually (still not OK, Andrew) – will be making a few more festive memories this winter, as he’s been confirmed to play Ebenezer Scrooge in the Old Vic’s annual production of ‘A Christmas Carol‘. Arriving on our screens on December 12, the production will be the largest livestreamed show mounted during the pandemic, making use of a full, socially-distanced cast. [Featured image: Old Vic, via Twitter]
Jack Thorne’s critically-acclaimed version of Dickens’ classic tale has been seen on the Old Vic stage for the past three years (with Rhys Ifans, Stephen Tompkinson, and Paterson Joseph in the lead role respectively), and has become a firm festive favourite amongst audiences. In 2020, however, the whole game has changed. As Andrew Lincoln steps into the shoes of famed malcontent Scrooge, he’ll do so in an empty auditorium, facing the TV cameras with seventeen other castmates. It’s part of the Old Vic’s ‘In Camera’ series, which has already given us such treats as Claire Foy and Matt Smith in ‘Lungs’, and Andrew Scott in ‘Three Kings’ earlier this year.
All in all, 80 people will be working on the production, and will maintain social distancing throughout – a unique challenge that will require military precision to pull it off perfectly. A Christmas Carol will be screened across sixteen performances from December 12-24, with 5000 tickets for each performance up for grabs. The Old Vic are also offering the show free to care homes around the country, and local schools, which is a really lovely gesture. Tickets go on sale to priority access holders on November 3, and to the general public on November 9 – find them here.
Theatre bosses don’t expect to make a profit from this massive production – an incredible show of generosity and selflessness at a time when the theatre industry is struggling more than most. The Old Vic has been helped by a long-awaited £3 million emergency subsidy from the government, but you can also support their immeasurable contribution to London and the arts by donating here.
In other festive news, the Oxford Street Christmas lights are switching on tonight.
Also published on Medium.