Oddly enough, Christmas is nearly upon us once more. Easter was cancelled, as were our summer holidays, so it is about time we had something to look forward to, and what could be more uplifting than a tale about an elderly miser. As an old Yorkshireman it certainly works for me!

Leeds Playhouse are in the middle of rehearsals for Charles Dickens’ classic tale of redemption which has been given a new twist to fill it with, as the press release says ‘festive family fun, music, magic and seasonal spirit’. Humbug! Bring on the poverty and misery.

Jack Lord as my hero Ebeneezer Scrooge. Photograph by Anthony Robling

The show is written by Deborah McAndrew, directed by Amy Leach and designed by Hayley Grindle. The cast includes Jack Lord – no, not that one Danno – as Ebeneezer Scrooge; Stephen Collins and Nadia Nadarajah as Bob and Mrs Cratchit; Dan Parr as Young Scrooge and Fred; Tessa Parr as Christmas Past; and Lladel Bryant as Dick Wilkins and Topper. Everal A Walsh is Marley and Fezziwig with Lisa Howard playing Christmas Present and Mrs Fezziwig.

Tessa Parr in rehearsal. Photograph by Anthony Robling

It is a while since I read the book but there are one or two names there I don’t remember, still, with any luck they will add a dark edge to the proceedings.

Lladel Bryant. Photograph by Anthony Robling

As generosity and grand gestures seem to have crept into Christmas over the past century or so, Leeds Playhouse have made 1,000 free – yes, free – tickets available to NHS workers as part of the #LeedsSaysThanks scheme. Just ask Ebeneezer, workers should be at work over Christmas, not swanning off to the theatre, unless it is the operating theatre of course. Oh! wait a minute, if they are NHS workers they WILL be working over Christmas. That’s all right then.

Joking aside, thank you NHS, and I hope that we can all have a good time and watch something to get us into the right frame of mind for the festivities. I might even wear my Christmas jumper. I call it my Christmas jumper because it is holey.

Christmas at Leeds Playhouse is sponsored by Families Partner, Caddick Group and Access Partner, Irwin Mitchell. A Christmas Carol is a Leeds Playhouse production in association with Hull Truck Theatre.

Audiences will be limited with social distancing and temperature checks being in place. Please remember that the pandemic will not be taking a break for Christmas so be sensible and follow the rules laid down at the time. I don’t think that anyone will be putting Covid-19 on their wish list to Santa.

A Christmas Carol runs from 3rd December, 2020 to 9th January, 2021. For more information and to book tickets, please go to


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