La Montagne's review of "A Christmas Carol"

21-23 November 2019 

Scrooge's Counting House

Thanks to La Montagne who said:

CastawaysDrama is an amateur theatre group whose working language is English. It includes both British and French nationals. Although they are amateur, several of the volunteers have had a professional career. “Castaways” means “shipwrecked” - away from Britain.

This troupe began six* years ago and offers original shows. The play offered at La Souterraine is called “A Christmas Carol" and brings together numerous successive characters on stage, accompanied by singers, with quality technical support, special effects and video projections.


A drama teacher, a stage manager…

The actors, of all ages, have fun and their enthusiasm is palpable. They come from La Souterraine, neighbouring communes and Haute-Vienne. The sets they have created are remarkable, and made by themselves. One of this association’s volunteers was once a BBC engineer and Bernie Lyons, principal character of the play, a drama teacher in England. Tim Roper, the association’s president, was stage manager for forty years at Cambridge Arts Theatre. The sets and costumes also spring from experts. For the two** shows that took place at La Souterraine’s Ancienne Mairie, the hall was full and the atmosphere festive.


Play and communicate

Castaways, which brings together all generations, would love to have good new volunteers join them, in order to pass on their know-how and have more young people in the group. Rehearsals take place twice a week. Among other things, it is a way of learning English in an original way, points out Karen, Tim’s wife.


Their creations range from pantomime through plays of the Victorian era to comedy. “A Christmas Carol” is their sixth* production.


Why go to see CastawaysDrama’s theatrical creations? On the one hand, for the quality of the sets and costumes. On the other, to discover that the comic gestures and mimicry of this “so British” theatre can be easily understood. In addition, to enjoy the songs, original direction and rhythm of the piece. And also to improve in Shakespeare’s language.


“A Christmas Carol” is a play drawn from Charles Dickens’ novel, adapted by Karen Louise Hebden and directed by Margau Wright. It tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an old miser hiding behind his avarice, on whom the magic of Christmas will work until he becomes less greedy and more human. With dramatic strokes of humour you are carried by the story and don’t notice that two hours, including interval, have passed, as fifteen actors share the stage.


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Translated from La Montagne's article in French by Margau Wright (3/12/19)

See original article here: La

Note "A Christmas Carol is actually our eighth production in our eighth season and we gave four shows (but who's counting!)