Jason K Ralph as Scrooge and (above) Scrooge sees the first of three ghosts. Picture: Supplied
In the present-day hyper-commercialism of secular Christmas, Charles Dickens’ themes of charity and altruism in A Christmas Carol have never been more pertinent.

A Christmas Carol tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a mean-spirited old miser who is transformed by visitations from the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come.

As punishment for his greedy and self-serving life, Marley’s spirit has been condemned to wander the Earth weighted down with heavy chains.

Marley hopes to save Scrooge from sharing the same fate. Being confronted with his own condemnation, Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man who learns to treasure the spirit of benevolence.

Dickens seems to be reminding us of the importance in taking notice of the lives of those around us.

In her adaptation for the stage, director Elizma Badenhorst manages to capture the essence of the story with great appeal.

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In this two-hander, featuring Jason K Ralph (as Scrooge) and Naret Loots (as Everyone Else) she succinctly and effectually conveys the message in an amusing and charming rendition, employing her distinctive and entertaining quirkiness and her characteristic witty slant.

Ralph’s portrayal of Scrooge is excellent. He superbly captures the character’s transformation and evokes a sense of compassion for his regrets, his epiphany and his amends.

Jason K Ralph as Scrooge and (above) Scrooge sees the first of three ghosts. Picture: Supplied

A highlight of the production is Loots’ ingenious animation. It vividly contributes to the emotions and expressiveness of the work in a most creative and imaginary manner.

Composer Wessel Odendaal’s score brilliantly adds to the nuance of every scene.

A Christmas Carol is terrific entertainment for the entire family and will appeal to young and old. It is a theatre gem that will add joy to everyone’s festive season.

IOL