Theater Reviews by Morna

Morna Martell

A CHRISTMAS CAROL – 1951 – You Tube

Having seen many incarnations over the years, I must admit this b/w version of Charles Dickens masterpiece is simply the best ever on stage or film. Alastair Sim is marvelous as the miserly businessman who views Christmas as a waste of time. He is the bitterest, meanest Scrooge you’ll ever see, as he grudgingly allows his timid clerk to spend only one day with his family, even though his little boy, Tiny Tim, is lame and dying from tuberculosis (TB). When alone, Scrooge is visited by ghosts and given a glimpse into his sad past, cruel present and tragic future, with a final revelation that brings a joyous conclusion.

The roster of fabulous British performers include Mervyn Johns as clerk Bob Cratchit and Hermione Baddeley (who I toured with in 1961) as Mrs. Cratchit; Michael Hordern as Scrooge’s dead partner; Kathleen Harrison as his charwoman, and George Cole as the young Scrooge when Spirit of Christmas Past (Michael Dolan) takes him back in time. Screenplay by Noel Langley uses dialogue from the original book. Produced and directed by Brian Desmond Hurst.


Christmas will look vastly different for millions this year due to the coronavirus, but PBS has announced that one tradition will remain intact. The Charlie Brown holiday special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” will air on PBS and PBS Kids on December 13. This annual holiday tradition was thrown into question in October when Apple TV+ made a deal with Peanuts Worldwide and Mendelson Film Productions to be the sole home of all Peanuts’ holiday specials. When people learned that the Peanuts characters would only be on Apple TV+ thousands signed a petition to bring back Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Woodstock, and the rest. Also on Apple TV+ from Dec. 11-13.

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