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An engaging musical



"A Christmas Carol"... cohesive group effort. — Pic. by R. Ragu.

RANDY COMMUNITY Theatre can be one of the most fulfilling and sociable of activities. Mellow Circle showed us what good things a community group can do with effort, will and purpose. Mellow Circle's musical play at the Chinmaya Heritage Hall on November 27 night was an adaptation for the stage of Charles Dickens's famous novella, "A Christmas Carol."

This was the fifth year that Mellow Circle has produced a musical, with the purpose that profits will go to some worthy cause. This year, children affected with HIV will be the recipients of the group's profits.

An array of community business and services shared in the effort to make the production a success, and the hall was sold out. So, the community effort put into this production will doubtless achieve its desired intent. What we saw was engagingly presented. Mellow Circle essentially consists of a choir, whose members also enjoy acting, and actors who enjoy musical theatre.

It was arranged so that the 40-voice choir was on stage most of the time, and the action took place in and around them. By this staging, we were reminded of the original function of a chorus, which was to comment on the action in the classical Greek theatre.

In "A Christmas Carol," the comments of the chorus took the form of a mixture of traditional western Christian hymns for Christmas sung by the whole choir, and western popular songs of the past 50 years, sung by solo voices drawn from the choir.

Dickens's story tells of a night in the life of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miser whose life is changed to one of generosity through visits from the ghost of a former business partner, and from the Spirits of Christmas past, present and yet to come.

In keeping with the melodramatic story, we were treated to larger than life ghosts, amusingly sinister and crude charwomen, stuffy businessmen, and a rather taciturn and suitably unpleasant Mr Scrooge in the person of Prem K. Thomas.

The play was co-ordinated by Becky Thomas, and the script adapted from Dickens' story by Jean Isaacs. The musical direction was shared by Koshi Philip and conductor James Tony David. One wishes Mellow Circle many more such successful efforts in the years to come. It would be interesting to see what, in some future production, Mellow Circle might do with a play on a theme of local origin. I predict that the result would be every bit as engaging as this one!

RANDALL GILES

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