A Christmas Carol - As Told by Jacob Marley (Deceased)
Jacob Marley is dead and condemned to an eternity of carrying a heavy chain, forged in life; a life to which he can no longer return except to recount the tale of his miserly business partner, Ebenezer Scrooge, and the path that lead to his redemption. Through Marley’s words, we learn how three magical spirits opened Scrooge’s eyes and made him realise the true value of love and forgiveness.
Told from the perspective of Scrooge's deceased business partner, this award-winning stage adaptation has been hailed as the "definitive telling of A Christmas Carol" (Redditch Standard), and rated as one of "the top Christmas shows in London, Edinburgh and around the UK" (High 50 Culture). Recognised by Queen Elizabeth II for its part in Dickensian Scholarship, this "forcefully compelling masterpiece" (Manx Independent) delivers thrills, chills and excitement aplenty for all ages.
WINNER: BEST PERFORMER IN THEATRE
Fringe Report Awards, 2012
NOMINATED: LONDON THEATRE AWARD
London Awards for Art and Performance, 2012
Age Recommendation: 7+
"The stage held only a chair and chain, and yet a whole world was created before the audience, just as James Hyland was the only actor on stage, yet was able to bring a whole cast to life. The characterisation of Jacob Marley was fantastic, from the ghostly makeup to the physical acting as he dragged around his chains. He then seamlessly transitioned into the other characters, each with distinct traits and voices, with their nature captured perfectly"
~Kashmini Shah, VOICE MAGAZINE
"a tremendous achievement... writer and sole actor James Hyland brings an energy and emotional range which reignites the charm of the original story... Where many one man shows fall down, Hyland thrives, moving between roles with a fluency and depth of character which is a wonder to watch... This production shows Hyland to be a rare phenomenon—a virtuoso performer who has mastered the one man show, able to write act and produce at the highest level"
~Tom Dillon, PLAYS TO SEE
"James Hyland plays Marley with stunning conviction... it is the production's minimal set, consisting of a chair, and the overall one-act performance that makes it visual and enthralling. Something that many one-act plays have failed to achieve... a Christmas treat for anyone looking for an entertaining piece of theatre"
~Jason D. Brawn, DARK FICTION WRITER
"Hyland is an extremely powerful presence on stage with a rich voice that he uses to great effect. Within 75 minutes, he creates the world Dickens wrote about with skill and precision and in doing so took us with him on Scrooge’s journey of remorse and redemption... there is no doubt this is a masterful performance of this iconic tale, which drew us into Dickens’s world and sent us home with a tear in our eye and a cry on our lips: "God bless us everyone."
~Suzanne Hawkes, BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE
"Hyland is mankind! He literally jumps from character to character, from Marley to Scrooge, to the magpie people pinching deceased Scrooge’s belongings, even to the adorable Tiny Tim. Such energy. Such force. Genius. Hyland gives us strong flashes of Albert Finney, and Alastair Sim, at their darkest. He not only lights up the stage with his vibrant personality and skill, but terrifies us too, so much so that at times I was scared to look directly into his eyes... Do go and see this one-man-show if you can."
~Deborah Edgeley, INK PANTRY
"I was completely spell bound watching James Hyland perform A Christmas Carol... Hyland performs this one man show spectacularly well...He commanded the space with an energetic and physical performance, full of conviction and passion. A wonderful and impactful piece of theatre."
~Claire Faulkner, NANTWICH NEWS
"It's not often an actor can mesmerise an entire audience on his own. But James Hyland has the gift...This was heart-in-the-mouth theatre in its finest form as he delivered line after faultless line of perfect prose brought to life with exquisite detail and the cleverest of subtle mime."
~John Nurden, SHEERNESS TIME GUARDIAN
"a forcefully compelling masterpiece... [Hyland] triumphantly infused the story with fresh life. Emotionally raw and at times blackly comical, his performance was outstanding... When Hyland took his closing bow, he was accompanied by appreciative whistles, cheers and a standing ovation."
~Fiona McKenna, THE MANX INDEPENDENT
"such riveting entertainment... Hyland had the audience gripped... Characters were brought vividly to life through his dramatic actions and facial expressions, evoking all the emotion film makers spend months and millions of pounds to recreate... A powerful, thought provoking, and in many ways, definitive telling of A Christmas Carol."
~Ian Dipple, REDDITCH STANDARD
"this is highly compelling and riveting theatre... A solid and faithful rendering of a famous story, retaining a freshness and vibrancy from start to finish... This is good old-fashioned storytelling at its best. The ending proved incredibly haunting, and there were echoes of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, where the father ghost figure implores his son to remember him. Here, the line is, “Remember what has passed between us this night!” That won’t be difficult. This is indeed a memorable and astonishing production."
~Chris Omaweng, LONDON THEATRE 1