The Talent Box received another warm welcome from audiences for their original production of  ‘Scrooge’ at the Blackmore Theatre last week, both nights performing to full houses. 

The Talent Box is a self-funded, Exmouth-based theatre group for adults with learning disabilities run by Jane O’Connell, who has watched the group’s performances improve and develop over the past years and credits their success to the actors immense hard work and commitment.

The story of Scrooge was told in this light-hearted, pantomime-style production, with plenty of audience participation and a few ghostly scares along the way. The Talent Box sang, danced and delivered the dialogue with confidence and energy, entertaining their audience from start to finish. 

The character of Scrooge was mastered by Chris Brown, convincingly grumpy yet winning the audience round with his poignant change of heart. Welcome newcomer to the group Al Downing narrated the show through song and dialogue and gave a strong and excellent performance throughout, guiding the audience through the story.

Bob Cratchit was played convincingly and enthusiastically by Andrew Howard, complimented by Nicki Slynn as his wife, who demonstrated her singing and dancing skills. The audience loved James Tetlow’s unique and energetic dance routine as Jacob Marley and his confident repartee with the audience. Jayne Rawlinson was magical and spooky as the Ghost of Christmas Past and lit up the stage. Robert Hatfield as pantomime dame and the Ghost of Christmas Present won the hearts of the audience and  was a treat to behold in his fairy dress. The Ghost of Christmas Future was played with eerie conviction by Debbie Reed.

Molly Bradley, Hannah Pooley and Nina Dutt were delightful as the servant girls and their solo performances were received warmly both evening’s. Lettie Cunningham, made a wonderful housekeeper and delivered her dialogue and solo moments with confidence and clarity.

Tony Hafner’s debut with the group was a committed and watchable performance. Anthony Richardson made a believable dignitary within the ensemble and a suitably creepy zombie character, during the ghost scene. The Talent Box were fortunate to have the help of Lewis , who competently assisted in the technical box. 

The Talent Box would very much like to thank the Cranford Sports Centre for the use of their rehearsal space.