The Old Vic announced today that Andrew Lincoln (AMC’s The Walking Dead) will star as Ebenezer Scrooge in this year’s OLD VIC: IN CAMERA version of Jack Thorne’s A Christmas Carol. Directed by Matthew Warchus, the festive favorite returns for its fourth year and this time will be streamed live from The Old Vic stage. As with previous OLD VIC: IN CAMERA streams, the empty auditorium will be the show’s backdrop but this production will be, for the first time in the series, presented as a full-scale show with live musicians, theatrical lighting, set and costumes, and with a cast of 18 performers. In total, 80 freelance creatives, actors and musicians will be employed to create this year’s production.
The Cast includes: Melissa Allan, Rosanna Bates, John Dagleish, Timvan Eyken, Sam Lathwood, Eugene McCoy, Myra McFadyen, Gloria Obianyo, Maria Omakinwa, GoldaRosheuvel, Michael Rouse, Clive Rowe and Sam Townsend. With Rayhaan Kufuor-Gray, Lara Mehmet, LennyRush and Eleanor Stollery sharing the role of Tiny Tim.
Matthew Warchus’ production of Jack Thorne’s A Christmas Carol premiered at The Old Vic in 2017 and made its Broadway debut at New York’s Lyceum Theatre last year. It’s now nominated for five 2020 Tony Awards.
Director Matthew Warchus: “When I began my job as Artistic Director five years ago I boldly (naively) put up a neon sign in the lobby radiating Lilian Baylis’ favorite quote – “Dare, Always Dare”. With those galvanizing words ringing in our ears, I am delighted to announce that Andrew Lincoln has joined us in what must surely be one of the most ambitious and complex pieces of live streamed theatre attempted in the pandemic so far. The Old Vic’s A Christmas Carol has moved and entertained over a quarter of a million people in London and New York over the last three Christmases and we made a pledge last spring that we would still present it, in some form or other, even in this most challenging of years. In doing a project of this size we don’t expect to be able to make any profit for the theatre but rather we will be continuing our mission of staying connected to audiences of all ages, providing much needed work and income for dozens of freelancers, and generally celebrating the important role live theatre has always played in bringing us together to share amazing stories. I hope you can join us.”
The production will play 16 live performances December 12–24, 2020 with 80,000 tickets available throughout the run from £10–£65 (currency exchange rates apply), with all ticket prices offering the same view. Audiences only need to buy one ticket to watch with a group on the same screen; and, if they plan on watching together on the same screen, a group of four could get to experience this production for as little as £2.50 per person or a maximum of £20 per person.
Through staging and pricing the production in this way, The Old Vic hopes that it will breakeven and any profits that are made will go towards funding the charitable activities of The Old Vic: artistic, education and community work that serves its beneficiaries. During the pandemic The Old Vic has seen a 75% reduction in box office income for live performances – its main source of income. Yet its core costs remain, supporting staff and its Grade II* listed building as well as continuing with outreach work within communities who need it more than ever.
Photo: The Old Vic