Reading Rep Theatre today announces the full cast of A Christmas Carol - a world première adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novella, written by local born playwright Beth Flintoff - the first Christmas production in the new theatre that runs as part of the Reading Rep: Reborn season. Artistic Director of Reading Rep Paul Stacey directs Beth Eyre, Dave Fishley, Samuel Kyi, Rose McPhilemy and Rick Romero in this family friendly production set on the cobbled streets of Reading. The production opens on 8 December, with previews from 3 December, and runs until 31 December. A 15ft tall Christmas tree is set to be erected outside the theatre to honour the festive season and the first Christmas production at Reading Rep’s new state-of-the-art theatre.
Completing the creative team are Anna Lewis (Designer), Joe Dines (Sound Designer), Simeon Miller (Lighting Designer) and Sheree Paton (Costumer Designer and Supervisor).
The production is accompanied by Reading Rep’s largest ever participatory project, Dear Mr Scrooge, which aims to bring literature to life through performing arts, encouraging creative expression for some of Reading’s communities who find it hardest to access the arts. The project will engage over 300 participants across Reading including an SEN school, 5 primary schools, Bounce Back 4 Kids and Purley Park Trust, who will create their own versions of Dicken’s timeless tale.
A fire is crackling, a hot chocolate brewing, and there is a ghost (or two) ready to tell you a story…
Ebenezer Scrooge is the miserable boss of Huntley and Palmers, Reading's world-famous biscuit company. With a little help from Christmas Past, Present and Future, will he be able to feel the festive joy this year? Step back in time with your favourite characters and enjoy the whimsy and wonder of this yuletide production, drawn from the cobbled streets of Reading.
Beth Flintoff is a playwright and theatre director born in Reading. Her writing credits include The Ballad of Maria Marten, The World We Made, Who Killed Alfred Oliver, Henry I of England, Matilda the Empress, Henry II, The Last Abbot, The Rivals, The Rebellious Women of Wimbledon, and Greenham: One Hundred Years of War and Peace. She collaborated as writer/director with Rhum and Clay on Jekyll Hyde, and Hardboiled: The Fall of Sam Shadow. Flintoff has been longlisted for The Hope Mill Prize 2021, The Papatango New Writing Prize, The Bruntwood Prize, and she was nominated for Most Promising New Playwright 2017 at the Off West End Awards. She is a member of the Sphinx Lab for British Female Playwrights 2020-2021 and a recipient of a 2021 MGCfutures Bursary.
Beth Eyre plays Belle. Her theatre credits include Betrayal (Theatre Royal Bath), Twelfth Night (Shakespeare’s Wanderer’s), Heroin (VAULT Festival), Different from The Others (White Bear Theatre), and The Recruiting Officer (The Old Red Lion Theatre).
Dave Fishley plays Scrooge. His theatre credits include The Gift (Eclipse Theatre), Our Country’s Good (Nottingham Playhouse/UK tour), Macbeth (Theatre Severn), Queen Anne (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Of Mice and Men (Birmingham Rep/UK tour), Treasure Island (Birmingham Rep), All’s Well That Ends Well, As You Like It, Hamlet (RSC), The Taming of the Shrew (Southwark Playhouse), Rough Crossings (Headlong/UK tour), The Electric Hills (Liverpool Everyman), Macbeth (Out of Joint/UK, Europe, world tour), The Odyssey, Paradise Lost (Bristol Old Vic), Dido, Queen of Carthage (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Special Relationship (Theatre Royal York/UK tour), Crime and Punishment in Dalston (Arcola Theatre), The Nativity (Young Vic), Twelfth Night (Nuffield Southampton Theatres), Marat/Sade (National Theatre), Now You Know (Hampstead Theatre). For television, his credits include Moses Jones, Buried, Judge John Deed and for film, Wasteland, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Twice Upon A Yesterday and The Fifth Element.
Samuel Kyi plays Fred/Young Scrooge/Prisoner/Alfred Palmer. His theatre credits include After the Storm (Watford Pumphouse). For television, his credits include iBoy, Faire Trade, Create Not Hate – That’s Not Me; and for film, Virtually There and HBK: The Prequel.
Rose McPhilemy plays Bobbie Cratchit/Ghost of Christmas Past/Kitty. Her theatre credits include Rapunzel (Theatre Royal Bath), Aladdin, The Cherry Orchard (Miracle Theatre), In at The Deep End, Best Foot Forward (Mikron Theatre), The Vertical Hour (Park Theatre) and Blue Remembered Hills (New Diorama Theatre).
Rick Romero returns to Reading Rep to play Palmer Senior/Hopkins/Fezziwig/Ghost of Christmas Present/Howard Palmer/Prison Guard having previously appeared in Waiting for Godot, The Dumb Waiter, Look Back in Anger and The Nativity Goes Wrong. Other theatre credits include Closer, Macbeth, Julius Caesar (Kangaroo Court Theatre) and Holy Land (UK tour). His television credits include Michael Jackson: Man in the Mirror, The Real Story of Patriots Day and for film, Low-Flyers 2 and The Understanding.
Paul Stacey is the Artistic Director and Founder of Reading Rep Theatre. For Reading Rep, he has directed numerous productions including Waiting for Godot, Miss Julie, A Little History Of The World (a co-production with The Watermill Theatre) and Every You Every Me (a co-production with Oxford Playhouse). Prior to founding Reading Rep, Stacey was Literary Manager of the Old Red Lion Theatre and worked as a Director and Dramaturg at the Moscow Art Theatre, Punchdrunk Theatre Company and New Repertory Theatre. He has taught theatre history, acting and dramaturgy at Harvard University, and is a Dramaturgy graduate of the American Repertory Theatre/Moscow Art Theatre Institute at Harvard University.