Thursday, 11 December 2014

Review: Noël Coward's Christmas Spirits at the St James Studio



Noël Coward's Christmas Spirits
St James Studio
Reviewed on Wednesday 10th December 2014
★★★

Noël Coward’s Christmas Spirits is a delightful little show. Written and directed by Nick Hutchison, the piece is told through song, poetry and prose. 

Set in December 1940 during the Blitz, the piece sees Noël Coward in his flat using Madam Arcati – his own creation – to summon various voices to examine the spirit of Christmas through the ages... yes - it is all a little bizarre. 

Hutchison has pieced together a variety of excellent material; however, the piece’s structure is questionable and I think it would work far better as a light-hearted musical revue. It is almost taking itself a little too seriously. The concept may be odd, but it is still very easy to watch. 

A man of many talents, Stefan Bednarczyk musically directs and stars in the piece. Opening the show with one of the evening’s highlights - Noël Coward's 'Don't Put Your Daughter on the Stage' - Bednarczyk's bursts with old-school charm throughout, proving popular with the audience. 

Charlotte Wakefield and Issy Van Randwyck's glowing presence is utterly joyous. Wakefield's a cappella rendition of 'White Christmas' is stunningly pure whilst Randwyck brings a smile to everyone's face with 'The Fairy On The Christmas Tree'.

It is always a pleasure to spend an evening in the swanky yet relaxed St James Studio. Sitting on chairs which are scattered around tables, the venue is ideal for a warm hearted festive night out. Although Noël Coward's Christmas Spirits may need to find its feet, it is still wonderful to watch a first class cast perform such beautiful material. I can think of far worse ways to spend a cold December evening!

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Noël Coward's Christmas Spirits runs at the St James Studio until Tuesday 23rd December 2014.
Please visit www.stjamestheatre.co.uk for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit: Mark Douet

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