Thank you for a family treat, Ebenezer
IF YOU want to know why they call Tommy Steele a legend, then you don't have to go any further than the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin where the 74 year old is still bouncing around the stage, singing like a lark and stealing the show.
Scrooge, based on the Charles Dickens novel 'A Christmas Carol' is definitely a festive family hit.
The production has been around the UK for a couple of months now, and it is now as slick as it gets. With a big cast and a string of catchy tunes, high tech antics and a fast-moving plot Scrooge has everything for a family night out.
And, of course, it is now recognised that Charles Dickens, the Victorian novelist and writer, virtually invented the modern Christmas. And Scrooge is an integral part of it, with resonances for these troubled times.
The arrival of the 'ghost of Christmas past' is a particularly powerful and ingenious segment. But it is the singing and dancing that enthrals audiences. From the opening lyrics of 'A Christmas Carol' through 'It's Not My Fault' and 'The Beautiful Day', it's a riot of colour and song.
Tommy Steele, who left school at 15 and has starred in such iconic musicals as Half a Sixpence, Singin' in the Rain and Some Like It Hot has a wonderful voice, the perfect timing you'd expect from a veteran and the energy of most people half his age.
There cast includes award-winning Dublin-born actor Morgan Crowley as Bob Cratchit, Louis Maskell as Harry and Kristy Cullen as Bess.
The gangs of children are from local Irish theatrical schools and include Sophie and Alice O'Loughlin Kennedy, Max McKenna as Peter Cratchit and Elysia Boyle as Belinda.
It's a great family outing.
Scrooge, starring Tommy Steele, with music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and directed by Bob Thompson, runs in the Grand Canal Theatre, Dublin until January 2, 2011.