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Criterion Theatre
A Christmas Carol : A Fairy Tale (2024)
Written by Piers Torday
Sat 7th December to Sat 14th December
Director – Keith Railton
Co-Director – Nicol Cortese

Our 2024 season ends with an exciting adaptation of Dicken’s much loved Christmas story.

1838, London. Jacob Marley is dead. And so is Ebenezer Scrooge…

In this reinvention of the timeless classic, Ebenezer has died and his sister Fan has inherited his money-lending business. She rapidly becomes notorious as the most monstrous miser ever known, a legendary misanthrope, lonely, and despised by all who cross her path.

This year, on Christmas Eve, Fan Scrooge will be haunted by three spirits. They want her to change. But will she?

This stage adaptation of Charles Dickens's Christmas tale is by renowned author Piers Torday and his original, female led version will bring lashings of goodwill to all men – and women.

Reviews of the play

‘Thought provoking but never to the detriment of Dickens’ message. This is a Christmas Carol  that both embraces its historical context but speaks urgently to our time. It's also a cracking piece of theatre. An intelligent, compelling riff on the original tale... tremendously good fun. Torday's text has a whip crack wit... at once familiar yet breathtakingly new-minted. '  WHAT’S ON STAGE

'A magical and heartwarming adaption'  THE UPCOMING

'A bold, satisfying and empowering re-imagining which dares to suggest that the humanism of Dickens's moral is nothing without the feminism that the writer, and his works, ignored'  THE REVIEWS HUB

‘This new version….is very modern, relevant and moving. If you were to choose one festive show to see this year, I would recommend this production.’ THEATRE WEEKLY

Keith Railton and Nicol Cortese will co-direct and they will be holding an OPEN READING on Sunday 23rd June at 7pm in the Bar. All those interested in being involved in any way are invited to attend and anyone who would like to just come along and enjoy reading or listening would also be very welcome.  

AUDITIONS will be held on Sunday 30th June and Tuesday 2nd July from 19:00 to 21:30 in the auditorium. Auditions are open to all, and you do not have to be a Criterion member.


The play is written for 7 actors playing 36 parts as well as being part of an ensemble. Ideally, members of the cast should be able to act sing, play an instrument, dance and operate puppets. However, we are open to the idea of having a larger cast to provide the skills needed.

For more information, please contact Keith Railton by emailing :


EDI Assessment

In line with our EDI policy, we undertake an EDI impact assessment of all our artistic programming. This adaptation of A Christmas Carol deliberately subverts the usual gender expectations of the story. It involves an ensemble cast with significant flexibility over playing ages, gender identity, and complete neutrality on race/ethnicity. For the purposes of the narrative, certain characters will be specified as needing to be female- or male- presenting.


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