REGIFTING is very much in vogue in these ecologically conscious times. That being so, Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre Company might be considered the most fashionable arts organisation in the country.

Its offering for the festive season is a revival of its brilliant rendering of Charles Dickens’s evergreen classic A Christmas Carol, which was first staged back in 2014. Directed by the Citz’s celebrated artistic director Dominic Hill, the production (which originally starred the late, great actor Cliff Burnett in the central role of the miser Ebenezer Scrooge) returned in 2018.

Like the 2018 presentation, the latest incarnation of Hill’s production will be staged at Glasgow’s famous Tramway venue, on account of the ongoing, major redevelopment work being done on the Citizens’ great theatre in the Gorbals. As in 2018, the role of the shrivel-souled skinflint Scrooge will be played by the superb Scottish actor Benny Young.

The Citz’s Carol uses the wonderfully rhythmic adaptation of the story by the acclaimed English dramatist Neil Bartlett. The excellent text functions as the basis for a gloriously complete piece of theatre.

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Reviewing the original 2014 production, I wrote: “The great thing about [the production’s] constantly changing moods is that, although they shift before our eyes, they are achieved with an apparently seamless simplicity.

“If Scrooge must envision his austere home, his bed duly appears. If he has to be shown the plight of the beleaguered Cratchit family, they arrive, complete with a suitably fragile puppet representing the seriously ill Tiny Tim.”

Watching the 2018 staging, I observed: “Hill has adapted his show masterfully to be played on a bespoke thrust stage in Tramway’s main performance space …

“Young is the perfect Scottish Scrooge; imagine an especially parsimonious, Calvinist Newton Mearns bank manager circa 1843. If the actor gives the impression of a man whose soul has shrivelled to the size of a raisin, that is all the better for the delightful exuberance of his ultimate conversion to become London’s most enthusiastic philanthropist.”

As in the past the production will boast excellent costume and set design by Rachael Canning, impressively responsive lighting by Ben Ormerod and powerfully atmospheric music by composer Nikola Kodjabashia. It will also benefit from a series of amazingly expressive puppets (also created by the talented Canning).

Like any production that has been revived after three years, there are changes to the cast. Young will be supported by a talented group of actors that includes Jamie Leary (aka Rebecca Fleming in River City) and young graduate actor interns Ewan Miller and Michael Guest.

There are changes, too, to the structure of the play. As Hill (below)explains, the Citz has altered the show to take account of the ongoing pandemic.

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“I am delighted to have the opportunity to revive A Christmas Carol”, he said. “Dickens’s heart-warming tale reminds us to show compassion and charity for others – something which always resonates at Christmas, but is all the more poignant in current times.

“We want everyone to be able to enjoy a Citizens Christmas show and feel confident they can return to live performance.”

To that end, the production will run without an interval and there will be performances offering socially distant seating. As ever with the Citz, in order to make the production as accessible as possible, affordable pricing options are available, as are relaxed and interpreted performances.

The company is “excited”, said Hill, “to join theatres across the country in offering families, adults and children a memorable festive experience again this year.”

A Christmas Carol is at Tramway, Glasgow, December 3-24: