WHAT might you change if you could see your life as others saw it?

That question was asked again through the age-old tale of miser Ebenezer Scrooge – forced by three ghosts to confront a past of greed, a grumpy present and a bleak future – brought to life beautifully by the Crowle Players.

A black comedy that stayed true to the dark themes of this classic tale – but with a vibrant twist of fun and modernity thrown in, as of course it should be, for a Christmas performance.

The songs helped make this show with director Tony Catchpowle, playing Marley’s Ghost, kicking off proceedings with a strong performance of Cry Me A River before Caroline Cashmore’s brilliant ‘All that Jazz’ number upped the energy stakes.

Something Good added to the eclectic mix of songs, delivered confidently by the Ghost of Christmas Present, Helen Troughton, who was also vocal coach for Scrooge.

Not to be outdone the younger cast members showed their mettle, with a fantastic performance of family favourite, the Greatest Show. They excelled at a very tight dance routine – not a hand or arm out of place – a real highlight of the show.

And a fabulous performance of the ‘When I grow up tune’, more usually associated with Matilda, had just the right amount of heart for the likeable Cratchitt family (Stuart Stock, Faye Kelly Field, Lucas Field, Phoebe Troughton, Summer Robinson) who shared the song and the stage to show off their individual talents.

John Pike was an accomplished Ebenezer Scrooge, somehow retaining the audience’s sympathy even at his most horrible. He certainly deserves a tip of his striped nightcap as a performer whose role required him on stage almost throughout the evening. A real pro!

Jacob Stokes brought a tear to the eye as the wide-eyed Tiny Tim – while cheeky chappy Arlo Field brought the house down as surely one of the only actors ever to find themselves trapped under a giant turkey!

There were some special little cameo scenes – I loved the humour of the four women who stole Scrooge’s belongings (Scarlett Trembecka-Ross, Eva Jones, Phoebe Troughton and Verity Lock), and the shameless brokers going to the funeral purely for the sandwiches (Mimi Paul, Alice Wickett, Maisie Chase, Arlo Field).

A mention too for the puppeteers (Megan Stokes, Zoe Jones and Isla Mcindoe) - the spooky Ghost of Christmas Future proving just how effective a good prop can be.

And throughout, Dave Fuller’s calm and confident narrator kept the ship sailing.

Perhaps the best part of this show, though, was the proof of the inter-generational pull of the stage as cast members of all ages came together to deliver an ensemble that was pure family fun.

A great festive time was had by all.