Watch: Martin Freeman introduces a new clip from A Christmas Carol
With pantomime season all but cancelled in the UK this Christmas, a theatrical new take on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is being released into cinemas and theatres this coming weekend hoping to fill the gap.
Part theatrical performance, part ballet, the film follows a Victorian family as they prepare a toy-theatre for their annual performance of the Dickens tale.
The audience enters the imagination of one of the children and quickly the cardboard stage transforms to reveal a magical world containing real dancers and stylised sets.
Simon Russell Beale, Martin Freeman, Carey Mulligan, Daniel Kaluuya and Andy Serkis lend their voices to the tale, whilst dance performances are led by former Royal Ballet soloist and BalletBoyz founder Michael Nunn as Scrooge, Jakub Franasowicz, Russell Maliphant, Karl Fagerlund Brekke, Mikey Boats, Grace Jabbari and Dana Fouras.
Watch The Hobbit star Martin Freeman introducing a clip above to give you a taste of the festive film ahead of its release this weekend.
The press blurb explains: “The tale unfolds on screen in a rich tapestry of highly absorbing, haunting and theatrical drama with characters portrayed by dancers and voiced by an eclectic cast of incredible actors.
“The mix of danced action and spoken narration brings a completely new and exciting dimension to Dickens’ characters whilst remaining true to the beauty of his original narrative.”
Director and Producer Jacqui Morris said, "My career started with working backstage in the theatre. Theatre continues to inspire and influence my work as a filmmaker today and I have been devastated by the current situation theatres face.
Watch: A Christmas Carol trailer
“Our version of A Christmas Carol offers an immersive, theatre-like experience for families both in cinema and theatres, will delight to those missing out on live dance and pantomime this festive season. I am thrilled to offer theatres a chance to screen the film to help raise funds and keep doors ajar until patrons can return in full capacity.”
She added, "David and I are committed to releasing A Christmas Carol in cinemas this year. I know lots of films are delaying their release, and It's a very difficult decision filmmakers have to make, but we are in the fortunate position of having made a perennial film, and as theatres and cinemas are in such dire straits at the moment, we want to be as supportive as we can."
Choreography is by Southbank award winner and Associate Artist of Sadlers Wells, Russell Maliphant. Design is by Darko Petrovic, famed for his unique blend of high artistry and diverse contemporary style and the Score is by Tony Award Nominee, Alex Baranowski.
Audiences will be able to catch A Christmas Carol in cinemas and select theatre venues nationwide from 4 December.