Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle
CHART-TOPPING veteran, Tommy Steele, will play the title role
in Scrooge, Leslie Bricusse's musical adaptation
of the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, when
it opens at the London Palladium on November
8, 2005 (previews from October 20) - until January 14, 2006.
Scrooge is, of course, the story of the miserly Ebenezer, to
whom everything - including Christmas - is 'humbug'. Until, that
is, one particular Christmas Eve, he's visited by the Ghosts of
Christmas Past, Present and more alarmingly, Christmas Future.
The score includes I Hate Christmas, It's Not My Fault, I'll
Begin Again and Better Life.
Scrooge first appeared as a film back in 1970 and starred
the wonderful Albert Finney, who won an Oscar for his performance.
Later, in 1992, it was staged in Birmingham, with Bricusse's long-time
collaborator, Anthony Newley in the title role.
Steele, though, is no stranger to the part, having performed
it over the past two festive seasons - in Manchester and Birmingham.
It's difficult to believe, but Steele's
career began way back in the 1950s with a string of chart hits
(hands up all those who remember Handful of Songs and
Little White Bull). Then, in 1963, he starred in
Half a Sixpence, not only in the West End but also on Broadway.
And later, in 1967, he reprised his role in the Hollywood film
His other films include Finian's Rainbow, The Happiest Millionaire
and The Tommy Steele Story.
On stage, many of Steele's biggest successes have been at the
London Palladium - in shows such as Hans Christian Anderson,
The London Palladium Show, Dick Whittington and Singin'
in the Rain which ran for 894 performances and which Steele
As a tribute to his achievments there, the Palladium is displaying
a plaque in his honour.
Steele also appeared regularly on television and even had his
own variety show, The Tommy Steele Hour. Those were the
Meanwhile, Bricusse's other major works include Stop the
World - I want to Get Off, Pickwick and Doctor Dolittle.
As a matter of interest, a separate production of Scrooge,
with EastEnders' Shane Richie in the lead, will be staged
at the Bristol Hippodrome from December 6, 2005 to January 21,
Chitty Chitty Bang
Bang is currently showing at the London Palladium where
it completes its run on September 4, 2005.