It may have just turned September, but as the children go back to school, the nights begin to get darker and your summer holiday tan has faded away, all thoughts are now firmly on Christmas. Yes, that's right, with only 16 weeks to go the festive period is literally just around the corner, and Theatreland has already delivered one of the most exciting presents of the year...
Before you say 'Bah Humbug' – the latest West End show to be announced is certainly one that should be on your radar. One of Britain's most celebrated and popular actors Jim Broadbent will make a welcome return to the stage this Christmas season in a brand new adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic tale, 'A Christmas Carol'. Running at the Noel Coward Theatre for a strictly limited season, this is one festive treat that is worth planning early to make sure you don't miss out on the biggest hit this Yuletide.
Jim Broadbent will take on the iconic role of Ebenezer Scrooge – the miser who spends Christmas Eve haunted by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they try and convince him to see the error of his ways and find the true meaning of Christmas. For a role that has been associated with so many great actors, from Albert Finney to Patrick Stewart and Michael Cane, we can't wait to see what new edge Broadbent brings to the cantankerous villain.
As an Academy Award, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Emmy winner, Broadbent is one of the UK's most recognisable actors and returns to the stage after a long hiatus. Popular with fans of drama such as 'Iris', 'The Iron Lady' and 'Moulin Rouge', he is also known to younger film fans for his work in the 'Bridget Jones' and 'Harry Potter' franchises.
This brand new and thoroughly original adaptation is by Patrick Barlow, whose work has recently been seen in the UK and USA in the hit comedy 'The 39 Steps'. We're expecting the same level of fast action and fun theatricality in this new adaptation, which will be directed by Phelim McDermott, who was behind the Olivier Award winning Entertainment 'Shockheaded Peter' in London's West End.
Produced by Sonia Friedman, the producers have also announced that they are working alongside the St Martin-in-the-Fields' Christmas Appeal, and will be donating 50p for each ticket purchased to help them raise money to assist homeless people with shelter, food and advice over the festive period.
So if you're excited for Christmas or just need to book yourself a little treat to see you through the next couple of months – you won't have to look further afield than one of the most popular Christmas stories of all time.
A Christmas Carol runs at the Noel Coward Theatre from 30 November 2015 to 30 January 2016, with an official opening on 9 December 2015.