Philip Dutton, pictured, is no newcomer to musical theatre. A trumpet player himself, he has previously served as musical director and acted in several roles in Luxembourg
Photo: Mike Zenari
Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol” returns to the stage in Luxembourg for the second year running, but with a twist.
This time, however, Dickens’ much-loved miserly tale will be all singing and dancing as the 43-strong cast from Pirate Productions performs “Scrooge! The Musical”, which Leslie Bricusse adapted from the 1970s musical film “Scrooge”.
“He’s got a lot of new characters in it. Because it’s a musical and the Scrooge story is quite dark, he’s made it much lighter,” director Philip Dutton told Delano, adding: “He makes much more of the happy Scrooge after he goes through the process of redemption with the ghosts--for obvious reasons. You want some nice show-stopping numbers and everyone to be happy.”
While this will be the first time he directs a show, Dutton is no newcomer to musical theatre. A trumpet player himself, he has previously served as musical director and acted in several roles in Luxembourg. Last year he was musical director for “Oliver”, a musical based on another Dickens story, which was performed by Pirate Productions with the New World Theatre Club. “It was tremendously successful,” Dutton said, adding: “To follow it up with another Dickens story seemed like a good thing to do.”
High demand for roles
The director said he was surprised by the amount of work that came with the new role, however. “Having to get involved with everything: costumes, makeup, hair, the set, the props, the budget and then the publicity, working on the poster, the programme. Everything has to go through the director in the end,” he said.
Fortunately, he has a good team behind him, including music director Eric Gherardi and choreographer Dominique Vitali. Rehearsals take place at weekends and during the evening, since most of the cast and crew have full-time jobs or school. “It’s tough on the kids because some rehearsals go on until 10 at night. They’ve school the next day,” said Dutton.
Demand for roles was particularly high among the youngsters, with three times as many children auditioning than roles available. Interest was also strong among adults, with 20 new faces on the cast. “It’s lovely to see them come in to the Pirates family because it’s a very sociable group. They become part of that movement and make friendships,” the director said.
And interest from the audience is expected to be just as high. Last year’s production of “Oliver!” was a sellout success, while tickets are already selling fast for “Scrooge, the musical”.
“The public tend to like musicals, it’s exactly the same in the West End. People in London want to see musicals more than straight plays,” Dutton pointed out.
Where and when
Catch this musical at Kinneksbond in Mamer from 9-12 November. For more information, visit www.kinneksbond.lu