bah humbug

Danny Horn as Fred, Beck Greig as Andy, Érin Geraghty as Pauline and Rosie Coles as Jane enjoying not enjoying Christmas

The Bah Humbug Club

Lichfield Garrick Studio


Carolyn Scott-Jeffs cosy tale of four people thrown together by fate and deciding to continue their friendship over the ensuing years marks a welcome return to professional in-house production at the Garrick Studio.

Plot wise, it’s rather clever. Four separate people book into a Scottish Guest house for the Christmas holidays thinking they will either be alone or meeting up with partners. For one reason or another, things don’t work out that way and the four guests are forced to spend the holiday together.

Potentially a recipe for disaster but actually the start of a beautiful and lasting friendship. The Bah Humbug Club is born and the four amigos vow to meet up at the same time, same place every Christmas.

In between meet ups, the twists and turns of life go on. Marriages, births, break ups, illness, self acceptance - the usual events on life’s journey - all come and go but the one constant is the annual reunion of a group of friends who have grown to love and support and even protect each other over time.

Passage of time (around 30 years) is handled effectively using a nicely selected soundtrack for each period of time and overhead video montages of news events that happened at the time. An effective set up, though my one minor niggle was that it slightly jars with the gentle flow and rhythm of what is happening onstage.

Danny Horn is superbly engaging and likeable as Fred. Naturalistic acting can be tricky onstage but Horn manages it with precise timing and enough theatricality to ensure his expressions and asides aren’t lost. Some decent guitar strumming too, even though I’m not sure I can listen to Maria Carey’s All I Want For Christmas ever again

Sutton Coldfield Actress, Rosie Coles as Jane totters into the action with dizzy appeal and conveys her own journey and choices through the years with humour and sensitivity. As the bond between Jane and Fred slowly develops, the chemistry created by the two actors is evident

Fine performances too from Erin Geraghty as Pauline and Beck Greig as Andy. Geraghty’s Pauline is at times the voice of reason and calm in the storm but also, mostly after a glass or two of bubbly, capable of some nice one liners.

Greig’s Andy blossoms from a non-speaking observer into a self-assured and caring member of this unique club. A potentially tricky story arc…Greig handles it with real sensitivity

Set and costume design by the excellent John Brooking uses the space beautifully - creating the cosy atmosphere required. A simple but effective platform.

Gentle, funny and heartwarming … the perfect Christmas tonic.

Directed by Nicky Cox, The Bah Humbug Club runs until December 27th.

Tom Roberts


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