This year’s Northern Stage seasonal show for the under sixes is The Christmas Grump, inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
It features Mr Scratch who owns a toyshop and is very, very rich but also extremely miserable and mean.
Writer Susan Mulholland says: “A Christmas Carol is one of my favourite Christmas stories and has been adapted so many times that it took a while to think of what our particular slant would be.
“The original story is quite an adult story and it’s important to me that our audience of very young children feel that this is a story for them and about them.
“Our version is simply about a grumpy man who learns three lessons from three children.
“The fact that this grumpy man also makes toys gives us lots of room to play – quite literally.
“For me, The Christmas Grump is about how to be a better human being and it is also very, very Christmassy.”
The show is directed by Mark Calvert who, back in 2007, played Bob Cratchit in Erica Whyman’s brilliant production of A Christmas Carol which was that year’s main house seasonal production at Northern Stage.
The Christmas Grump has a cast of four. They are Ruth Johnson, who is returning to Northern Stage, and three graduates of NORTH, a troupe set up last year to give talented arts graduates in the region the skills to make it in the world of theatre. They are Alice Blundell, Michael Blair and Alexandra Tahnee.
The Christmas Grump, designed by Andrew Stephenson and with music by Katie Doherty, comes from the same creative team that was behind last year’s well-received equivalent show, Tallest Tales from the Furthest Forest.
The show lasts an hour. It runs at Northern Stage until January 3. Box office: 0191 2305151.