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Theatre Tours International Ltd
Theatre Tours International Ltd


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WORLD PREMIERE - ARENA THEATRE, WOLVERHAMPTON - NOVEMBER 30th 2017

Sat 25th Haystacks, Ford, Nr Shrewsbury  Private Perf
Thu 30th Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton 01902 321321

Fri 8th The Maltings Theatre, Berwick 01289 330999
Sat 9th (4pm
& 7.30pm)
Eden Court Theatre, Inverness 01463 234 234
Thurs 14th Helicon, Seamus Heaney Homeplace, Bellaghy, NI 02879 387444
Fri 15th Island Arts Centre, Lisburn, NI 02892 509254
Sat 16th The Wheatsheaf, Bloomsbury, London Online Only
Sun 17th The Wheatsheaf, Bloomsbury, London Online Only
Tue-Sat 19th-23rd Salisbury Playhouse, Salberg Studio 01722 320333
Sun 24th Northaw Village Hall, Potters Bar Online Only


Domestic & International touring through the festive period 2018 - please call 07979 757490 or Email for availability

This show can play in any venue from large theatres to small rooms in pubs or even home Christmas Parties!



Guy Masterson in A Christmas Carol (Image: Brigitta Scholz-Mastroianni - Nux Photography)
Theatre Tours International in association with Maverick Theatre Company presents

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Performed by Guy Masterson
Adapted & Directed by Nick Unheeding
From the text by Charles Dickens
Original Music by Robb Williams

DICKENS' MYSTICAL CHRISTMAS FABLE BROUGHT TO LIFE - A PERFECT CHRISTMAS TREAT!
Olivier Award winner, Guy Masterson, veteran of many smash hit solo works such as Under Milk Wood, Animal Farm and Shylock, now brings us Dickens' classic festive fable. Famed for bringing multiple characters to vivid life, Masterson recreates Scrooge, Marley, the Fezziwigs, Tiny Tim et al in an enchanting, performance that will dazzle and linger long in the memory. Guaranteed to get you into the Christmas Spirit - in many more ways than one!

"Masterson's production is an understated warning and a celebration of the hope for human kind. In short, it is A Christmas Carol for our time."(Public Review - 27/11/17))

Just when you thought you'd seen enough Christmas Carols to guide you to your grave, along comes one of the best yet! (BBC Radio 01/12/17)

"Sheer unadulterated pleasure! Expect the words and characters to be brought wonderfully to life! An unmissable offering. A guttural, totally undeniable performance!" (Scotland on Sunday of Fern Hill & Other Dylan Thomas)



The Haystack Theatre - (25/11/17)
"God Bless us everyone!'’ cries Tiny Tim. Indeed. God Bless Guy Masterson, whose revival of Dickens’s immortal tale, A Christmas Carol, saw its first performance at the Haystack Theatre, Ford last week. Masterson is no stranger to one-man presentations. His skill in defining a multitude of characters with a turn of the head or an eyebrow raised brings echoes of his earlier triumphant shows such as ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘Under Milk Wood’. Here Dickens'’s cast, from Jacob Marley to Tiny Tim and Old Fezziwig jostle for space in a show that runs for nearly an hour and a half. There is barely a break for Scrooge to snooze, between each ghostly visitation. This one-man show is a prodigious trial of memory, but also a test of an actor’s mettle in terms of concentration and physical fitness. There is plenty of dancing too, as we move from the narrow Counting House to the jollity of Christmas Past, the making-do of Christmas Present and grim forebodings of the grave that must await us all. Subtle use of an echo mic for the Spirits’ visitation, along with some fine underscoring, underlines the shifting mood. But the actor bears the load of adding light and shade to Dickens'’s tale. Masterson has used the original text from the author’s own dramatic readings of the story. But thanks to the minimal staging - a wooden chair, a raincoat on a hook, echoes of the modern world are never far behind. Skinflint Scrooge’s journey to redemption from despair is something more than a cosy tale to wile away a winter'’s night. Ghosts of Ignorance and Want remind us of the final question ‘Are these shadows of the things that Will be, or of things that May be?" Masterson’'s production is an understated warning and a celebration of the hope for human kind. In short, it is A Christmas Carol for our time."” (Peter Fanning - Public Review - 27/11/17))

Magic from One Man and his Mac (25/11/17)
"
Guy Masterson is a bear of a man and a phenomenal actor. And he draws deep upon both those attributes to power his way through his latest theatrical challenge; his one-man presentation of Charles Dickens' Christmas tale.
He premiered this latest creation in a cosy barn, deep in the Shropshire countryside, before an audience who had seen sufficient Masterson shows to be full of anticipation. And their expectations were more than fulfilled.
It's a bare stage, wreathed in black drapes, from which hangs a limp, pale raincoat that becomes all manner of things including the illusion of flying.
The other weapons in Masterson's armoury are a subtle sound track, some startling lighting, and himself; his frame almost filling the space, like a human prop in a Victorian mine shaft.
The characterisations (of practically every major figure in the book) are devoid of cliché. Like all the very best actors, he does very little - but just enough - to differentiate between the kind and the cruel, and the quick and the dead.
Scrooge, for example, is played remarkably straight with barely a croak or stoop. And yet, with just one sideways stare, the cold chill of a Christmas-unobserved pours across the footlights; in sharp contrast with the wafting warmth of the Cratchit parlour. It's all done with cross-fading lights and variations of voice; and, in the case of the four spirits, with a resounding echo box. It was so intricate I was left wondering how it was done – and Masterson wasn't telling. (Someone at the back of the barn must have had very nimble fingers).
What he does tell - wonderfully well - is Dickens' classic story, with purity, poignancy and panache. Just when you thought youd seen enough Christmas Carols to guide you to your grave along comes one of the best yet; seemingly effortless, but hugely effective." (Chris Eldon Lee – BBC Radio - 01/12/17)



Download: Guy Masterson Headshot (image: Brigitta Scholz-Mastroianni 2014)

GUY MASTERSON - Performer (click for additional biographical material)
After obtaining a Joint Honours degree in Biochemistry and Chemistry from Cardiff University in 1982, Guy studied drama at UCLA's School of Drama and started as an actor in 1985 in Hollywood. He returned to the UK in 1989 to study further at LAMDA.
Following a conventional start in plays, film and television, Guy began solo performing in 1991 with The Boy's Own Story and thence Under Milk Wood in 1994 and Animal Farm in 1995. He first produced/directed in 1993 with Playing Burton and participated at the Edinburgh Festival for the first time in 1994. The following 23 seasons saw his association with some of Edinburgh's most celebrated hits, and his company became the Fringe's most awarded independent theatre producer - garnering 8 Scotsman Fringe Firsts, 3 Herald Angels, 25 Stage Award nominations (including 4 wins) together with numerous lesser awards. He was the force behind Edinburgh's 3 biggest dramatic hits 12 Angry Men, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (2004) and The Odd Couple (2005). His 2010 production of Morecambe transferred to the West End and won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Entertainment (plus another nomination for the actor playing Eric). At Edinburgh 2014, his epic 30 actor production of Animal Farm with Tumanishvili Film Actors Theatre of Tbilisi, Georgia, won the Stage Award for Best Ensemble.
As a performer, he was nominated for The Stage Award for Best Actor for A Soldier's Song (1998), Under Milk Wood in 2003, Shylock in 2011, and won in 2001 with Fern Hill & Other Dylan Thomas. He received Edinburgh's most prestigious accolade, The Jack Tinker Spirit of the Fringe Award, in 2003. At Edinburgh 2016 he created his first overtly stand-up comic piece, Barking Mad! which since toured to Australia. Most recently, at Edinburgh 2017, he directed Hollywood star, Michael Brandon in his debut stand-up piece Off Ramps.
His theatrical commitments have largely kept him out of mainstream film and television, however, he has made the obligatory appearance on Casualty (Christmas Special 2004) and has been the Franziskaner Monk - the main character of a premium German beer - since 2007. He also writes plays, screenplays and poetry.
His passion is to bring great ideas to life and new talent to the stage. He is married to Brigitta and father to Indigo and Tallulah...

NICK HENNEGAN - Adaptor & Director
NICK HENNEGAN Adaptor & Director Nick's first professional outing as a writer and director was a one-person version of Shakespeare's classic, Henry V - Lion of England which hit at Edinburgh 1992, Stratford-upon-Avon and toured the USA, Ireland and the UK. His second Shakespeare adaptation, Hamlet - Horatio’s Tale, featured Sir Derek Jacobi. His domestic ghost story, A Ghost Of A Chance, won a Guinness Award through the Royal National Theatre; and P.A.L.S., a tragicomedy about four friends growing up in Birmingham, attracted critical acclaim and record audiences in the city. He established Maverick Theatre Company with musician Robb Williams in 1994. Launched by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, it was the city’s first regular producing pub theatre. He has written, produced and presented numerous radio documentaries including Images From Within and Susan And Friends (Sony Radio Award Winner) and The Pocket Guide to Rock (24 part series for Global Radio) and presented for numerous commercial and BBC radio stations in the regions and in London. He wrote and directed the short film Boy Girl Boy Bike and has written numerous TV commercials for Birmingham Cable/Telewest/Virgin Media. He also won an erotic fiction award for a short story with Chrysalis Books, and has written theatre reviews and articles for numerous publications. His acclaimed four-person adaptation of Dickens’' A Christmas Carol enjoyed sell-out runs in Birmingham and London, and he adapted and directed this solo version with Guy Masterson. He edited Confessions Of A Butcher Boy by Norman Raybone and released a stream of consciousness diary from 1997 about running a theatre company, How to Make A Crisis Out Of A Drama! He wrote and directed the theatrical promenade tour, The London Literary Pub Crawl which is running in the West End of London. For International Dylan Thomas Day in 2015 he produced The Roaring Boys. He was nominated for a millennium Creative Briton award, has an MA in Creative Producing from the University of London, and won a Society of London Theatre, Stage One bursary award.

ROBB WILLIAMS - Composer
Robb has always been passionate about creating music and started his first band at Art College in Maidstone whilst studying for his degree in illustration. That was during the heady days of Punk where he was "forced" into playing guitar, but his real love lay in the burgeoning world of electronic music so Robb quickly moved onto keyboards, performing and composing with several bands around the Midlands.
Robb's first foray into the world of composing for theatre was for Nick Hennegan's Henry V - Lion of England, a one man adaptation of Shakespeare's classic play. Robb toured extensively with the show playing the music live during the performance. The collaboration proved highly successful and led to Robb and Nick co-founding the award winning Maverick Theatre. Over the years Robb has scored many productions for Maverick including Hamlet & Horatio's tale, A Ghost Of A Chance, Birmingham People's Company production of Henry V and Hancock's Finest Hour. Robb's reputation for being able to compose and arrange to tight deadlines led to regular work as a composer for TV advertising and documentaries.
Robb has now returned to his native Cornwall where he lives with his wife Natalie, children Jamie and Lauren and a scruffy Jack Russell called Harry. Robb divides his time between composing and arranging music, multimedia design and running the award winning Iconik Photography with Natalie.

CHARLES DICKENS - Author
CHARLES DICKENS Author Charles Dickens was born in 1812, in Portsmouth, England. In 1822, the Dickens family moved to Camden Town, a poor neighborhood in London as the family'’s financial situation had grown dire. His father, John Dickens was sent to prison for debt in 1824, when Charles was 12 years old. Charles was forced to leave school to help support his family by working at a run-down, rodent-ridden boot-blacking factory alongside the Thames. He earning six shillings a week labeling pots of “blacking” - a substance used to clean fireplaces. Dickens saw this as the moment he said goodbye to his youthful innocence, wondering how he could be so easily cast away at such a young age, abandoned and betrayed by the adults who were supposed to take care of him - sentiments which became a recurring theme in his writing. He started writing when he had to drop out of school to work as an office boy to contribute again to his family’s income but he was soon reporting for two major London newspapers. In 1833, he met Catherine Hogarth (Kate), whom he soon married and had 10 children. Dickens also started publishing Bentley's Miscellany Monthly in which he serialised his first novel, Oliver Twist. The novel was extremely well received in both England and America where dedicated readers of Oliver Twist eagerly anticipated each monthly instalment. From 1838 to 1841, he published The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge, The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit and A Christmas Carol. In 1842, Dickens embarked on his first US tour and became an instant celebrity. His 75 readings netted an estimated $95,000, which, in the Victorian era, amounted to approximately $2 million in current U.S. dollars. From 1849 to 1850, Dickens worked on David Copperfield, his personal favourite work. During the 1850s, Dickens suffered the deaths of his daughter and father and, in 1858 separated acrimoniously from his wife of 35 years and took up with a young actress named Ellen “"Nelly"” Ternan... but he was very careful about leaving any hard evidence of this relationship. His novels also began to express a darkened world view: Bleak House (1853); Hard Times (1854); Little Dorrit (1857); A Tale of Two Cities (1859) and Great Expectations (1861), which is widely considered to be his greatest literary accomplishment. A few years later, Dickens produced Our Mutual Friend (1864) In 1865, Dickens was in a train accident from which he never fully recovered, though he continued to tour until shortly before his death. After suffering a stroke, Dickens died at age 58 on June 9, 1870 at his country home in Kent, and was buried in Poet’s' Corner at Westminster Abbey. At the time of his death, his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, was unfinished.


Performer's Note
I'm ashamed to say that over 50 years of life, I had not seen or read Dickens' classic Christmas Carol in any of its forms - including the Muppets!... and then, in 2016, Nick Hennegan of Maverick Theatre Company asked me to read it in front of 180 guests at the newly restored Fitzrovia Chapel in London and I was entirely enchanted - as they were. So I decided to commit it to memory and offer it as a new show in my particular physical storytelling style - playing all the characters myself!It really is a great story and, in our commercial, consumeristic society, a timeless reminder of what Christmas is really about. I am thrilled at the prospect of many a great festive night sharing this classic fable with audiences or all guises and ages!
Guy Masterson

Director's Note
I set up Maverick Theatre to encourage new audiences among those not previously exposed to live theatre. I particularly enjoy making classic texts accessible, such as famous Shakespeare titles and Dickens...
I've been living with Dickens' Ghosts since, as a small boy in Birmingham, I was given a young person's edition of the classic. Every Christmas, I'd faithfully read it, ensuring I finished the last chapter on 24 December.
And I hope you will feel some of the same magic I felt. Storytelling is a powerful art and adding a technical dimension to it makes it even stronger, particularly when working with a talent like Guy Masterson - a towering storyteller with an international reputation.
Nick Hennegan


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Guy Masterson in A Christmas Carol (Image: Brigitta Scholz-Mastroianni - Nux Photography)

Guy Masterson in A Christmas Carol (Image: Brigitta Scholz-Mastroianni - Nux Photography)

Guy Masterson in A Christmas Carol (Image: Brigitta Scholz-Mastroianni - Nux Photography)
Guy Masterson in A Christmas Carol (Image: Brigitta Scholz-Mastroianni - Nux Photography)
Guy Masterson in A Christmas Carol (Image: Brigitta Scholz-Mastroianni - Nux Photography)
Guy Masterson in A Christmas Carol (Image: Brigitta Scholz-Mastroianni - Nux Photography)
Guy Masterson in A Christmas Carol (Image: Brigitta Scholz-Mastroianni - Nux Photography)
Guy Masterson in A Christmas Carol (Image: Brigitta Scholz-Mastroianni - Nux Photography)


Christmas Carol Tek Specs - click to download

Click on image
to download tek specs

A Christmas Carol can play in any space ranging from pub spaces, restaurants and private living rooms.

All performances will require one technician to operate sound

In all theatres, sound and lights will require TWO technicians.

To View or Download Technical Specifications click here

LX 75 LX Cues
A: Centre Spot Special (Steel Blue Lee 117)
B: Warm Wash (Middle Wash) (Chocolate (Lee 156)
C: Warm Wash (Full Wash) Chocolate(Lee 156)
D: Near Vertical Special (Steel Blue Lee 117)
E: Cold Wash (Steel Blue Lee 117)
F1, F2, F3: 3 Steel Blue Birdie Floor lights (Steel Blue Lee 117) (seperate channels)
F4: Red Birdie Floor light (Red Lee 106)
SFX Qlab provided on Mac Laptop 100 cues.
Good Amplification and Speakers with fold-back. (This can be provided for Pub Spaces & Living Rooms.)
NOTE: A lapel mic is required run through an effects processor to provide 3 reverb and echo effects. Please inform if this cannot be provided.
Script Downloadable OR Provided by artist on the day - to be operated by two in-house operators. Download SCRIPT
Duration

A CHRISTMAS CAROL runs 85 minutes plus an interval (45 & 40)

Artist

Guy Masterson generally travels alone with scripts, laptop for SFX.
If travelling by car, he will bring chair. If travelling by ticketed transport, please provide chair (image below).

Stage

The show requires only a bare, clean, open stage wth clean black tabs.
Minimum playing area is 4 meters wide by 3 meters deep. This is compact. Larger is preferable. Suitable for auditoria ranging from the intimate (100 seats) to the large (1500 seats).

1 hook on 7m of black cord (provded) suspended from grid

Clean black flooring, tabs & backdrop are required. If the floor is very scuffed, please repaint or lay dance floor.

Space Required Min 4m wide x 3m deep - Max 6m x 5m (lit space)
Set up & Rehearsal Approximately 3 hours depending on the size of the space.

Under Milk Wood ChairImage of wooden chair required
when company is travelling by Public Transport