11 November, 2019

Stage and screen-star, Colin McCredie talks on being Scrooged!

As rehearsals got well underway for Isobel McArthur’s new adaptation of A Christmas Carol at Pitlochry Festival Theatre - opening Thursday, 21 November, 7pm - star of stage, and both large and small screens, Colin McCredie, took time out to talk to us about finding his inner Scrooge!

Colin explained, "I remember my dad reading it to me one Christmas, maybe when I was about 7 or 8, reading it in bed and I can still see the images from that of the door knocker and Marley with the handkerchief round his head. Then a few years back I read it to my daughter when she was about the same age. It’s just one of these iconic parts isn’t it?"

Colin told us what it was about Scrooge that made him interesting to play, and where he took his inspiration for the character? 

"Firstly I thought I was obviously too young, too kind, too generous, too nice! There’s an amazing journey, and the change in the character, that brought me to it. What’s so interesting is the way it’s not age that makes you miserable, but circumstances. And you can look at some of our politicians who, are maybe not very nice at the moment, and maybe look a lot older than they probably are. In this adaptation Scrooge isn’t necessarily vindictively bad; he has got an answer for everything and a justification. He’s not just a two-dimensional baddie: he’s actually clever and thought-through with his views."

Asking what was special about this production and Isobel’s new script, Colin said:

"Not only that it has amazing music, but it has a full, live, 7-piece, incredibly talented group of actor musicians (not including me!). There are Carols that date back to the actual time, and then there are Christmas songs from the 50s and 60s - Christmas standards that are modern versions: so from In The Bleak Midwinter to Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree: some are very much sung chorally and some are big, marching band songs. Yes, everyone will know all the songs. The music’s brilliant! And, as it would have in Dickens’ time, Isobel’s script begins in present time - our present time - which makes it really relevant, but Scrooge is very much Victorian. So it’s got that fully traditional feel, but also makes issues fully recognisable too."

Colin McCredie grew up in Perth but it’s his first time at Pitlochry Festival theatre. We asked him what Pitlochry means to him and what brought him to the theatre now:

"Pitlochry has always meant a lot to me. I grew up living across the road from Martyn James, knew him from when I was three years old when we moved to Perth. Obviously Martyn went on to become this legend in Pitlochry and it’s so nice to come here and see the way that he’s remembered. I didn’t realise there was a dressing room named after him!"

"My dad and his family came from Pitlochry. It’s a place I was always brought as a child to go to the amusements, go to the putting green and walk over the bridge, and not long before they closed, I took my kids to the amusements too, so it’s lovely to get a chance to come and work here."

"I think it’s probably the only theatre I’ve never played in Scotland bizarrely. But in the last year, since Elizabeth Newman took over, I just could feel there were seismic changes happening. Any articles I’d read, or things I could see in social media, she just seemed to be saying everything that I felt about, not only Pitlochry, but Scottish Theatre, trying to use more Scottish-based actors and making Pitlochry the middle of it. And it’s such a beautiful place to be: the facilities, great rehearsal rooms, great theatre, there’s just such a great buzz about the place."

Don't miss out on your feel-good, theatre trip. To book for A Christmas Carol - which runs until 23 December – call the Box Office team on 01796 484626 or click here to book online.

But be quick, Box Office reports many performances have limited availability and some have sold out already!

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