Beth Eyre is currently starring as Belle in Beth Flintoff’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol, now playing at Reading Rep Theatre. I spoke with Beth to find out more about her latest role.
What can you tell me about this production of A Christmas Carol?
Beth Flintoff’s brand-new adaptation of A Christmas Carol transports the action to Reading where Scrooge runs the Huntley and Palmers biscuit factory. Scrooge is a hard man to work for: miserly, mean and resistant to change. He is about to settle in for another solitary Christmas Eve when a ghostly visitor appears urging him to change his ways…
Tell me about your character Belle
Belle is Scrooge’s childhood friend and later his fiancée, she’s full of warmth and fun, down to earth, and looks at life very differently from Scrooge. Usually in A Christmas Carol, Belle is very much part of Scrooge’s past, but Beth Flintoff’s adaptation has cleverly woven Belle’s story into Scrooge’s present and future too.
What attracted you to the production?
I’ve been really excited to see the work Reading Rep is doing and so I’m delighted to be part of their inaugural season in their new theatre. Beth Flintoff is a brilliant writer who I’ve wanted to work with for ages. And I went to school in Reading, so performing here feels like coming home!
What can audiences expect?
A fantastic new version of the greatest Christmas story ever told! Our production is faithful to the spirit of the original whilst giving the story some contemporary twists and placing the action around familiar landmarks of Reading.
How are rehearsals going?
Rehearsals are going excellently. We have a terrific cast and team, all the design is coming together and it’s exciting to see new elements added each day. Everyone is lovely and it feels great to be coming together to share this story.
Why do you think Dickens’ classic is still so relevant in today’s society?
Dickens is writing about inequality; times have changed but that is still a hugely relevant today and I think still resonates with people. But for all the darkness in A Christmas Carol it is ultimately a story of hope and redemption, on top of which it has a bit of everything: ghosts, time-travel, and a large helping of festive cheer!
What would you like the production to achieve?
In a winter that’s bringing people back together I hope our production will remind people of the magic of theatre whether they know the story well or are experiencing it for the very first time.
A Christmas Carol is playing at Reading Rep Theatre until 31 December.
Photo credit: Harry Elletson