A Christmas Carol Algarve version

By JANE PAGE [email protected]

This Spirit of the Past is certainly a lot nicer to look at than Eamonn Andrews ever was, but that doesn’t stop her giving Scrooge a hard time in the Aperitivo Performance Group’s adaptation of the old Dickens favourite A Christmas Carol.

Aperitivo’s quirky version, called Bah Humbug!, is set in the depression years of the 30s, but the general drabness of those times is enormously enlivened by the various Spirits of Past, Present and Future. 

The entry of the glamorous Spirit of the Past into Scrooge’s dingy bedchamber, warmed by one meagre army blanket and redolent of yesterday’s soup, is enlightening in more ways than one.

Aperitivo have introduced a Tree of Life motif into their Spirits. The Past bears a tree in blossom because, as she says, we always look back to the past as the springtime of our youth – a time when we were young and blooming, when all the colours were clear and bright.

Rachel Swarte, who plays the part, certainly embodies that idea, combining all the freshness and beauty of her mere 16 years with a stage presence and assurance appropriate to a Spirit who is infinitely old.

Rachel also embodies the spirit of Aperitivo, which is a multinational theatre group. Although Aperitivo’s plays are always basically English, all the different nationalities – six in this production – get a chance to speak their own language. Rachel, who comes from Dutch/German parents, speaks four languages fluently, three of which get an airing in her role as Spirit of the Past. 

Bah Humbug! will be performed at the Museum in São Brás on December 10 and 11, at the Holiday Inn in Armação de Pêra on December 15 (dinner theatre), and at the Teatro AL-MaSRAH in Tavira (diagonally opposite the Cine-Teatro in the centre of town) on December 17.

For more information, please contact Aperitivo by emailing [email protected] Museum São Brás on 966 329 073 or the Holiday Inn on 282 320 260.