CHICHESTER: Sharing the role of Dickens’ decent man

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The crucial role of Bob Cratchit will be shared between Ed Waller and Sami Green in Chichester this Christmas.

They will be alternating performances in Chichester Festival Youth Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol on the CFT’s main-house stage (December 18 to January 2).

Rehearsals of Chichester Festival Theatre's A Christmas Carol. Sami Green as Bob Cratchit. Photo by Mike Eddowes

Rehearsals of Chichester Festival Theatre's A Christmas Carol. Sami Green as Bob Cratchit. Photo by Mike Eddowes

Both are loving it; both are relishing the challenge of the part.

Working on the same role (and delivering it at different performances) has given the two a great chance to collaborate, a great chance to swap thoughts and compare notes… as they both prepare to move on from the youth theatre after many happy experiences.

Both are 18 and now looking to the future. But for the moment, the focus is on A Christmas Carol.

“Bob is just so positive”, Sami says. “He is such a happy character. With Scrooge being so nasty, it’s lovely to see the contrast, such a positive person taking such a positive view. It is lovely to play someone who is so bright and open on stage as part of his journey. I think it is his wife and children that make him so positive, and also I think he has just been brought up that way.”

But as Ed points out, the fate of Tiny Tim hangs over Bob and the family: “There is that underlying worry. He has got that at the back of his mind, but also there is that great juxtaposition between Scrooge and Bob. Bob is directly affected by Scrooge.”

Ed has been involved with the youth theatre for six years now: “Mum and dad put me forward. It has been great. It has helped me grow in confidence.

“It has helped me find what I love the most, which is acting. It has given me good tools to go out there and hopefully pursue acting as a career, but obviously there has been the social side of the youth theatre as well.”

Sami is also looking at acting as a career “I just love it. When I am on stage… it is difficult to explain… but you have got this character that you put on and you are behind the character. You are watching the effect the character has on the audience. If the character makes them smile, you can see them smile. If the character makes them cry, you can see that too.

“There is something so lovely about making people feel emotion. Emotion is the most powerful thing, and when you are telling a story, you can be changing people’s lives. People will go away and think about what they have just seen. They will ponder the story you have been telling them.”

Sami comes to it off the back of a fantastic time in Chichester Festival Youth Theatre’s summer production, Running Wild: “I loved the story, the people there. It was just everything about it really. The puppets were incredible, and the people at the youth theatre just collaborate so well together.”

Ed is currently on a gap year as he applies for drama school; so too is Sami. Both would be delighted to take whatever place they can get.

“But if I had to pick one,” says Sami, “it would be Central. The course is amazing. A couple of my friends are there, and they have told me how brilliant the course is, the stuff they learn.”

Tickets from www.cft.org.uk.

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