Scrooge — A Christmas Carol is billed as “a magical family show for the festive season” but if you're looking for a lavish, colourful musical extravaganza, you will be disappointed.

Proper Job Theatre Company's interpretation of this Charles Dickens classic, takes the story back to its roots.

The scenery is sparse and, with the exception of Scrooge, four main actors — Lorna Lewis, Mark Cronfield, Fiona Macrae and Ben Cutler — play multiple characters.

Our party consisted of ages from five to 60. Could this production possibly please us all? I needn’t have worried.

Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Rick Ferguson, was both formidable and amusing.

The ghosts of Christmas past, present and future were well portrayed, and not too scary for the younger members of the audience.

A number of local youngsters of differing ages played excellent supporting roles.

All that was missing for us was a rousing carol at the end, as we felt it finished rather abruptly. However we felt it was an excellent interpretation.

Perhaps you don't always need sparkle and glitz to get the true meaning of Christmas across.

Sadly, the small theatre wasn't by any means full.

However, in these days of the credit crunch it is quite refreshing to be reminded that times aren't half as bad as when Charles Dickens was alive.

l A Christmas Carol, Darwen Library Theatre, until December 24. Box Office 01254 706006.