REVIEW Scrooge Opera House, Blackpool

Tommy Steele, starring in Scrooge at Blackpool Winter Gardens.
Tommy Steele, starring in Scrooge at Blackpool Winter Gardens.
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If – god willing – I make it to the age of 77, I hope I have the get up and go of Tommy Steele.

He has so much energy I daresay a 100m face-off between him and Usain Bolt would be a close run thing.

On a packed opening night at the Opera House (this show is set to be one of the biggest box offices smashes of the year in Blackpool), Steele sparkles as Ebenezer Scrooge, the cantankerous miser who finally sees the light in this musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol.

Steele first found fame as a teenager in 1950s, dubbed Britain’s answer to Elvis Presley. He’s been singing ever since.

Despite his advancing years, he’s rarely off stage during this two-and-a-half hour show, dancing around with staggering vitality and freshness, delivering his many songs pitch perfectly.

The standing ovation and huge cheers he receives at the end are utterly deserved.

In this lavish and beautifully staged production of a musical based on the 1970 film Scrooge (which won Albert Finney an Oscar and is one of seven film versions of A Christmas Carol), Steele receives fine support from a talented cast including former Hi-de-Hi! star Barry Howard as Marley and larger-than-life James Head as the Ghost of the Christmas Present, complete with sparkly jacket.

There were several youngsters in the audience, all of whom were spellbound at the spooky and clever way each ghost magically appeared on stage.

Why the child in front of me even stopped munching his family-sized bag of Maltesers for a few fleeting moments so it must have been impressive.

It is the perfect pre-Christmas show – good songs, strong moral message. It’s unashamedly sickly sweet at times, but when Steele, dressed as Father Christmas, signs off with a personal message to Blackpool ... well you can’t help but leave feeling good about life.

It’s on until Saturday.