Farndale Christmas Carol

Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL

By David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jnr


The ladies of Boxford Drama Group once more take on the guise of the ladies of the Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society (take a breath) in an endeavour to put on a production of A Christmas Carol which, in the hands of the Farndale ladies, never goes quite right! Wrong sound effects, misplaced props and actors who often don’t know the exact lines, or sometimes know the right lines but in the wrong place, are the hallmark of the Farndale ladies as they plough boldly on and in the process, come hell, high water or falling sets, relate the story of Scrooge, Cratchit and Tiny Tim in a way you have never have seen before.

“The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol” by David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jnr received rave reviews when premiered in 1989. The Independent said, “Another classic, dramatic massacre with an awesome, convincing idiocy that enthrals,” and the Guardian wrote, “Hilarious moments of delightful inventive silliness.”

BDG’s production, in which every disaster is meticulously planned and staged with hilarious results, is at Boxford Village Hall
from 16th to 18th June at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £10 and are available from the Boxford Post Office.

There is a licensed bar – during the performances – not at the post office!



A performance of A Christmas Carol in Summer? Hardly seasonal, and yet due to a scheduling cock-up the ladies of the Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society press on with the show regardless. These thespian stalwarts, experienced actors all, dedicated to their craft, rally to the clarion call to invoke the spirit of great stage actors of the past such as Gielgud, Olivier and Guinness to bring a flawless production of Dickensian theatrical artistry.

Oh wait, I’ve got the wrong notes here. No, sorry, I was thinking of a different Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society. 

The Farndale Dramatic Society’s production was a total
cock-up from start to finish. Missed cues, infighting between the actors, stage props going awol, the sound engineer asleep at the helm and a stage manager with a broken coccyx all combine to create a perfect storm of the worst interpretation of the Dickens classic imaginable. 

Of course, the Farndale production itself is all an act, hilariously played by the good members of the Boxford Drama Group. It takes some skill to purposefully get things so helplessly wrong and the cast of Elaine Carpenter, Hannah Carpenter, Lenka Netopilikova, Frances Korabik and Michael Munn (standing in for Angela Tolput as the tallest Tiny Tim you ever did see) played the fools brilliantly and almost (!) convincingly. 

The drama group used every trick at their disposal to make this a hilarious spoof. The set construction, sound and lighting all fully employed as jokes in and of themselves to make it a true team performance. The audience were laughing from start to finish.

This was the third successful outing of the Farndale Ladies for the Boxford Drama Group, the previous plays being Chase Me Up Farndale Avenue, S’il Vous Plait in 2017 and Farndale Avenue Murder Mystery in 2008. Writers David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jnr have another 7 Farndale plays written so let’s hope it’s by no means the last time we see them played by Boxford Drama Group!