However, the night was tinged with sadness following the government's announcement to shut down theatres across London from 16 December amid the city's move into Tier 3. A Christmas Carol was among one of the first shows to hit the West End after almost a whole year of shutdown during the ongoing pandemic.
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Taking to her Instagram page following the performance, presenter Emma remarked: "So happy that I'll get to see this before it has to close... [heart emojis] @mattjwillis."
Fans were quick to sympathise, with one writing: "Such a shame for theatres when they’ve done so much to be COVID safe." Another said: "We saw Matt on Saturday and it was so emotional, I cried nonstop for all the cast and theatre staff who made it happen after so long away and what that meant to them all."
With soaring melodies, moving lyrics and a moral for our times, this Christmas event was expected to reunite families after the hardest year in living memory. Rigorous COVID-19 safety measures and social distancing were put in place front of house, on stage, backstage and throughout the Dominion Theatre.
Emma shared this snap from the opening night
Matt, who played Bob Cratchit, is no stranger to the theatre, having starred in Wicked and Little Shop Of Horrors. Former EastEnders star Jacqueline Jossa took on the role of Emily/Ghost of Christmas Future, while Brian Conley starred as the iconic Ebenezer Scrooge.
The musical was expected to bring Dickens' timeless fable to glorious life: telling the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, a mean-spirited miser who does not believe in the power of Christmas. But on a Christmas Eve filled with memorable characters, spectacular songs, ghostly apparitions and journeys to the past, present and future, Scrooge acknowledges his mistakes and discovers the joy of redemption.
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