A COURTYARD in Cirencester was the fitting location for an ambitious outdoor staging of A Christmas Carol performed with great energy by talented students from the town’s own drama company Imagine Ciren.

For six performances on Saturday and Sunday night, student actors guided their audience from one atmospheric location to another within the Stable Yard off Black Jack Street in Cirencester.

Even one performance in the rain failed to put a dampener on the spirits of the hardy troupe of actors.

No scenery was needed – Victorian England was there for all to see in the buildings and on the cobbled stones.

Retelling the classic festive story of Ebeneezer Scrooge’s (played brilliantly by Sam Courtiour) journey of self- discovery, young performers brought the scenes to life with an array of skills including puppetry, Greek Chorus and physical theatre.

This new adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic was written by Imagine Ciren founder James Rushbrooke and directed by Emily Thomson.

James said: "We were incredibly happy and pleased with our Imagine students; bringing a little Dickensian Christmas morality to the Courtyard space.

"Theatre in the promenade isn't done very often in this region so we set out to do something different, imaginative and magical - with voices, with puppets and with the way the audience and performers related to each other.

"It definitely worked - the audience feedback has been phenomenal and the kids absolutely loved it too. It's nice to take theatre out into the community and uncover some wonderful hidden spaces like the Courtyard and keep expanding the horizons of our young performers, adding new skills every term."

Emily added: "We're so thrilled at the community's response to the magic of the show, and by Sunday we were struggling to keep up with outside demand for tickets!

"The fact that the students approached the show with such a high level of professionalism meant that we could really push the boundaries in terms of what our audience expected to experience. The positive feedback to this show will only help us in continuing to train students to a high calibre, as well as pave the way for more unconventional theatre in the area."