For an immersive experience, the details are what truly sells the experience. There are still several ways in which director Kelsey Yuhara and designer Lili Fuller enhance this particular world even further, to make each environment feel more coherent.
For example, although the show is not meant to be set in Victorian times, the first character we meet is dressed for that period. It might be a reference to Doctor Who, but the Dickensian associations are much stronger and there is no Sonic Screwdriver.
The room with Ghosts of Christmas Past (Yuxuan Liu, Noah Silverstone and Ashlee McIntosh) provide cards with prompts on them that are handwritten in colourful markers. While this is a cute nod to preschool days, the choice of font and stationery feel more modern than the setting, therefore presenting a slight clash of ideas.
Similarly, certain conceptual elements can be further simplified. Why is the Spirit of the Present blindfolded? When he entertains the audience, his aide (Hannah Hawkins) moves presents in and out of the space, but this action is never fully integrated into the story.
The Spirit of the Future (Mahalakshmi) and Spirit of the Now (Sofia Zaragoza) share a carolling duet, followed by Now leaving abruptly. Now returns at the end to ask if anyone has taken anything from the Time Keeper, but this question is quickly dismissed with no explanation whatsoever.
All this being said, the entire experience of Your Christmas Carol Experience: A New Immersive Adventure is grounded by a sincere and innocent core. There is a pureness that permeates the experience, from the type of prompts (e.g. "What is your favourite object from your childhood?"), to the simplicity of a guessing game, and the allure of candles lit in the dark. As such, it would be rather interesting to see how this experience is received by children, if the project is packaged as a family-oriented experience. After all, isn't this the true heart of A Christmas Carol?
This experience was reviewed at The Space, London on the 22nd December 2023.
Review written by Vic Chen