A Christmas Carol – Albany Theatre

As this show will have finished its run long before our next printed edition comes out at the end of January, we are providing an online only review now.

Described in the programme as “the perfect family-friendly alternative to a traditional panto” A Christmas Carol, is directed by Kevin Shaw, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Albany Theatre, is on till 26 December.

The story needs little introduction, but this tale of Christmas conversion from miserliness to merriment is just what we need at the moment. The cast consists of just seven actors, interchanging roles by the simple but effective use of additional accessories, such as a bonnet, apron or cloak, and portraying the whole range of characters between them. They also act as narrators, and an additional audience as they are all, for the most part, ever present on the stage, sometimes sitting at the side and providing additional reactions to the action.

The paucity of actors is perhaps a little stretched when Ebenezer Scrooge is taken to his own earlier life by the Ghost of Christmas past, and ends up not just spectating these scenes, but joining in as a representation of his own younger self. This provided an interesting different perspective, seeing how immersed Scrooge was in these scenes, but making it harder to portray current day Scrooge’s immediate reactions to his reviewing of parts of his life.

The portentous spirits are heralded by striking effects and vivid lighting to great effect, marking out their otherworldliness and Scrooge’s fear of them. The final ghost is particularly dramatic. The appearance of Marley’s chained ghost is reinforced, not only by bulges and distortions in the wall behind him, but by the other actors creating an impressive web of chains across the forestage, symbolising the burden Marley bears and hopes to prevent Scrooge from enduring.

The gripping action is interspersed with harmonised carols and the occasional dance, sometimes underlining the emotiveness and sometimes adding a spark of festive cheer. Scrooge’s final transformation from gloomy meanness to jubilant generosity is joyous, leaving the audience enveloped in seasonal warmth, heightened, rather than diminished, by any imitation snow.


Allesley Old Road Petition

This petition has been launched asking to further improve road safety on Allesley Old Road and roads nearby and oppose Government plans for an £8 Charging Zone in Coventry.

This link is provided for information and not because ECHO is recommending that people sign (or equally that people should oppose it). These are complex issues and everyone needs to think in details of the impact before supporting any of the proposals or campaigns.

See here

This ePetition runs to 08/02/2022.

Seasonal Issue December 2021 / January 2022

The combined December and January edition of ECHO is now on sale. This bumper 40-page issue includes 3 cash prize competitions, other seasonal items and the usual range of news reports, features and events.

Once more we owe a huge thank you for keeping us going during a difficult couple of years to:

– our advertisers

– our 23 sales outlets, all of which are now selling ECHO again after interruption during the pandemic

– all the individuals and organisations that contribute material

– our printers Buy-My-Print

– and, most of all, to you, our loyal readers and followers.

We will now take a rest from the printed version of ECHO for a month, but we will maintain our Facebook, Twitter and website feeds. In the meantime, the ECHO team would like to send seasonal good wishes to the whole community of Earlsdon, Chapelfields, Hearsall and Spon End.


Updated Planning Application – 34 Belvedere Road

The planning application for the premises at 34 Belvedere Road (ref: FUL/2021/0974), which was previously ruled invalid, has been resubmitted and validated. The proposal remains to convert from use as a care home to 4 self-contained flats. There is a very short period for public consultation, which ends 30 August.

Because we search the planning portal by submission date, and the application is still listed by its original date, 30 March, we had not picked this up for the September issue of ECHO but in any case by the time that issue is on sale later this week it will be too late for people to respond.

Fortunately Cllr Gittins picked up on it and warned us, too late for the printed issue but in time for us to post it online.

For more details see: http://planning.coventry.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=815691


Around 80 people gathered at the Village Hotel yesterday afternoon for the long-delayed celebration of the life of ECHO founder, Graham Partridge. Graham died in January 2020, aged 68.

As a succession of speakers testified, Graham’s contribution to the community went way beyond creating ECHO, important though that was.

Among the initiatives he was responsible for, or was involved in, were the New Diggers, Drop in the Ocean wholefood co-operative, Coventry Talking Newspaper for the Blind, the original Earlsdon Village Festival in 1978 and Coventry City Farm, whilst his other interests included rock music, tennis, running, drumming, and dance. That was all in his spare time, but he also worked for Coventry City Libraries in a wide variety of roles across the city over four decades.

There was inevitable sadness at such an occasion but also an outpouring of positive emotions at our good fortune at having known a person of such integrity, enthusiasm and energy.