IF you feel you have had your fill of A Christmas Carol, think again.

Here is a Dickensian Christmas entertainment that combines play and plate, Scrooge and food, the Spirits of Christmas and mulled wine, heating aromatically in the corner.

The Flanagan Collective first staged this dinner-theatre show last Christmas in the Lamb & Lion’s top parlour, and now it returns with a new cast of musician-actors Ed Wren and John Holt-Roberts.

We begin in the street, Wren’s fiercely bearded Scrooge hurrying and humbugging his way to the door, where Holt-Roberts’s Jacob Marley, our host, lets everyone follow the grumpy businessman inside, his winter chill contrasting with the welcome warmth.

Dickens’s oft-told tale is told with audience participation – hats to wear in character, Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody for a singalong with Marley’s guitar – and more serious moments of suspense and bookish contemplation in Alexander Wright’s typically eloquent script that transforms the Spirits into “atmospheres” conjured by Marley.

Director Tom Bellerby, writer Wright and the cast judge the balance of misery, mystery, merriment and magic just right, changing the mood subtly and adroitly. Scrooge and Marley stay in character over the interval meal of meats, pork pie, black pudding, hearty chips, cheese, paté and bread, albeit always with an eye to humour, followed by name-guessing parlour games that stir up the Christmas party spirit.

Suddenly, Wren’s Scrooge starts picking out God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen on the harp, joined by Holt-Roberts in a beautiful, haunting duet, and so, by stealth, the show darkens anew before its joyous transformation.

The finale, without giving it away, is one of happiest sights to be encountered by bemused passers-by on a York street this Christmas season, watched by the contented, well-fed audience through the parlour window with the broadest of smiles.

Up to 20 people can be accommodated in the Top Parlour on these nights when you can eat, think and be merry.

A Christmas Carol, The Flanagan Collective, Lamb & Lion Inn, York, until December 30, except December 24 to 26, at 7.30pm for 8pm start. Box office: 01904 612078.