The premise of the show is not that of traditional viewed theatre, with a fourth wall in place. Instead, the evening is set up as a parlour party, with Marley and Scrooge as guests, the audience’s job being to get sour-puss Scrooge to join in with the fun and games.

In the cosy setting of the Lamb and Lion, this creates an atmosphere that is lively, informal, and full to the rafters of Christmas feeling.

The words ‘communal meal’ and ‘interactive performance’, often strike fear into the heart of many a reserved Brit, but the evening would have been incomplete without both these things. The interactive element doesn’t call on unwilling persons to be put on the spot, but instead, draws the audience members into joining in more and more as the night progresses.

When the interval and parlour games roll around, everyone’s getting on like a house on fire. There is no shortage of volunteers, people are cracking jokes across the room, and two latecomers remarked upon walking in that they’d thought, ‘everyone already knew each other’.

Interspersed throughout the fun and games, A Christmas Carol is told. With lighting and sound simply and cleverly used to create effect, the scene instantly changes from a room thrumming with good humour, to an audience held captive. The cast of two, Dominic Allen as Scrooge, and Michael Lambourne as Marley, work with little but their own performance skills. However, in the small candlelit parlour anything more would be superfluous.

At the interval boards of pork pies, pate and crusty bread are wheeled in, along with pitchers of ale, and as soon as these are finished, a cranky Scrooge yells for ‘Mrs Dilber’, who enters with an impossible number of mince pies. It’s testament to the way the evening is going that audience members get up to make sure everyone has enough, and to share out the last of the food and drink.

This community spirit is something which landlord Brian Furey is hoping to foster, establishing the Lamb and Lion as a community pub. What he’s trying to do is “create a shared experience, whether through eating, drinking, or art, where any two people can come in and appreciate it for what it is”, and it’s to his credit that more events like A Christmas Carol are in the pipeline.

In the words of Furey, “it’s got good food, good drink, and good craic” - what more could you want?

A Christmas Carol, The Flanagan Collective, The Lamb and Lion Inn, High Petergate, York, today to Thursday, then December 27 to 29. Performances: 7pm plus 2pm Thursday matinees. Box office: 01904 612078.

EReview by Emma Cooke