WHAT a Dickens of a time this is for productions of frugal festive favourite A Christmas Carol.

Two promenade shows are doing the rounds in York; Hull Truck Theatre is staging Deborah McAndrew's new adaptation, set on Hull's docks, and Nick Lane's equally new A (Scarborough) Christmas Carol opened in (Scarborough) yesterday. Bah Humbug to you if you're not a fan of Ebenezer's night terrors.

Nightshade Productions, the theatre wing of the York Terror Trail, have made a habit of revisiting Charles Dickens' story each winter, whether on the cobbled streets and down the ginnels, the York Guildhall council chamber, in a temporarily empty former school outfitters or on Kirkgate at York Castle Museum last year.

This Christmas, they have found another gem of a location, the candle-lit, wreath-scented 14th century Holy Trinity Church and its graveyard in Goodramgate, with a wood-burning brazier and beverages as sources of warmth on a chill night. Nevertheless, be sure to layer up your clothing.

A couple of scenes break out on to the streets beyond, mingling with passing cars and, more aptly, a ghost walk tour, by the G Warrington's carousel in King's Square, but narrator and host Damien Freddi's production is at its best in the church and especially amid the gravestones.

Gary Walker is a quietly dyspeptic Scrooge, embittered by past experience; Chris Jay's Marley has rather more presence about him (ironically for a spectral being); Adam Sowter is a joy as Fred, and Dawn Bush's Ghost of Christmas Present keeps you on your toes. The chilling sight and sound of screeching spirits in the church gloom will linger long in the memory too.

York Press:

York actor Mick Liversidge as Ebenezer Scrooge in Front Room Productions' A Christmas Carol

Leeds company Front Room Productions first caught The Press's attention doing some exuberant al fresco Shakespeare down on the farm on the city outskirts this summer. Kirkgate Market has hosted their briskly whisked promenade performances too and now they are making their York debut with writer-director Olivia Race's adaptation of A Christmas Carol, 80 minutes straight through, and no they don't have to axe a ghost to fit everything in to their Charles Quickens.

If you saw the Guild of Misrule's York Culture Award-winning The Great Gatsby, same place, same style, last Christmas, then you will know how a combination of characterful storytelling, live brass, accordion and assorted string music, Christmas carols, party games, dancing and movement from the main studio, down the stairs and corridors to rooms below – one of them the front room, most appropriately – makes for truly engaging theatre.

York actor Mick Liversidge's Scrooge is less of a closed book than Gary Walker's interpretation, his gradual change more apparent; James Barrett bonds amusingly with the audience and composer and musical director Claire-Marie Seddon, Katie Tranter and Olivia Race all make a Ghostly impact.

A Christmas Carol, Nightshade Productions, Holy Trinity Church, York, until December 21, 7pm nightly; tickets at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk. A Christmas Carol, Front Room Productions, John Cooper Studio@41 Monkgate, York, until Saturday, December 9, 7pm and 8.45pm; tickets at frontroomproductions.co.uk