Review: A Christmas Carol, Leeds Playhouse Pop-Up Theatre, until January 19 2019. Box office: 0113 213 7700 or at

DEBORAH McAndrew's adaptation of Dickens's winter tale of second chances was such a success at Hull Truck last Christmas that it is now given a second chance of its own in Leeds Playhouse's Pop-Up Theatre.

Normally the theatre's workshops, this temporary stage space is playing host to a repertory company while the Playhouse refurbishment cracks on apace, and after Road and Europe, the now familiar cast can be seen in another light again (particularly Tessa Parr's lit-up Ghost of Christmas Past).

There is a link between the Hull and Leeds productions: Amy Leach, the Playhouse's associate director, has directed both shows, steering Dickens's "perfect mixture of funny, magical and spooky" with all the imagination, vitality and fresh ideas that marks her Leeds shows.

For McAndrew's "uniquely Hull twist" on Dickens's tale, now read "uniquely Leeds twist," as the Victorian warehouses still to be found in both cities once more form the backdrop in Hayley Grindle's set of a brick frontage and the paraphernalia of a dock quayside, where crates form Scrooge and Bob Cratchit's desks when stacked up.

Returning too are Josh Carr's winter lighting, with its cornucopia of candles to add to the spookiness, and John Biddle's delightful score of shanties, Christmas carols and witty pastiches.

McAndrew and Leach do not shy away from the contemporary resonance of Dickens' depiction of poverty, social deprivation and the need to give people the chance to thrive, but the politics are never applied heavily.

Instead, Robert Pickavance sets the tone of this magical, musical story with his prickly mix of the curmudgeonly and the vulnerable in Ebenezer Scrooge on his road to redemption. Likewise, McAndrew and Leach balance Victorian tradition with innovation, Elexi Walker's fabulous, unconventional Ghost Of Christmas Present being a humorous cross between circus act and music- hall performer. So do pop down to a Pop-Up hit as big as Scrooge's Christmas Day turkey.

Charles Hutchinson