As the concept of ‘big society’ openly crumbles in the face of contemporary religious intolerance, xenophobia and dysfunctional hyper-materialism, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol still reassuringly serves as the epitome of an anti-materialist manifesto.

But with three separate Scrooges in Brighton this festive season alone – why choose this particular production; the first at new venue The Spire?

The answer is that it is quite simply saturated with atmosphere - from the moment the audience arrives greeted by costumed box office staff, flickering candles and the sweet smell of mulled wine to the end of their transformative journey, a mere 50 minutes later.

Souls are spiritually lifted by carols, dancing, snowball fights and the requisite moral rehabilitation of the interminable Scrooge.

Their interactive journey is guided by an ensemble of performers exquisitely directed and led by Gary Sefton. Although predominantly set in traverse the action extends well beyond the stage as every inch of the beautiful venue is animated with performance, song or sound-scape.

But ultimately what makes this production is the phenomenal lighting; Rich Godin’s incredibly sculptural design invests every moment with magic or joy or absolute horror just as the story demands.

This is a must see show for anyone who loves theatre, feels in need of spiritual absolution or simply has a heart.

Five stars