To quote the great Charles Dickens at the start of his famous novel: "Marley was dead, this must be distinctively understood or nothing wonderful can come of the story."

There you have it.

Once that has been established you are in the hands of Spymonkey who take you on a supernatural journey of Ebenezer Scrooge’s rocky road to redemption.

This is a tale of two Christmas Carols: there’s the original version and now the Spymonkey take.

Their mission statement two years ago, when they came up with the idea of performing it, was ‘what can we bring to the story that is new?’

Hold on to your top hats and bonnets.

Now I am a Christmas Carol addict.

In fact, if I went on mastermind it would be my specialist subject.

But even I would have to say ‘pass’ if John Humphrys asked me what type of car Fezziwig owned?

You get the picture.

This is an off-the-fourth wall, Christmas Carol.

It features a Dickensian dysfunctional family in the Cratchits and a soundtrack which includes Blondie and Radiohead.

This is the Spymonkey seasonal re-mix with puppetry and all manner of Midwinter mayhem.

It is packed with their trademark visual inventiveness and physical, madcap comedy.

Toby Park plays an incredible shrinking Scrooge and there are some very funny laugh-out-loud, moments especially in the opening 20 minutes.

The other three multi-skilled cast members Aitor Basauri, Petra Massey and Sophie Russell have boundless energy working under writer and director Ed Gaughan.

A fabulous on-stage three-piece band on a two-tier set give the production a certain musical hall meets mainstream feel ideally suited to the Playhouse stage.

I once saw Macbeth there featuring the three witches portrayed as the Marx Brothers on roller skates.

This irreverent, anarchic show has the same unpredictable feel.

It is the season to be jolly and adventurous this is Spymonkey’s Christmas card inviting you to their own unique, imaginative interpretation of the tinsel-coated classic.

Globe verdict?

Crazy Comic Capers - four stars!

On until January 12.

For tickets call the box office on 0151 709 4776 or visit