Dickens for Dinner is probably one of the funniest, silliest Fringe shows for grown-ups out there (though it’s appropriate for children as well). In what seems like the result of a bizarre brainwave, the cast of five transport a Christmas Carol to 1989, where Ebeneezer Scrooge is a failing songwriter, and it’s amazing.

From C Venues’ in-house theatre company C Theatre, the team behind long-standing 10am Fringe classic Shakespeare for Breakfast, comes this more recent endeavour, Dickens for Dinner. Instead of the free coffee and croissant that the morning audience receive, a ticket to this show includes a complimentary cup of soup and a bread roll. The disappointment one might feel as one walks into the theatre with what turns out to be mere broth is sure to fade as the show begins – it’s just so much fun.

The actor playing Charles Dickens, the narrator of the story, puts on a cracking show, fully committing to his cod-Victorian lines and rocking some very energetic poses in his leather motorcycle trousers. Scrooge is sufficiently downbeat and grumpy but often corpses – still, this sometimes leads into a joke so it’s hard to tell whether he’s doing it on purpose! One actress does an excellent turn as all three ghosts, who in this music-centred Christmas Carol are – spoiler alert – Amadeus Mozart, David Bowie and a ridiculous hybrid of Adele and Maddie Ziegler. A most memorable role is that of Tiny Tim – in one scene, he (she) describes his illness through the medium of hilarious faux-Cockney rhyming slang. The fifth cast member, though not blessed with the funniest roles, does well as Bob Crotchet (ha ha) and Scrooge’s Christmas–obsessed young nephew Fred, whom she plays on her knees, Lord Farquaad-style (Shrek the Musical, anyone?).

Dickens for Dinner is very cleverly written – not only do the actors quote lyrics by everyone from Abba and Journey to Madonna and Bon Jovi, but references to many Dickens novels are slotted into the structure of the Christmas Carol. The setting of the late 80s works weirdly well, with Scrooge dining on prawn cocktail and Blue Nun and the reason he hates Christmas, children and charity being Band-Aid’s ruining his chances at a number one Christmas single.

It’s true, this show looks rough-and-ready, with no set and half-pulled on, constantly changing costumes, and true, the performers rely on energy and comic talent rather than great acting, but those things make this show even better. It’s joke upon joke with laughs for everyone, the commitment from the cast is palpable and you even get food. And – dare I say it – it might be even funnier than Shakespeare for Breakfast.

Dickens for Dinner is playing at C Venues until August 28. For more information and tickets, go to https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/dickens-for-dinner