Samantha Morley on A CHRISTMAS CAROL

After premiering at London’s The Old Vic in 2017, A Christmas Carol has become a much-loved festive staple over the past six seasons.

Winner of five Tony Awards, the smash-hit Old Vic production of Charles Dickens’ immortal classic is now playing at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre until 30 December 2022. Conceived and directed by Matthew Warchus (Matilda the Musical) and adapted for the stage by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), audiences will be welcomed into an immersive experience, brimming with music and merriment.

This timeless and uplifting story features 12 heart-warming Christmas carols, including “O Holy Night,” “Joy to the World,” and “Silent Night.” Theatregoers will be treated to this powerful, joyous and uplifting production, as they witness one man’s emotional journey from resentment to redemption.

Playing the role of the Ghost of Christmas Present is Samantha Morley.

Samantha is a graduate of Atlantic Acting School New York and University of Southern QLD (Bachelor of Music), and has just wrapped touring with GWB’s wonderful production of Girl From The North County. Her past theatrical credits include The Guys (Classic Theatre Works), Billy Elliot (Working Title), Cats (International Touring Company), The Boy from Oz (Gannon/Fox), Fiddler on The Roof (TML Enterprises), South Pacific (Seabiscuit Productions), Nine (Manilla Productions) and The Hatpin (Magnormos). As a vocalist, Samantha has sung with many of the country’s finest musicians in jazz and soul music. She is a longstanding member of the soul band Grand Wazoo and has most recently written and performed ‘Samantha Is Her Name – The Music of Julie London’ with her jazz trio. Samantha performed as the support act for Barry White in his final Australian concert tour with the vocal trio ‘The Funky Divas’ as well as many other concerts and television appearances. In 2018 Samantha undertook three months of military training and went on to complete a two-year engagement as the full-time vocalist with the Royal Australian Air Force band. During this time, highlights included ceremonial events at Gallipoli Turkey, France and Belgium as well as a deployment to the middle east region to sing in a series of Christmas concerts for the troops.

Can you tell me a bit about your history with performance?

Samantha: I would say I was a late starter in the industry. I grew up in outback NSW on a farm near Moree so we didn’t have a lot of cultural influences around us. We had two tv channels – ABC and the other seemed to just advertise the local livestock sales! We did however have a pianola and my grandfathers old jazz records so many hours were spent playing and listening to jazz standards. I started learning piano at age 5 then eventually as a teenager was sent to a boarding school in the city to be able to get singing lessons. I would then go to university to major in classical singing. Around the age of 13 I remember seeing a production of ‘Aint Misbehavin’ in Brisbane and that was a light-bulb moment for me.

Debra Lawrance, Samantha Morley, and Emily Nkomo as the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future | Photo by Jeff Busby

How is this role different to past shows you have been a part of?

Samantha: The Ghost Of Christmas Present is quite a formidable character. She has a very strong presence and is sent to challenge Scrooge. It is unlike any character I have played before.

Is it challenging to play a supernatural character?

Samantha: This is the second role I have played where I portray a ghost; the first being the role of ‘Dead Mum’ in the musical Billy Elliot. With the role of ‘Ghost Present’, at first I thought, ‘how do I tackle this? I clearly can’t draw on any past experience!’ However, even though she is a spirit, she is very much in the present moment with Scrooge. She does possess the odd supernatural power though, without giving too much away!

Why do you think the story of A Christmas Carol is so well-loved?

Samantha: It’s a timeless story reminding us about love and redemption, forgiveness and belonging and the fact that its set around Christmas time with beautiful Christmas carols makes it all the more special.

What do you think is the main message of the show?

Samantha: There are many important messages in this show, but one of the main messages would be of hope. No matter what we have experienced in life, we all have the capacity to open our hearts and minds to others. Striving to be a better person, and in doing so, cultivating a sense of optimism for the future.

A Christmas Carol is playing now at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre.

Click here for tickets and more information.

Header photo by Jeff Busby

Gabi Bergman

Gabi Bergman is a Melbourne-based performer and educator, and is the current Deputy Editor-in-Chief of She holds a Double Arts degree in Theatre Studies and Film/Screen Studies and a Master of Teaching (Secondary Education). Gabi has always been an avid lover of theatre, specifically musicals, and spends way too much money than she’d like to admit on tickets. Her most prized possession is her crate of theatre programs.

Gabi Bergman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *