A Christmas Carol Rings in the Holiday Season
At the Grand Theatre, A Christmas Carol has become a bit of a holiday tradition, and rightfully so. This year marks the 6th time that this story has been brought to life on a Grand Theatre stage. That being said, the artistic director of the Grand, Dennis Garnhum, introduces a new twist on the old classic: for the first time on a Canadian stage, Scrooge is portrayed as a woman. The talented cast, including individuals of all ages, invites audience members to look on the classic tale in a new light. The show follows the traditional plot line of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, keeping true to the well-loved tale. The story follows Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Jan Alexandra Smith, as she learns to appreciate the value of human kindness and generosity. The story begins with the burial of Scrooge’s old business partner Jacob Marley,played by Patrick Monaghan. The audience then gets a snapshot of Scrooge at work as she angrily agrees to give her employee, Bob Cratchit, played by Sean Arbuckle, a day off to celebrate Christmas with his family. When Scrooge goes home for the night, she is visited by the ghost of Jacob Marley, and she is forced into spending a night conversing with the spirits of Christmas past, present, and future.
The set and lighting choices are innovative and help modernize the classic story. As the curtains are drawn, a projection, similar to a movie screen, is used to kick off the performance, and it provides an introduction to the story. Furthermore, the moveable set pieces add unique elements to the show and allow the actors on stage to immerse themselves into the world of A Christmas Carol. For example, the walls of Scrooge’s bedroom have a piece of stretchable fabric with unseen slits cut into it. When Jacob Marley and a number of other ghosts enter the scene, they come through the wall, making it seem as if the ghosts appear out of nowhere. A brilliant use of lighting occurs when Scrooge visits the