A MUST-SEE AT CANADA’S NAC: THE HOLIDAY CLASSIC – A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Perhaps one of the most popular phrases known alongside Christmas is SCROOGE. Being known as the SCROOGE is exactly the anti-thesis of the spirit of giving during Christmastime. While this generally accepted parlance have came to refer to folks who are selfish, uncharitable, stingy and obviously not big fans of Christmas, did you know that IT is based on Ebenezer Scrooge? The focal character of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella, #AChristmasCarol, Scrooge is a cold-hearted miser who despises Christmas and everything that came with it!
Of course we know the story of #AChristmasCarol all too well. There’s been many films and play adaptations done all over the world. But in case you need a refresher, here’s the story line… “The story of A Christmas Carol starts on Christmas Eve 1843 with Scrooge at his money-lending business. He despises Christmas as a “humbug” and subjects his clerk, Bob Cratchit, to grueling hours and low pay. He shows his cold-heartedness toward others by refusing to make a monetary donation for the good of the poor, claiming they are better off dead, thereby ‘decreasing the surplus population.’
While he is preparing to go to bed, he is visited by the ghost of his business partner, Jacob Marley, who had died seven years earlier (1836) on Christmas Eve. Like Scrooge, Marley had spent his life hoarding his wealth and exploiting the poor, and, as a result, is damned to walk the Earth for eternity bound in the chains of his own greed.”
Recently, we’ve seen the National Arts Centre’s English Theatre’s new adaption of #AChristmasCarol and we’ve never seen anything like it!
#ACHRISTMASCAROL: RE-IMAGINED BY JILLIAN KEILEY AND THE NAC ENGLISH THEATRE
A completely re-imagined take by Jillian Keiley, the Artistic Director of English Theatre at the National Arts Centre, this Christmas classic was brilliantly shown in a way that was fresh, renewed and dare we say… modern. And we’re not just talking about the stunning set and costumes by acclaimed costume and set designer Bretta Gerecke, this adaption has also included in its cast Jack Volpe, a Montreal-based artist who is deaf, and Bruce Horak, a Toronto-based artist who is legally blind, who did a marvelous job both as a narrator and two of the spirits.
Though I’ve seen sign language interpretation used in shows before, I’ve never seen it done this way in which both Jack (and Bruce for that matter) was intrinsically weaved into the novella and not just a stand-in interpreter.
“I’m always looking for a Canadian angle to things, even when they’re written by the most iconic of Brits. This Christmas Carol is built around the stars featured in NAC seasons across the disciplines. It’s a perfect opportunity to see the wonderful array of Canada’s best, in one of the world’s best holiday stories.” – Jillian Keiley, Artistic director, NAC English Theatre
A MODERN TWIST, A STUNNING SET, AN ECLECTIC CAST AND A BRILLIANT STAR IN ANDY JONES AS EBENEZER SCROOGE
Aside from the fact that the set and decor by Bretta Gerecke is grand and precisely Instagram-worthy, what with all the white background, the beige and tan highlights and lowlights – it was a magical white Yuletime kingdom of sorts, one that can send thousands of Instagram hearts/likes into a fiery explosion, it was quite a stroke of genius to have designed costumes devoid of colours and flair and instead, have the audience imagine it so.
It already was a special treat to be serenaded with some of Christmas best hits songs sang beautifully by some of the cast including 3 of the adorable young members. But to also have the privilege to touch and feel what would have been the set and costume, with all its intricate details, colours and textures, was a gift.
Casting cast Newfoundland actor Andy Jones as Ebenezer Scrooge was bloody brilliant as he was absolutely perfect as he embodied Ebenezer Scrooge with all his humbug glory. As you watch Marley warns Scrooge that he risks meeting the same fate as he.., and that as a final chance at redemption he will be visited by three spirits of Christmas: Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present and Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come,” you can’t help but feel all sorts of emotions for Ebenezer Scrooge, and one of which, eventually, is sympathy. Andy Jones is effective, commanding and with a range so wide he takes you in, and takes you in deep, as you feel alongside with him in his journey through his life of misery.
Charles Dickens would be pleased, we’re sure of it.
LEARN MORE AND GET BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE CAST AND CREW OF THE NAC’S #ACHRISTMASCAROL
To learn more about Jillian Keiley‘s, (Artistic Director of English Theatre at the National Arts Centre) inspiration on re-imagining a classic from centuries ago, you can listen to her podcast here: http://bit.ly/2ilFw3z. And since we love Behind the Scenes, here’s an exclusive look behind the curtain… backstage at the NAC with Bretta Gerecke, Set and Costume Designer, #AChristmasCarol as interviewed by Amy Karlin, the NAC’s Digital Communications Manager and Ottawa Blogger and Lifestyle Expert (Amy in 613): http://bit.ly/2ilFw3z.
EVENT PROGRAMME FOR THE CF RIDEAU CENTRE BREAKFAST W/ SANTA FOR EASTER SEALS ONTARIO
As a BONUS for being on the ‘Nice List’ this year, $15 Trinity Live Rush tickets are on sale for tonight’s A Christmas Carol (December 30th!)! Are you aged 13-29? Then you’re eligible for Live Rush, you lucky duck! (Personally, I cry over the fact that I can no longer avail of such fantastic deals at Live Rush! That was the only way I could afford to go to the NAC while struggling as a student eating ramen everyday! But who am I kidding, I still eat ramen all the time!)
But you must hurry, there’s only a few seats left so make haste! And not to worry lads, this is one purchase even Scrooge himself would approve of! Visit https://nac-cna.ca/en/event/13617 to purchase tickets today!
Sometimes, we tend to forget what truly is the spirit of Christmas. #AChristmasCarol is on one hand, a peculiar ghost story and on another, a moral story with an inspiring and uplifting message of love, forgiveness, hope and redemption.
Give yourself and your love ones one of the biggest gifts you can give this season… really discovering that Christmas Spirit once again through the magic of #AChristmasCarol at the National Arts Centre!
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