Copy Editor/Staff Writer
Humber River Shakespeare’s A Christmas Carol is sure to put everyone in the Christmas spirit with its adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale.
The play, directed by Kevin Hammond, recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Kelk), who hates Christmas and wants nothing to do with the holiday cheer that he is surrounded by. He is visited by three ghosts, the ghost of Christmas past, (Sara Moyle), the ghost of Christmas present, (Mark Huisman), and the ghost of Christmas future (which consisted of various actors carrying around a ghostlike puppet wearing a green mask). These ghosts help Scrooge see the error of his ways and allow him the chance to start a new life -- one in which he is a kind and generous person.
The actors brought a different element to their many roles throughout the play; however, Kelk was the standout performer for me. His portrayal of Scrooge was spot on, from the way he talked to the way he was hunched over while moving across the stage. His subtle movements and stares were very convincing and even frightened a few of the children in the audience. Claire Frances Muir’s ability to speak with different English accents and tones, along with her ability to transition between her roles of Mrs. Dilber and Tiny Tim helped keep the play interesting.
The stage design was minimal, but effective nonetheless. A few chairs were placed around the tiny space and a trunk was placed in the centre, which served the double function of being Scrooge’s bed and a place to put the costumes when they weren’t needed, which was often distracting for the audience, because any time a certain actor would say their lines, another actor would be putting the costumes into the trunk. It was a bit noisy, making it hard at times to hear what the other actors were saying.
Although the play had no music, except for the actors’ singing and humming in the background, this did not decrease the likability factor of the performances. Rather, it added to the subtle, quiet, and understated tone of the play, making it easy to enjoy.
The whole family is sure to love A Christmas Carol, the old and young alike. It will definitely get you in the Christmas spirit.
A Christmas Carol is touring the GTA until Dec. 20. For dates, locations and more information visit http://humberrivershakespeare.ca/a-christmas-carol-2015/