Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
Adapted and directed for the stage
by Jeremy Webb
Now featuring RHYS BEVAN-JOHN
The classic holiday show brought lovingly to life
Whether read aloud with family and friends or in solitude on a chill winter evening to savor the story, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a very special holiday experience.
Take a break from the Holiday rush and settle in for this dramatic telling of this holiday classic. Often Hilarious, sometimes spooky; Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has been recreated for the whole family.
Tried and tested, Webb’s Christmas Carol has met with fantastic critical and box office success!
Every Christmas it’s the story that will warm our hearts. Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future will remind us with laughter and tears that the true Christmas spirit comes from giving.
Bevan-John plays all twenty roles in the production, from the Ghost of Christmas Past to Tiny Tim. It has to be seen to be believed! Charles Dickens himself would perform the piece in performances such as this one.
“Every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart,” says Scrooge.
Even if you agree with Ebeneezer, this popular production of Dickens’ favourite will get you in a Yuletide mood.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL – The 2015 Tour
A Christmas Carol returns to the Nova Scotia roads, in December 2015, with a new actor!
Rhys Bevan-John has been cast as the actor in our production, returning to the show he first worked on as a puppeteer in 2003. Over the past 11 years, Rhys has toured with A Christmas carol a number of times, supporting the show’s original actor, Jeremy Webb.
“He’s the perfect choice for the role,” says Webb. “Not only is he talented, funny and a great actor, but he’s familiar with the job and the show. He’ll be great.”
Webb will be retaining links with the touring production, directing it in 2015. “It’s a great opportunity to revisit the material and try some new stuff!” Webb explains. “All the traditional moments will be there, but Rhys will be bringing his own style to the show too… It will just get bigger and better.”
A Christmas Carol has dates available for performances in schools and theatre venues in 2015 between November 25th and December 26th.
TOUR DATES – 2015
November 28th – Fundraiser performance for the SCRI Club.
November 30th – SCHOOL DATES
December 1st – SCHOOL DATES
December 2nd – 6th – BOOKED
December 8th – SCHOOL DATES
December 12th -
December 13th – Day Off
December 16th – SCHOOL DATES
December 21st – Day Off – No performance
December 25th – Bah! Humbug!
The 2015 Team
JESSICA LEWIS (Stage Manager, Technical Director) has been working in Halifax as a Technical Director, Lighting Designer and Production Manager for over 10 years. She has taken Productions across Canada and throughout the Southern States.
Selected works include: Off the Leash (Under Milk Wood, Fishing, A Christmas Carol, Shakespeare on Trial), Zuppa Theatre (Uncle Oscar’s Experiment, The Attaining Gigantick Dimensions, Slowly I Turn, The Debacle), DMV Theatre (Pageant, The Ugly One). Special Events Co-Producer at the Atlantic Film, and Production Manager for the 2014 Magnetic North Theatre Festival and Stages Theatre Festival.
Jessica is also an accomplished musician, preforming in cactus flower, Wet Denim, Dark for Dark and Escape Tapes
RHYS BEVAN-JOHN (the Actor) is an award winning actor and writer as well as one of the most exciting young artists in Nova Scotia. Whether working on stage or screen he is known for bringing his unique vision, rare honesty and incredible sense of humour to every project he works on.
Rhys trained at the Neptune Theatre school and has been working as a professional actor, writer and director for almost fifteen years. He has played to full houses and received four star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has toured much of the world with Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. Rhys has performed with most of the professional theatre companies in Nova Scotia, including Neptune Theatre and Shakespeare by the Sea. Rhys graced the cover of The Coast after being named Best Actor in their 2014 reader’s poll for his performance in the title role of Hamlet and also won the ACTRA Maritimes “Outstanding Male Performance in a Lead Role” award for the film Roaming.
Rhys thinks deeply about the world in which he lives and uses his art to not only entertain but to make a difference in the lives of others.
SIMON HENDERSON (Puppeteer) Born and raised in New Brunswick, Simon attended Acadia University and made his professional debut at the Atlantic Theatre Festival as Barnaby in The Matchmaker. Subsequently he made his home in Halifax, and has been privileged to work with a number of diverse theatre companies.
Favourite roles include: Edward in Skylight (TNB); Dr. Oscar in Uncle Oscar’s Experiment (Zuppa Theatre); Antony in Julius Caesar (Shakespeare by the Sea); Simon in Our Town (Two Planks); Christy in The Devil’s Disciple (Neptune); and Shakespeare in the long-running Shakespeare on Trial alongside Jeremy Webb (Off the Leash).
Currently residing in Toronto, Simon is glad to be here – this marks his return as puppeteer for Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Wahoo! Merry Christmas indeed!
Theatres: Load-in takes 5-6 hours and strike takes 90-minutes. We tour with an actor, a stage manager, a lighting technician, plus one crew-person. Scroll down for more information.
Schools: We bring the show to your school: set, props, costumes and crew. A Christmas Carol can perform on your school stage, in your gym, or even the sexiest ‘cafetorium’… We just need an hour to load in and 45 minutes to pack away after the 65-70 minute performance.
The show plays to Elementary, Junior High OR High School students. We don’t recommend blending all three age groups!
Contact us to get availability, pricing and a comprehensive information package.
A Christmas Carol has now been performed over 500 times and been seen by over 400,000 people!
A REVIEW OF THE SHOW
In 2011, A Christmas Carol toured (in tandem with Shakespeare On Trial) from Oct 22nd – Dec 24th, performing in venues and schools in the USA and Canada.
Here’s what Stephen Pedersen of The Chronicle Herald said in his review:
“A professional Brit-panto audience-charmer and one of the best character actors in the country, if not the continent, Webb was fast on his feet, nimble-witted and superbly comic as Ebeneezer Scrooge, and just about everybody else, in his one-man presentation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Dickens’ indestructible 168-year-old tale of the power of Christmas to transmute a desperately unhappy miser into a hysterical philanthropist could not have been in better hands.
Webb’s ability to inflect the spoken word with a brief, incisive physical gesture that subtly conveys all its wit and salty character right to the very last row of the Cohn balcony, played delightful havoc with his broad, farcical, panto style for the blissed-out audience.
The British “panto”— or pantomime — originated with the Italian Commedia dell’Arte street theatre of the Middle Ages. It evolved by the end of the 19th century into the British music hall style, which, like American vaudeville, inflected traditional stories with slapstick humour and addressed the audience directly as Ricky Gervais does in Extras with his challenging, “Are you having a laugh?”
Getting the audience to participate is full of imagined terrors for theatre-goers, who find it almost impossibly intimidating to exchange the secure anonymity of a theatre seat in the dark for the bright exposure of the stage. Webb’s skilful easing of that terror allowed a man in the second or third row to impersonate the character of the little boy whom Scrooge addresses in the street.
Calling the volunteer a “terrifically good sport,” Webb created an instant straight man for his comedy, working him almost seamlessly into the final part of the story when Scrooge provides the Cratchit family with Christmas dinner.
Macmillan’s music was both clever and mood-changing. All of it was derived from Christmas carols we all know. It served both as underscoring and intermezzo-ish straight arrangements of carols like Hark the Herald Angel’s Sing, Adeste Fidelis, Angels We Have Heard on High and O Tannenbaum. He also threw in an unacknowledged quote of haunting passages from the Coventry Carol.”
VENUE INFORMATION – TOURING
The show is self-sufficient (set, props, projections, costumes, crew and actor) and can play virtually any venue – parking lots are not too popular in December, though! The play is run by one actor and three crew-members.
A Christmas Carol will provide a poster design that can be adapted by the presenter. We will also provide press release material and be promoting the tour as a whole. School bookings are welcome, with daytime shows permissible (maximum of 2 shows a day!) A post-show chat and Q&A session usually proves popular.
Staging: A Christmas Carol has a full set and props; including risers and masking (stage dimensions: 30’ wide x 20’ deep x 12’ high(min))
Lighting: A Christmas Carol tours with a lighting designer/technician who will utilize your house plot and request specials to meet lighting requirements. We will require lighting plans for your venue two months before the start of the tour.
Sound: A Christmas Carol tours with a simple sound-board and system, for venues that do not have sound capabilities; we may plug into a house system if available. We run sound from a laptop, using Q-lab.
Load-In and Strike: For a full version of the set the load in takes 5-6 hours (+ meal breaks). We supply a crew of four. Venues are required to supply two crew to assist with load-in and strike.
Accommodations: A Christmas Carol tours with one actor and a crew of four. Accommodations for the company will be discussed at the time of booking.
Publicity & Marketing Material: The producers of A Christmas Carol can supply your venue (a presenting company with video footage, still photography and sample press releases. The website bahhumbug.ca can be utilized for addition promotion.
The performance is 75 minutes long and is suitable for all ages- the performance will be geared to the audience age group/grade.
Costumes, puppets, set pieces, and music all travel with Ebeneezer and the host of other characters around Nova Scotia. A Christmas Carol is a full-scale production.
For further information on the adaptation, please contact us. Please note that school bookings must be made well in advance.
Post-show Q & A available. Load in takes 1 hour & strike takes 45 mins.
A Christmas Carol can be performed with the simplest of lighting plots, or just in your school gym. Or if you have a lighting technician we can provide a cue script and lighting information; the show does not travel with a lighting technician.
The show has performed on a wide variety of size and shaped stages…it’s quite flexible.
The set reaches a height of 12 feet.
Contact us to discuss group rates for performances that take place at theatre venues near your school in 2012.
National theatre blogger Amanda Campbell in her blog The Way I See It wrote this:
I was recently speaking to an actor who works in Toronto and has lived in New York about the shows I was looking forward to seeing upon my return to Halifax for the holiday season. I mentioned that there is a one-man version of A Christmas Carol there which has become a tradition for my mother and me to see each year. I was initially caught off guard when this actor responded by saying, “I’ve heard of that! What’s the name of the guy who does it again?”
Upon reflection, I realized that I shouldn’t be at all surprised; everyone in Canada should know about the comic genius of Jeremy Webb.
I consider A Christmas Carol, written in 1843 by Charles Dickens, to be a literary masterpiece. Dickens’ prose is so inherently theatrical, and his characters, with their rich descriptions and hilarious oddities, prove so stimulating for the imagination. I think this text cannot reach its full potential unless it is read aloud, and that Dickens’ story does not need clever concepts or high production values in order to resonate strongly with hilarity, poignant wisdom and pure heart.
Jeremy Webb is well known and beloved throughout Nova Scotia for his fantastic performances on stages across the province and in 2003 he created an adaptation of Dickens’ novel for the stage that (with the help of some puppets) allowed him to play all the parts.
In the hands of a less dexterous performer this type of Christmas Carol could become a whirlwind of impressions that lose all the richness and depth of Dickens story, but not in the hands of Jeremy Webb. No, Webb roots his play firmly within the text, as a narrator setting the scene and then each of his characters, with perfect physicality and in an array of different voices, emerge organically from that narrator as Webb creates them all as unique individuals and inhabits them with complete conviction, commitment and precision.
His Ebenezer Scrooge is as cold as December at Peggy’s Cove, Nephew Fred is perfectly bright-eyed and bushy tailed, his Bob Cratchit is meek and continually apologetic, his Fezziwig has a soul that shines gregariously golden and he is especially hilarious as the old, cockney housekeeper who proceeds to loot Scrooge’s valuables upon discovering his body, dead as a doornail.
The play’s magic lies in the ambiance that Webb is able to create. The audience is able to see images through the eyes of Webb’s assorted characters from Tiny Tim hobbling downstairs, to Scrooge’s forsaken love, and a whole stage filled with dancing and merriment.
It is through Webb’s reactions, so vivid and especially impressive considering that he often has nothing tangible to react to, that the audience connects most ardently to the story. In this way, the audience is able to see the story through the eyes of the cynic, the idealist, the anxious father so full of love and the innocent child who is able to capture the entire spirit of the season in one single phrase: “God Bless Us, Everyone.”
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Jeremy Webb production without its dose of goofy hijinks, inventive cleverness and delightful interactions with the audience, and Webb is the master of being able to balance such antics whith remaining true to the story he is telling.
This is a play that I will continue to attend for as long as it continues to be remounted because it never fails to give me the giggles, move me to tears, and to fill me to the very brim with the cozy, homey Christmas cheer that I cherish so much.
If you’re in Nova Scotia for the holiday season, I would strongly encourage you to catch A Christmas Carol as it tours across the Maritimes.