A new carol
"SING THE PRAISES OF SCROOGE"
For many families, the holidays don’t start until they’ve watched Charles Dickens’ most beloved work, A Christmas Carol. This year, Londoners will be treated to an updated version onstage at the Grand Theatre’s Spriet Stage.
Artistic director Dennis Garnhum has adapted Charles Dickens’ original tale of redemption and added 15 songs to the show, all from before or during Dickens’ time to retain the production’s texture.
Garnhum has been at the Grand for a year but this is his directorial debut. He says that it is one of the biggest and most extravagantly staged productions in the theatre’s history. As artistic director at Theatre Calgary for over a decade, Garnhum staged this production each year and says that many families counted on attending to launch the holiday season.
Originally from London, Garnhum is pleased to be working in his hometown for the first time in 21 years.
Though not a traditional musical, festive songs of the period have been added and are “connected to the story,” says Garnhum. He cites the Christmas past scene in which Scrooge’s colleagues at Fezziwig’s are celebrating by singing The Twelve Days of Christmas done as a Broadway-style number.
“We added a lot of time to that scene to show what it is like when you work in a place that loves and supports you.”
He calls his adaptation of the original story transformative. Adding, that attendees will experience “high highs and low lows. You’ll shed a tear, not because it’s sentimental but transformative. You’ll laugh like you’ve never laughed and cry like you’ve never cried.”