A Christmas Carol duet at historic church

David Krapes/Special to THE NEWS Al LePage as Englishman Thomas Hutchinson. -
David Krapes/Special to THE NEWS Al LePage as Englishman Thomas Hutchinson.
— image credit:

A dramatic reading of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol to benefit the Friends In Need Food Bank will take the stage in Maple Ridge next week.

Nette Plant as Learned Lady, Emmeline Newton and Al LePage as Englishman Thomas Hutchinson, Amateur Thespian will perform the readings with accents, clothing of the era and other accoutrements.

"Bringing great stories to life in the character of someone from the past," LePage says, "is a very powerful way to engage people. Live drama can bring these great stories to life in a way that provides both entertainment and insight."

"Lady Emmeline Newton is the perfect historic figure for me to portray," adds Plant, a performer who plays the Chief Clerk's wife in nearby Fort Langley.

Plant and LePage combine their love of improvisation with a highly interactive approach that ensure lots of drama, fast action and real surprises.  They create all 26 characters – with an interesting twist here and there – all within the span of about two hours.

The Friends In Need Food Bank distributes to more than 600 families and individuals each month and assists seven community agencies to provide food and nourishment to those who are hungry.

Friends director Glenda Williams says the food bank depends solely on the generosity of the community and its members.

The food bank receives more than 105,000 kilograms of donated food each year from local grocery stores, bakeries, retailers and community members.

While food donations are always appreciated, the food bank can turn a $1 cash donation into $2.50 worth of food.

"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” notes LePage. “So come and play along with us. Join us for lots of laughter and hopefully some tears during our premier dramatic reading duet of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

• A Christmas Carol will be read at 7 p.m. on Dec. 14 at St. Andrew's Heritage Church, 22289 – 116th Avenue, Maple Ridge.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10 per person. To reserve, call 604-466-3663.

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