Paul Beckett plays Scrooge, left, Olivia Maurizio-Mattarollo plays Fan, Amanda Bennett plays the ghost of Christmas past and Jerryth Keen plays a young Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol being put on by Theatre In The Country. (Contributed)

Dickens Christmas classic on stage in Maple Ridge

Theatre In The Country is bringing the heart-warming tale of A Christmas Carol to stage.

The classic Christmas tale about a greedy cold-hearted creditor who learns about the generosity of Christmas by revisiting his past, evaluating his present and looking into his future is coming to Theatre In The Country this holiday season.

A Christmas Carol, the 1843 novella by Charles Dickens, tells the tale about Ebenezer Scrooge who rejects Christmas and all the good tidings the season brings. He declines a dinner invitation from his nephew Fred, has no time for people collecting money for charity and overworks his employee Bob Cratchit.

Scrooge is then paid a visit by the ghost of a former business partner who has come to warn him about his mean ways. Jacob Marley’s spirit has been wandering the earth since he died as punishment for being consumed with business and not the needs of his fellow human beings when he was alive.

Marley tells Scrooge that he will be visited by three spirits who will revisit his past, reflect on the present and show him his future if his path in life remains unchanged.

“It’s a new script we are doing,” explained Theatre In The Country artistic director Reg Parks, adding that this script is very true to the original Dickens’ story.

The script was adapted by John Mortimer and was first performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company in England in 1994.

“We’ve done A Christmas Carol at the Theatre before and I’ve personally been in it three times before that,” he said.

“[This one] tells the story using a lot more text from the Dickens’ novel,” said Parks.

“There are 22 people in the cast and every one of them at some point narrates parts of the story except for Paul Beckett, who is playing Scrooge,” he explained.

The play will also include many of the classic Christmas carols from the period.

“It’s got a real sense of community involvement because everybody is part of the story telling and we like that. It’s not as big and brash as some tellings, it’s a little gentler telling which we think is fun and very Christmas-y,” said Parks.

The set for the play is minimalist with creative projections and theatrical storytelling taking the audience to a mining colony, a ship at sea and a lighthouse on the corner of a bluff in Scotland.

Parks believes that there are lots of current traditions that Dickens established in the novella, traditions that we take for granted now.

“Family Christmas dinners were kind of highlighted in there and became part of the norm, things like the Christmas goose, which became the Christmas turkey, became prolific because of him mentioning it in A Christmas Carol,” said Parks.

For Parks, watching or reading A Christmas Carol is part of his own Christmas tradition. He believes there are still lessons we need to be reminded of each Christmas season.

“I think I like this story because it reflects all of us. We are all Scrooges at one time or another and I think we all shoot to be Scrooge at the end of the story as opposed to at the beginning of the story,” he said.

A roast beef dinner or vegetarian equivalent is optional for the evening.

Dessert including shortbread and cranberry squares will reflect the Christmas theme of the production.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Paul Beckett plays Scrooge and Graham Coates plays the ghost of Christmas present in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol being put on by Theatre In The Country. (Contributed)

Just Posted

Downtown Maple Ridge BIA helping to stock the shelves for the food bank

Participating businesses will have donation boxes available for the month of October

City of Maple Ridge continues the hunt for new industrial land

Since 2014, 203 acres of industrial land has been designated for future employment needs

Fraser health sends letter warning of possible COVID exposure at Maple Ridge school

Parents of students at Yennadon Elementary were told an individual at the school has contacted virus

LETTER:

Catch much more BC Votes 2020 coverage from the Black Press Media in days and weeks to come

Langley man arrested in connection with $264,000 drug and cash bust in Grand Prairie

Police have warrants out for Christine Emes and Christopher Gilliat, also from Langley

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Father hopes journey to aviation-safety program inspires hope

Former South Surrey resident Greg Sewell hasn’t given up on quest to mandate older-plane retrofits

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read