november 2017 | Volume 161
Russel Roberts. Photo: David Cooper.
Charles Dickens's immortal classic A Christmas Carol comes to the Gateway Theatre
What would the holidays be without Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and a journey through past, present and future courtesy of the mighty Charles Dickens. A grand old tradition with a startling amount of contemporary relevance, A Christmas Carol is an ode to the power of redemption with a deeply humanist heart.
First published in December of 1844, Dickens's novella was an instant hit, selling out its first edition by Christmas eve of that same year. Written in a burst of desperation, with Dickens facing his own moment of poverty and penury, the story has reverberated through the ages, inspiring a wealth of adaptations, everything from film to opera, ballet to a Broadway musical, and even the immortal figure of Disney's Scrooge McDuck.
The story begins on a particularly bleak Christmas Eve in London, with Ebenezer Scrooge, described in the original novella as "a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner," declaring "Bah! Humbug," on anything to with the holidays. A series of visitations ensue that very night with three spirits guiding the old man through Christmas past, present and yet to come. Despite the fantastical elements, the story was inspired by the brute and blunt reality of childhood poverty in Dickensian England.
"A Christmas Carol has always been one of my favourite stories," says Artistic Director Jovanni Sy. "Call me a sucker for second-chance stories but I've always been drawn to tales of redemption. In life, I can't think of many things more moving than being given the opportunity to say sorry for past wrongs and take a new path. And I can't think of many things more loving than forgiving someone and allowing them to make amends. And what better time to tell a timeless story that encourages grace and generosity towards our neighbours?"
Gateway Theatre's presentation of A Christmas Carol features Russell Roberts as the infamous miser Ebenezer Scrooge. Russell's career spans five decades and over two hundred theatre, film and TV productions, and includes such roles as George Banks in the TUTS production of Mary Poppins and Luigi Lemoncello in the Nickelodeon movie, Escape From Mr. Lemoncellos Library.
With live musical performances, and a fresh and witty interpretation from award-winning director Rachel Peake, A Christmas Carol is the perfect way to begin the holiday season and a powerful and poignant reminder of the importance of love, generosity and kindness.
A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens, adapted by Michael Shamata
Directed by Rachel Peake
Featuring: Russell Roberts, Allan Morgan, Adam Olgui, Linda Quibell, and Teo Saefkow
Assistant Director: William Hopkins
Set Designer: Drew Facey
Costume Designer: Carmen Alatorre
Lighting Designer: Itai Erdal
Composer/Sound Designer: Joelysa Pankanea
Dates: December 7-24, 2017
Preview: Thurs., Dec. 7 @ 8 pm / Opening: Fri., Dec.8 @ 8 pm
Times: 8 pm nightly (except Mondays and Sunday Dec 10 & 17)
Matinees: Saturday, Dec. 9 & 23 and Sundays @ 2 pm and Tuesday, Dec 12 @ 1 pm
Venue: Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond, MainStage
Tickets: From $29 online at tickets.gatewaytheatre.com Box Office: 604-270-1812
About Gateway Theatre
Gateway Theatre enriches the quality of life in Richmond and surrounding communities by creating outstanding professional theatre and serving as a dynamic hub for the performing arts. Incorporated in 1982, Gateway is a vital member of the professional theatre scene in the Lower Mainland and is led by Artistic Director Jovanni Sy. Gateway's professional activity includes a six-show English-language Signature Series, the Pacific Festival of contemporary theatre in Chinese, and a play development program. We also provide theatre education and performance training classes for youth aged 6-18 via Gateway Theatre Academy. As a venue, Gateway Theatre also provides a much needed rental space for professional and community producers.
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