Well it is that time of year-when the air is chilly and we are all cozying up to watch our favorite holiday stories and revisit our seasonal traditions.
I am lucky to be directing Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and this year will be the 170th Anniversary of the original publication of the story. We have all sorts of exciting things planned for this production including: a Victorian crafter’s marketplace, Christmas caroling in the community, a visit on our Dec.21 Family Matinee from Santa and post-show Fezziwig parties every night.
The real reason we are doing the show is actually because we are in love with the traditional tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation from a cold, unfeeling tartar to a warm and caring soul who embraces his fellow man. So who does one cast in this iconic role? The answer in Kelowna is clear-Stephen Jefferys.
Stephen’s has played Scrooge four different times in his 40 years in theatre and interestingly it was his very first role. Stephen is a doctor who specializes in Pain Management starting out as an anesthesiologist. When he was in medical school, at the ripe age of 21, Stephen was cast in the role of Scrooge, a thinly disguised version of a professor all of the students hated. Later on Stephen was to play Scrooge another three times-once for a reader’s theatre version, once for a full play and another for a remarkably freezing outdoor production. Each time has been rewarding enough for Stephen to return to the role which he says fascinates him time and again. “I guess I am interested in Scrooge initially because of his capacity for evil. Why is he compelled to be so very horrible? And of course it is his redemption that makes him a complex and interesting character to play,” says Stephen.
Stephen has other favorite roles and, not surprisingly, they are Shakespearian-Richard III and Chorus from Henry V, other roles that could also be considered “hateful, misunderstood characters”. Stephen spends most of his time directing these days, though, and is currently in the planning stages for another Shakespeare Kelowna production slated for this summer-one that will celebrate their 20 season. I asked Stephen how it feels to have produced and directed shows that will have been viewed by hundreds if not thousands over the last 20 years and with a grin he says it is “remarkable”.
It is that zest and enthusiasm for theatre that makes me a very lucky director indeed. You really owe it to yourself and your family to see Stephen Jefferys in action and make A Christmas Carol part of your holiday celebration this year. You will not be disappointed! Other featured performers include: Ray Mordan as Jacob Marley, Doug Brown as Cratchit and a stand out ensemble of the best of the best in Kelowna is on board to make your Christmas “merry and bright”.
The show runs from Dec.17-21, 7:30pm nightly with a Dec.21 Matinee at 2:30pm. There are also school matinees on Dec.18 & 19 at 12:30pm.
Tickets for the play, in the Historic Laurel Packinghouse, range from $20 (adults), $15 (Students & Seniors) to $10 (Children) and are available from www.selectyourtickets.com or at the door (for an additional $5). Get them soon for this all ages show before they are gone! Check out New Vintage Theatre’s website for all of the details on this delightful theatrical treat at www.newvintage.ca
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.