Whether it is an adaptation set in East Vancouver, a Lesbian re-imagining, or a contemporary re-telling focusing on its more macabre side, Vancouver audiences will certainly get their fill of A Christmas Carol this holiday season.
Add in the annual showings of the Alistair Sim film classic on television, or even Bill Murray’s comedic take in Scrooged, and an inevitable question comes up. Is there is room for yet another version of the Charles Dicken’s classic?
If you’re Vancouver director Guy Fauchon, the answer is an enthusiastic yes. All it takes is to tell this well-worn story in a fresh new way, something Fauchon says he found in Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol.
“What’s great about this version is that it is a nice little telling of an old tale, from a new perspective,” says Fauchon.
This version tells the familiar story from the viewpoint of Scrooge’s long dead partner. In Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, playwright Tom Mula puts Marley on the hot seat. Having been condemned to a hellish eternity for his own shortcomings on earth, he accepts his one chance to free himself. By redeeming Scrooge.
“In this version Marley assumes the different iterations of the three ghosts who visit Scrooge, and uses these devices to encourage Scrooge to change his ways,” explains Fauchon. “And in the process, Marley finds his own redemption.”
Fauchon was also attracted to the storytelling nature of this adaptation, something that he says makes it perfect for families.
“Everything is so literal for children these days,” says Fauchon. “On television, in movies and even on their iPads; just how much are they allowed to imagine?”
For Fauchon, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol is the perfect introduction of live theatre to children.
“Much of the show will exist in the audience’s imaginations, and what better way to encourage a young mind with a show where there is no set, no markers. It has to exist in your mind,” he says.
And even with its tale of ghosts and death, Fauchon doesn’t see that as a problem for the younger set.
“Children love scary, and children’s literature is often successful because it is scary,” says Fauchon. “We talk about death and as adults we realize death can be scary, but children don’t think of that in those terms.”
Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol plays the Jericho Arts Centre (1675 Discovery St, Vancouver) from December 2 to 18. Tickets are available online.