Remember the days of sitting around, listening to drama on the radio? Remember the radio? Theatre in the Dark brings back a bit of that nostalgia with a beautifully executed live online radio-play version of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.
Four versatile actors who take on all the characters in this true ensemble version of the seasonal favourite invite us to leave our Zoom screens, find a cozy nook, turn down the lights, close our eyes and simply listen. They even provide the gin punch recipe mentioned in Dickens’s text.
Ably adapted and directed by Mack Gordon, he also plays his share of parts, including Scrooge’s clerk Bob Cratchit and nephew Fred.
Voices tumble like waterfalls, providing a rich soundscape designed by Gordon and engineered by Corey Bradberry. Bradberry does double-duty playing Scrooge with all the melancholy malice we expect of ‘Mr. Bah Humbug’.
The balance of voices is admirably perfected by Sarah Althan and Kathleen Puls Andrade, playing an array of characters in Dickens’s novel. The actors’ voices also create many of the sound effects, with music provided by Jake Sorgen.
Together, the troupe provides a heart-warming 75-minutes of nostalgia with a message of joy and hope, fitting for everyone spending this festive season at home in their individual bubbles.
Each actor performs entirely without visuals, from home: one in Vancouver, British Columbia, two in Chicago, Illinois and one in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Using modern technology, they join to create this timeless masterpiece with spirited finesse and goodwill.
At its conclusion, the artists participate in a meet and greet. It is a delight to see all four of them in the flesh for the first time and share in their enthusiasm and goodwill. As Tiny Tim would say, “God bless them, every one.”
A Christmas Carol, based on the novel by Charles Dickens and adapted and directed by Mack Gordon. A Theatre in the Dark production. Streaming online until December 24. Visit theatreinthedark.com for tickets and information.