From November 29th to December 2nd, Brandon’s Mecca Productions brought ‘A Christmas Carol’ to life at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium. With a modernized script and some other minor adaptations to Dickens’ hundred-and-fifty-year-old story, the heartwarming tale of a bitter, greedy old man’s epiphany struck a chord in every heart in the audience.
Mecca didn’t fail to provide another production that was jam-packed with cheerful, foot-tapping musical compilations and equally as colourful dance numbers. Every role in the production seemed to be carefully and pristinely cast, from the unabashedly adorable presence of the young and talented Tyson Dornn, who portrayed Tiny Tim with all necessary innocence, to other Mecca favorites like James Comrie, who flawlessly embodied the very essence of prickly Mr. Scrooge. They beautifully incorporated young and old actors alike without bias, as Mecca always does, which added a flair of chaotic order during songs like “Christmas Together,” where almost the entire cast flooded the stage.
The costume design was phenomenal, and the musical included not only unexpectedly ghoulish scenes, like the appearance of Scrooge’s dead business partner Jacob Marley where chain-burdened phantoms trudged across the stage in a sort of zombie-walk dance, but also the jovial reunion in the final scene where a light-hearted Tiny Tim speaks his most famous line.
The musical successfully drove home the crucial importance of year-round generosity, goodwill and gaiety. Though the glitz and glamour of the play sometimes threatened to conceal the message, it shone through nonetheless, a feat made even more remarkable by the highly inflated holiday it revolves around. While charity is at the heart of the play, there is an even more general concept present, one of a self-imposed capacity for change. Regardless of our age or state in life, Dickens reminds the audience of the less shallow aspects of the season and the importance of remembering the bare essentials required in life: love and family. (And thank goodness we don’t require a visit from any of the three Ghosts of Christmas to get the message!)
Regardless of your level of sentimentality and perspective on the rapidly approaching holiday season, a production as merry as ‘A Christmas Carol’ is guaranteed to bring any audience member into the festive spirit. Hats off to cast, crew and everyone else involved in creating a highly enjoyable and heartfelt production.
Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 103, Issue 14, December 4, 2012.