The Quotable Sayak: “If you miss Soulpepper’s A Christmas Carol, you’ll regret it!”



Sesaya specializes in music and arts education.


Review by Sayak, aka Young Scrooge



You’ve read A Christmas Carol before. And you love it. Well, you’d better jump on the train and get your tickets NOW to Soulpepper’s stage version because it’s a beautiful take on the classic story! And if you don’t know A Christmas Carol, even better. Because this may be the best one you’ll ever see.

Sarah Wilson, Deborah Drakeford, Joseph Ziegler, Maggie Huculak & Sabrina Nardi; Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

Sarah Wilson, Deborah Drakeford, Joseph Ziegler, Maggie Huculak & Sabrina Nardi; Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

The 3 Standouts from the Show:

  1. Exceptional Acting

The acting is incredible in A Christmas Carol. Every actor plays different characters, even the child actors. The one exception is the actor playing Ebenezer Scrooge. This year, Oliver Dennis alternates performances with Joseph Zeigler, who is also the director. The acting has so many great aspects. An example of this is the way the actors vary their voices and adjust their movements to correspond with different characterizations. The movements really add something to the acting because they help bring out the message of the lines being delivered. (This also helps if you miss hearing a line.)

The dynamics in their voices are mind-blowing. The different tones and pitches they use leave you totally amazed because they really put a different take on each character. It just goes to show how much dynamics impact the character. Scrooge starts off using a low, ­­­­­­­angry and severe voice. When he changes after meeting the ghosts, he speaks more quickly and at a higher pitch to show his happiness.

  1. Creative Costumes

The costumes are great for this show because they were really representative of the time period and imaginative. The actors changed out of them quickly when playing various characters. And the make-up and costumes for the three ghosts (all played by John Jarvis) were especially unique and colourful, which made them  stand out from everyone else’s.

  1. Surprising Staging
Oliver Dennis and John Jarvis; photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

Oliver Dennis and John Jarvis; photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

How the actors use the time is clever because, as the stage goes dark, people come up from under the stage, and they do it FAST! The movement is efficient and while one thing is happening, the set is changing, or they are preparing the scene, or someone is getting on or off the stage. This keeps the audience engaged. There is a full use of space in entrances and exits, set changes are efficient, and special effects using trap doors are magical. 


One suggestion . . .

I wish the show was not performed in the round. This is because when the actors turn their backs to certain sides, it sometimes makes it hard to hear and see all the actions. This makes it hard to appreciate the whole show, and may make people frustrated. My suggestion to help solve this for those who might be hearing impaired, like some elderly people, is to consider offering hearing-assistance technology, or try performing the show in a traditional setup.

Only one phrase to describe Soulpepper’s A Christmas Carol: “If you miss it, you’ll regret it!”


News You Can Use

What: Soulpepper’s A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted for the stage by Michael Shamata

Who: For audiences 7+ years

When: Running until January 3, 2016

Where: Young Centre for the Performing Arts in the Distillery Historic District, 50 Tank House Lane
Toronto, ON, M5A 3C4

For Info and Tickets: and 416.866.8666

Sneak Peek of A Christmas Carol

© 2015 Sayak S-G, Sesaya

Posted in Reviews, The Quotable Sayak and tagged , , , , , , .