The Quotable Sayak: “Soulpepper’s A Christmas Carol may be the best version you’ll ever see!”

The Quotable Sayak

The Quotable Sayak

The Quotable Sayak is a critic, contributor and coordinator of social media at SesayArts and student at Sesaya.

Joseph Ziegler and John Jarvis in A Christmas Carol, Soulpepper 2014; photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

Joseph Ziegler and John Jarvis in A Christmas Carol, Soulpepper 2014; photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

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 version you’ll ever see.

The 3 Standouts from the Show:

  1. Exceptional Acting

The acting is incredible in A Christmas Carol! This year’s production includes new and diverse casting. Every actor plays different characters, even the child actors. The one exception is the actor playing Ebenezer Scrooge, played by the great Joseph Zeigler. All 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 characterization. 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 “giddy” happiness.

  1. Creative Costumes
Joseph Ziegler & John Jarvis, Soulpepper 2014; photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

Joseph Ziegler and John Jarvis, Soulpepper 2014; photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

The costumes are great for this show because they are imaginative and really representative of the 19th-Century time period. The actors change out of them quickly when playing various characters. And the make-up and costumes for the three ghosts (all terrifically played by John Jarvis) are especially unique and colourful, which make them  stand out from everyone else’s.

  1. Surprising Staging

How the actors use the production 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 at all times. There is a full use of space in entrances and exits, set changes are efficient, and special effects using trap doors are magical. 

One observation . . .

The show is performed in the round, which means that, no matter where you sit, most sightlines are great. However, when the actors turn their backs to certain sides, it can sometimes makes it hard to hear all the dialogue. For those who might have hearing needs, this might make it harder to appreciate the whole show. 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.

This year, A Christmas Carol opens Soulpepper’s month-long Family Festival. And all in all, there’s only one phrase to describe Soulpepper’s A Christmas Carol: “If you miss it, you’ll regret it!”

Joseph Ziegler and Kevin Gordon, Soulpepper 2014; photo by Nathan Kelly

Joseph Ziegler and Kevin Gordon, Soulpepper 2014; photo by Nathan Kelly

News You Can Use

What: Soulpepper’s A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, featuring Kawa Ada, Cody Black, Kaden Boland-Trowbridge, Kevin Bundy, Daniel Chapman-Smith, Eleanor Guy, Stephen Guy-McGrath, Susan Henley, John Jarvis, Tangara Jones, Eponine Lee, Ellora Patnaik, Krystin Pellerin, Jordan Pettle, and Joseph Ziegler as Ebenezer Scrooge; adapted for the stage and directed by Michael Shamata

Who: For audiences 8+ years and older

When: Running until Christmas Eve, 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: Soulpepper.ca and 416.866.8666

© 2016 The Quotable Sayak, Sesaya

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