One-woman ‘Christmas Carol’ darker, potent tale
Bernadette Nason has read Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” nearly every year since she was 10 years old. She has read it while commuting in London, sitting on the rooftop of her company building in Libya and relaxing on a beach in Dubai.
When she came to the United States 20 years ago, making Austin her home, she discovered that stage adaptations of the Dickens classic were “fullscale musical productions” — quite different from what she thought they should be.
“I thought they lost some of the simplicity Charles Dickens had intended for his redemption tale,” she said.
So Nason, an actress and storyteller, decided to create a production of her own, a one-woman presentation of the abridged version of the novel, verbatim and with few
7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.
The Bastrop Opera House, 711 Spring Street, Bastrop. $5-$10
www. bastropoperahouse.com. props and sets. She has acted out “A Christmas Carol” alone since 2004, when she started going to schools in the area to help students grasp the meaning of the story. She has also performed it for a couple of Austin theater groups and is taking her one-woman show to Bastrop this weekend.
From Dec. 14-16, Nason will be at the Bastrop Opera House with only a couple of stools, benches and a coat and hat rack on stage with her, performing “A Christmas Carol” in the simple way she imagined Dickens had done it when he held public readings of his work.
She has taken the show to Bastrop this year in honor of Dickens’ 200th birthday, which would’ve been in February. She had intended to tour Texas more widely, but wasn’t able to schedule additional venues in time.
But as she has always done, she plans to put her heart and soul into the performance at the Bastrop Opera House, a Victorian theater built in 1889. She said the performance runs about an hour long, and she zips from character to character, using distinct voices to keep them straight for the audience. She also makes sure that her version of “A Christmas Carol” isn’t “over-sentimentalized,” as she believes many U.S. adaptations of the story are.
“It’s quite a dark story,” she said. “I try to keep the darkness so that Scrooge’s redemption means something at the end.”
Actress and storyteller Bernadette Nason tackles a one-woman version of “A Christmas Carol” in Bastrop from Friday through Sunday.