Tiny Tim’s Christ­mas Carol a dif­fer­ent take on clas­sic story

Calgary Herald - - YOU - LOUIS B. HOB­SON

A new spin on an old clas­sic is how Jeremy MacKen­zie de­scribes Work­shop Theatre’s hol­i­day play, Tiny Tim’s Christ­mas Carol.

MacKen­zie co-di­rects and plays Scrooge in this new ver­sion of the Dick­ens’ clas­sic writ­ten by Amer­i­can play­wright Matthew Thomp­son. It runs in the Pump­house Theatre’s Vic­tor Mitchell Theatre from Nov. 23 to Dec. 1.

“The play opens with a fa­ther and daugh­ter who’ve just re­turned from Ebenezer Scrooge’s funeral. The lit­tle girl has al­ways thought of Scrooge as her kindly old un­cle, but her fa­ther tells her that’s not al­ways how Scrooge was.

“When the girl re­fuses to be­lieve him, her fa­ther finds a copy of Charles Dick­ens’ book and be­gins read­ing it to her,” says MacKen­zie, adding “it’s a re­ally in­ter­est­ing way to bring au­di­ences into the clas­sic story.

“All the ma­jor char­ac­ters are in this ver­sion as are the ma­jor scenes and, of course, all the ghosts.”

There are 22 ac­tors in the cast, but MacKen­zie says that with all the dou­bling of roles, they are able to in­clude far more char­ac­ters.

Abe­lynne Langille plays Tiny Tim with John Ma­son as Bob Cratchit and MacKen­zie’s codi­rec­tor Evan Davies as Scrooge’s nephew Fred. Jim Archibald plays Mar­ley’s Ghost with Alexia Sabau as the Ghost of Christ­mas Past and Paige Fossheim as both the Ghost of Christ­mas Present and the Ghost of Christ­mas Fu­ture. Hamish Craw­ford is the nar­ra­tor and Vanessa Buscu is his dis­be­liev­ing daugh­ter.

MacKen­zie says it’s an in­ter­est­ing stretch for him to be play­ing Scrooge.

“I nor­mally do com­edy and here I am play­ing this mis­er­able old man who is so hor­ri­ble to peo­ple. Thank heav­ens he turns around at the end of the story be­cause it’s dif­fi­cult be­ing in his mind­set. He is ab­so­lutely the an­tithe­sis of who I am.”

The real joy for MacKen­zie in play­ing Scrooge in this par­tic­u­lar pro­duc­tion is that his grand­daugh­ter, Molly Nord­strom, is play­ing one of the Cratchit chil­dren.

“Molly is 10 years old, which is the same age I was when I made my first stage ap­pear­ance back in Eng­land op­po­site my mother in The Mikado. Molly is a fifth-gen­er­a­tion theatre ac­tor.”

MacKen­zie says he hopes after see­ing Tiny Tim’s Christ­mas Carol, au­di­ences will get ex­cited about cel­e­brat­ing their own Christ­mas this year.

“That’s re­ally why we de­cided to do this par­tic­u­lar show at this time of year.”

Jeremy MacKen­zie co-di­rects and plays Scrooge in Tiny Tim’s Christ­mas Carol at Work­shop Theatre Nov. 24-Dec. 1..

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