Theatre New Brunswick’s holiday production of A Christmas Carol offers a unique take on a timeless classic.
This season marks Theatre New Brunswick’s seventh production of the Dickens holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. Beginning in 1980 with an adaptation by Barbara Field that starred celebrated Canadian actor Barry Morse as Scrooge, each new production that followed has been a unique, standalone interpretation of this timeless tale. While the story has always remained the same – complete with Scrooge, the three spirits and Marley’s “chain forged in life” – the adaptation, the direction, the design and the cast ensure no two productions are ever the same. And this season is no different.
This year’s production will be led by guest director Ann-Marie Kerr of Halifax.
Ann-Marie is an award-winning theatre director whose work has appeared on an impressive list of stages across the country and around the world including Toronto’s Soul Pepper Theatre Company, the National Theatre School in Montreal and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Joining Kerr for this year’s show will be Canadian actor and Stratford Festival veteran Nora McLellan, playing the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. This marks the company’s first time welcoming a female actor to play the part of Dickens’ beloved holiday curmudgeon.
Join Cratchit, Marley, Fezziwig and the rest of Dickens’ unforgettable characters as they work to teach old Ebenezer and thing or two about how good it feels to be kind, caring and accepting…all year long.
“When Ann-Marie [Kerr] contacted me I was absolutely delighted,” said McLellan. “It had not occurred to me that a theatre company would ask a woman to play the part.”
As Scrooge, Nora joins an impressive line of renowned Canadian actors to play the role on the TNB stage including Barry Morse, Douglas Campbell, Al Kozlik and Shawn Wright.
“Scrooge is such a universal character and of course we traditionally think of him as male,” said McLellan. “I have some friends who have been playing this role for 20 or 30 years now. I can’t wait to tell them, ‘hey, there’s a new girl in town’.”
This year’s production, a world premiere adaptation by TNB Artistic Director Thomas Morgan Jones, will be brought to life by a seven actor cast working together with four professional designers including award-winning lighting designer Leigh Ann Vardy and costume designer Sherry Kinnear, whose steampunk inspired costumes will help lend a unique look to this year’s show.
“Together with the designers, I’ve been dreaming up the most playful and dynamic staging of the show that I can,” said Kerr. “We are going with a neo-Victorian steampunk sensibility and so the show will not look like other productions you’ve seen but it will be loyal to its characters and the heart of the play.
“With this cast of brilliant actors and Nora in the middle of it all, I hope to engage the imaginations of the audience and offer a real holiday treat,” she said.
A Christmas Carol | December 14-16 | Fredericton Playhouse | 7:30 p.m. with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. | Buy Tickets
A Christmas Carol | December 17 | Imperial Theatre, Saint John | 7:30 p.m. | Buy Tickets
Written by Charles Dickens
Adapted by Thomas Morgan Jones
Directed by Ann-Marie Kerr
Ensemble (in alphabetical order)
Joanna Yu – Set Designer
Sherry Kinnear – Costume Designer
Leigh Ann Vardy – Lighting Designer
Aaron Collier – Composer & Sound Designer
Tammy Faulkner – Stage Manager
Tessa Pekeles – Assistant Stage Manager
A Theatre New Brunswick Media Release.