Charles Dickens Performs A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens Performs A Christmas Carol
Eagles Nest Theatre (Victoria). Athenaeum. Director James Adler. 8-11 December, 2011.

The art of monologue and characterisation is given a good going over at Phil Zachariah’s astonishing reading of the Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol.

Here is a form of theatre not widely supported, requiring committed audience concentration initially until we are drawn into the drama, magnified by gesture, gait and stance, and accent.

Such was the impact of the Dickens novel when it was written in 1843, that the 6000 copy print run that went on sale on December 19th, 1843 had sold out by Christmas. Charles Dickens took to private readings of his work in support of charity, making each character come to life as he read them. It’s a method of storytelling Zachariah makes his own.

There is little for a performer to hang his hat on, no feed lines, other than those he delivers himself. If nothing else the memorisation of the entire 120 minutes is something to behold.

Salvation Army collectors jangle tins as they greet patrons at the door, and carollers sing us into the mood in the foyer and theatre spaces.

The show is set to tour Europe in coming weeks. This is not a show for those who need bells and whistles laid on, but will hit the spot for patrons who appreciate a rich turn of phrase, subtlety, and Dickens’ historical context.

Lucy Graham

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.