Theatre Calgary has long put on A Christmas Carol. It has been featured for ten years during the month of December. This play is supposed to be familiar and warm and launch audiences into the Christmas season. It’s also the show that brings in the most money.
Everyone knows the story. Scrooge is a surly old man. He counts his pennies and doesn’t see the value in relationships. He is visited by three ghosts and he changes overnight.
This is theatre. The appeal and pull of theatre is engagement. And even if you have put the same play every year for the past ten years it should still have that element of joy in it. The play should not be tired. I shouldn’t be rolling my eyes when Tiny Tim utters the words “God bless us everyone.” There was plenty of funding for the fireworks but they ran out for the ghost of christmas past’s glowing stick and wig.
The production was tired. This is the story. You know it. Watch it and be merry.
If I spent a lot of money on the theatre I want to be challenged, presented with a fresh new spin on an old familiar tale. Not waiting for the lights to come on.
And I may be alone in this view because Theatre Calgary is targeting an audience that doesn’t include me. And people may very well be happy watching the same tired thing every year. But I’m looking forward to next year when Theatre Calgary’s Christmas production is White Christmas. Maybe they will take the opportunity and mix things up