A Christmas Carol at the Gladstone: Mr. Charles Dickens pays his respects and performs his story! A real treat for the audience
John D. Huston, an actor we have seen many times before in Ottawa and who is in the habit of performing solo, is back in the city with a most beautiful evening of theatre within theatre. He literally becomes Charles Dickens, whisks us back to the 19th Century and plays Dickens the actor as he would have performed his own novella. It is a great pleasure to behold this writer who transforms himself into the various voices from his text. because who more than he, would be so acquainted with these characters? He not only imitates them, he transforms his face and body into those who are talking, he even creates a vocal sound scape: the ringing of the bells, the rattling of Marley’s chains, the howling of the wind, the noises that set the stage for the arrival of those ghostly creatures who scare poor Scrooge to death.
As a fellow who is trained in the melodramatic acting techniques of his day, Dickens makes everything seem larger than life, more intense than realistic thus emphasizing the underlying gothic horror of the text, even bringing us closer to something that Edgar Allan Poe might have written since they were contemporaries.
This text represents the version that was cut down from the original three hour performance text, but augmented from the hour version we saw several years ago at the Manotick Fringe festival.