Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has been adapted and reimagined to glorious effect as a one-man, 95-minute show that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
An original adaptation by renowned actor of stage, screen, and television Anthony Lawton in collaboration with Christopher Colluci, sound designer, and Thom Weaver, scenic and lighting designer, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is performed with seating on three sides in the intimate Proscenium Theatre at The Drake in Center City Philadelphia.
Intriguing it is that a theatre named The Proscenium has neither curtain nor proscenium arch. So too is A Christmas Carol performed by one man in 95 minutes. Rest assured that the theatre is beautiful, and Mr. Lawton gives an incandescent performance with never a dull moment. His only prop is a battered lectern on wheels which becomes a bed, a perch, a window, whatever the story describes.
We owe a debt of gratitude to Meghan Winch for writing a background article on the popularization of German Christmas traditions in England in the 1840s, spearheaded by Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert. Thanks to Ms. Winch, we learn that Dickens himself performed a three-hour show of his work, later paring it considerably down. She also recounts the laws of the land with names like The 1833 Factories Act and The New Poor Law of 1834 which were created for child labor laws and for workhouses and debtor prisons. This sea of social injustice caused Dickens to write this novella in 1843 in personal, relatable form, rather than a political tract.
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol isn’t mainly about thrilling plot devices or sympathetic characters alone. It deals mainly with the value of empathy, which is as sorely lacking in the 21st century as it was in the 20th century, and in the 19th century of Dickens’ day.
Come and enjoy a great actor as he performs a great story in a congenial setting for your holiday pleasure.
The Lantern Theater Company presents Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at The Proscenium Theatre at The Drake, 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia (a few blocks from Verizon Hall) until December 28.
For information and tickets, call 215-829-0395, or visit