Find the perfect dress for every occasion...
One of the most popular stories to present in various art forms over the Christmas holidays is Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.
It’s a heartwarming, uplifting story which presents the idea that even a seemingly evil person can change for the better.
Toss in Marc Lottering as Scrooge and no wonder tickets started flying before rehearsals had even started.
Baxter Theatre director Lara Foot herself has adapted the play which will be the first holiday season production presented by the theatre centre in almost 10 years.
Foot says working in Cape Town at the Baxter over the last decade has shown her that Capetonians put a premium on being able to attend family oriented productions at the end of the year.
That, coupled with the cross-cultural vibe of a spiritual story which is about generosity and kindness, makes this play’s subject matter perfect for December.
Now in her fourth year as Baxter chief executive, Foot is feeling confident enough in the theatre management team to step back into the role of theatre director for a season, a welcome step for the director of such acclaimed and well-loved work such as Karoo Moose, Tshepang and Reach.
Still, her management role is bound up in choosing this particular play to present, since it represents a way to bring in the traditional audience through the material, but draw on a new audience through the actors on stage.
Camillo Lombard will direct the 100-strong children’s choir (the children will alternate throughout the production, with 50 on stage per performance), and Lottering, Shaleen Surtie-Richards, Andrew Buckland and Christo Davids will be some of the familiar faces.
While the play will be set partly in the now and partly in Cape Town of the early 1900s, any A Christmas Carol book fan will still pick up the original text.
“I’ve been quite faithful to Dickens,” said Foot.
The jumps in time will be reflected in the language, which will allow for the English of Dickens’ at the same time as Afrikaans.
One of her conditions for doing this particular adaptation was being able to get Lottering to perform as Scrooge, since the character needs to be played by an engaging person in order to create sympathy for the miserly lead.
“You have to have a Scrooge that people will find likeable, and that’s Mark,” she said.
A first run-through with Lottering pointed to an interesting problem Foot will have to get around – he had her in stitches from the get-go. That, coupled with Surtie-Richards’ famously impish nature when rehearsing, could make for hilarity for anyone watching them, but a tough time for a director with a schedule to keep.
In addition to three storytellers (presumably the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future) there will be two singing storytellers – Nur Abrahams and Poseletso Sejosingoe.
• Scrooge plays at the Baxter Theatre from December 4 to January 25. Previews run from December 4 to 9 7.30pm and matinees are on Thursdays and Saturdays at 3pm. Tickets from R100 to R150 and booking is now open through Computicket.