A Christmas Carol is a longstanding tradition in the holiday fabric of Calgary, and for many young people one of the first opportunities to see a large theatrical production. This year, we wanted to experience the magic and wonder of live theatre through the eyes of a child, so for the first time in 29 years of spirited tradition, we introduced our Junior Reporter initiative. This was an opportunity for young, budding writers aged 8-12 to answer a few questions about the show and the spirit of Christmas for a chance to have a unique Christmas Carol experience. Our lucky winners got to share in the tradition of A Christmas Carol with a cherished family member, enjoy VIP treatment in our W.O. Mitchell room, and had their photo taken on stage with members of the cast. In exchange, each reporter wrote us a short review of their experience that we're excited to share with you.
Here are the final three reviews:
A Christmas Carol Review
by Alexis, Grade 5
When my stepmom, Stevie, and I entered Max Bell Theatre we were greeted by Colleen A. Smith (the Executive Director). Colleen directed us to the W.O. Mitchell room. I was surprised because I go to W.O. Mitchell School. When we got to the W.O. Mitchell room I enjoyed a nice drink of orange juice and asked questions about the actors, theatre, and play to Christopher Loach (Director of Communications). After I finished my drink we went to our seats (which were in a great spot) :) .We had just enough time to get sorted and have a quick look at the program before the play started and writing shone onto the backdrop. We admired the costume of the ghost of Christmas past - it was sparkly and beautiful. The character of Ebenezer Scrooge came on very strong and grumpy. His nephew Fred, was the exact opposite. After the first half of the play intermission started. We headed back to the W.O. Mitchell room and got free ice cream and drinks (which was AWESOME!!!). After we finished our refreshments we continued watching the AMAZING play. The ghost of Christmas present seemed really jolly, but didn't’t last very long - his costume helped show his age. The ghost of Christmas future was creepy! I’m glad that the ghosts convinced Ebenezer Scrooge to change his ways to become a better person. At the end of the play Stephen Hair (who played Ebenezer Scrooge) gave a speech about the ‘Toonies for Turkeys’ program. Stevie gave me a toonie and I put it in Tiny Tim’s basket. Then we hurried back to the W.O. Mitchell room. When we got there, we went backstage and asked four of the actors (Braden Griffiths who played Fred, Julie Orton who played Mrs. Dilber, Karl H. Sine who played Bob Cratchit, and Paula Humby who played Abigail) questions. After I figured out that the actors used roller skates on the last scene (which is really cool - my favourite part!) and lots of other things, we went on stage and took pictures with the actors. After pictures, we asked more questions. I really enjoyed the experience of being a junior reporter for Theatre Calgary. I’m looking forward to seeing more plays there sometime.
A Christmas Carol Warms Hearts
by Ava, Grade 3
On Saturday November 28, 2015, I had the pleasure of being a Junior Reporter for the production of A Christmas Carol at Theatre Calgary. I chose my stepdad, Ryan, to join me because he loved it so much last year when he went last year. My absolute favourite part of the play was when the Ghost of Christmas Future came because of all the fog and special effects, and how tall he was on the stilts. My favourite character is the Ghost of Christmas Past because she sang beautifully!
The first ghost we meet is the Ghost of Christmas Past. She is a beautiful ghost dressed in white like an angel standing high in a window with Scrooge, showing him his happy past nad reminding him how happy he once was. The next ghost we meet is the Ghost of Christmas Present. In the beginning he was happy, young and healthy. But in the end he was weak, old and unhappy. He showed Scrooge Timothy's home and how poor they were. The ghost also showed him that even though they were poor, they were happy because they had each other. The final ghost we meet is the Ghost of Christmas Future. This ghost is very tall and a little bit scary! He showed Scrooge that if he continued living the way he was that he would eventually die all alone. This scared Scrooge.
When I close my eyes I remember the beginning of the play when Scrooge is so mean to everyone but then he changes and is much happier and so kind! The highlight for me was getting the chance to be a Junior Reporter, getting the chance to meet some of the cast and going on stage and back stage.
Seeing A Christmas Carol reminded me that Christmas is a time for family and friends. It is also a time to be generous, loving and caring. I hope for a world where everyone is nice to each other. Thank you Theatre Calgary for choosing me to be a reporter!
A Christmas Carol Review
by Julianne, Grade 5
I was given a chance to see the play A Christmas Carol at Theatre Calgary and I get to write a review about it. I got this chance by entering a contest. On Saturday November 28th, 2015 at 2:00pm the 5 Junior Reporters went to watch the show.
A Christmas Carol is a Christmas classic that was originally a book written by Charles Dickens. Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge’s business partner died. Scrooge has always been a grumpy old man, especially around Christmas. Seven years later, the ghost of Marley visits Scrooge. He mentions that Scrooge will be visited by 3 spirits, The Ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost of Christmas Present and The Ghost of Christmas Future. Because Marley was a terrible person, he carries chains that he forged in life and he doesn’t want Scrooge to have the same fate. You get to see Scrooge travel to his Past, Present and his Future to try and change his fate.
This is my 5th year seeing this production with Theatre Calgary. This year would be the 2nd best I’ve seen. Some of my favorite actors are: Stephen Hair (Ebenezer Scrooge), Allison Lynch (Spirit of Christmas Past), Declan O’Reilly (Mr. Fezziwig), Julie Orton (Mrs. Dilber) and Graham Percy (Spirit of Christmas Present) they really stood out by: playing their characters with more energy than some other actors. My favorite scenes are Mr. Fezziwig’s Christmas Party and the Finale. This show will be playing from November 26th - December 24th. Tickets can be bought online.
This show is important to see, because it tells a story of how you should always carry the spirit of Christmas in your heart. It is a good play for anyone, but has some scary parts for the little ones. This production is a great way to get your Christmas spirit up!
In conclusion, I would recommend A Christmas Carol so you can start a family tradition of your own.
Read the other Junior Reporter reviews here.