Cygnet Theatre brings a wonderful one-man adaption of the holiday’s most famous ghost story, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, to screen for youtube enjoy through December 27th.
Starring Sean Murray, this adaption filmed in black and white, is a Victorian tale without an English accent and a Narrator in modern clothing. This allows for a haunting, timeless feeling which is a perfect tone to strike for a ghost story about a lonely man whose actions have basically turned him into a ghost himself. Filmed in an empty theatre it only drives home the poignant lack of human connection.
Murray’s performance is energetic and fun, with a sly twinkle in his eye, and then turns to do a commanding direct address seamlessly. He may carry the entire story and all its characters on his shoulders but his performance is not weighed down by it at all.
Adapted by Murray the play puts the emphasis on the language of the story, allowing that to establish all the detail needed for the story and not allowing for any sets or costumes to distract the audience’s focus from the story.
Caroline Andrew’s lighting is evocative and the sound by Matt Lescault-Wood is used well. Music arrangements by Patrick Marion, with violin and fiddle by Sean LaPerruque, and carols performed by Allison Spratt Pearce round out the piece. Shout out to Sean Fanning, who designed the lovely LA CAGE AUX FOLLES set upon which this is filmed.
Directed by Sean Murray, with Kian KLine-Chilton as Assistant Director, and filmed by TwentyTen Productions, they use the space on the stage and throughout the theatre to great effect. They play with distance, height, and depth that are excellent in establishing character and tone. The black and white filming reinforces the timeless and haunted feel, while also making the lighting and shadows even more striking.
The credits even end on a heartwarming note with Murray acknowledging all of the Scrooges he has worked with over the years, as well as the individuals who “taught me the depth and love and immediacy” of the piece.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Cygnet Theatre is playing through December 27th. Tickets can be purchased by calling 619-337-1525 or cygnettheatre.com. The running time is 68 min.
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