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A Christmas Carol comes to the Palace Theatre

When opportunity knocks, it’s best to take heed, especially when it comes in the form of Dickens’ most (in)famous miser, Scrooge, soon to be seen in London Community Players' production of A Christmas Carol at the Palace Theatre December 12 to 21.

 “When the opportunity came up I thought, how could I not take this on? This is an iconic character and this is an iconic story,” David Bogaert, local theatre veteran, says. “To do it justice and to do it on the level that it deserves, has meant working really hard, but the payoff is mastery. There’s the possibility that you’ll master a character, master an emotion, master a scene and find some level of perfection and truth.”

“I think on there’s so much to be said about this character. He’s viewed as damaged, but really this is a story about his transformation. Scrooge sees the world with new eyes and after living as a horrible individual, he was transformed.”

This transformation, as many know, is not all smooth sailing. “The play explores the psychology of Scrooge’s youth and looks at why he is the way he is,” says Bogaert. “We see a painful, lonely childhood and a significant love lost.”

Nonetheless, this role has also provided an opportunity for learning and growth. “When you’re playing a character like Scrooge you do learn so much about the story, the character, the history, the time. I tell people you owe it to yourself to get the whole experience when you do theatre; it becomes more layered,” comments Bogaert.

A Christmas Carol really is the classic Christmas story,” says co-producer Bill Meaden. “This is a narrative that’s been a mainstay since 1843 when Dickens wrote it and it’s immortalized every year, in a variety of mediums. Michael Shamata’s wonderful adaptation is a holiday favourite and we are just so happy that we have been granted the rights to perform it here in London.”

Audience members can also look forward to seeing some of London’s younger theatre talent in this production. Melodie Lumley, the London Youth Theatre Education (LYTE) Program Manager, is excited about the group's involvement with this production, as well as the opportunities afforded to young thespians. Now in its tenth year, LYTE provides training for both acting and backstage roles.

“This year you can see various LYTE kids involved with many different productions including our own London Community Players mainstage production of A Christmas Carol,” Lumley says. “It is wonderful to see them grow and flourish right here in our home - The Palace Theatre!”

And if you still needed a reason to go see this piece of classic holiday theatre, Meaden offers this: “A Christmas Carol is a wonderful story of redemption.”

What better way to start your holidays?

The Palace Theatre’s 2013 production of A Christmas Carol is co-produced by Bill Meaden and Cindi Armer, and directed by Don Fleckser. The play runs from December 12 to December 21.

For more information on this production or London Community Players, visit The Palace Theatre's website at or call . The theatre is located at 710 Dundas Street, in the heart of Old East Village.

[Photo: Marley (Johnny Bobesich) and Scrooge (David Bogaert). Photo by Ross Davidson]

Meg Pirie is a lifelong Londoner who works in communications. Check out her website at She tweets brilliantly @meg_pirie.

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