Oak Bay actor channels 17 characters for Carol at the Castle

A Christmas Carol runs at Craigdarroch Castle through Dec. 23

Oak Bay’s Jason Stevens performs a one-man version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at Craigdarroch Castle.

One actor, plus one 19th century castle and 17 characters equals one timeless Christmas experience.

This December, Craigdarroch Castle welcomes back Oak Bay actor Jason Stevens for his one-man production of A Christmas Carol.

The notion of presenting A Christmas Carol as a one-man show with no set to speak of (other than the 19th century backdrop that is Craigdrarroch Castle) is not unheard of. “Charles Dickens himself did it as a series of readings,” says Stevens, who first performed the show as a fundraiser to rave reviews, before bringing it to Craigdarroch.

A classically trained actor with roots in the Drama Centre of London and the footlights of New York City, Stevens moved to Oak Bay with his family a few years ago.

After several years of performing the timeless tale, he remains enthralled. As a story, “it’s perfect – it has a beginning, middle and end and it has an 11th-hour redeemed protagonist,” he says.

Dickens’ writing and larger-than-life characters, paired with Stevens’ ear for accents after years in the UK, make creating the characters relatively simple for the actor. Each has his or her own natural voice.

“The trick and the challenge and the fun of it … is to have 17 characters, each with their own tempo,” Stevens says.

Of those 17, favourites shift. “Each year I have a new favourite character,” he reflects, suggesting this year’s nod may go to the second ghost to visit Ebeneezer Scrooge. “I’ve always loved the Ghost of Christmas Present. He’s just such a good time.”

At the same time, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, who with no dialogue creates a sense of foreboding of what will befall Scrooge should he not change his ways, also appeals to the actor.

(No surprise, Stevens is also a fan of ghosts generally, and can also be seen leading Discover the Past’s Ghostly Walks.)

Guests are invited to explore the castle before the show, weaving their way up the grand, central staircase to an upper floor room, an intimate space for the 75-minute tale of redemption that Stevens weaves before them.

“The whole place is a great set and by the time you ascend that staircase, you’re almost in a Victorian mindset. The two complement each other really, really well.”

As Stevens stands directly in front of the seated guests it creates a connection quite different from a traditional stage performance. “The most important thing is that the story happens for me and you get to watch it,” he says. “Because I have almost nothing to depend upon it’s basically weaving a spell,” he says. “It’s just really great to have the story happen – it never gets boring. It’s an absolute privilege.”

Stevens presents 17 performances of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol during this year’s run, continuing through Dec. 23.

Suitable for those age 13 and older, tickets are $20 or $18 for castle members and available online at thecastle.ca, by phone at 250-592-5323 ext. 31 or in person at Craigdarroch Castle, 1050 Joan Cres.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria ranks as 16th least affordable city in the world

Vancouver, as well as the Fraser Valley, Nanaimo and Comox Valley also crack the Top 25

Electric BC Ferries vessels on the move in Victoria

Public invited to watch unloading, transport process

Saanich’s plastic bag ban won’t be affected by the Supreme Court ruling against Victoria

Council amended Saanich’s ban to align with the B.C. Court of Appeal’s ruling in November

West Shore Parks & Recreation to unveil new indoor sports complex by end of January

Grand opening of sport court and turf field planned for Jan. 31 at 10 a.m.

Victoria security company sees jump in clients in lower downtown after influx of thefts

Themis Security has signed several new contracts for businesses in lower Yates, Johnson streets area

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Was Bigfoot just spotted on a Washington State webcam?

Sherman Pass is rougly 70 kilometres south of Grand Forks, B.C.

B.C. employer health tax wins ‘paperweight award’ for red tape

Businesses forced to estimate payroll, pay new tax quarterly

Red Carpet Valentine’s event will aid Sooke charities

This is a chance to have that “red carpet” experience

New U.S. LNG terminal near northwestern B.C. town proposed

AlaskCAN International LNG wants terminal just over Canadian border, but using B.C gas

Couple wonders who’s in a Cariboo photo that’s been hanging in their home for years

Charles and Lynn Dick believe the image was taken at the 70 Mile Road House

‘I would not go’ to China says B.C. traveller concerned about coronavirus

Alice Li said she goes to China every other year but would scrap any travel plans

Royal Canadian Legion expels B.C. member for wearing unearned military commendations

‘Stolen valour is stolen service and it’s just totally wrong’

Most Read