The cast, choir and crew of Scrooge, the Secondary Production performed recently at The British School of Kuwait, can feel a huge sense of pride and achievement in their performances, bringing such a popular and well known story to the stage. Playing to appreciative audiences, the stage show was based upon the novella ‘A Christmas Carol’ written by the British author, Charles Dickens in 1843.
The book was written at a time when the British were examining and exploring Christmas traditions from the past as well as new customs such as Christmas cards and Christmas trees. Carol singing took a new lease of life during this time. Dickens' sources for the tale appear to be many and varied, but are, principally, the humiliating experiences of his own childhood and his sympathy for the poor. Scrooge tells the story of a bitter old money lender named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.
With performers ranging in age from ten to seventeen years old, the cast thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work together in a way that is not so easily possible in the daily routine of school life. Strong performances were in abundance, with students growing into their characters and bringing the play to life, ensuring that the youngest members of the audience were held captivated for the duration of the show. With stage management and sound the responsibility of students in Years 10,11 and 12, arrangements behind the scenes went without a hitch, whilst the choir and orchestra that accompanied the performance ensured that the best music for a production is ‘live music.’
This was the perfect choice of play for an evening of entertainment for all the family. The simple yet striking set depicting life in Victorian London, the elaborate costumes and dramatic make-up, all topped off by the anticipation of the visit by the next ghost meant that there was always something about to happen.
Scrooge was an overwhelming success if indeed success is measured by the patently obvious enjoyment shown by the audience, cast and crew. All students involved grew visibly in confidence and experience during rehearsals and particularly during the three performances.
Taking to the stage is a most testing and rewarding platform, but a vitally important responsibility of the arts if we are to prepare our students fully for life beyond school. Once you are on the stage it is likely that you’ll be out of your comfort zone; “Acting deals with very delicate emotions. It is not putting up a mask. Each time an actor acts he does not hide; he exposes himself.” (Rodney Dangerfield, 1921-2004 American stand-up comedian, actor, producer and writer.)