Christmas Carol a ‘story of redemption’

Staged by director Paul Gelineau, the UFV seasonal production takes on a Tim Burton feel.

St. James Myers and Gabriel Kirkley as Tiny Tim and Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at UFV

Is it possible to find hope in the darkest hours?

More than 160 years after it first captured hearts and imaginations, the classic Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol continues to astound.

Opening Dec. 10 at UFV Theatre, this new production offers all the warm-hearted joy and memorable characters that it is famous for.

“It’s a story of redemption more than anything,” says Gabriel Kirkley, who plays the infamous Ebeneezer Scrooge.

“Scrooge is a man who feels he has wasted his life. To me, it’s the unbearable, overwhelming guilt of missed chances that has made him so cruel, twisted and, frankly, such a humbug.”

As the approaching Christmas fouls his mood, Scrooge berates his poor clerk Bob Cratchit (Blake Kimber) and shuts out his only living relative, his nephew Fred (Reilly Ellis). However, when he is visited in the night by his old partner Jacob Marley (Peter Shaver) and the three ghosts of Christmas Past (Karlianna DeWolff), Present (John Jenkins) and Yet to Come (Katherine Skittrell), he realizes that he is literally in a fight, not just for his future, but for his life.

Originally adapted by the Royal Shakespeare Company, this production brings in a number of new elements and a few surprises. Accompanying Scrooge on his journey are a chorus of three ghosts (Eli Funk, Aaron Froc and Dayna Thomas) who capture Dickens’ ironic point of view and provide a bit of comic relief along the way.

“Think about it from Scrooge’s perspective: it’s the worst day of the year and you’ve just settled in for bed. Then, there’s these blasted ghosts in your bedroom and suddenly you’re flying off through the air to anywhere and everywhere,” says Kirkley, “The designers and everyone involved have done a remarkable job capturing the spirit and essence of the story.”

Staged by director Paul Gelineau, the production takes on a Tim Burton feel. With a topsy-turvy set and lighting design co-created by students Calvin Baker and Nicole Janisch, it can feel at moments like the entire world has gone off kilter. But, says Kirkley, that is partly the point.

“What makes this show so relatable is that we all understand what Scrooge is going through. Young or old, we’ve all felt our world turned upside down and wanted to change the past. But the lesson is that only the present is ours and we can do with it what we will.”

A Christmas Carol at UFV runs December 10 to 21. Information on specific performance dates and ticket prices can be found on the UFV Theatre website at or by calling 604-795-2814. Tickets can be purchased online, over the phone or in person at the performance theatre at 45635 Yale Road, Chilliwack.

Just Posted

Dinosaur statues from defunct Dinotown theme park stolen in Chilliwack

The dinosaur figures once graced the theme park but were destined for Chilliwack fundraiser

Chilliwack Chiefs hope to become NHL draft picks

Five former or current Chiefs are on the NHL’s Central Scouting ranking of North American skaters.

Dinosaurs will reign at Sto:lo Children’s Festival

Jurassic Park theme takes over long-standing, free community event

Funding for new Chilliwack schools could drive up development costs

School Site Acquisition Costs could dramatically increase by almost 30 per cent

Chilliwack developer offering to build barn owl nesting boxes for free

Gore Brothers says anyone with a suitable building can help the threatened raptor

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Langley’s oldest and last strip bar shuts its doors

The Alder Inn, in operation since 1957, has reportedly been purchased

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Update: Two shot, two arrested at Toronto Raptors victory rally

The team and several dignitaries, including Justin Trudeau, remained on stage

Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

Trudeau government expected to announce whether it will approve pipeline for second time on Tuesday

Skipping school costs a dozen B.C. students chance at a new car

Cowichan’s Jared Lammi showed up and won $5,000 cheque toward vehicle, but he can’t drive

Most Read