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

Rainbow crosswalk plan gets council support in Hope

Council writing letter of support to community group for crosswalk project

Task force on inclusion, diversity and accessibility coming for Chilliwack

Idea for rainbow crosswalk nixed but council listened to feedback and will appoint task force

Rainbow crosswalk coming to Chilliwack school district parking lot

Fractious debate at school board meeting ends with 4-3 vote

Hard rock tribute band Led Zepagain returns to Chilliwack Cultural Centre

‘It’s as close as you’ll ever get to the real deal,’ says Led Zeppelin founder Jimmy Page

Mayor and city staff stay mum on possible Abbotsford aerospace plant

Economic development staff have met with a U.S. firm looking for places to build a large plant

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

B.C. Interior caribou protection area big enough, minister says

Proposals sparked protest in Kootenays, Williams Lake region

Two B.C. women selected to compete on ABC’s The Bachelor

Mykenna Dorn and Alexis Thind will compete for bachelor Peter Weber’s heart

Charges dropped against Mountie involved in shooting death of Surrey man

‘I feel like I’ve lost Hudson all over again,’ says mom

Break out the tiki torches: Open fires allowed again in B.C.’s coastal region

All open fires allowed effective at noon on Sept. 18

Vaping-related illness confirmed in Ontario believed to be first in Canada

Middlesex-London Health Unit had no further details about the case — believed to be the first confirmed in Canada

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re ‘stepping away’ from ice dancing

The pair thank fans for their support in an emotional message

Most Read