The annual charity reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a natural fit with the Langley Children’s Choir which will take part in the show.
“Children and children’s welfare were such a passion for Dickens,” explained Eric Hominick, who organizes the Langley event with his wife, Rose.
Dickens (1812-1870) used proceeds from some of his writing to support children’s charities.
The reading on Nov. 26 will support a local group that helps people with disabilities.
This is the third year the reading proceeds will go to the Langley Pos-Abilities Society. Representatives will be at the event to take tickets, seat people and provide information about the organization.
The audience will enjoy the tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge who has become an elderly skinflint and reacts to Christmas with a “Bah, humbug.” But one Christmas Eve, he’s visited by three ghosts – the ghost of Christmas past, the ghost of Christmas present and the ghost of Christmases yet to be – who show him the error of his ways.
The readers, who will be in costume, had to audition to be part of A Christmas Carol. One of the readers is an SFU professor who is British. Another is a retired computer science instructor.
Hominick said the show is appropriate for all ages and stays true to Dickens’ rich language.
“It’s not too frightening for young children,” he said. “It’s not too silly for more mature audience members. It’s a full spectrum family event.”
The performance comes in at just under two hours but he said kids seem to be enthralled by the storytelling.
He thinks that’s because of the timeless nature of A Christmas Carol.
“As times change, our challenges change but what doesn’t change is human nature,” he said.
People still have problems – making ends meet, keeping a roof over their heads, and with health even as factors such as clothing and technology change.
“The human spirit is indomitable,” Hominick said. “We still need redemption.”
He said despite the increased cynicism of society, the enduring appeal of the readings is the power of the spoken word and the fact that Dickens was a great writer.
“There’s an honesty and integrity to the piece,” he said. “And it’s a ghost story. Who would have thought to write a ghost story for Christmas?”
Pick up tickets at Long and McQuade, 6339 200th St. or online at www.pos-abilities. org. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. The price is $25 for a family. For more information, call 604-427-3759.
The event starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26 in the United Churches of Langley, 21562 Old Yale Rd. (formerly known as Sharon United Church). Mince pies and mulled cider, festive food of that era, will be available.
Hominick had previously participated in the CBC production for a number of years as the pianist for the Vancouver Children’s Choir. That production ceased.
“We thought we should do this,” Hominick said.
He and his wife staged three productions in Vancouver, a show in Richmond then one in Halifax when they lived on the East Coast. They moved to Langley and started holding readings.
“This is our fourth annual [in Langley],” he said.
This year features the return of the Langley Children’s Choir.
“They did such a great job and enjoyed it so much,” he said.
The reading features three numbers by the children’s choir, as well as performances by a soloist who is also one of the readers, a flute player and more between the readings.
“We’re trying to have music that is not only seasonal but is reasonably appropriate,” he explained, noting the pieces are not jolly holiday fare. “They’re thoughtful numbers.”
The music is also a “chance for people to reflect on the story so far.”
HOW TO WIN TICKETS
A ticket to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol on Nov. 26.
A pair of lucky readers will each win a ticket to the event hosted by the Britannica Repertory Company, Hominick Music Studio and the United Churches of Langley.
The ticket can be for a single admission or a family admission.
• Click on the live link in the story about the Dickens reading at www.langleyadvance.com, and answer a trivia question – what is the name of Bob Cratchit’s youngest child. All those submitting correct replies will be entered into a draw. Preference will be given to Langley residents.
Entries must be received prior to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 22, and the winner will be notified by email. The winner must be able to pick up the prize at the Langley Advance office, 6375 202nd Street.
No staff or family of the Langley Advance or Black Press are eligible. This giveaway is restricted to online participants, 19 years or older only. Must include name and phone number.