CHRISTMAS CAROL-A-THON 2012 CONTINUES: PATRICK STEWART’S STAGE SHOW

TIME ONCE AGAIN FOR MY ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF THE ENORMOUS NUMBER OF VERSIONS OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL THAT ARE OUT THERE. I’LL BE PEPPERING IN SEVERAL THAT I DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO INCLUDE THE PAST TWO YEARS(I have about five dozen different versions)BUT FOR NOW A REPOST OF MY FAVORITE VERSION, BAR NONE:

I’ll come right out and admit it – I’ve always been a sucker for any version of A Christmas Carol. Trouble is, most adaptations distort the story or are produced by people who don’t seem to “get” the story or treat it like it’s a children’s tale. Anyone who thinks that needs to read the novel. My love of mythology is partly why I love the story so much. A Christmas Carol is the closest thing to an Epic Myth the Industrial Age has produced. The language Dickens uses is very close to prose poetry but precious few adaptations of the story preserve enough of it.

That brings us to Patrick Stewart’s one-man stage presentation of A Christmas Carol. (NOT the made-for- tv movie he did on TNT) Stewart does all the voices and pretty much all the sound effects and his presentation is magnificent. It’s NOT a book-on-tape, it’s  Patrick Stewart acting out the story by himself, like he did on Broadway in the 1980’s. Stewart clearly “gets” the story and includes all the crucial parts that many adaptations omit, and since he’s taking the lines faithfully from the book, it’s also made clear, like in the book ,that MARLEY IS NOT JEWISH, he’s referred to in the book as a Christian, just like Scrooge is. If people want to get on Dickens for his anti-semitic portrayal of Fagin in the novel Oliver Twist (where he is not the cleaned-up, loveable rogue that Fagin is in the musical Oliver!) feel free to, but let’s abandon this bizarre notion that people have been pushing that Marley is supposed to be an anti-semitic Jewish caricature.

Anyway, the audio release of Patrick Stewart’s one-man show (available since the late 1980’s) is my all-time favorite of the literally dozens of adaptations of A Christmas Carol that I own. It is genuinely moving, not schmaltzy. In Balladeer’s Blog’s tradition of singing the praises of things that slip through the cultural cracks I’ll be focusing on many of the more obscure versions of Dickens’ Christmas  classic, be they live action, animated or audio, from all around the world. Well-known versions like the ones with Alistair Sim, George C Scott, The Muppets, Mr Magoo etc will not be featured, just the out of the way ones in keeping with the overall theme of my blog.  And in honor of Patrick Stewart I’ll close by saying “Ga-Lang! Ga-Lang!”    

FOR MORE CHRISTMAS CAROL COVERAGE CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/category/a-christmas-carol-2/

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

19 Comments

Filed under A CHRISTMAS CAROL

19 responses to “CHRISTMAS CAROL-A-THON 2012 CONTINUES: PATRICK STEWART’S STAGE SHOW

  1. omg I had no idea this existed! And I’m a ST:TNG fan!

  2. I love Patrick Stewart and I would love to buy this now that I know it’s out there!

  3. Laurie

    This is wonderful! I am looking forward to the next versions you review.

  4. I want to hear this one now just to hear him do all the diffrent voives!

  5. Mike L

    Does he ever do it live any more?

  6. Patrick Stewart is great! This audio thing sounds really Christmassy

  7. Jenn

    I too have a collection of A Christmas Carol. and Patrick Stewart’s dramatic reading is my favorite too. The jewel of my collection is the memory of seeing him preform it on Broadway back in the early 90’s! I was given a wonderful book about Dickens’ and A Christmas Carol, that I lost in a move- broke my heart! I can’t remember the name and my searches make me conclude it’s out of print. So sad.

    • Thanks for sharing those memories!
      That must have been wondeful seeing him perfomr it on stage, I wish you could remember the name of that book. I might be able to help.

  8. I’ve got a nonfiction book on Dickens called The Friendly Dickens by Norrie Epstein (who also wrote The Friendly Shakespeare). She features in interview with not-yet-Sir Patrick Stewart about this production. He tells her than Joan Rivers once came to visit him backstage, and told him about how people were affected by the show: before the show, they were snarling, “Get out of the way, that’s MY taxi!” And afterward, they were saying, “Go ahead, take that one, I can wait.”

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