Lifehouse Theater on the Air
This reading of Charles Dickens' novel - available for digital download
as well as on 2 CDs - emphasized its human aspects; a celebration of good fellowship and altruism.
Wayne Scott came across as a cheerful, avuncular type of person - well aware of Scrooge's
faults at the beginning of the novel, but not inclined to censure him. After all, this was supposed to be Christmas, when
everyone is supposed to set aside their differences and maintain the spirit of good fellowship. Scrooge needed to be taught
a lesson; but he did not need to be criticized at the same time. As Scott narrated the sequences where Scrooge encountered
the ghosts of Christmas past and present, his voice became sympathetic; he understood the suffering Scrooge was experiencing,
as the old miser compared his younger self with what he had become as a result of his parsimony. Once Scrooge vowed to
change, Scott's tones became joyful once more; he thoroughly enjoyed telling us about Scrooge's reconciliation with his family,
and his visit to the Cratchit household with a huge turkey.
The novel's tonal variations were emphasized through the skilful use of sound-effects.
As the beginning, when Scrooge sat on his own, murmuring "humbug," we heard the scratching of a pen on the soundtrack, sounding
like a rodent gnawing at a piece of wood. As Scrooge ventured out into the great outdoors, to bestow money and gifts on his
fellow-citizens, we heard the sound of children playing together. When he visited various people, the crackle of the fire
could be heard - a blessed sight for anyone on a cold day.
Scott's narrative was augmented by music, that reinforced the novel's tonal variations:
melancholy in the sequences where Scrooge sat on his own; happy later on as the miser learned how to celebrate Christmas.
This production underlined the fact that A Christmas Carol is one of Dickens'
most accessible works, suitable for listeners of all ages and all cultures.