The parish of St. David of Wales continues to engage their East Vancouver neighbours in the life of the parish by making the church facilities available to the neighbourhood.
On December 21st and December 22nd, St. David’s was the venue for a special event to benefit The Tillicum Community School Annex, a staged and costumed dramatic reading of Scrooge.
Tillicum Community School Annex is a small school located just a few blocks from St. David’s. It is a designated Inner City school with a diverse multicultural population of approximately 110 students from K-Grade 4. One third of the students are Aboriginal and well over half speak English as a second language. The school population is made up of families that fall under the categories of working poor, families receiving social assistance, as well as middle-income earners.
This project was the brainchild of noted Vancouver actor, Simon Bradbury (Scrooge) who brought together a group of talented professional performers who brought the classic Dickens characters to life.
This production of Scrooge is a skilled, edited adaptation of the actual novella presented much like a radio play, except there are costumes, a few props and basic but very effective theatrical lighting. The skilled cast of 7 actors played all the characters in the piece and with their voices provided the sounds of the spirits, the sounds of street, people at parties, the wrapping of knuckles on doors and the background score. It worked very well.
The CBC radio readings of A Christmas Carol usually run about 80-90 minutes but this edited version of the story concluded in just under an hour. Probably a good thing as many in the audience were under 12 years old and sitting still and quiet for more than an hour two or three days before Christmas is pretty difficult. But they did. The younger members of the audience were totally engaged in the performance.
Prior to the beginning of the presentation, St. David’s Incumbent, the Reverend Michael Batten reminded the crowd that what they were about to enjoy was not the only Christmas themed event at St. David’s being held in the week and he cordially invited the audience to Christmas Eve worship at 10:30pm.
If this production is presented at St. David’s next year, make sure that you make note of the performances and attend.
In the image at the top of the page from left to right: Thomas Bradbury, Simon Bradbury, Mark Burgess
In the image below: Simon Bradbury, Mark Burgess, Heidemarie Guggi