The Orem Library is pleased to present A Christmas Carol: a one-man show performed by Bryan Johnson. We think of Charles Dickens as a writer, but at heart, he was an entertainer. Aside from writing, he was an amateur actor, and would later perform his books in public “readings.” In fact, one of his most popular reading tours featured A Christmas Carol. Bryan Johnson’s production is based off of those tours. Come see this festive production on December 16, 7 PM in the Ashton Auditorium.
Orem Library Interview with Bryan Johnson
What is it like to do a one-man show?
A lot of memorization. When I first memorized it, I set a schedule for myself and worked on it a little bit every day over several weeks to make sure that I had plenty of time to get comfortable with the story and telling it. Then, when it’s time to perform, all eyes and ears are on you. Meaning that you’ve got to keep the energy going through the entire show. It can be exhausting, but also quite exciting. There are a lot of characters in A Christmas Carol, so I had to find ways to make them each unique. I also needed to find ways for the audience to quickly understand who is talking. In the end, though, it’s such a joy to be able to tell this story.
Why is Dickens’ A Christmas Carol still relevant to today’s audiences?
A Christmas Carol is known for helping to revive Christmas as we know it in the Western World. Charles Dickens managed to capture many of the feelings and memories that people associate with Christmas in his story. From singing, to family dinner and games, to dancing, to giving presents, to helping others, to so many other things that people love about the Christmas season. The themes taught throughout the story also apply as much to us today as they did to those of Victorian England. The dangers of ignorance and want in a society as well as the need of compassion and charity towards others. And finally, its overarching story about the redemption of a man who had lost his way is especially fitting for Christmas time as Christians around the world celebrate the coming of a Redeemer.
There are many film and theatrical productions of A Christmas Carol. Do you have a favorite?
The Muppet Christmas Carol. I love the Muppets and their antics, and even through all of that, they still tell the story beautifully. Michael Caine is perfection as Scrooge, and his performance would have worked just as well in any other movie or production. Much of the dialog and narrations are lifted directly from the books. The costumes are beautiful and accurately follow the fashions of the times represented in the story. The music is fun and memorable. Just a great production all around that the whole family can enjoy.
In A Christmas Carol, Scrooge meets three ghosts, the ghost of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future. If you could meet any of these ghosts in your own life, which one would you want to meet and why?
Christmas Present. And in a way, we do meet him every year during this season. He is the embodiment of Christmas. We feel his presence when we sing a carol, when we gather with our family, when we give a gift, and engage in those things that we remember and love.