A Christmas Carol
Dec 26, 2pm & 7:30pm
Neptune Studio Theatre
1593 Argyle Street
In a very Haligonian turn of events, what began in 2003 as a make-your-own-work project for Jeremy Webb—a one-man version of The Christmas Carol—became 11 years, nearly 500 performances and a holiday theatre tradition.
"I'd done the Neptune show for years, but this particular year I realized wasn't going to be in their Christmas show in six months' time and I was like 'Oh shit, I need to get some work,'" says Webb from a van headed for Nashville on the show's southern US tour. "I thought, 'I'll do a reading of the book, do some funny voices, that'll be it,' and it'll bring in a little bit of money."
The idea grew to include puppets, improv, sound effects and projections. Yet this will be Webb's last year as Scrooge, Cratchit and company.
"This is such a beast of a show. I'm getting old, I'm getting on," he says. "I used to put makeup on so you'd believe me as Scrooge, when I was in my mid-30s. Now I'm 46 and I have a gray beard. Kids ask if my sideburns are fake. I think it's time. I'm hoping that the show will carry on, we'll find someone cool who wants to do it. I'll get to watch it for a change and spend time with my family at Christmas."
The transformative Scrooge is his favourite of the 25 characters he plays in A Christmas Carol, with Cratchit a close second, especially since Webb became a father. His least favourite? "It would be Scrooge's nephew Fred, who is so frickin' cheerful about Christmas in the play. He's so damn cheerful off the top and he's not going to swayed in his cheerfulness. In 11 years, no one has ever asked me that question."