written and directed by Gil Garratt
Blyth Festival, Memorial Hall, Blyth
November 29-December 22, 2019
Marley’s Ghost: ”We should build the community, not business”
You would think Southern Ontario would have had its fill of Christmas Carols. In December Toronto alone will see three staged versions while the Shaw Festival presents the second revival of its own version. Now the Blyth Festival has joined the Christmas Carol competition, but it has done so with a difference. Artistic Director Gil Garratt has adapted Charles Dickens’s 1843 tale and relocated it to the present in Huron county. The result is the Blyth Festival’s first-ever winter production – A Huron County Christmas Carol with songs by John Power.
The show is a real joy. The wit that Garratt has used in updating and staging the story makes it shine like new. Power’s country and folk inflected songs strike a wide range of moods. And the performances of the entire cast, all of whom sing and play instruments, are warm and vital. I certainly didn’t expect it, but of all the many versions of Dickens’s story I’ve seen this is the first that is truly moving.