Imagine the scene.
It is December, 1843. A little volume entitled A Christmas Carol is hot off the presses and anybody who is anybody is astir with astonishment.
England’s literary social conscience, Charles Dickens, has written, published and gifted his readers with a ghost story for Christmas. Written in just six short weeks, it was an immediate hit, and became one of Dickens’ most beloved work.
Dickens knew poverty — both parents spent time in debtor’s prison, and he, too, was forced into child labour. The adult Dickens became a champion for the poor, the sick and disadvantaged of Victorian England. He travelled the world giving public readings of A Christmas Carol, donating the proceeds to charity.
Today, there are still people in need in our communities, inspiring a group of Langley thespians to continue Dickens’ 173-year tradition.
Eric and Rose Hominick, Helen Wells, Peter van den Bosch and John Craig Sandy (Alexander) Young are once again hosting a public reading of A Christmas Carol, along with refreshments and seasonal music from fine local musicians.
The event will raise monies for the Langley Pos-Abilities Society, a group that helps improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.
This special benefit will take place at the United Churches of Langley, Murrayville site (formerly Sharon United Church) at 21562 Old Yale Rd. on Saturday Nov. 26 at 7 p.m.
Readers will perform in period costume, with short musical interludes, and the cast will serve homemade mincemeat tarts and mulled cider to the guests afterward.
“I love putting on these productions because Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol speaks to me on a lot of levels,” said Eric.
“The English Major part of me who loved reading as a child is fascinated by the story and the writing; the performer in me loves the drama and relishes the meaty dialogue; my spirit is challenged by the universal truths about the human condition and responds to the possibility of reclamation and redemption; and the social and charitable aspects of an event such as this reap their own special benefits in my life, and hopefully in the lives of people we meet there.”
Tickets are $10 each or $25 for a family, and are available at Long & McQuade, 6339 200 St., online at www.pos-abilities.org or at the door.