When? Nov. 28 at 7 p.m.
Where? United Churches of Langley—Murrayville, 21562 Old Yale Rd.
Tickets? $10 in advance; $12 at the door; $25 for a family
Purchase? In-person at Long & McQuade, 6339 200 St., or online at www.pos-abilities.org. Call 604-427-3759 for more info.
In a story that’s been told thousands of times over the past 172 years, Eric and Rose Hominick believe Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to be as relevant to audiences today as it was in Victorian England.
“I think the major appeal is that it is a very human story with a universal message and appeal — a story about a person who could be any one of us,” Eric said in an email to The Times.
“It stands well the test of time — it is so well constructed and presented, and the characters so well developed, that none of the Victorian mannerisms, figures of speech, and other accoutrements get in the way of the wonderful story.”
The couple, who have performed the Dickens classic live across Canada for the past eight years, are returning to the stage again this season with friends Garnet Wolchok, Peter van den Bosch and Helen Wells in a dramatic reading.
Taking place at the United Churches of Langley in Murrayville on Nov. 28, the evening will include seven readings with musical breaks by the Langley Children’s Choir.
“It doesn’t matter how many times you hear it, every time you hear it it’s a different experience,” Rose said during a rehearsal at their home in Willowbrook.
“We do it because we love it. We love Dickens, we love the time period, we think that even though it’s as old as it is, it still speaks to the modern mindset.
“It’s very appropriate and very to the point in 2015, and so all those things just make it irresistible to me. It’s a total thrill every year to do it.”
Dressed in handmade Victorian-era clothing, the readers become fully engrossed in the story both in their appearances and their mannerisms.
“We try to identify with one character from our reading,” Rose explained.
“The readings aren’t done necessarily from the characters perspectives, they are done from a narrators perspective, but I find it’s easier in the process if I identify with a character from the reading. For me, I’m Mrs. Cratchit. It just helps in the process. This is who I feel I am.”
Despite being set in a different time period, the story itself is timeless, Rose said.
“Dickens is just so incredibly universal,” she said. “At Christmas time, you look at commercials and how many Dickens references do you find? (Scrooge is) an instantly recognizable character because we can resonate with him and identify with him.”
“There’s always some character in the script that you say, ‘hey I identify with that character,'” Wells added.
“And also, just reaching the younger generation who are used to watching explosions and zombie apocalypses. A lot of kids don’t get that experience of live performing, and something of that era I think is really neat.”
In keeping with the Dickens tradition, the Hominicks and their friends are also doing the performance for charity, as Dickens did with his live readings. All proceeds from the evening are going to the Langley Pos-Abilities Society.
“Dickens always did his readings for charity and we’re following in his footsteps that way,” Rose said.
“And the Pos-Abilities Society does really good work with people in Langley who are disabled, many of whom don’t qualify for government funding or aren’t aware of government funding.”
After performing as far away as Halifax, the group hopes to establish the live reading as an annual event in Langley.
“We want to create this as a tradition,” Wells said.
“That the people of Langley and Aldergrove, fields far and wide, will say ‘this year it’s Dickens again, can’t wait to get my Dickens fix.’
“That’s what we want to build, the fact that this becomes a tradition.”