The play involves a much smaller cast than many Stage North productions, with only three actors playing a variety of characters. As David Truscott explains, the comedy revolves around a theatre production of A Christmas Carol that the troupe finds rather boring.
“So we’re supposed to be doing A Christmas Carol, right?,” says Truscott. “And then these two knuckleheads get it in their head that that’s not good enough to really portray the true essence of Christmas because they had all these TV specials and other shows they like to watch.”
Instead, the show runs through pretty much every story about Christmas you’ve heard of, along with random trivia you may never have needed to know.
Despite having only a month and a half to put the play together, each of the performers have found ways to connect with each of their characters, which range from the Grinch to Tiny Tim. The set is simple, so the story relies on its talented actors.
“I play everything from pretty ladies to old men, so it’s pretty fun,” says Ashdown. “The hats and props really help. Once I figure out what I’m supposed to be wearing next, and it’s a wig, that kind of helps me a bit.”
The script has also been modified to includes jokes about local celebrities, and more “Canadian-ized” humour.
The chemistry between Truscott and his co-stars JP Wood and Dallas Ashdown is clear, and it’s easy to see why your sides might hurt by the end of the show.
“All three of these guys have fantastic comedy instincts, which has made my job a lot easier,” says Francoeur. “Dave and Dallas both came up doing improve and JP and Dallas have worked together as recently as this spring. I sort of cast the show knowing that there was going to be good chemistry with these three guys.”
The play is family friendly, and will either bring back fond memories of Christmas’ past, or create new ones for younger viewers. It references classic TV specials like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Charlie Brown Christmas, as well as well-loved features like Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life.
“It’s full of all kinds of memories for the slightly older generations,” argues Francoeur. “The younger generations who haven’t necessarily developed those memories yet are developing those memories and watching all those same shows on TV around the Christmas season. So it’s familiar for everyone.”
Tickets are available through the North Peace Cultural Centre Box Office at a cost of $25 for adults, $20 for youth and seniors, and $15 for children.