File puptcrit/puptcrit.0909, message 121


To: <puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org>
Date: Sun, 6 Sep 2009 19:20:11 -0500
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Questions about "A Christmas Carol"


If you're doing your research in pursuit of mounting a production of 
"Christmas Carol", I think Robert's comments are quick apt. The problem with 
putting on this story is the same issue with any written work, sparely 
executed or not: the written word paints a narrative of imagery in the 
mind's eye, the acted out version (human, puppet) paints it's own imagery in 
motion, sight, and sound (some of it even suggested). One of the major 
differences, I think, is that in your mind's eye time is rather flexible 
(how often have you lost yourself in a book?), but on stage time is ever 
present--flowing in front of the viewer, whether it is the distraction from 
an audiences' inner dialog or just the physical discomfort of sitting. For 
me, that's why "faithful" renditions never really work, needing judicious 
editing (ok, I'll admit "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" lasted 
through too many ending points, arc-wise and wouldn't have told the "whole 
story" without them, but I still enjoy the longer versions--exception to the 
rule, and all that).

Wayne
--------------------------------------------------
From: <HobgoblinH-AT-aol.com>
Sent: Sunday, September 06, 2009 8:04 AM
To: <puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org>
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Questions about "A Christmas Carol"

> For myself, having read this book aloud cover-to-cover many, many  times 
> to
> various classes over the course of 30-plus years of teaching, mostly to
> junior high kids, I prefer  certain scenes as the most challenging-- the
> scene in Old Joe's rag-and-bone shop where the charwoman, the undertaker's 
> man,
> and the laundress fence their purloined articles is an example.
>
> "Putting it on him to be buried in, to be sure," replied
> the woman  with a laugh. "Somebody was fool enough to
> do it, but I took it off again. If  calico an't good enough for
> such a purpose, it isn't good enough for  anything. It's quite
> as becoming to the body. He can't look uglier than he  did
> in that one."
>
> Getting all the voices separated, as Dickens most clearly did, is a  fine
> exercise. He clearly shows the discrete social levels between these  four
> people in their dialects and choice of words. Also, getting the  laughs
> correctly always requires a good ear.
>
> "Ha, ha!" laughed the same woman, when old Joe,
> producing a  flannel bag with money in it, told out their
> several gains upon the ground.  "This is the end of it, you
> see! He frightened every one away from him when  he was
> alive, to profit us when he was dead! Ha, ha, ha!"
>
> I have to prefer the Alistair Sim version above all others, as it has no
> agenda to pursue, no famous actors to showcase. Dickens' agenda, if we may
> call it one, must dominate all others-- he felt that England had forgotten
> the  fine old traditional Christmas customs of the days of yore, and so he
> showed  Christmas as he wanted it to be-- games, feasts, dancing, 
> children,
> fellowship.  He transformed English Christmas forever in this one book,
> sweeping the  nation with his passionate outburst. For once, the horrors 
> of the
> underground life of Victorian England were only a subtext to support a
> greater purpose.
>
> Cheers,
> Alice
>
>
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