NCPA’s Christmas presentation adapts Charles Dickens’ timeless classic, A Christmas Carol, setting it in Mumbai
Just in time for the festive season, Charles Dickens’ classic novella, A Christmas Carol, is all set for a Mumbai makeover. It follows the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge who views Christmas as humbug, and begins to see the error of his ways through a series of life-changing visits from the ghost of his deceased business partner, Marley and the spirits of Christmases Past, Present and Future.
The cast of A Christmas Carol is all set for their premiere show on December 24
The adaptation of the atmospheric and unforgettable story set in London, will be directed by Avaan Patel, daughter of late theatre luminary Toni Patel and will star Faredoon Bhujwala as Ebenezer Scrooge.
“I am a big fan of Dickens. I have been thinking of adapting this novella for about six or seven years. My adaptation has gone through three or four drafts and I have really enjoyed that process,” director Avaan Patel tells us. “Usually, when I am directing a play, I have visual imagery. For example, I saw a wooden hanger and thought it would be perfect to hang Scrooge’s overcoat. These are the kind of things that inspire me to direct a play,” she shares.
The play also stars Adrian Pereira and Xenia Alphonso, among others. The team began rehearsals in August this year. “I like working with new actors. This time too, except for the role of Scrooge, I decided to go with a fresh cast. I am usually very open to ideas during an audition. I don’t have pre-set notions about what I want an actor to look like or be like for a particular character,” Patel tells us.
Offices in the old Fort area of Mumbai will replace the old London offices. Mr Fezziwig will become Mr Fernandes, and will be based out of
Dhobi Talao. The director’s favourite, however, is the poignant Cratchit family. The play will also have a Konkani version of the popular Christmas carol Silent Night.
This is the National Centre for the Performing Arts’ (NCPA) first young adult production of a timeless classic. “Charles Dickens is timeless and this is perfect timing. It is a different production style and adapted to Mumbai. If this works out, we will try more such experiments,” assures Deepa Gahlot, NCPA.
On: December 24 to 28, 7 pm
At: Experimental Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point.
A Christmas Carol is a novella by Charles Dickens. Chapman & Hall first published it in London on December 19, 1843. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. A Christmas Carol tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, better human being after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases past, present and future. The story brings to the reader images of happiness, love and warmth associated with Christmas along with contrasting images of bitterness, gloom and death.