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Nothing humbug about this Christmas show, says Scrooge

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Craig Matthews has become a bit of an expert on Christmas.

That’s what happens when you spend months in rehearsal for Theatre Sarnia’s annual Christmas shows.

“The Christmas show is what fits my schedule best,” says Matthews, an account executive at Yorkland Controls.

He got involved in community theatre six years ago and is a Theatre Sarnia board member.

“I find the theater a relaxing way to spend my down time and a great way to meet new people,” said Matthews.

He’s had roles in a myriad of Theatre Sarnia holiday shows including A Christmas Story and Miracle on 34th Street. This season he landed the starring role in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

“The challenge of playing Scrooge is that there is a big emotional range in a short period of time,” said Matthews.

“It’s really an emotional roller coaster.”

Scrooge is on stage for almost the entire play, and that adds to the challenge.

But Matthews is looking forward to the production opening on Friday, Nov. 22.

“This cast is really wonderful. We’re all pulling together and they’re really very good,” he said.

“I think people will walk out going, ‘Wow.’”

Director Jay Peckham, also a Theatre Sarnia board member, says he’s added a certain “magic” to the conventional script.

“The audience is going to leave wondering how we did it,” he said. “We’ve taken great care to build in some theatre magic.”

Peckham wasn’t the original director of A Christmas Carol and tipped his hat to Jean Simon who initially took it on.

“Jean did all the preparation work and I thank her for that,” he said. “She had to step away just before auditions but she already had put a lot of effort in.”

Matthews plays the miserly old Scrooge who is visited by three ghosts and finds redemption.

Three others play Scrooge at various times in his life, including Caleb Noordan, Samuel Rowe and Charlie Kerwin.



WHAT: A Christmas Carol by Romulus Linney, based on the book by Charles Dickens

WHEN:  Nov. 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30 @ 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee Nov. 24.

WHERE: Imperial Theatre, 168 Christina St.

TICKETS: Imperial box office, phone 519-344-6469 or online

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