Magnus Theatre Revives a Festive Fan Favourite
Story by Taylor Onski, Photo by Matthew Goertz
This year, amidst the yuletide hustle and bustle, take a break and venture out for a night of theatre for the return of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol at Magnus Theatre.
Written by Tom Mula, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol follows the ghost of Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge’s deceased business partner. Clad in chains of immense weight, Marley must redeem someone with a far worse soul than his own to be redeemed himself in death, or be banished to hell. The soul in question? Scrooge himself!
“It’s a ghost story where you’re getting an image of an Edwardian Victorian afterlife,” says production director Thom Currie. “You’re watching this single actor onstage play Jacob Marley, and seeing snippets of Christmas Carol. When Scrooge goes back in time with the ghost of Christmas past, Marley’s visiting his past.” The show ran at Magnus Theatre last year as well, at 50% capacity. When Currie heard that people were coming back multiple times to see it, he decided to bring this twist on the classic Charles Dickens tale back this year with 100% occupancy.
“Coming to Thunder Bay, I wanted to do something different,” he says. “I want every experience the audience has to be different every single time. Thunder Bay already had this great tradition of A Christmas Carol with the annual production at Fort William Historical Park. It was really cool, so why would we touch that story?”
As with previous Magnus Christmas productions such as It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol offers a space for looking back on the past year and thinking about how to carry forward onto the next. As Marley’s journey follows a man reflecting on his legacy and how he can aid one soul—the only soul far worse than himself—Currie notes that this piece ties together all the themes of past Magnus Christmas productions.
When asked what he hopes audiences take away from the show, Currie recollects an audience member who, last year, told him they would never look at the stars in the same way again after seeing the play. “I hope that when people walk out and look up at the stars, they look up at the beautiful Christmas sky in Thunder Bay and go, ‘I see myself in the sky.’”
Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol runs from December 6–24 at Magnus Theatre. For more information, visit magnustheatre.com.