The Christmas Carol Project: a holiday production for indie-folk fans

The cast of The Christmas Carol Project

Bah Humbug! If you’ve been out shopping for Christmas presents lately you might have noticed the Christmas jingles that stores like to impose upon us at this festive time of year. Alas, although it may prove difficult to escape these aural invasions, The Cultch is here to offer some relief with the ever-charming Christmas Carol Project.

The project, conceived in 1996 by John Armstrong and a host of talented Edmonton-based musicians, intricately interprets Dickens’ classic tale by harmonizing lyrics with narration amongst a cocktail of folk, flamenco, bluegrass, rock, blues, Celtic folk and jazz. Bill Bourne leads the cast with his award-winning talent as the stingy Ebenezer Scrooge. Bill is a one-man show himself having performed at many internationally renowned music events from the Montreal Jazz Festival to the New York City Folk Festival not to mention collecting several Juno nods along the way.

Accompanying him on his transformational journey is bluegrass-Celtic-folk-country artist Maria Dunn. Originally taking the role of Scrooge’s maid, cast changes allowed Maria to step up to the challenge of playing Tiny Tim the seriously ill son of Scrooge’s underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit. Maria, a classically trained pianist, born in Scotland, immersed herself in Celtic folk and has also gained award recognition along her artistic journey both in Canada and abroad. Maria brings her enchanting vocals and accordion accompaniment to the performance and charms everyone with the show’s centerpiece ‘God Bless Us, Everyone’.

Adding to the talent pool is Albertan finger-pickin’ guitarist Kevin Cook, foot-stomping drummer Bill Hobson, soothing songstress Terry Morrison, rockabilly front-man Tom Roschkov, soulful songwriter Al Brant and Chapman Stick player Dale Ladouceur. What’s a Chapman Stick? Take a look here:

Theatre actor and producer Dave Clarke narrates us through Dickens’ dark and delightful fable. The combination of these technically skilled and creative artists, with their diverse musical influences, filtering through the lens of Dickens’ timeless prose, makes for a scrumptious evening for the entire family.

The Christmas Carol Project will run at The Cultch December 16, 17 & 18 at 8 PM. Tickets for The Christmas Carol Project start at $17 and are on sale now at tickets.thecultch.com, or by phone at 604.251.1363 and also, in person at The Cultch Box Office, 1895 Venables St.