A young Scrooge, played by Jackson Deegan, is visited by a surfer dude Ghost of Christmas Past, played by Jesse Wilson (from left), in the Nanaimo Theatre Group’s upcoming production of ‘Little Scrooge.’ (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)

A young Scrooge, played by Jackson Deegan, is visited by a surfer dude Ghost of Christmas Past, played by Jesse Wilson (from left), in the Nanaimo Theatre Group’s upcoming production of ‘Little Scrooge.’ (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo Theatre Group resumes Christmas tradition with ‘Little Scrooge’

Last year’s annual Christmas production was cancelled due to COVID-19

A Nanaimo Theatre Group tradition of Christmases past is returning to the present.

From Dec. 18 to 31 the local theatre company presents Little Scrooge, a modern take on Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol by American playwright Patricia Barry Rumble. It’s the group’s first Christmas production in two years, as last year’s show was cancelled due to COVID-19.

“It’s fantastic. It’s been a long 18 months so it’s great to be back in the theatre and rehearsing again,” director Nikita Towe said, later adding, “I’ve never done the traditional A Christmas Carol, so it was kind of nice to jump into this and just get to play.”

Towe has directed NTG’s Christmas pantomimes in the past. She said the theatre company went with a less “grandiose” production this year due to COVID-19-related restrictions, but cast members are still eager to put on a show.

“Everybody’s really excited,” Towe said. “It’s like magic. I don’t know how else to explain it. Everyone feels like they’re coming home.”

One of those actors is Jesse Wilson, who performs double duty as both the Ghost of Christmas Past and Future. Wilson previously played miser Ebenezer Scrooge’s employee Bob Cratchit in a high school production of the play.

Now that COVID-19-related restrictions on gatherings are looser, Wilson has been getting back into theatre, performing in the Nanaimo Fringe Festival this summer.

“It’s been really hard because I love doing theatre,” he said. “And it’s been really great to get back to working with people and looking forward to performing in front of an audience again.”

WHAT’S ON … Nanaimo Theatre Group presents Little Scrooge at the Bailey Studio, 2373 Rosstown Rd., on Dec. 18, 19 and 26 to 31 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 18, 19, 26, 27, 28 and 31 at 2 p.m. Tickets $18, available here. Masks and proof of vaccination required.

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