Patrick Stewart in A Christmas Carol

Patrick Stewart’s Stage One-man Show of A Christmas Carol

While I enjoyed Sir Patrick Stewart’s turn as Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1999 TNT version of A Christmas Carol, I so prefer it when he does all the parts himself.

Beginning in 1991, Sir Patrick Stewart took Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and turned it into a one-man Broadway show in which he portrayed 35 characters. While I was a student at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City, I had the unique opportunity to see Stewart perform the story in person for a small group of friends in a rather intimate dinner setting while he was gearing up to take on the lead role in the Scottish play at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. It was a masterclass in acting, as much as it was a magic trick. Right before my eyes, Stewart transformed both physically and vocally to suit the various characters of Mr. Dickens’ classic tale. More than that, for me it was a visceral, moving experience, as I felt my heart beat against my chest in that darkened room, hanging onto Stewart’s fight with each of Dickens’ words through the most intense retelling of his story.

Each year since, I’ve attempted to replicate the experience with varying degrees of success. The best way I have found to do so is with Stewart’s admittedly short, 107 minute version, found here on Audible.

Glenn Collins’ New York Times review of Stewart’s 1991 performance.