Christmas play offers ‘powerful message’

Husband and wife acting duo Braden Griffiths and Allison Lynch, who reprise Charles Dickens’ traditional holiday tale in Theatre Calgary’s production of A Christmas Carol, running until Dec. 24, enjoy entertaining audiences together.

“I really enjoy the spirit of [A Christmas Carol]. It brings people together and has a powerful message,” said Lynch, who had no plans to join the theatre until she attended St. Mary’s University in Halifax.

“I ended up taking drama because I needed an easy class to fill out my schedule,” she said. “I loved it and I loved the challenge of it and how exciting it was to be in front of a live audience.”

She said she was hooked after that, adding that her favourite part of theatre is the amazing energy she gets from acting before a live audience. It thrills her to have a relationship with the audience that is different every night, she said.

Lynch, who has also performed in Theatre Calgary productions of Dear Johnny Deere, One Man and Two Guvnors, plays the Spirit of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol. Her husband, Griffiths, played Ebenezer Scrooge’s nephew, Fred.

Skating Grace: The cast of A Christmas Carol enjoy their time on stage wearing rollerblades in the skating scene. (Photo by Jordan Johnston/The Press)
Skating Grace: Cast members of A Christmas Carol perform on stage wearing rollerblades in the skating scene. (Photo by Jordan Johnston/The Press)

“The goal [in theatre] is to tell something of a truth of humanity either as it exists now or as it exists in the past,” he said. “That kind of search for truth and that kind of search for mankind’s story is what really keeps me in theatre and why I love theatre.”

Theatre also allows you to search inside yourself while entertaining and hopefully to send a message to the audience, added Griffiths, who has performed around Calgary, including with Theatre Calgary, since he graduated from the University of Calgary in 2005 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

“There’s also something nice about being paid to rollerblade and dress up,” said Griffiths, referencing a scene from A Christmas Carol, which opened Nov. 26 at Theatre Calgary.

Griffiths said the hope in theatre is that you can make a life in theatre. He hopes that he can make his living off of theatre. Also, being in theatre with his wife gives their relationship an edge, he said

“Our schedules are pretty bizarre; my work day is six to 11 at night,” he said. “So if you’re in a relationship with somebody who is doing a 9 to five job, you’d never see them, so it definitely gives us an edge there.”

Griffiths is still in awe when he sees his wife perform and her incredible acting keeps him at the top of his game, he said. However, Griffiths admits he sometimes gets a bit jealous having to see his wife kiss other men. His wife is very beautiful, so she usually plays the love interest, he said.

“She kisses a lot of guys on stage and usually it’s not me because I usually play the villain,” Griffiths said. “But I’ve gotten used to it over the years; it just comes with the territory.”

Lynch said being in a relationship with someone who is also in theatre also gives them a chance to work together on a play like A Christmas Carol.

“It’s pretty neat because we get to see a lot more of each other, but we also get to share the experience of being in front of the audience and be on stage together,” she said.

 

Time to Toast: Braden Griffiths, left, and Paula Humby toast in a scene of A Christmas Carol during a run through before opening night. (Photo by Jordan Johnston/The Press)
Time to Toast: Braden Griffiths, left, and Paula Humby toast in a scene from A Christmas Carol during a run through before opening night. (Photo by Jordan Johnston/The Press)
About Jordan Johnston 6 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Jordan Johnston worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2015-16 academic year.

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