Playing Scrooge at Old Vic is role of a lifetime Christopher Eccleston says
Actor Christopher Eccleston has described playing Scrooge in a stage play in London as the “role of a lifetime”.
In an interview with the Big Issue magazine, which is published on Monday, he said Scrooge addresses the “monster side” of everyone.
Eccleston, who is a Big Issue ambassador to show his support for the organisation, said Christmas was a difficult time for many people, highlighting the millions of people who are living in poverty.
Talking about his role in The Old Vic’s production of A Christmas Carol, he wrote: “A Christmas Carol is about duality, isn’t it? Scrooge addresses that monster side of us all. Maybe as a kid, I was aware of that. Maybe the seeds of being an actor were sown then.
“It was about kindness, or the absence of kindness, and that chimed with me because as a kid I was always questioning my conscience and whether I was good or bad.
“This time last year, I wrote to The Old Vic and asked them why they had never thought of me for Scrooge. And now here we are.
“As I’ve grown older, I’ve realised it is about a condensed nervous breakdown that starts at roughly 7pm on Christmas Eve and ends at 7am on Christmas Day.
“Over the course of 12 hours, he goes through what I’ve been through in the last seven years – where I had the breakdown and now feel fully recovered, if one ever can be.
“Coincidentally, this is seven years after it happened to me and Marley comes to Scrooge seven years after he dies. And this is The Old Vic’s seventh production of it. I’m not a numerologist, but there is a symmetry to it.”
Different actors play the old and new Scrooge in the films, but Eccleston plays both in the play, adding: “You’re presenting the older man and the younger man – before the fall, after the fall, and then the return into innocence. So, it’s the role of a lifetime. And it’s on at The Old Vic, where Charles Dickens witnessed theatre.”
He added: “Christmas is very difficult for a lot of people. We know that domestic abuse and homelessness become more acute. In this country there are now 12 million people living in poverty.”
– The Big Issue is urging people to buy a working winter support kit to help its vendors this Christmas.
Published: by Radio NewsHub