Theatrical “imagineers” the Wonderheads hit the Tidemark Theatre Dec. 12 with a Christmas Carol, a whimsical re-imagining of the holiday classic.
The multi award-winning company brings Scrooge’s magical journey to life with masks, puppets, music, and theatrical invention. Think Pixar meets Jim Henson.
A Wonderheads Christmas Carol is performed with puppets and in full-face mask, a wordless, whimsical form which has been described as “Utter magic” (CBC) and “Powerful, surprising and moving” (The Globe and Mail). The production features 10 masks and eight puppets of various types and sizes, ranging from one-foot to 10-feet tall, created by co-founders and artistic directors Kate Braidwood and Andrew Phoenix.
“I make all the masks and Andrew builds the puppets,” says Braidwood. “One mask alone takes anywhere from 40-60 hours of work, so it’s a long build process for a show of this size.”
Devised in Ensemble by Braidwood and Phoenix, a Wonderheads Christmas Carol features physical theatre performers Braidwood as Ebenezer Scrooge, Phoenix as Bob Cratchit and Fezziwig, Jessica Hickman as Marley, Fred, and Belle, with Phoenix and Hickman as the Ghosts. The show also features original music by Los Angeles-based band, “The Singer and the Songwriter.”
A team of designers has helped create the ambitious new production. Masks and puppets are designed by Braidwood and Phoenix. Projection design is by Jason King, costume design by Hannah Case, and set and lighting design is by Andrew Phoenix and Theodore Sherman. Peter Balkwill, co-founding artistic director of the Old Trout Puppet Workshop, is on the creative team as a puppetry and dramaturgy consultant.
The Wonderheads have toured their productions from Alaska to Hawaii, Shanghai to Los Angeles, and St. John’s to Victoria, to critical acclaim and sold out audiences who describe the experience as watching animation come to life. The company is delighted to premiere their newest production at home in BC, and invites everyone to join Scrooge on his haunted Christmas Eve adventure and laugh, cry, and be enchanted.
A Wonderheads Christmas Carol plays the Tidemark on Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. The show will also be performed in Courtenay, Duncan, Nanaimo, Victoria, on Salt Spring Island, and in West Vancouver and New Westminster. Show times and ticket prices vary by venue. Full information and tickets are available at https://www.wonderheads.com/tickets/