by Zacch Estrada-Petersen

DAVIDSON – It’s “A Christmas Carol” like you’ve never seen it.



Davidson Community Players debuted its production of the British farce “Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol” on Nov. 29. The comedic play-within-a-play follows the story of five actors and their poor attempt to perform the Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol.”

“We had a lot of people laughing, so that’s all we could ask for,” director Matt Cosper said about the play’s opening night. “At Christmas time, we’ve gotten used to seeing really earnest productions of ‘A Christmas Carol’ or other shows like that, but this one’s really different in that it’s very irreverent and very silly.”

The production, which the cast and crew worked on for roughly a month and a half, runs just under two hours with an intermission.

“The play is over-the-top quirky,” interim artistic director Marla Brown said. “It’s very family-friendly and there’s nothing at all risqué about it, but it’s just that kind of over-the-top, ridiculous comedy. What’s nice about it is that it’s a little different for a Christmas program because it’s kind of off the beaten path, and is a little bit of a break from the traditional Christmas carols. If you go in with a willing spirit, you’ll come out laughing.”

Brown, who took over for the former artistic director just over two months ago, helps oversee and facilitate the ideas of the director. She serves as a intermediary between him and the theater.

“I kind of serve as the liaison between the director’s vision and what the resources of the theater are to provide that,” Brown said. “I also provide an outside eye for him, and every now and then I’ll pop and say ‘Well, this is what I see as an audience member; is that what you were going for?’”

The show features five cast members, all of whom act out a number of characters in the play. Veteran actress Nyra Brannan, a resident of The Pines senior living community in Davidson, is one of them.

“I’m a cute, 73-year-old lady, just having a wonderful time,” Brannan said. “It is just a hoot. The people in it are fun and the director is very creative. Everything about it is sellable.”

Brannan alone plays seven different roles and has 16 different entrances.

“I just try to remember what I’m supposed to say, when I’m supposed to say it, what accent I’m supposed to use, what I carry on for a prop and what I wear,” Brannan said, joking. “I’m 5’10” and 73 years old, and I play Tiny Tim, the Ghost of Christmas to Come and several others. Come on out if you want to laugh and see something zany, silly and fun.”