FEZZIWIG'S WAREHOUSE DANCE PARTY

AT THE DICKENS CHRISTMAS FAIR

    

 

Remember that Fezziwigs is a work party, where friends and neighbors have been invited. The correct people to be at the Fezziwig's party are employees and neighbors: "In came the housemaid, with her cousin, the baker. In came the cook, with her brother’s particular friend, the milkman. In came the boy from over the way, who was suspected of not having board enough from his master; trying to hide himself behind the girl from next door but one, who was proved to have had her ears pulled by her mistress."

 These are the characters mentioned in the text of A Christmas Carol. In addition to these characters actors may also play other employees, friends, and family members. But we would ideally like to have as many of these specific characters in the cast as we can.

 

Mr. Fezziwig
Mrs. Fezziwig
Young Ebenezer Scrooge
Dick Wilkins
The Three Fezziwig Daughters
The Six Young Followers whose hearts they broke
The men and women employed in the business
The Housemaid
The Baker
The Cook
The Milkman
The boy from over the way
The girl from next door but one

 

 BUILDING A CHARACTER

An important step in creating a character for Fezziwig's is to take the Characterization classes at workshops, but don’t be afraid to start on your own. Remember that a character has both a personality and a physical presence. Work at your character both from the outside and from the inside. You may choose to model your character on a minor character from Dickens novels or just make something up.

Outward Presentation:

· Go to a public place for an hour. Watch people.
· Find 3 different ways of sitting, standing, using your hands.
· Ask yourself “would my character do that? If not, why not?”
· Decide how your character walks, stands, sits.
· Stand like a Victorian.
· If possible, spend some time in your costume. Victorian clothing restricted movement much more than modern clothing does. This will affect how your character moves.
· If you can find a book on etiquette, adopt one of its less gross flaws. Etiquette books tell people not to do things that they are in fact doing all the time.
· If you are lucky enough to be playing a Dickens character who has a characteristic turn of phrase such as Mr. Wemmock referring to his father as “the aged P” or Mr. Fezziwig’s “Hilli ho!”, not to mention Scrooge’s “Bah, Humbug!” Practice it!
· Find something that you can wear or carry that shows your station in life and your own or your family’s profession.
· Look at pictures. Picture yourself in them, relating to those people.

Internal Characterization:

Create your back story.

· What kind of people raised you? If not your parents, who were they?
· How were you treated and what has it done to you?
· Do you have sisters and brothers?
· How do you relate to them now you are an adult?
· What do you do all day? How do you get your living? Do you like the work you do?
· What kind of place do you live in and who shares it
· Who can you trust? If you had a bad nightmare, is there anyone in your life you could tell? Who is your best friend?
· What do you like best to eat? What will you have for Christmas dinner? What did you have for breakfast?
· What is your favorite Christmas Carol? What is your favorite dance? What is your favorite parlour game
· Where are you in terms of this world’s wealth? What is the largest sum of money you have ever had at once?
· What do you daydream about? What are your hopes?
· What do you not have that you think you can achieve?What can you not ever aspire to achieve?
· Make up 3 incidents that happened to you. Have these at the ready to tell a stranger.
· How do you know the Fezziwigs? Which one are you closest to?
· What makes you tick?

Putting it all together:

· How do you introduce yourself to people in character?
· How do you ask them to dance? Shyly? With a fancy speech? Expecting the answer yes?
· How does your character go right hands round in Sir Roger? Back to Back?
· How would your character explain the game of Minister's Cat?
· If you meet a family group, do you speak first to the father, mother, child, girl or boy?
· What does your body language say as you approach customers? Eager friendliness? Delighted expectation? Shy pleasure?
· How do you suggest sitting out a dance if a customer is enjoying talking with you but can't or won't dance just now?
· For good practice, write a page using your character’s voice. It can be a letter or a page out of your character’s diary.


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