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It’s the Christmas season – a time when many of us go through remembrances of our childhood Christmases. My memories always include family, singing in school productions, and the sweet anticipation of Christmas morning. A Child’s Christmas in Wales is just that type of memory play. Based on a story by Dylan Thomas, adapted for the stage by Jeremy Brooks and Adrian Mitchell, the show is a loving remembrance of Thomas’ family when he was a boy in Swansea, Wales and Christmas was the most important day of the year for his parents, his friends and the extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins.

Carmel Theatre Company has put together a warm and entertaining production, filled with familiar Christmas songs, sweet and funny storylines and an evenly talented cast of adults and children. Directed with attention to detail by Pamela Kingsley, with Music Direction by Carol Keddington, the show is a delight from start to finish.

Dalyn Stewart plays young Dylan Thomas, while Rick Sharp portrays Dylan Thomas the elder

Dalyn Stewart plays young Dylan Thomas, while Rick Sharp portrays Dylan Thomas the elder


A pre-show concert of traditional holiday songs, precisely performed by The Swansea Girl’s Choir consisting of Mackenzie Edwards, Anna Ji, Cadence Leffel and Katherine Sabens, sets the festive mood. Playing the narrator part of Dylan Thomas as a grown man is veteran actor Rick Sharp – while young actor Dalyn Stewart takes the part of the youthful Dylan. Both do an admirable job with sometimes difficult language by writer Thomas, who loved inventing poetical adjectives and adverbs. Sharp displays his lengthy stage experience in his role, while the young Mr. Stewart has a surprisingly pleasing talent for his onstage character’s lively imagination and loving family life.
A portion of the cast - kneeling: Dalyn Stewart; seated: Will Doss, David Ballard, June Clair; standing: Kurt Pantzer, Bella Doss, Ellen Gardner

A portion of the cast – kneeling: Dalyn Stewart; seated: Will Doss, David Ballard, June Clair; standing: Kurt Pantzer, Bella Doss, Ellen Gardner


The supporting cast members all provide animated portrayals of Thomas family and friends. Young Dylan’s childhood friends and cousins are very nicely offered by gifted young actors and actresses Charlie Steiner, Smith David, Delaney Hendricks, Bella Doss and Ellen Gardner. All do excellent work providing believable characters. Meanwhile, the adult actors and actresses all have fun with the various, sometimes quirky, Thomas parents, aunts, uncles and townspeople. Standout performances include those by Thom Johnson (offering expansive characterizations of a postman and Smoky, the town park attendant as well as a grouchy Uncle Tudyr) and Will Pullins (in a cameo as a save-the-day fire chief). Lori Moore’s extraordinary singing voice on the traditional Welsh song Canon Lan is another highlight of the program, as is the innovative musical support for the show offered by Ms. Keddington on the clavinova, accompanied by Bill Musick on guitar (and assorted other music makers) with Dick Leap on percussion.

All in all, A Child’s Christmas in Wales is a wonderful holiday treat with stories, songs and characters that will please every member of the family. Unfortunately this is a very limited offering by CTC. If you wish to share in the merriment, it would be worth the effort needed to make plans very soon as the show runs only through December 14, with Thursday through Saturday evening shows at 7 pm and Sunday shows at 2:30 pm. For ticket reservations and information go online to http://www.carmeltheatrecompany.com or call the reservation line at 317.688.8876.

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