Bringing a character to life is one thing for an actor, but bringing an author to life and playing him while you are taking on his imagined characters is quite another.
Local actor Michael Edgar will reprise his role as Charles Dickens for several readings of the author's beloved Christmas novel this weekend.
A Christmas Carol by Dickens is well known for its tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his encounters with the ghost of Marley, and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come.
Edgar has been passionate about the work and life of Dickens for a long time and has taken on the role of Dickens before in another performance.
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The actor's early fascination of Dickens grew when he was performing in another show a long time ago and became drawn to the idea of authors performing readings of their works to an audience.
"[Dickens] found a way to theatricalise the readings without going too far," he said.
"I think he was a pioneer in bringing that particular style, somewhere between straight reading and fully acting out.
"He obviously was a very good actor."
Edgar said the author often spent more time reading than writing in his later years, and found it fascinating Dickens, as a successful author, still felt the need to perform even with that success.
"His first ambition was to be an actor," Edgar said.
"It was almost as though he always needed that sense of affection and love [even in writing]."
Dickens was made to work from a young age and according to Edgar, never got over the shock or sense of betrayal from his family.
However, he became a workaholic and devoted much of his time to working and his creative talents.
Edgar said when Dickens would write he would stand up and act it out in front of a mirror, putting on a show for himself while writing the character on the page.
"[The chartacters] do read very well."
The actor said while he did not have a ritual before the show to become Dickens, all the research he had previously undertaken on the man was preparation enough.
"I can't use my eyebrows the way he could...but the style [of acting] he was using I can try and work towards."
Edgar's favourite Dickens novel was Great Expectations as he got to know the story early on and read it several times.
Charles Dickens Reads A Christmas Carol will run for 95 minutes including interval at the Earl Arts Centre.
The remaining performances are on December 19 at 1pm and 7pm, and December 20 at 1pm.
Tickets are available to purchase through https://theatrenorth.com.au.