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Omar Benson in A Christmas Carol

by Lucille Nolasco

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Omar Benson
Omar with his proud parents, Contessa Mendoza-Benson and Raymond Benson

Charles Dickens’ beloved novel A Christmas Carol comes to life on stage November 23 to December 16, at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Just in time for the holiday season, the show is local playwright Bruce McManus’ wonderful adaptation of a classic tale of compassion, hope and redemption that the whole family will love.

With a cast led by Rob Paterson as Ebenezer Scrooge, the play also features young Filipino-Canadian actor Omar Benson who plays not just one, but three different characters. In one role he is Peter Crachit, a less fortunate teen in a family whose father makes everything better, happier and as normal as possible. Another character he plays is Dick, a business apprentice with Mr. Fezziwig, who strives to succeed in life. In his third role, Omar plays a young prisoner.

“I am honoured and delighted to take part and play different characters,” said Omar. “It’s a blessing to be part of this amazing and strong show. My great, great grandpa on my Dad’s side was from England so it’s nice to honour part of my heritage, besides being a Filipino.”

Fifteen-year-old Omar said that one special part of his preparation to play the different characters was to speak with a believable British accent.

“It’s my first time doing a British accent so when I was asked to audition I had to speak with a British accent and make it believable. Also, Peter is my main role, but I also needed to prepare for the other different personalities.”

Omar has worked in professional theater and film productions since he was six years old. This is his second production with Royal Manitoba Theater Centre (MTC), the first being A Christmas Story when he was 11. He also featured with Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Nutcracker, Rainbow Stage’ Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, and others.

A Christmas Carol, sometimes also called The Ghost of Christmas, tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an old miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and is transformed into a kinder, gentler man.

“It’s a very heart warming show and a very family-oriented show” said Omar.

It really shows you how much Christmas spirit can help others bring joy. Everyone can always be happier in life. It’s very enjoyable and easy to watch. So thank you to everyone for your support!”

For show times and ticket information, call the Royal MTC box office at

204-942-6537 or visit www.royalmtc.ca.