Lost in Translation

Last night I saw a stage adaptation of the classic 1983 film A Christmas Story. There were strong performances from the actors playing Mrs. Parker, The Old Man (Mr. Parker) and Ralphie. However, the narration that works so well in the film did not work at all on stage. Seeing this live narrator over and over ruined my willing suspension of disbelief. It kept yanking me out of the story and reminding me it is all a play.

Writing guru, Robert McKee, believes narration in film should only be used if it is not needed (as counterpoint). I’m thinking the rule on stage should be: never.

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