You are on page 1of 16

Scrooge [Huge snore – wakes him up] Oh, oh, STEAM MACHINE

oh! No Spirit then! [Sighs with relief]


They have given up on me!

Mrs M I hope not!

Marley There are two more. I hope will be


fulfilled.

Scrooge Perhaps I shall rest a little more


before going to the office. I am not
getting any younger after…

Spirit 2 [A disembodied voice behind tabs]


Scrooge! Scrooge! Come in! Come in
and know me better, man!

Scrooge [Enters with head hanging]


PROPS
Spirit 2 [Is seated on a throne] I am the ghost High and half staging
of Christmas present! Look upon me! The Chair

Scrooge [He looks up and gasps; he then


shields his eyes]

Spirit 2 You have never seen the like of me


before.

Scrooge [Between his hands, nods head] Never!

Spirit 2 How many years have you wasted,


Ebenezer Scrooge!

Scrooge Spirit, conduct me where you will. I


only went with the first spirit on
compulsion. But it taught me a lesson
which is working now. If you have
aught to teach me, let me profit by it.
[Walk down and help stand the one and a
half staging on top of one another. Re-arrange the
They stand on it] staging

Spirit 2 Hold my robe, Ebenezer.


PROPS
Congregation [All come on and sit on floor in rows. Cross
A minister stands with a cross]

Scrooge You are flying! 1


Spirit 2 [Hands on hips] Ho! Ho! Ho! We are
flying, Ebenezer Scrooge

Scrooge A church!

CAROL [2 verses then script then two verses]

Scrooge Christmas spirit.

Spirit 2 I am here, Scrooge.

Scrooge No, below us. They are so happy, so


happy! STEAM MACHINE

Spirit 2 [Moving off the stages and down to PROPS


the front] Not all can be happy at this Window for prison
time, Scrooge.

Scrooge But it’s Christmas!

Spirit 2 Do you mean humbug? Marley and Mrs M


nudge one another
Scrooge I don’t know what I mean…

Spirit 2 It’s humbug for those you see here.


But then they deserve it, don’t they
Ebenezer?
2
Scrooge Where are we?

Spirit 2 Prison, of course. The prisons that


you are happy to support, Ebenezer
Scrooge.

Guard [From CSR: Shoving Mr Welp in front


of him] In ‘ere you. Through there!

Mr Welp But it wasn’t my fault!

Guard The leather wallet accidentally fell


into your pocket did it?

Mr Welp But I had no choice.

Guard No choice? We all have choices,


Welp. The right ones and the wrong
ones.

Mr Welp You don’t understand. My family…


we’ve no food. No rent… I owe Mr
Scrooge…

Guard Well, more fool you then!

Mr Welp We’d have been turned out of our


home. I had to get the money
somehow…

Guard Or it would have been the workhouse


for you?

Mr Welp Yes, yes, exactly!

Guard Then that’s where you deserve to be,


you young wastrel!

But - you’ve chosen prison instead. STEAM MACHINE

[Turns Welp around and holds onto his


collar and drags him off USL]

Don’t worry, the rest of your family


will be safe and sound – in the
workhouse!

Marley [Shakes head] You do wonder whether


we should be trying to save him.

Mrs M. [Big shrug of shoulders]

Spirit 2 Scrooge? 3
Scrooge Perhaps I was a bit harsh. But I didn’t
know…

Spirit 2 Didn’t know?

Scrooge Well, I didn’t understand…

Spirit 2 You did not ask. You are not


interested in people, Scrooge. Just in STROBE LIGHTING
profit. Hold my robe. [They drift away]

Scrooge [Looks around him] Where are we STAGING: FULL and


now? HALF
Spirit 2 [Laughs] Where else but the
workhouse! This is where you are
happy to put your money. Yes, they
are still ‘in operation’, Ebenezer
Scrooge!

Scrooge But, but… They do keep families off


the streets…

Spirit 2 But not as families, Ebenezer. [Turns


to look around them]

Warden And who have we here?

Mrs Welp Mrs Welp. And here is Serafina and…


and young Philip.

Warden [Sarcastic] What a Merry Christmas


I’m sure it will be for you all.

Mrs Welp Why thank you kind…

Warden Quiet woman. Go through there. [USR]

Mrs Welp Come Serafina, Philip…

Warden No, no no! You go there I said.

Mrs Welp But what about my children?

Warden [menacingly] Oh, they’ll be taken care


of, don’t worry.

You boy! Through there! [Points to CSL]


Girl. Through there! [Serafina does
not move, frozen to the spot]
4
Mrs Welp Oh, but you can’t separate us. We are
a family!

Warden Oh, but I can!

Mrs Welp But it’s Christmas!

Warden [Bites back] Not in the workhouse it STEAM MACHINE


isn’t! [Proceeds to shove the
family in different directions]

Scrooge [Shocked] What is he doing?

Spirit 2 He is making sure that the workhouse


is ‘operating’ efficiently.

Scrooge But I didn’t know… [He stops, knowing


that he has said this before]

Spirit 2 [Laughs] You only know about making


money, don’t you Scrooge? [Slaps him
on the back, jovially]

Scrooge Take me away from here, cruel Spirit.

Spirit2 Is seeing the truth so cruel, Ebenezer


Scrooge? Anyway, there is more to
see here. [Holds out his hand to
Scrooge] Let me give you a tour.

Scrooge What are they doing?

Spirit 2 It is not called a workhouse for


nothing! They are working. They pick
at the thick ropes in order to extract
oakum. To make new ropes with.

Scrooge But there little fingers are bleeding…

Spirit 2 Their ‘little fingers’ are said to be very


proficient at such work.

But come. I can show you the way out


for those suffering such torture.

Scrooge I am glad of it, Spirit, I am truly glad.

Spirit 2 [The Spirit moves Scrooge onwards. STROBE LIGHTING?


There is a good deal of coughing]

5
Spirit 2 This is the infirmary.

For the infirm, the sick. The longer


the stay in the workhouse, the more
likely you will visit the Infirmary.

Scrooge But once you are in the workhouse…

Spirit 2 It is almost impossible to get out? Oh


but you can. And this is just the
place for it. Some call it the morgue.

Scrooge [Shocked] The morgue? For the dead?

Spirit 2 As doornails. It’s a joke of the


inmates.

Scrooge I don’t find it amusing.

Marley You’ve got to admit it. That Spirit is


good at this.

Mrs M Yes, perhaps there is hope for us yet!.

Song: ‘Time to Remember the Poor’

Cold winter is come, with its cold chilling breath


And the leaves are all gone from the trees.
And all seems touched by the finger of death
And the streams are beginning to freeze.
When the young wanton lads o’er the river slide,
When Flora attends us no more,
When in plenty you are sittingby a warm fireside:
That’s the time to remember the poor.

The cold feather’d snow will in plenty descend


And whiten the prospects around.
The keen cutting wind from the North will attend
And cover it over the ground.
When the hills and the dales are all candied with
white
And the rivers are froze on the shore,
When the bright twinkling stars they proclaim the
cold night:
That’s the time to remember the poor.

6
The thaw shall ensue and the waters increase
And the rivers vehemently grow;
The fish from oblivion obtains its release
And in danger the travellers go.
When your minds are annoyed by the wide
swelling flood
And your bridges are useful no more;
When in plenty you enjoy everything that is good
Do you grumble to think of the poor?

The time will come when our Saviour on Earth


All [the] world shall agree with one voice.
All nations unite to salute the blest morn
And the whole of the Earth shall rejoice.
When grim death deprived of its killing sting
And the grave rules triumphant no more
Saints, angels and men Hallelujah shall sing
Then the rich must remember the poor.

[They all move forward, dreamlike – behind them


the stage is being set for the Cratchets]

7
Spirit 2 Do you remember the poor at
Christmas, Scrooge?

Scrooge You know that I do not.

Spirit2 Not Cratchet?

Scrooge Cratchet? Cratchet? He’s my clerk!

Spirit 2 Precisely, your clerk. On 15 shillings


a week.
PROPS
Scrooge But… • Fireplace
• Fire
Spirit 2 [Shakes head] Hold my robe.
• Table and chairs
Mrs C [With Belinda, puts the table cloth on • Food/dishes for
the table] the table
• Window
Mrs C Peter. You can start putting the food
on the table.

Peter Yes, mother.

Mrs C You too Belinda.

Dora/Thomas [Run in and rush about the table] It’s


Martha, it’s Martha! She’s here!

Martha [Enters]

Dora/Thomas There’s such a goose, Martha!

Mrs C [Hugging her and taking off her bonnet


and shawl] Why bless your heart alive,
my dear. How late you are!

Martha We had so much to clear up…

Mrs C Never mind, you are here now. Sit by


the fire dear, and have a warm.
[sitting her down]

Dora/Thomas [Looking out of the window] No! No!


Father is coming! Hide Martha, hide!

Martha [Hides]

Cratchit
Tim [Both enter, Cratchit stops still] Why,
where’s our Martha?

Mrs C Not coming. 8


Cratchit Not coming? Not coming upon Christmas
day?

Dora/Thomas [Take Tiny Tim out]

Martha [Runs out and hugs Cratchit] Papa! Papa!

Mrs C And how did little Tim behave?

Cratchit As good as gold. He is so thoughtful.


Coming home, he said that he hoped
that a lot of people had seen him in
Church. Then they could remember on
Christmas Day, who made lame
beggars walk and blind men see.

Tiny Tim [Re-enters with Dora and Thomas]

Mrs C I’ve been hearing what a good boy you


have been! [Gives Tim a kiss] It’s time!

Dora/Thomas [Clap hands excitedly] It’s time! It’s


time!

All [All sit down]


PROPS
Mrs C [Comes in with the goose] Here it is! Goose
Christmas pudding
Cratchit Mrs Cratchit, you have surpassed
yourself!

Mrs C You deserve it working for that Mr


Scrooge!

All [Bang their knives on the table and shout]


Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

All [Eat all the food]

Dora/Thomas Pudding! Pudding!

Mrs C All in good time, my little piggies! [Goes


out, fetches the pudding. Re-enters]

Cratchit [Takes a bite] Mrs Cratchit! What a


wonderful pudding. Your greatest success
since the bells rang out at our wedding!

All [Eat the Pudding. All sit back with a sigh]

Cratchit A Merry Christmas to us all, my dears!


God bless us. 9
Tiny Tim God bless us every one!

Scrooge Spirit. Tell me if Tiny Tim wll live?

Mrs M [Nudges Marley] Look, he cares, he


cares!

Marley Sshhh!

Spirit 2 I see a vacant seat and a crutch


without an owner. If these shadows
remain unaltered by the Future, the
child will die.

Scrooge No, no. Oh no, kind Spirit! Say he will


live!

Spirit 2 Why your concern, Ebenezer Scrooge?


If he be like to die, he had better do it,
and decrease the surplus population.

Scrooge [Folds in on himself; Falls to his


knees, and bows his head] No, no, no!

Cratchit [Raises his glass] Mr Scrooge!

Scrooge [He looks up in surprise at the sound


of his own name]

Cratchit I give you Mr Scrooge, the founder of


our Feast.

Mrs C. [Indignant] The Founder of the Feast,


indeed! I wish I had him here. I’d give
him a piece of my mind to feast upon.

Cratchit My dear, the children; Christmas Day.

Mrs C. It could only be Christmas Day on


which one can drink the health of
such an odious, stingy, hard and
unfeeling man as Mr Scrooge. You
know he is Robert. No-one knows
better than you!

Cratchit My dear, Christmas Day!

Mrs C I’ll drink his health for your sake and


the Day’s, not for his. [Raises her
glass, all echo her] Long life to him!
10
A merry Christmas and a happy New
Year! [Shakes head] He’ll be very
merry and very happy, and very rich - I
have no doubt!

Spirit 2 They talk of the ‘deserving poor’ yet


they end up in the workhouse. Are
you the ‘deserving rich’, Scrooge? And
where are you going to end up?

Scrooge [Shakes head] Take me away from


here. Take me far away!

Mrs M [Nods admiringly] He’s hard that Spirit.

Marley Just what old Scrooge needs!

ALTERNATIVE: FLYING
Welsh Carol
Fisherman’s Carol

11
5
X10

Fred [Laughs]

Lizzie [Begins to laugh with him]

All [Laugh]

Fred He really did say that Christmas was


humbug. As I live!

Lizzie More shame him, Fred!

Fred He’s certainly a comical old fellow, that’s


the truth. But his offences will carry
their own punishment, I am sure of
that. I have nothing to say against
him!

Lizzie I am sure he is very rich, Fred.

Fred What of that my dear, his wealth is of no


use to him. He doesn’t do any good
with it!

Lizzie Well, I have no patience with him!

All [All say variously: Nor I; Nor I; absolutely


not etc]

Fred Oh, I have! I am sorry for him; I

(Continued)

12
couldn’t be angry with him if I tried.
He is the one who suffers! He dislikes
us, and so will not come to dine with
us!

Topper And it’s all the merrier for that.

Fred Topper!

Topper Well, it’s true! I have never heard a


kind word from him about you and as
for Lizzie…

Fred Topper!

Topper Besides [Looking at Philomena] –


there would be uneven numbers for
dancing. And that would lead to
disappointment. What do you
think, Philomena?
Scrooge: he joins in with the games
Philomena [Embarrassed] Oh, Topper! and so is particularly mortified by
the game of ‘Twenty Questions’
Fred Let’s have a dance!

All [Dance] MUSIC


Mozart Minuet
All [Blind Man’s Buff. Fred started and ‘found’
no-one. Topper took over. They
bumped into him – he pretended not to
catch them. Topper pursued
Philomena all around the room.]

Lizzie Are you sure that you could not see,


Topper.

Topper Oh, absolutely. Blind as a bat, old girl!

Fred [A game of Twenty Questions revolving


around Scrooge. Fred can only say
yes or no to the questions raised. All PROPS
have a glass of wine. (75)] 6 glasses of wine

Okay. You must guess what I am.

Georgie Oh good! I like this game!

Cora I love it too Georgie. Bags first question!


First question! First Question!
13
Fred Fire away, Cora! Scrooge

Cora Are you an animal?

Fred Well, I suppose I am.

Lizzie You can only say ‘yes’ or ‘no’, Fred.

Fred Sorry! Yes.

Lizzie Do you live in Africa? Asia?

Fred No.

Georgie Europe?

Fred So much closer, old chap!

Lizzie Fred!

Fred [Holds up hands and pulls a face] Okay, yes


or no, yes or no. England!
Philomena London!

Fred Yes.
A wren!
Cora Do you have feathers?

Fred No.
A horse!
Philomena Do you have four legs? [Fred shakes
head: says’No’ when Lizzie stares]
[at same time as
Cora No legs! Georgie] …snake
Georgie A snake!

Fred Georgie! Far too quick. A snake is not an


animal, it’s a reptile and besides - you
did not give me a chance to answer
Cora’s question. No.

Lizzie Not two legs!

Fred Yes. Come on Topper! Have a shot! [Holds hands up and


wide, does not know]
Topper It’s not my sort of game, Fred. But if
you insist. A performing bear.

Fred No.

Philomena And Topper, that’s awful! It’s awful! 14


Topper [Hands up in defence, shrugs] You [Scrooge now simply
wanted me to have a go. looks from player to
player, getting
Cora One of us. increasingly
Fred No. concerned/upset]

Philomena A relation.

Topper Don’t be daft, Philomena! [She looks


upset; e.g. fingers to mouth. Topper
realises his mistake, punches a hand
in his palm. Philomena turns away
from him]

Fred Yes!

Georgie Not grumpy!

Fred Yes!

Cora Not hard as flint!

Fred Yes!

Philomena Not miserly!

Fred Yes!

Lizzie I have it, I have it. Your uncle…


STEAM MACHINE
All [In long low moan] Scroooooooge!

Fred Now, now. [Fred raises his finger] Uncle


Scrooge has given us much
merriment. It would be ungrateful not
to drink his health.

Lizzie But Fred…

Fred It is Christmas.

Lizzie [Little shrug and then holds up her


glass]
Uncle Scrooge!

All Uncle Scrooge!

Scrooge [Shakes his head] Do they mean it,


Spirit?
15
Mrs M. What did they mean?

Marley No idea. But has it changed him? He


does not care what they think anyway! PROPS for Spirit 2
Spirit 2 Hold my coat. White wig

? MUSIC INTERLUDE

Scrooge Spirit, your hair is grey. Are spirits’


lives so short? 2 children: ‘ignorance’ and ‘want’

Spirit 2 My life upon this globe is very brief. It


ends tonight.

Scrooge Tonight?

Spirit 2 Tonight at midnight.

Scrooge [Scrooge notices something under the


Spirit’s cape] Spirit. There is
something strange; in your coat….Is it
a foot or a claw?

Spirit 2 It might be a claw, but look, Ebenezer


Scrooge. Look here! [The spirit opens
its coat]

Scrooge [Leapt back]

Mrs M [Leapt back]

Marley [Leapt back]

Scrooge Spirit! Are they yours?

Spirit 2 They are Man’s. And they cling to me. SOUND EFFECT
This boy is Ignorance. The girl is Tolling of the bell 12
Want. Beware them both, but most of times
all beware this boy. On his brow is
written ‘Doom’!

Scrooge Have they nowhere to go?


EFFECT
Spirit 2 Are there no prisons? Are there no
The Spirit of
workhouses?
Christmas Present
Scrooge [DCS: At each statement (a) falls to becomes Christmas
his knees (b) bows his head] future

16