A Christmas Carol: November 2004
By Charles Dickens, adapted for stage by Derek Bull
The tale begins on a "cold, bleak, biting" Christmas Eve exactly seven years after the death of Ebenezer Scrooge's business partner Jacob Marley. Scrooge is established as "a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner!" who has no place in his life for kindness, compassion, charity or benevolence. He hates Christmas, calling it "humbug,". His only "Christmas gift" is allowing his overworked, underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit Christmas Day off with pay – which he does only to keep with social custom, Scrooge considering it "a poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth of December!"
Returning home that evening, Scrooge is visited by Marley's ghost. Marley warns Scrooge to change his ways lest he undergo the same miserable afterlife as himself. Scrooge is then visited by three additional ghosts—each in its turn, and each visit detailed in a separate stave—who accompany him to various scenes with the hope of achieving his transformation.
The first of the spirits, the Ghost of Christmas Past, takes Scrooge to Christmas scenes of his boyhood and youth, which stir the old miser's gentle and tender side by reminding him of a time when he was more innocent. They also what made Scrooge the miser that he is, and why he dislikes Christmas.
The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, takes Scrooge to several differing scenes. One is the family feast of Scrooge's impoverished clerk Bob Cratchit, introducing his youngest son, Tiny Tim, who is seriously ill but cannot receive treatment due to Scrooge's unwillingness to pay Cratchit a decent wage.
The third spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, harrows Scrooge with dire visions of the future, includingTiny Tim's death as well as Scrooge's own death. Scrooge's own neglected and untended grave is then revealed, prompting the miser to aver that he will change his ways in hopes of changing these "shadows of what may be."
Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning with joy and love in his heart, sending a prize turkey to the Cratchit home for Christmas dinner. Scrooge has become a different man overnight and now treats his fellow men with kindness, generosity and compassion, gaining a reputation as a man who embodies the spirit of Christmas.
Scroll down for photos, cast and crew.
|Mrs. Cratchit: Sarah Westlake||Director: Derek Bull|
|Tiny Tim: Gary Higgs||Stage Manager: Tony Chadwick|
|City Gentleman 1: Greg Pope||Props: Lorraine Pope, Janet Lawrence|
|City Gentleman 2: Neil Batchelor||Prompt: Helen Sawyer|
|Bob Cratchit: David Bonnington||Set Design and Artwork: Ted Walker|
|Scrooge: Colin Prentice||Lighting and Sound: Jonathan Emery|
|Fred: David Stirling||Costumes: Libby Henshaw|
|Boy Carol Singer: Eddy Townsend||Publicity and Photography: Ben Britton|
|Girl Carol Singer: Katie Scarf||Scenery Changes: Tony Chadwick, David Williams|
|Marley's Ghost: Carl Denis|
|Spirit of Christmas Past: Val Bull|
|Scrooge as a Boy: Eddy Townsend|
|Little Fan: Katie Scarf|
|Fezziwig: Neil Batchelor|
|Young Scrooge: Philip Broughton|
|Young Marley: Joel Vanlint|
|Elizabeth: Michaela Randell|
|Spirit of Christmas Present: Graham Blyth|
|Older Elizabeth: Jenny Hodgkinson|
|Archie: Greg Pope|
|Peter Cratchit: Philip Alexandrou|
|Martha Cratchit: Nicola Alexandrou|
|Agnes: Bernie Alexandrou|
|Spirit of Ignorance: Eddy Townsend|
|Spirit of Want: Katie Scarf|
|Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come: Graham Blyth|
|City Gentleman 3: John Hodkinson|
|Old Joe: Peter Thrower|
|Mrs. Dibler: June Cooper|
|Laundress: Jane Hodson|
|Em: Michaela Randell|
|Father: Derek Bull|
|Boy in Street: Eddy Townsend|