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A Christmas Carol: November 2004

By Charles Dickens, adapted for stage by Derek Bull

'A Christmas Carol' programme cover

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.

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ast Introduction
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  
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