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A Christmas Carol

by Charles Dickens. Adapted by Eric Jones


     

Synopsis

The story told by Charles Dickens needs no long-winded explanation - it's probably one of the best known Christmas stories in existence.

This musical version is true to the Dickensian original - it sets out the miserly nature of Ebenzer Scrooge, recounts the reluctant journeys of revelation he takes with the three Spirit's, and shows him at the end as a rehabilitated character, ready to take his place at the Christmas dinner table.

Surrounding Ebenezer is the large cast of the Cratchit family, the Scrooge family and friends, the Fezziwig family and employees, and various local residents and people from his past and future.

Musically, it has six songs with some lovely solos for Scrooge and Tiny Tim (a real tear-jerker) and it has a lot of chorus work. The most complex musical item is the number 'The Minister's Cat'.

This song is a ‘fun’ song, usually called, in musical theatre tradition, a list song. The skill lies in getting it right and singing it as fast as possible. The song is written in such a way that each character at Fred Scrooge’s party (or perhaps each pair or threesome) sings a line each, and each line is illustrated by a printed card revealed for the audience to see at the very moment that a particular word is sung. Twenty-six cards have A, B, C, etc on them, with the ‘A’ card being revealed on the word ‘Able’. Once the song has been sung once, Topper (one of the guests) invites everyone to try again and sing it faster still. They do so, and with careful choreography they gradually form a line along the front of the stage (rather than sitting or standing in party mode). The players pretend to get mixed up; changing places continually (although always revealing the correct card at the right moment).

By the time they get to the end of the song the audience believe they are hopelessly confused. But on the final word of the final line they all show their alphabet cards to the audience, but they show the reverse of them on which are yet another set of letters revealing the title of the song - THE MINISTER’S CAT! (Thus proving that the cast knew what they were doing all along!) It usually results in an explosion of applause.

Ideal for groups that produce a Christmas fund-raiser in between their main shows, or perhaps in the absence of, or maybe taking the place of a panto as an alternative piece of traditional Christmas theatre.

It has a relatively short running time: Act 1, 55mins; Act 2, 45 mins


Characters

Principals (6m, 3f, 1m/f; 1 child male) All either sing solo and/or have 15+ lines
  Ebenezer Scrooge
  Bob Cratchit : his clerk
  Fred Scrooge : his nephew
  The Ghost of Jacob Marley
  The Spirit of Christmas Past : (male or female)
  The Spirit of Christmas Present : (usually male)
  Tiny Tim Cratchit : Bob Cratchit’s young disabled son
  Mr Fezziwig : the employer of Scrooge, Wilkins and other apprentices
  Mrs Cratchit
  Mrs Fred Scrooge
  Woman 3
  Old Joe : what used to be called a rag-and-bone dealer
 
Support
  Adult Speaking Parts (11m, 7f, 8m/f; 1 youth male)
    Caroller : (male or female)
    Gruel Seller : (male or female)
    Woman 1
    Woman 2 : in debt to Scrooge, with children
    Grocer (male or female)
    Charity Gentlemen 1 & 2
    Apprentice Scrooge : teenager/youth, full of fun (could double with Young Scrooge)
    Dick Wilkins : a friend of Apprentice Scrooge
    Mrs Fezziwig
    Young Scrooge : as a young man, engaged, about 20 years old.
    Belle : to whom Scrooge is engaged
    Belle’s Husband : whom Belle eventually marries
    Old Miner
    Miner's Wife
    Sea Captain
    Lighthouse Keepers 1 & 2 : (male or female)
    Victoria : a guest at Fred Scrooges’s party
    Topper : another guest at Fred Scrooges’s party (male)
    Businessmen 1, 2 & 3 : (male)
    Laundress : a working woman circa 1840
    Undertakers’ Man (or Wife) : (male or female)
    Poulterer : (male or female)
    Stallholder : (male or female)
  Child/Youth Speaking Parts (3m, 2f, 3m/f)
    Child : (male or female)
    Boy Scrooge : a schoolboy
    Ellen Scrooge : his sister
    Martha Cratchit : the oldest Cratchit child
    Peter Cratchit : a young teenager
    Young Cratchit 1 & 2 : (male or female)
    Boy in the street : small boy to carry a large turkey
  Non-Speaking Parts
    The Spirit of Christmas Yet-to-Come : (male or female, face unseen)
    Maid : tidies up at the Scrooge’s party (could be a member of the stage crew)
    Belle’s Children
    The Child Ignorance : very stylised, evil (male or female)
    The Child Want : very stylised, evil (male or female)
 

Chorus of townsfolk, soldier and his lady, beggar, blind man, stallholders, lamp-lighter, children, apprentices, young Fezziwigs, fiddler, guests at the Scrooge party, pallbearers.


Songs

  1) Prologue Orchestra
  2) Christmas In London Carollers (& Bob Cratchit)
  3) Mean Scrooge & Chorus
  4) Happy Christmas Fezziwig & Party Guests
  5) Release – Melos Orchestra
  6) Tiny Tim’s Song Tiny Tim
  7) Reprise - Tiny Tim’s Song Company (except Scrooge)
~~ Interval ~~  
  8) The Minister’s Cat Party Guests
  9) Brand New Day Scrooge
10) Curtain Calls Company

     

Information for Production Administrators

Here's a list of all the supporting material available and some other information you might need. Pricing for the production materials is supplied automatically with a Perusal Set. Royalty pricing can only be provided as a formal quotation.

Available now (see below) ...
 
Preview Script/Libretto
You can download straightaway a shortened copy of the script/libretto to read and get a relatively good picture of whether you would like to proceed to the next step. The Preview E-Script is made available to you as a pdf file sized for A4 paper and contains just over half of the script.libretto.
Perusal Set
These are available for customers in European Union countries only to borrow free of charge (but you have to pay the postage to return the set to us). The set contains ...
 
  • Printed Libretto (Cast Version, see below)
  • Printed Piano/Vocal Score
  • Demo CD
Available after Perusal ...
 
Libretti/Vocal Scores

Available to purchase as ...

  • Rehearsal Master Set on a Data CD. This contains the script and piano vocal score for your cast and crew provided as A4 pdf files. No problem about possible loss of deposit, as they are yours to print out and mark up as required. The price includes a multiple copying licence allowing you to copy the Data CD itself (enabling you to give or sell copies to your cast for them to make up their own rehearsal books) or to make multiple prints of the pdf's on the Data CD for your production company to organise and provide to your cast or crew.

Please note that we do not sell individual printed copies of libretti, nor do we hire sets of printed rehearsal libretti or scores.

Available after Rights Obtained ...
 
Backing Tracks
For use in support of your rehearsal pianist, or for use during performances.
Orchestrations
These are available for a 5 piece band as below, for hire to production companies only, who hold a valid, unexpired, licence to perform.
 
  • Piano
  • Synth (chimes, strings, clarinet, vibraphone, brass etc)
  • Flute
  • Contrabass
  • Guitar
Royalty Type
Royalties for this title are 'variable fee, post paid', and will be calculated on a percentage of your box office income once your production has finished. We work on a quotation system for royalties, based on information you supply to us. Complete a printed application form or, create account with us, and use the online version.
Video Licence
We have secured the rights to video productions of this title from the Author, and we manage them on his behalf. Once a 'Licence To Perform' has been granted, and then on payment of a fee, we will be able to issue a 'Licence To Record'. There are some strings attached to this, but these are far outweighed by the benefits.
 
  • Record one or more live performances and mix down to a single video
  • Give or sell copies to your cast and crew
  • Sell copies to your audiences (take advance bookings on the night)

Order your free preview script or perusal material now ...

 
  • Preview E-Script (A Christmas Carol) Musical
    £0.00 Preview E-Script (A Christmas Carol) Musical
    A free preview script containing a significant part of the full script and provided as a pdf file sized for A4 paper.
  • Perusal Set
    £0.00 Perusal Set
    PLEASE NOTE : We operate a FREE Perusal Service, but due to the cost of postage/shipping, we regret that Perusal Sets are ONLY available to customers who reside in the United Kingdom (inc Channel Islands and Isle Of Man)...
  • Rehearsal Master Set
    £0.00 Rehearsal Master Set
    Rehearsal Master Sets (RMS) are available to purchase, once your production has been licensed. You will need the 5 digit licence reference number (see above). An RMS contains (with exceptions, see below) the script and...
  • Royalty Quotation Form
    £0.00 Royalty Quotation Form
    The rights to perform and record for all the titles in our catalogue (with exceptions) are managed by Stagescripts Ltd. A royalty fee must be paid: whether the play is presented for charity or for...
  • Backing Tracks (Performance)
    £0.00 Backing Tracks (Performance)
    Sets of Backing Tracks on CD (or 2 x CD for some titles) to use during performances (or rehearsals). The price will be shown after you select the title required. In order to purchase this item, you must be in possession of...



You can add Preview Scripts, Perusal Scripts and E-Scripts together in one order,
but please keep Printed Scripts and Script Copying Licences in separate orders.