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A Christmas Carol

    by Charles Dickens, adapted by James Reynard


       

Synopsis

Comedic Drama Play Script: 'A Christmas Carol' (Play) by Charles Dickens adapted by James ReynardAn adaptation of the famous Christmas tale, designed for a small touring company, but could be played by a large cast. The audience are invited to take part if they wish as human sound effects either singly or in groups which adds to the ‘experience’! The production can also be performed using more actors and recorded sound effects without audience involvement or a mixture of both.

The play begins with an introduction by the narrator explaining to the audience about their involvement. Envelopes can be handed out with basic instructions for them, suggesting sound effects such as: ghostly wails; howling wind; bells; individual bell chimes; carol singing; clanking of chains and festive merriment. Two (or four) members of the audience can join the cast and say a few lines as characters. Cast members suggest the audience repeat certain lines, for example, toasting Scrooge, and also to join in the guessing game that Fred plays. The actors may also be required to ad-lib at times. The audience must not feel forced into taking part but should be encouraged to participate, almost in Music Hall or Pantomime style. The audience members will probably be in rows, so a whole row could be the wind or bells etc; alternatively if they are at tables each one could be a sound effect. The audience could use ‘real’ props, such as a bell for tolling, or clanking chains.

There are two versions... full length and one act.

The play can also be performed using more actors and with recorded sound effects, or without audience involvement or a mixture of both. For example, a director could cast more than five actors, as there is a cornucopia of characters. Tiny Tim and the Ghost of Christmas Future are written as puppets, but could be performed by actors, as could two members of the audience (the man and woman in the street), and the boy that Scrooge talks to at the end.

 

Characters

Full Length Version (3m, 2f minimum)

  • Ebenezer Scrooge
  • Narrator (could be Dickens) / Mr Fezziwig / Belle’s husband / Cratchit guest / Topper / Man in debt / M1 + F1 with audience members
  • Bob Cratchit / Ghost of Christmas Past
  • Fred / Mrs Cratchit / Young Belle / Older Belle / Carol singer / Caroline
  • Charity collector / Jacob Marley / Mrs Fezziwig / Ghost of Christmas Present

One Act Version (cast of 5)

  • Ebenezer Scrooge
  • Narrator (could be Dickens) / Mr Fezziwig
  • Bob Cratchit / Ghost of Christmas Past
  • Fred / Mrs Cratchit / Belle / Carol Singer
  • Charity Collector / Jacob Marley / Ghost of Christmas Present

For either version...

There are two roles that were played in the premiere production by puppets but could be actors.

  • Ghost of Christmas Future (non-speaking)
  • Tiny Tim (just one line)

       

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