A Christmas Carol - The Musical by Vyki Sabo

DOWNLOAD PRICE $7.99Add to cart

This Play is the copyright of the Author and must not be Performed or Copied without the Author's prior consent


ACT I

NARRATOR (from DL): Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt
whatever about that. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Scrooge
knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge
and he were partners for I don't know how many years. Scrooge never
painted out Old Marley's name. There it stood, years afterwards, above
the warehouse door: Scrooge and Marley.

Oh! but he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, that Scrooge! A
squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old
sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck
out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an
oyster.

External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth
could warm, no wintry weather chill him. He carried his own low
temperature always within him. The cold within him froze his old
features, nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his
walk; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in
his grating voice.

Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say,“My dear Scrooge, how are
you? When will you come to see me?” But what did Scrooge care? It was
the very thing he liked.

(lights up) Once upon a time on Christmas Eve, old Scrooge sat busy in
his counting-house. He kept a careful eye upon his clerk, who in a
dismal little corner beyond, was copying letters. The clerk's fire was
so very small that it looked like one coal. But he couldn't replenish
it, for Scrooge kept the coal-box to himself and wasn't about to
part with any of it. Wherefore the clerk put on his white comforter,
and tried unsuccessfully to warm himself with a candle. (clerk, Bob
Crachit, coughs). By and by, Scrooge's nephew dropped by.

FRED, SCROOGE'S NEPHEW: A merry Christmas, uncle! God save you!

SCROOGE: Bah! Humbug!

FRED: Christmas a humbug, uncle? You don't mean that, I am sure?

SCROOGE: I do. Merry Christmas! What reason have you to be merry?
You're poor enough.

FRED: (laughing) What reason have you to be morose, Uncle? You're rich
enough!

SCROOGE: What else but morose can I be, when I live in such a world of
fools as this? Merry Christmas! Out upon merry Christmas! If I could
work my will, every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his
lips should be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of
holly through his heart.

FRED: Uncle!

SCROOGE: Nephew! Keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in
mine.

FRED: But you don't keep it!

SCROOGE: Let me leave it alone, then. Much good may it do you! Much
good it has ever done you!

FRED: There are many things from which I might have derived good, by
which I have not profited. And I may be poor, but uncle, I truly
believe that the best things in life are free.

FRED'S SONG: "You don't Have to Be Rich"
(Scrooge's lines in quotes and parentheses)

You don't have to be rich to enjoy a hug from a child.
You don't have to be rich to enjoy a good friend's smile.
I'm telling you, there are so many things to make you happy.
Yes, you can be happy!
A kiss, what bliss!
The sun, the moon, the stars, the sky!

I'm the sort of fellow who sees the glass as half full.
You don't have to be rich, you just have to look around.
Count your blessings, the ones that don't cost a cent
And you'll find, you'll find that it's true:
You don't have to be rich to actually enjoy life too!

You don't have to be rich to enjoy a warm summer's day.
You don't have to be rich to enjoy a flower's cachet.
I'm telling you, there are so many things to make you happy.
Yes, you can be happy!
A tune to croon! ("What else have you got?")
A touch, a sigh the birds that fly! ("That's sappy, so
sappy!")

I'm the sort of fellow who sees the glass as half full.
You don't have to be rich, you just have to look around.
Count your blessings, the ones that don't cost a cent
And you'll find, you'll find that it's true:
You don't have to be rich. ("I prefer to be rich!")
You don't have to be rich to actually enjoy life too!

FRED: You see, Uncle, there are things that money can't buy!

SCROOGE: Bah!

FRED: (ignoring Scrooge) Come now, uncle, Christmas is a time to revel
in the love of family, which is freely given (scratches his ear,
puzzling) by most people, it would seem. Besides, I have always
thought of Christmas-time as a good time; a kind, forgiving,
charitable, pleasant time. It's the only time I know of, in the long
calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open
their hearts freely, and to think of people less fortunate than they.
And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or
silver in my pocket, I believe that Christmas has done me good, and
will do me good; and I say, God bless it!

(clerk applauds, immediately becomes aware of Scrooge glaring at him
and goes back to writing)

SCROOGE: (to clerk) Let me hear another sound from you and you'll keep
your Christmas by losing your situation! And you, Nephew, you're a
fool to place so little value on money.

SCROOGE'S SONG: "Money Will Buy"
(Fred's lines in quotes and parentheses)

Money will buy you porridge
Money will buy you meat
Money will buy you blankets and coal
So money can buy you heat.

Some say that money can't buy people
Well, I say, that depends.
For if I cared one whit for them,
Money could buy me friends.

And money could buy me a brand new suit,
That is, if I really cared.
But, being frugal, I prefer
To keep this one repaired.

Money will buy you porridge ("But who will you eat with?")
Money will buy you meat ("Again, with whom?
Money will buy you blankets and coal ("So what?)
So money can buy you heat. ("I'd rather snuggle with my wife,
uncle")

Some say that money can't buy people ("No, never!")
Well, I say, that depends. ("It can't, not really!")
For if I cared one whit for them, ("What's a whit?")
Money could buy me friends.
("I wouldn't be so sure of that, uncle!")

And money could buy me a brand new suit, ("Yes!")
That is, if I really cared. ("You really do need it.")
But, being frugal, I prefer
To keep this one repaired.

("Dear uncle, it's going to fall apart on you soon, dear
uncle!")
It doesn't matter.
On filthy lucre I've long been sold, for money is as good as gold!
("On the value of money, you're clearly sold; you think that
money's as good as gold.
But I've rather have my wife to hold, yes, I'd rather have my
wife to hold!")

FRED: (laughing) I really would rather have my wife to hold, uncle.
Come! Dine with us to-morrow.

SCROOGE: Good afternoon!

(carolers start "Angels We Have Heard on High" off stage)

FRED: I am sorry, with all my heart, to find you so resolute. We have
never had any quarrel to which I have been a party. But with my
invitation I have tried to honor the spirit of Christmas, and I'll
keep my Christmas humour to the last. So A Merry Christmas, uncle!

SCROOGE: Good afternoon!

NEPHEW: And A Happy New Year!

SCROOGE: Good afternoon!

NEPHEW: (to clerk) And a Merry Christmas to you!

BOB: And to you, kind sir.

(Fred exits SL, carolers now right in front of Scrooge's office,
singing. After Scrooge shoos them away, two others come into office)

CHARITABLE MAN: Scrooge and Marley's, I believe. Have I the pleasure
of addressing Mr. Scrooge, or Mr. Marley?

SCROOGE: (grumpily) Mr. Marley has been dead these seven years.

CHARITABLE MAN: We have no doubt his liberality is well represented by
his surviving partner. (Scrooge grunts.)

CHARITABLE WOMAN: At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge, it
is more than usually desirable that we should make some meaningful
provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the
present time.

SCROOGE: On what grounds should we make this "meaningful provision
for the poor and destitute"?

CHARITABLE WOMAN: (taken aback) On the grounds, sir, that we are of
common humanity, all traveling the same road toward death. We must
help the less fortunate. It is for the betterment of our souls, and
of course, it's for the common good.

SONG: "Charity"

There's a whole wide world just outside these walls,
Yes sir, a whole wide world.
There are people out in this cold, hard world,
Many, many people.

Some have no shelter, some have no food.
If you could find it in your heart, sir, to help them.
It's for the common good.

CHARITY CHARACTERS: SCROOGE (on repeat):
It's for charity, it's for charity! I don't do charity. I
don't do charity.
It's for the common good. I don't care.
It's for charity, it's for charity! I don't do charity. I
don't do charity.
It's for the common good. I don't care.

It's for men and women
And children, too, I hate children.
Their sweet, angelic faces I'll tell you what's
turn'd, it's my stomach that turn'd. upturned.

CHARITY CHARACTERS: SCROOGE (on repeat):

But it's for charity, Good, afternoon, sir.
For charity! Good afternoon, sir.
But for heaven's sake! Who cares about heaven?
For charity! I don't care.
For charity! I don't care.
It's for charity! I don't care! Bah, humbug!


SCROOGE: Ridiculous! Preposterous!

CHARITABLE MAN: But sir, many thousands are lacking common
necessities; thousands are in need of common comforts, sir.

SCROOGE: Are there no prisons?

CHARITABLE MAN: Plenty of prisons.

SCROOGE: And the Union workhouses? Are they still in operation?

CHARITABLE WOMAN: They are. Still, I wish I could say they were not.

SCROOGE: The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?

CHARITABLE MAN: Both very busy, sir.

SCROOGE: Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something
had happened to them.

CHARITABLE MAN: But sir, a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund
to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose
this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Lack is most
keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices.

CHARITABLE WOMAN: Indeed! So what shall we put you down for?

SCROOGE: Nothing!

CHARITABLE WOMAN: You wish to be anonymous?

SCROOGE: I wish to be left alone. Since you ask me what I wish, that
is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas, and I can't
afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments
I have mentioned—they cost enough; and those who are badly off must
go there.

CHARITABLE WOMAN: Many can't go there; many would rather die!

SCROOGE: If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease
the surplus population. It's not my business. It's enough for a man to
understand his own business, and not to bother with other people's. My
business occupies me constantly. And it is for that reason that I
have money, while the idle do not.


SCROOGE'S SONG: "Too Lazy, Too Stupid"

(freely:)
You come into my office here, holding out a can.
You ask me so sincerely to give to my fellow man.
Well, here is what I think of my fellow man:

That the poor are poor, it's no surprise, they're too lazy or too
stupid to be otherwise,
So take your love, take your charity, take all your feelings for
humanity.

I have worked hard all my life and I have always saved.
Others spend whate'er they get on whate'er it is they crave.

Or worse yet, they don't work at all. They'd rather wait and see
Just how much they can cunningly manage to squeeze from the rich for
free.

spoken: "Hmm ... perhaps not so stupid after all! (he thinks about
it a moment, then:) .. ach, of course they are!"

That the poor are poor, it's no surprise, they're too lazy or too
stupid to be otherwise,
So take your love, take your charity, take all your feelings for
humanity.

I spend my money frugally and I don't give to the poor.
That's why I am so rich, you see. Of that I am quite sure.

You may accuse me of insensitivity, but for those who are poor, I have
no pity!
That the poor are poor, it's no surprise, they're too lazy or too
stupid to be otherwise!

SCROOGE: (turning his back and sitting down) Good afternoon,
gentlemen!

NARRATOR: And seeing clearly that it would be useless to pursue their
point, the gentle lady and her companion withdrew. Scrooge resumed his
labours—with an improved opinion of himself, of course.

At length the hour of shutting up the counting-house arrived.

(clock strikes five. The clerk instantly snuffs his candle out, and
puts on his hat.)

SCROOGE: (not looking up) You'll want all day tomorrow off, I
suppose?

BOB: If quite convenient, sir.

SCROOGE: (to him) It's not convenient and it's not fair. If I was to
dock you half-a-crown for it, you'd think yourself ill-used, I
assume?

(clerk smiles faintly)

SCROOGE: And yet you don't think me ill-used when I pay a day's wages
for no work?

BOB: It is only once a year, sir.

SCROOGE: A poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth
of December! (pause) But I suppose you must have the whole day. Be
here all the earlier the next morning!

NARRATOR: The clerk promised that he would—and Scrooge growled.

(Blackout except for spot on Narrator, during which time Scrooge,
offstage, puts on his nightcap and slippers.)

Scrooge took his melancholy dinner in his usual melancholy tavern and
went home.

He lived in chambers which had once belonged to his deceased partner,
Marley. Oh yes, they were old enough now, and dreary and gloomy; for
nobody lived in them but Scrooge. The yard was so dark that even
Scrooge, who knew its every stone, had to grope with his hands.
Darkness was cheap, and Scrooge liked that.

Now, let it be borne in mind that Scrooge had not bestowed one thought
on Marley since his last mention that afternoon. So then, how did it
happen that Scrooge, having his key in the lock of the door, saw in
the knocker, not a knocker, but Marley's face! Though his eyes were
wide open, they were perfectly motionless. That, and the face's
livid colour, made it horrible. To say that Scrooge was not startled,
or that his blood was not conscious of a terrible sensation would be
untrue. But… he put his hand upon the key, turned it sturdily, said
"Pooh! Pooh!" to himself and walked in.

Once inside, he put on his nightcap and slippers and sat down to
read.

(Lights down on Narrator, lights up on Scrooge in DL chair. Bell
begins to ring, softly at first, then louder, then joined by other
bells until the ringing is intense and loud. The bells stop abruptly.
They are succeeded by a clanking noise, deep down below, as if some
person were dragging a heavy up the stairs. Scrooge reacts as the
noise gets louder and louder. A ghostly light appears and a
frightening, echoing voice says:)

MARLEY: (center stage) Scrooge, Scrooge, Ebenezer Scrooge!

SCROOGE: What do you want with me?

MARLEY: Much!

SCROOGE: Who are you?

MARLEY: Ask me who I was.

SCROOGE: Who were you?

MARLEY: In life I was your partner, Jacob Marley.

SCROOGE: Humbug!

MARLEY: You don't believe me.

SCROOGE: I don't. You are, no doubt, a slight disorder of the
stomach. I must have eaten my less-than-satisfactory dinner somewhat
too fast and it is coming back to haunt me now! You are an undigested
bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an
underdone potato. Terrible, terrible meal!

SONG: "Indigestion"

You're just a spot of spicy sauce, a bit of indigestion,
Some food that didn't sit quite right, but a ghost?
Out of the question!

Now where I eat is a terrible place that rats won't even be.
And the dishes are always covered with grime,
But the food is cheap, you see.

Perhaps the milk was curdled, the fish was foul,
I believe I just heard my stomach growl.
Perhaps the wine was sour, bread covered with mold,
I'll bet that chicken was seven days old!
But you know why I eat it, it's quite cheaply sold.

Yes, my stomach often troubles me; it isn't very strong.
I admit I often burp a lot. What care I if it's socially wrong?
Of course you are just some indigestion.
To me it's quite clear, you see.
You're not real, you're not a ghost.
You're just gas inside of me!

(Marley raises a frightful cry, and shakes his chain with such a
dismal and appalling noise, that Scrooge holds on tight to his chair,
to save himself from falling in a swoon.)

SCROOGE: Mercy, Dreadful apparition, mercy! Why do you trouble me?

MARLEY: Heed my words, Ebenezer Scrooge, that your fate might be
better than mine! I am doomed to wander through the world and witness
what I cannot share now, but might have shared on earth and turned to
happiness!

(Marley raises a cry and "shakes" his chains.)

SCROOGE: You are fettered. Tell me why?

MARLEY: I wear the chain I forged in life. I made it link by link, and
yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free-will, and of my own
free-will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?

Do you know the weight and length of the strong coil you bear
yourself? Your chains were as heavy and as long as this seven
Christmas-eves ago. And you have laboured on it since. It is a
ponderous chain!

[end of extract]

DOWNLOAD PRICE $7.99Add to cart

Script Finder

Male Roles:

Female Roles:

Browse Library

About Stageplays

Stageplays offers you the largest collection of Plays & Musicals in the world.

Based in the UK and the USA, we’ve been serving the online theatre community since the last century. We’re primarily a family-run business and several of us also work in professional theatre.

But we’re all passionate about theatre and we all work hard to share that passion with you and the world’s online community.

Subscribe to our theatre newsletter

We'll email you regular details of new plays and half-price special offers on a broad range of theatre titles.

Shipping

We can deliver any play in print to any country in the world - and we ship from both the US and the UK.

© 2010 - 2022 Stageplays, Inc.