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Christmas Carol Excerpt

EXCERPT ONE

 

MUSIC 1 – A CLOCK CHIMES into ONCE UPON A DECEMBER

 

TWO CAROL SINGERS ENTER.

 

GIRL CAROL SINGER

1. Christmas songs, Christmas cheer,

 Things we love to remember

And a song someone hears
Once upon a December

BOY CAROL SINGER

2. Someone holds me safe and warm

Horses ride through a silver storm

Figures dancing gracefully

Across our memories

GIRL & BOY SINGER

3. Far away, long ago
Glowing dim as an ember
Things my heart used to know

Once upon a December

 

2.12 – 2.40 (Instrumental Interlude) 

 

HERALD – Hear this! Hear this! Everyone is invited to our annual Christmas Carol Concert.  Bring all of the family! Mums and dads, children, grandparents. Everyone is welcome for mince pies, mulled wine and Christmas cheer.

 

CAST ENTER – TYPICAL VICTORIAN SCENE. Not Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Clara Cratchit or Tiny Tim.

 

CAST

4. Someone holds me safe and warm

Horses ride through a silver storm

Figures dancing gracefully

Across my memory

 

5. Far away, long ago

Glowing dim as an ember

Things my heart used to know

Things it yearns to remember
GIRL & BOY SINGER

6. And a song someone sings
Once upon a December

 

LIGHTS FADE TO BLACK LEAVING THE ACTORS IN SILHOUETTE.  AT A FINAL POINT TO BE DECIDED. EVERYONE WHISPERS “MERRY CHRISTMAS”

 

MUSIC 2 – SCROOGE UNDERSCORE

 

SCROOGE ENTERS.  SCARES THE ONSTAGE CHILDREN (BOO!) AND EVERYONE EXITS.

 

SCROOGE - Humbug. Do you know what that is? It’s my favourite word. It is! Humbug. Humbug. Humbug. What is humbug?  Humbug is my way of saying we will never truly be happy. You might think you’re happy but there’s only one thing you need to make you happy…money. And there is never enough of it.

 

What do I see here?  Smelly dirty boys and horrible fussy girls with their mums and dads who are ALWAYS complaining. Oh the price of milk...the price of bread... Moan! Moan! Moan!  Well humbug to the lot of you!

 

MUSIC 3 – A WONDERFUL SIGHT TO SEE

 

CAROL SINGERS ENTER   

 

SCROOGE - What’s this? Carol singers? Oh no whatever next? More people not working! Humbug. 0.23

 

CAROL SINGERS

1. On a special day, at a special time

It’s a wonderful sight to see.

When the children laugh

And the snow will fall

2. All the family’s here

Now our worries are so small

It’s a wonderful sight to see

 

SCROOGE - Have you finished?

 

CAROL SINGERS – It’s a wonderful sight to….

 

SCROOGE - Get out!

CAROL SINGER - Merry Christmas grumpy.

 

SCROOGE EXITS

 

CAROL SINGERS - See!

 

MUSIC 4 – BOB CRATCHIT ENTERS

 

BOB CRATCHIT - Good evening. Welcome to THE ______ Panto! My name is Bob Cratchit. It’s just like being in my house, dirty and full of strangers.  Give a cheer if you been to our panto before!  Give a cheer if you haven’t.  Give a cheer if you don’t care. 

 

Right extra homework for you lot!  WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

 

CHILD OUT OF AUDIENCE.  ASK THEM NAME.  TELL THEM YOU HAVE A PROBLEM AND ASK THEM TO BLOW INTO A WHISTLE.  WHEN THEY DO IT SAY THANKS VERY MUCH. IT WORKS. MY PROBLEM WAS I DROPPED THE WHISTLE DOWN THE TOILET.”

 

I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with "Guess" on it. So I said "About 42?"  Actually how old are you? Oh no it’s rude to ask a woman her age.  So how much do you weigh?

 

Do you want to play a game?  This game is called the OK ALRIGHT game. When I say OK, you say alright, ok? (Alright) Now hang on I haven’t started yet, ok. (Alright) Now stop.When I say OK. (Alright) etc etc..

 

I can see I’m going to have my work cut out with you lot.  I work for mean old Ebenezer Scrooge. Have you seen him?  He’s so mean he’d steal a dead fly from a blind spider! And the other day he sent a get well card to a hypochondriac.

 

Every day he makes me work ever so hard in this chilly office. I'm busier than a one-legged Riverdancer.
It’s so cold in the winter. One day I looked out of the window and there was a dog frozen to the lamppost.

 

Oh blimey, here he is now.

 

SCROOGE ENTERS

 

SCROOGE - Bob Cratchit. It’s you!

BOB CRATCHIT – It certainly is. And a happy Christmas to you Mr Scrooge!

SCROOGE - What?

BOB CRATCHIT - Merry Christmas!

SCROOGE - Humbug! 

BOB CRATCHIT – Oh come on, be honest, Christmas is fun! Last minute shopping at Sainsbury’s.

SCROOGE – Fun?

BOB CRATCHIT – I’m so excited about Christmas I think I need the toilet! It’s why I look so flushed!

SCROOGE - I hate Christmas Day! We need to make money and I suppose you want the day off?

BOB CRATCHIT – Yes please! If that’s alright?

SCROOGE – Oh alright. You see there’s no end to my generosity.  I’m paying you to do nothing all day!

BOB CRATCHIT – I won’t be doing nothing.  I’ll be helping Mrs Cratchit with the lunch, we’ll put on our Sunday best and I’ve got lots of presents to wrap! Well, five. And there’s the party after lunch!  Could I be so bold as to ask for my wage now, Sir?

SCROOGE – You know Cratchit, a fool and his money are soon partying.  Have you finished the accounts?

BOB CRATCHIT - No but I got as far as six hundred..I’ll carry on now. 601 ...602... 603...

SCROOGE - Stop! I didn’t ask you to count. I asked you to finish the ACCOUNTS!

BOB CRATCHIT - Oh I do get confused easily!

 


EXCERPT TWO

 

STANDING THERE IS FRED, SCROOGE’S NEPHEW.

 

SCROOGE - Oh it’s my nephew Fred.

FRED - Hello Uncle!  Happy….

SCROOGE - Stop there Fred! I know what you’re going to say.

FRED – Oh Uncle. What do you have in December that you don’t have in any other month?

SCROOGE – The letter D?

FRED - …Christmas!

 

SCROOGE REACTS

 

FRED - There I said it!  Christmas is a time to be happy!

SCROOGE - What do you want?

FRED - I‘ve got this invitation for you!

SCROOGE - Invitation?  For what?

FRED - Lunch tomorrow?  I said to Edith that we should have you for lunch.

SCROOGE – Wouldn’t you rather have a turkey?

FRED - Tomorrow at noon.  On Christmas Day, oh come on Uncle.

SCROOGE - I have plans.

FRED - What plans?

SCROOGE - Big plans!  Enormous plans. Now go away!

FRED - I’ll still leave the invitation. If you change your mind....Goodbye and merry…

SCROOGE - Don’t say the C word!

FRED - …CHRISTMAS!

 

FRED EXITS AND A DELIVERY MAN ENTERS

 

DELIVERY MAN – Good morning Mr Scrooge. 

SCROOGE – How are you today?

DELIVERY MAN – Tired. Very tired.

SCROOGE – You’re lucky to have a job.

DELIVERY MAN – Oh I am, am I?  Do you know why I’m so tired?  I'm tired because I'm over-worked.
What’s the population of this city?  4 million?

SCROOGE – About that.
DELIVERY MAN - 1 million are retired. That leaves 3 million to do the work.  There are 1 million in school and college. That leaves 2 million to do the work.

SCROOGE – I’m with you so far.
DELIVERY MAN - 250,000 are unemployed and 750,000 are employed by the Government. That leaves 1 million to do the work.  200,000 are in the army and navy, leaving 800,000 to do the work.

SCROOGE – Is there a point to all of this?
DELIVERY MAN - 200,000 are employed by the county council leaving 600,000 to do the work. There are 420,000 people in hospital and 179,998 in prison.  That leaves 2 people to do the work.
SCROOGE – Two people?
DELIVERY MAN - You and me.

SCROOGE – I see your point.

DELIVERY MAN – Look I can’t stand around all day listening to you.  I’ve got a delivery here.

SCROOGE – Oh lovely, maybe something I bought on EBay.

DELIVERY MAN – Is there a Mary here? It’s for Mary.

SCROOGE - Mary who? Mary who?

DELIVERY MAN - Mary Christmas! Ha Ha!

 

DELIVERY MAN EXITS LAUGHING.

 

SCROOGE - It’s me against the world!

 

 

EXCERPT THREE

 

BOB – Hello again!  Well the kids and I have been late night shopping with Mrs Cratchit but we lost her in Domti.

LIZZIE – She’ll be so angry when she gets home.

BOB – No she won’t Lizzie! 

LIZZIE – We’ve got to finish our school homework!

BOB - Right we’ve just got time to help each other before mum gets home.

ANA – I’ve got a question I need to answer.  I need to name eight African animals.

ABBY – I can do that Ana, that’s easy. Eight African animals....seven lions and a giraffe.

LIZZIE – Good answer Abby!  What’s next?

JACK – My question’s next! What’s the capital of France?

TIM - Easy-peasy chicken jalfreezi! It’s a capital F!

LIZZIE – Brilliant! We’re all brain boxes!

ABBY – I’ve got one.  What do you get if you cross a soft toy bear with a freezer?

BOB – I don’t know. What do you get if you cross a soft toy bear with a freezer?

ANA – I know...It’s a teddy brrrrrrr.

LIZZIE – Maybe not brain boxes then.

BOB – Here comes mum, back from shopping.

 

MUSIC 10 – DAME CLARA CRATCHIT ENTERS

 

MRS CLARA CRATCHIT ENTERS

 

CLARA - Well hello everyone it’s lovely to be here!  Did you invite everyone over for a spot of supper?  My name is Mrs Clara Cratchit.  Cratchit.  Did you catch it? I hope not.  I’m sorry I’m late I was having an argument in the supermarket about the freshness of their fruit. I said it was over ripe and the shop assistant wouldn’t believe me so I reached into my trolley and said “go on, feel my melons.” The poor boy went pale and ran away.

 

Do you like sweeties?  I’ve got some sweeties here. Don’t worry they’re not humbugs.

 

HANDS OUT SWEETS

 

Well, have you met my brood? Aren’t they a lovely bunch?  But we are having a hard time. We’re in crisis!  We haven’t got any money.  We eat cereal with a fork to save on the milk...we’re so poor! Aahh....we’re poorer than that.  And I’m so unlucky.

ABBY - Why are you unlucky mum?

CLARA - Oh Abby love, you know that rock garden I had.  Three of the rocks died.

BOB – Don’t worry Clara. I’ll be here to protect and provide.  There’s always me.

CLARA - Yes, with this many kids I should have protected when you provided.  Always you? You don’t earn enough to pay for the fresh air that comes through the cracked windows! 

BOB – You know why. It’s Mr Scrooge.  He won’t give me a pay rise.

CLARA – Haven’t we got enough money to survive the winter?

BOB – Oh we’ve got enough money for the rest of our lives, as long as we don’t buy anything.

CLARA - Well you know what I think of Mr Scrooge.  He’s a (SHE MOUTHS NONSENSE)

 

ONE OF THE CRATCHIT KIDS SOUNDS AN AIR HORN.    

 

Oh Bob. Look at this house; it’s in a terrible state of disrepair.  You’re good for nothing.

BOB – We’ve got five kids I must be good for something. People say I’m kind and considerate.

CLARA - Are you?

BOB - I bought you a present in Ociopia.  It’s a lucky rabbit’s foot.

 

MUSIC 11 – THE BOY DOES NOTHING.   (DURING THE SONG THE CRATCHIT CHILDREN MOP AND CLEAN)

 

CLARA – Well it wasn’t such a lucky rabbit was it?  I do all the hard work around the house!  The cleaning, the cooking...everything.  You do nothing!

BOB – That’s not true.

 

CLARA

 I got a man with two left feet

And when he dances down to the beat
I really think that he should know
That his rhythms go go go

CHORUS
CLARA - Does he wash up?

KIDS - Never wash up

CLARA - Does he clean up?

KIDS - No, he never cleans up

CLARA - Does he brush up?
KIDS - Never brushed up

CLARA - He does nothing

All - The boy does nothing  etc

EXCERPT FOUR

 

CHARLOTTE – Ebbie.  Do you ever dream about what might be? Things we could do in the future?

YOUNG SCROOGE – Do you mean like getting a mortgage?

CHARLOTTE – No, you and me, a family. If you can’t change then this is it.  Ebenezer Scrooge we’ll be finished!  You’ll only have your accounts book to cuddle up to!

 

MUSIC 18 – NEVER HAD A DREAM COME TRUE (love song)

 

SCROOGE – As he was taken to the debtors’ prison my father called out to me. “Make your money and keep your money.”

PAST – Are you blaming your father?

YOUNG SCROOGE – My work is important for my future.

CHARLOTTE – There’s more to life Ebbie. Forget about that.

YOUNG SCROOGE – I don’t think I can

 

CHARLOTTE

Everybody's got something they had to leave behind
One regret from yesterday that just seems to grow with time
There's no use looking back or wondering
How it could be now or might’ve been
All this I know but still I can't find ways to let you go  
0.48
 CHORUS

CHARLOTTE - I never had a dream come true
Till the day that I found you
 Even though I pretend that I've moved on
You'll always be my baby

YOUNG SCROOGE - I never found the words to say
You're the one I think about each day
And I know no matter where love takes me to
A part of me will always be with you

 

 

EXCERPT FIVE

THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT ENTERS

 

PRESENT - I saw three ghosts come sailing in, on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day.

                 I saw three ghosts come sailing in, on Christmas Day in the morning.

SCROOGE - I suppose you think that’s funny?

PRESENT - Well, not bad.  Ghosts are not famous for comedy. Well, maybe Caspar, the Friendly Ghost!

Then again I said comedy.

SCROOGE - Are you the Ghost of Christmas Present?

PRESENT - Yes I am.

SCROOGE – I suppose you’ve come to share some moral story that I need to heed.

PRESENT – Excellently said Mr Scrooge.

SCROOGE – Oh do you think so? Thank you.

PRESENT – It’s time we continued don’t you think?

SCROOGE – Don’t keep me up too late, I’ve got a busy day tomorrow.

PRESENT – Busy? Just counting money. You open the window and stick your nose out for the wind to blow it!

SCROOGE – Saves on hankies!

PRESENT – Enough!  And now for one night only....especially for that mean old Ebenezer Scrooge...everybody’s favourite glamour group.....LIVE FROM ORIHUELA... it’s the SCROOGETTES!

 

MUSIC 20 SCROOGE-Y LOVE (BABY LOVE)  These were three chorus boys dragged up like the Supremes.

 

SCROOGETTES - Ooh Scroogey love, my Scroogey love

I need you, oh how I need you
But all you do is treat me bad
Break my heart and leave me sad
Tell me, what did I do wrong
To make you stay away so long


'Cause Scroogey love, my Scroogey love
Been missing ya, miss kissing ya
Instead of breaking up
Let's do some kissing and making up

Don't throw our love away
In my arms why don't you stay

Need ya, need ya

PRESENT – We are the ghosts of Christmas Present! Warning you with our wisdom!

SHE-BANGS – Those that forget the pasta are doomed to reheat it.

SCROOGE – Eh?

SHE-BOOMS – A bicycle can't stand on its own because it's two-tired.

SCROOGE – What?

SHE-BABIES - 7/5ths of all people do not understand fractions.

SCROOGE – Who?

EXCERPT SIX

 

PRESENT - Girls...can we continue.  Scrooge, listen! Being nice to people is so easy! And once you start being nice you might find you like it! 

 

MUSIC 22 YES SIR, I CAN BOOGIE

 

And now Scrooge. Especially for you. We have a sexy super surprise. Live and in person, two winners of the Miss Money competition. 

 

SCROOGE – (RUBBING HIS HANDS TOGETHER) Two winners?

 

THE SCROOGETTES TAKE A STEP BACK

 

Present - Yes! Ladies and Gentleman please welcome on stage Miss Money 1862 and Miss Money 1864!

SHE-BANGS – And what happened in 1863?

SHE-BOOMS – You don’t know?

SHE- BABIES – I was robbed!

 

THE MISS MONEYS ENTER

 

MISS MONEY 1862

 Mister...Your eyes are full of hesitation

Sure makes me wonder
If you know what you're looking for.                             
MISS MONEY 1863

 Baby...I wanna keep me reputation
I'm a sensation
You try me once, you'll beg for more

 

CHORUS (OOHS AND AAHS FROM THE SCROOGETTES LIKE THE SUPREMES)

CAST - Yes Sir, I can boogie

But I need a certain song.
I can boogie, boogie woogie
All night long.

Yes Sir, I can boogie
If you stay, you can't go wrong.
I can boogie, boogie woogie
All night long.

 

MISS MONEY 1862

2. No Sir...I don't feel very much like talking
No, neither walking
You wanna know if I can dance
MISS MONEY 1863 - Yes Sir...already told you in the first verse
And in the chorus
But I will give you one more chance.

REPEAT CHORUS 

SCROOGE – Can’t you see?  It’s so tempting! Money is so tempting.

MISS MONEY 1862 – Am I everything you need?

MISS MONEY 1863 – Come to mamma!

PRESENT – Scrooge! Down boy!

 

EXCERPT SEVEN

MUSIC 26 FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD (SHORTENED VERSION)

 

SCENE CHANGE – FLOOR CLOTH PLACED DOWN – KITCHEN TABLE PREPARED. CAST ENTER WITH COOKING UTENSILS, MIXING BOWLS ETC.

 

CAST – 1. Food, glorious food!

Don't care what it looks like

Burned! Underdone! Crude!
Don't care what the cook's like.      

Just thinking of growing fat
Our senses go reeling
One moment of knowing that
Full-up feeling!


two more verses of the song...     Beautiful food, Glorious food!

 

CLARA – How am I supposed to bake a cake if my kitchen is full of you lot.  Go on off you go!

 

KIDS AND DANCERS EXIT.  EXIT SAYING LINES LIKE I can’t wait for the cakes! I love Clara’s cooking. etc

 

BOB STARTS TO EXIT ALSO.

 

CLARA –Not you Robert Maxwell Trump Cratchit!

BOB – Do you need me to help Clara my love?

CLARA – Don’t you “my love” me.  It’s years since we were last in the kitchen together.

BOB – I don’t remember ever being in here.

CLARA – You know.... that special time in the kitchen...”together.”

BOB – Ummm...no...I have no recollection at all.

CLARA – You must do! You know  TWO.....gether....if you know what I mean.

BOB – Oh Clara my love....(LOOKING OFFSTAGE) Start playing the piano!

 

MUSIC 27 BEETHOVEN PLAYED BADLY

 

BOB – Clara would you accept this flower...

 

HE REACTS TO THE BAD PLAYING.

 

BOB – (LOOKING OFFSTAGE) Try playing with your hands.  I don’t know what you’re using.

 

Oh great,. Now you start tuning it.  Would you accept this flower as a token of my love?

 

THE FLOWER DROOPS AND THE MUSIC STOPS. 

 

CLARA – Now do you remember when we last in the kitchen together?

BOB – Don’t worry my love.  I’ve bought you another gift. It’s something to tell you when the foods ready.

CLARA – What’s that?

BOB – A smoke alarm.

CLARA – How very dare you. My cooking should be Cordon Blue.

BOB – You cooking should be cordoned off.  Even the dog phones for take-aways.

CLARA – I’m under a lot of strain cooking for you lot.

BOB – Imagine the strain trying to eat it.

CLARA – Are you going to help me to do some cooking?

BOB – Am I allowed to?

CLARA – Of course you are. I’ll put on my special cooking gloves. They’ve only been used once before.

BOB – When was that?

CLARA – When we operated on the cat.

BOB – I remember when you made tuna noodle broccoli surprise

CLARA – And was it tasty?

BOB – No.

CLARA – Was it crunchy?

BOB – No.

CLARA – What was the surprise?

BOB – It glowed in the dark.

CLARA – Right pass me some orange juice.

 

BOB STARES AT THE ORANGE JUICE CARTOON.

 

CLARA – What are you staring at?

BOB – It says “concentrate.”

CLARA – Give it here.

BOB – What are we making?

CLARA – I thought we’d start with tongue sandwiches.

BOB – I will never eat anything that’s come out of an animal’s mouth.

CLARA – We’ll have boiled eggs then.

BOB – How about a nice rabbit pie?  Here’s a nice fresh rabbit. 

 

BOB REMOVES THE COVER TO REVEAL THE RABBIT.  SUDDENLY IT MOVES.

 

CLARA – Hold on a minute it’s alive. You can’t cook a live rabbit.

BOB – You can but he’s not very happy about it. I agree. We’ll have to kill the rabbit.

 

BOB PICKS UP A BIG CHOPPER TO HIT THE RABBIT.  THE RABBIT SHAKES.

 

BOB – Did you know I had a big chopper?

CLARA – And an active imagination. 

 

KITCHEN SCENE CONTINUES.....

 

EXCERPT EIGHT

 

SCROOGE – Who is having fun?  Not me.  It’s never me.  It could be.  Look after the plate. Please.

 

MUSIC 33 -THE PAST HAS GONE

 

FUTURE – The thing is Scrooge.  It doesn’t matter if you have forty or fifty thousand pounds.  These people don’t have ten or twenty pence. You’re surrounded by poverty and yet you do nothing.

 

THE GHOST STARES AT SCROOGE. SCROOGE SITS CENTRE STAGE. THE LIGHTS DIM, THE GHOST EXITS

 

SCROOGE – 1. The past has gone. The present’s here.

The future’s coming, so soon I fear.

To sum it up, what have I go?

I really have a lot. I really have.

 

2. Time to go, cap in hand

To visit them… will they understand?

Can they forgive, like I could never do?

Oh God I hope they do. I hope they do.       

 

SCROOGE - Come in my friends. I want you to know that Scrooge has changed, I have changed.  Merry Christmas to you all. I’ll buy everyone a Christmas turkey!  I’ll buy a thousand turkeys! I am so sorry.

 

CAST

The past has gone, the present’s here.

The future’s coming, so soon I fear.

To sum it up, what have I got?

I really have a lot. I really have.

 

BOB, CLARA AND TIM CRATCHIT ENTER

 

BOB CRATCHIT - I’m sorry Mr Scrooge; we didn’t mean to disturb you.

SCROOGE - Typical of you Bob.

CLARA CRATCHIT - No it’s not! Leave him alone.

SCROOGE - I’m joking!

THE CRATCHITS - Huh?

TINY TIM - You never joke.

SCROOGE - I do now Tiny Tim my lad! I’m going to buy you the biggest turkey in the shop! And that’s not a joke!

TINY TIM – Thank you so much Mr Scrooge.

SCROOGE - I’ll send someone to the shop for it. No I’ll bring it myself.

BOB CRATCHIT - Thank you so much Mr Scrooge.

CLARA CRATCHIT - You’re being very kind.

SCROOGE - No, Clara, it’s you being kind.  Talking to me after the way I have acted in the past.

BOB CRATCHIT - Oh Mr Scrooge.

SCROOGE - Tomorrow Bob, I’m going to make you a partner. Mr Marley’s old desk? How does that sound?

BOB CRATCHIT - Do you mean it?

CLARA CRATCHIT - Scrooge and Cratchit.

SCROOGE - It’s perfect. Simply perfect.

 

TABLEAUX AS THE LIGHTS FADE

 

MUSIC 34 YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU

CAST

Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! When you go

No silver or gold is going with you!

Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! When you say your goodbye

You know, it’s really goodbye!

To all you that you know, it won’t go! Oh no!

It won’t go, it can’t go, it won’t go. it can’t go.

Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! When you go

No silver or gold’s gonna go!

CHORUS               

Goodbye to all you know

Can’t take it with you and so

Goodbye to all you know

When you have got to go.

 

text © NICHOLAS MOORE