edit

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

A CHRISTMAS CAROL 

A street in the business district of 
London. The most prominent
establishment: “Scrooge & Marley’s 
Counting House.” Christmas Eve. 1843. 
Approximately 2:00 p.m. 

The street is teeming with people, all
in a holiday rush, greeting each other
warmly. 

After a moment, NEDDY, a boy of 16 or
so, races out of “Scrooge & Marley’s
Counting House” and leaps into the 
crowd. Hot on his heels, out of the 
establishment, comes BOB CRATCHIT, who 
appears to be in a dither over Neddy’s 
abandonment. 

BOB 
Neddy! Neddy, get back in here at once! You know Mr. 
Scrooge won’t allow any time off in the middle of a work day! 

NEDDY 
Work day, indeed, Bob Cratchit!
(to revelers)
Did you hear that, lads! A work day, indeed!
(the revelers laugh) 

BOB 
(catches up with Neddy)
Get back inside, Neddy! If he catches you out here... 

NEDDY 
It’s Christmas Eve, Bob! Ever heard of the day? Christmas 
Eve! Tell ‘im, my friends! What day is it? 

ALL 
CHRISTMAS EVE!!! 
(they laugh) 

BOB 
Christmas Eve to Mr. Scrooge is no different from any other
day! You’ve only been working for him a few weeks, Neddy! 
You don’t know him as well as I do! 

NEDDY 
Well, I know him well enough to know he’s off to Grovsner 
Square on business and won’t be back this afternoon or this 
evenin’! 

 

2. 
BOB 
He told you that? 

NEDDY 
He did! And he told me to tell you we should take the rest
of the day off! 

BOB 
Mr. Scrooge said that? 

NEDDY 
That he did! 

BOB 
That’s extremely strange... 

NEDDY 
So enjoy yourself, why don’t you, Bob Cratchit! You’re 
always mopin’ around with a frightened look on your mug! Be 
cheerful! 

BOB 
Cheerful? 

NEDDY 
Yes, Bob! Cheerful! You remember how to be cheerful don’t 
ya? Just make yourself feel happy...

(grabs passing girl, flings her
into Cratchit’s arms)
...and then DO somethin’ about it! 
(he starts them dancing; Bob
smiles) 

The Carolers sing and the crowd erupts
into gleeful dancing. Neddy swaths a
path through the crowd, dragging Bob
with him. He hoists Bob up on a
platform, and coaxes him to dance.
Eventually, Bob gives in and breaks
into a lively solo dance atop the
platform. The crowd watches this and 
enjoys it thoroughly. 

Then, breaking his way through the
crowd, SCROOGE enters, in a rage. He 
tears through the people, knocking one
or two folks to the ground in his haste
and anger. He waves his walking stick
in protest and screams at the top of
his lungs, attempting to quiet the
festivities. 

 

3. 
SCROOGE 

STOP! CEASE! STOP THIS, I TELL YOU! STOP THIS IMMEDIATELY! 
STOP! 

(he lifts himself up onto the
platform where Bob is dancing
oblivious to the interruption)

I SAY STOOOOOOOPPPPPP!!!! 

The noise of the crowd ceases 
instantly. Bob, lost in his joy, keeps
dancing away. Everything has stopped-the 
singing, the music, the cheer. But 
Bob keeps dancing and singing.
Finally, after a moment, Bob turns in
his dance, and ends up face to face
with Scrooge. 

SCROOGE (CONT'D)
(after a beat staring Bob down)
Enjoying yourself, are you, Bob? 

BOB 
(frozen in panic)
Yes, sir. No, sir. Maybe, sir. Well, sir... 

SCROOGE 
QUIET! Quiet, Bob Cratchit before I lose control of my good
nature! Who put you up to this? 

BOB 
Well, Mr. Scrooge, I can’t really say that I... 

SCROOGE 
Don’t lie to me, Cratchit, you don’t have the intestinal 
fortitude to participate in such an exercise in stupidity as
this without some kind of provocation! It was that new 
apprentice, wasn’t it? Ned Percival! Why, I curse the day I
was talked into hiring him. Where is he? 

(beat; Neddy attempts to sneak
away)
Come, speak up, Cratchit! Where is that ridiculous boy?
(sees Neddy)
PERCIVAL!!! 

(Neddy stops)
Percival, put your weasly little face in front of mine this
instant! 

(Neddy makes his way to the

platform)
Now! Tell me the truth! Was it you who put Cratchit up to
this? 

BOB 
Please, sir, Neddy had nothing to do... 

 

4. 
SCROOGE 
Quiet, Cratchit, I’m addressing his weasly face, not yours!
(to Neddy)
Well, Percival? 

NEDDY 
Yes, sir. I lied to him. I told Bob you’d be away for the 
afternoon and that you’d told us to take the rest of the day
off! 

SCROOGE 

(beat; smiles)
Well, then...I understand. I appreciate your telling me the
truth, Neddy. 

NEDDY 
You do, sir? 

SCROOGE 
Of course, I do. And as a display of my appreciation, I am
officially giving you the rest of the day off! 

NEDDY 
Why, thank you, sir! 

SCROOGE 
And while you’re at it, take tomorrow off! And the next day!
And the next! 

(incensed)
In fact, take the rest of your life off! Consider yourself
discharged! 

(Neddy, runs off; the crowd

reacts negatively)
And as for the rest of you, I advise you to remove your
sweating, frivolous carcasses from the front of my place of
business! If you remain here one second longer, I shall
summon the constabulary! Off with you now! Go! Go!!! 

Grumbling, the crowd disperses.
Scrooge steps off the platform and goes
to the door of his office. Bob crawls 
off the platform and begins to walk 
away. 

SCROOGE (cont’d)
And where do you think you’re going? 

BOB 
Why, Mr. Scrooge, I assumed...I was...I assumed you would... 

SCROOGE 
Oh, you assumed, did you? Well, let me tell you what you can 
assume from now on, Bob Cratchit. 

 

5. 
You can assume that I expect you to stay at your post one
extra hour every day for the next six months with no increase
of salary. You can assume that I will not stand for any
further display of insubordination or malingering from you
from this day forward! And to use the word in a different 
but equally viable context, you can assume the office duties 
of one Mr. Neddy Percival, apprentice, no longer affiliated
with this business establishment. 

(opens door)
Now, get to work! 

BOB 
Yes, sir! 
(rushes to door)
Thank you, Mr. Scrooge! Thank you so very... 

SCROOGE 
TO WORK!!! 

BOB 
Yes, sir! 

SCROOGE 
(assesses the situation)
Humbug. 

Scrooge heads into his office as the
Carolers sing downstage and the
INTERIOR OF SCROOGE AND MARLEY’S 
COUNTING HOUSE appears. Visible are 
Cratchit’s desk, and Scrooge’s inner
office. Near Cratchit is a very tiny
coal burning stove. In Scrooge’s 
office, there is a much larger stove. 

6:00 p.m., later on that same Christmas
Eve. 
The singing fades away. Bob sits at 
his desk, feverishly working. Scrooge
also scribbles in a ledger at his desk.
Bob is very cold. He looks warily
towards Scrooge’s inner office. He 
steels himself, and tiptoes to the coal
bin near Scrooge’s door. He carefully
reaches in for a piece of coal. 

SCROOGE 
(without looking up)
Cratchit! 

BOB 
Yes, sir! 
(drops coal; returns to desk) 

 

6. 
The door to the office opens, and FRED, 
enters. 

FRED 
(yells outside)
Hurry now, Fink! Entwhistle! 
(to Bob)
Good afternoon, Bob! Merry Christmas to you! 

BOB 
(careful; checking; whispering)
And...uh...Merry Christmas to you, too, sir! 

FRED 

(playfully, whispering also;
nodding towards Scrooge’s 
inner office)

Oh! Are we pulling back the reins of holiday cheer once
again, Bob? 

BOB 
I’m sorry, sir I’m a little skittish today, you see, I... 

Fred casually takes a piece of coal out
of the bin and replenishes Bob’s stove. 

FRED 
Of course you’re skittish, it’s frightfully cold in here! 

BOB 
Oh, but sir, I... 

FRED 
Ssh! I don’t want you sick when my wife and I stop by to 
visit you tomorrow. We have some gifts for your children. 

BOB 
Why, sir! How thoughtful of you! We’ll be there! 
(looks toward Scrooge’s office; 
Scrooge grumbles)
At least, I think I’ll be there. 

FRED 
You’ll be there! 

(whisks to Scrooge’s door) 
Uncle! I’m sorry you weren’t disposed to enjoying the 
Christmas Carols this afternoon! 

SCROOGE 
The day I appreciate something as imbecilic as singing about
Christmas... 

(slightly louder)
...is the day Bob Cratchit becomes a person of position! 

 

7. 
Again, the door of the shop opens. Two 
mature businessmen, FINK and 
ENTWHISTLE, enter, Entwhistle holding a
ledger book. Each man is somewhat 
cowered. 

FINK 
Is he...in? 

ENTWHISTLE 
(before Bob can respond)
He’s not in. Let’s go!
(starts to pull Fink out) 

FRED 
Of course, he’s in, gentlemen! I promised you he would be!
It’s late in the afternoon on a festive holiday eve! The 
world is laughing, singing and dancing! Where else would 
Ebenezer Scrooge be but at his work desk! 

ENTWHISTLE 
(scared)
I think we should come back another time. 

FINK 
When? 

ENTWHISTLE 
Oh, sometime soon. Easter. 

FRED 
Gentlemen! Come with me! I’m sure my uncle will be more 
than happy to contribute to your cause! Please! Step right
this way! 

Timidly, the two gentlemen step with
Fred into Scrooge’s inner office. 

Scrooge keeps his head to his ledger
and works even more feverishly. 

FRED (cont’d) 
Uncle! We’re all here to wish you a... 

SCROOGE 
DON’T...say it! 

FRED 
Oh, yes! I’d forgotten. Bah. Humbug. 

SCROOGE 
Would you mind telling me why my office is crowded with
impertinent relatives and unidentified street people! 

 

8. 
FRED 
Why, Uncle, we are here to tap the well of your generosity.
We seek to entreat you to aid the poor and sick and
distressed this festive season. 

FINK 
(checking ledger)
Is the establishment still called “Scrooge & Marley’s” sir? 

SCROOGE 

Why wouldn’t it be? 

ENTWHISTLE 
Well, seeing as Mr. Marley is no longer with us... 

FRED 
He died seven years ago, this very night, in fact. He 
finished the work day, though, didn’t he Uncle! 

SCROOGE 
(muttered)
Impertinent...
(to Businessmen)
It is called what it is called! What do you want? 

FINK 

(plunging ahead)
Uh...as you may know, Mr. Scrooge, at this festive season of
the year, our charitable association takes it upon itself to
gather funds for the poor and destitute. This year,
Entwhistle here and I have been...chosen to call upon you. 

ENTWHISTLE 
We drew straws... 

FINK 
(warning)
Enwhistle... 

ENTWHISTLE 
We lost. 

FINK 
Entwhistle! 

FRED 
(to Scrooge)
Uncle, I’m certain you’ll be happy to... 

SCROOGE 
Are there no prisons? 

 

9. 
FINK 
Prisons, sir? Well, of course there are prisons... 

SCROOGE 
And the Union workhouses? Still in operation? 

FINK 
Unfortunately, sir, they are, but... 

SCROOGE 
I’m glad to hear it. 

FINK 
Of course, many unfortunates still fall through the cracks,
sir and we’ve taken it upon ourselves to...

(nudges Entwhistle again to
open ledger)
What shall we put you down for? 

SCROOGE 
Nothing. 

ENTWHISTLE 
You wish to be anonymous? 

SCROOGE 
I wish to be ignored! If merry is to be made, let it be made
without me! I help to support the establishments I’ve 
mentioned. They cost enough, and those who are badly off
must go there. 

ENTWHISTLE 
Many can’t go there! 

FINK 
And many would rather die! 

SCROOGE 
Is that so? Well, then--let them. I approve of dying. It 
decreases the surplus population. 

FRED 
Oh, Uncle... 

SCROOGE 
It is not my business! It was hard work and destiny, not
charity, that have shaped my life. I don’t interfere with 
your business, I demand you not interfere with mine! Good 
afternoon, gentlemen! 

FINK 
But I...I don’t... 
(looks to FRED, who shakes his
head) 

 

10. 
Good afternoon. 

(starts out, stops and sees
Entwhistle, who is frozen in 
shock with the ledger book
open)

Entwhistle. Close the book. 
(he does)
Come. 

They leave sheepishly. Fred, who has 
been standing to the side, says
nothing. He just stares at Scrooge,
who continues to scribble in his 
ledger. After a moment, again without
lifting his head, Scrooge speaks. 

SCROOGE 
(a slow burn)
Can I...help you? 

FRED 
(after a beat)
Uncle! It’s Christmas! 

SCROOGE 

(dropping his pen)
If I could work my will...every idiot who goes about with
“Merry Christmas” on his lips would be boiled with his own
pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.
Why are you still here! 

FRED 
Well, first and foremost I was here to help the gentlemen
with their charity work. Clearly I have failed at that
mission. Beyond that, I came here to wish you a Merry
Christmas, to hear you say “Bah! Humbug,” and to invite you 
again to dinner tomorrow evening. 

SCROOGE 
You did, did you? And what did you think I’d say to your 
repeated invitation? 

FRED 
“Bah, Humbug,” of course. 

SCROOGE 
Of course. Well, then...you have your answer. 

FRED 
Uncle, please, just... 

SCROOGE 
GO! 

 

11. 
FRED 
(beat; very seriously)
It was not my fault. 

SCROOGE 
Get out. 

FRED 
Good God in heaven, man, will you never forgive me for
something over which I had no control? 

SCROOGE 
I told you to get out of my office! 

FRED 
Uncle... 

SCROOGE 
NOW! 

(Fred looks at Scrooge a
moment, then heads for the 
outer office.)

Much good Christmas has ever done for you.
(Fred stops; Cratchit stops
working and listens)
What...reason have you to be merry? 

FRED 
Come to dinner and you’ll see. I have a wife and two 
wonderful children. I have very close friends. I have a 
modest job and sufficient income. I wake up in the morning
and embrace the day. And when Christmas comes around I share 
my modest happiness with men and women who consent to open
their modest hearts freely and share their modest happiness
with me. 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! 

At this, Cratchit can’t help himself 
and bursts into applause. He catches 
himself immediately and goes back to
work. 

SCROOGE 

(yells)
Let me hear another sound from you, Cratchit, and you’ll keep
your Christmas by losing your situation! 

FRED 
My door is always open, Uncle. 

 

12. 
SCROOGE 
(face in ledger; points to his
door)
As is mine. Use it. 

FRED 
(as he leaves inner office;
heads to main door)
Merry Christmas to you Bob, and to your family. 

BOB 
Thank you, sir. 

FRED 

(at door; BELLS SOUND)
Seven o’clock, Bob. I should think you’d want to begin your 
holiday... 

BOB 
(loud enough for Scrooge to
hear)
If it’s convenient, sir... 

SCROOGE 
(head in ledger)
It is not! It never is! 

BOB 
(quietly; to FRED)
It’ll be fine, sir. Thank you, sir. Happy Christmas. 

FRED 
Goodbye, Bob. 

Fred leaves. Bob gathers his things,
puts on his coat and hat, and silently
heads for the door. He reaches for the 
knob, tries to remain completely
silent, when Scrooge, as always with
his head in the ledger, booms: 

SCROOGE 
YOU BE HERE AT LEAST AN HOUR EARLY DAY AFTER TOMORROW! 

BOB 
Yes, sir. 

(braces himself, then moves to
entrance of Scrooge’s inner 
office)

And, sir...if you don’t mind, sir, I’d truly like to wish 
you... 

 

13. 
SCROOGE 

(harshly, deliberately)

Don’t...don’t you dare. If you value your salary, if you

value your position, if you value your very spleen...don’t. 

BOB 
(beat)
Day after tomorrow, sir.
(Bob goes to door, stops,
whispers)
Merry Christmas, Mr. Scrooge. 

Bob leaves. 

Scrooge waits a moment, then gathers
his things, and heads for the door. We 
hear Carolers in the distance. He 
extinguishes the lamp, opens the door,
and leaves. 

As he does, the Carolers enter 
downstage and sing while the set
changes to the exterior of Scrooge’s 
house. The Carolers leave, and Scrooge
enters, heading to his door. As he 
approaches the door, a woman walks
towards him. She seems to know 
Scrooge, but he defiantly avoids her 
gaze. After they pass each other, she
calls to him. This is BELLE, Scrooge’s 
age, a beautiful older woman. 

BELLE 
Ebenezer! 

SCROOGE 
(stops, doesn’t look at her) 
Keep walking. Please. We have nothing to say to each other. 

BELLE 

How can you speak for me? Perhaps I have something to say to 

you. 

SCROOGE 
(still without looking)
Keep...walking. 

A moment as Belle doesn’t move. 
Finally, she turns and walks away.
Scrooge waits until he’s sure she’s 
gone, then he continues to his doorway. 

He reaches the doorway, which features
a small gold plate at its center. 

 

14. 
Scrooge dips into his pocket for his
key. He can’t find it. He turns away. 

As he does, the gold plate becomes the
FACE OF A MAN. This is the first 
manifestation of MARLEY. The face in 
the door speaks, ghoulishly. 

MARLEY 
Scroooooooge!!! 

Instantly Scrooge turns to the door,
and the face disappears. 

SCROOGE 
What was that? Who called my name?
(looks around, sees nothing)
Now where is that confounded key! 

Again he turns away. Again the face
appears in the gold plate and speaks.
This time the voice is accompanied by
WEIRD NOISES, STRANGE UNINTELLIGIBLE 
VOICES and THUNDER. 

MARLEY 
Scroooooooooooooge!!!!! 

Scrooge screams in abject fear and
leaps to hide under his stoop. As soon 
as he hits the ground, the face
disappears and the noise stops. He 
pauses, rises cautiously, then belches. 

SCROOGE 
(looks down the street)
Drunken revelers! 
(he finds key)
Ah! Here it is! 

He unlocks the door and enters his 
house. As he does, the Carolers appear
downstage as the set change is
completed. 

The carol ends, and we find ourselves 
in SCROOGE’S SITTING ROOM. 

GLADYS, Scrooge’s housekeeper, sets a 
bowl, a small loaf of bread, a small 
block of cheese and utensils on a table 
in front of Scrooge’s chair. Gladys is
middle-aged and sharp-tongued. 

 

15. 
She’s been with this man for years and 
nothing fazes her anymore. As she 
completes the setting of the table,
Scrooge enters, now in his smoking
jacket. Gladys stands to the side as
Scrooge, without acknowledging her,
sits at the table. He looks into the 
bowl. 

SCROOGE (cont’d) 
What is it? 

GLADYS 
Soup. 

SCROOGE 
What kind of soup? 

GLADYS 
Potato. 

SCROOGE 
(still examining)
What are those little brown things? 

GLADYS 
Beef. 

SCROOGE 
Beef? What kind of beef? 

GLADYS 
Bits. 

SCROOGE 
Bits? 

GLADYS 
Bits. Of beef. Beef bits. Will that be all? 

SCROOGE 
Must you be so blunt? 

GLADYS 
Yes. Will that be all? 

They stare each other down for the
longest time. Finally, Gladys wins. 

SCROOGE 
That will be all! 

 

16. 
Gladys smiles and leaves. Scrooge
starts to eat his soup and bread, as he
grumbles and mumbles. 

SCROOGE (cont’d) 

“Will that be all?” Indeed. Thinks she can sass me like 

that! 
(eats)

Ah...phew...And a terrible cook to boot!
(eats)

I don’t know why I put up with such impertinence. Well, what 

can one expect from people of her class and upbringing? What 

indeed...All I can do is set a good example and behave

properly... 

Scrooge gorges his food, eating very
sloppily. After a moment, we hear in 
the distance something that sounds like
RATTLING CHAINS. Scrooge lifts his
head, listens a moment. The sound 
ceases. Again, he eats sloppily.
Again the SOUND is heard, louder this
time. Scrooge lifts his head again,
and calls to his hallway. 

SCROOGE (cont’d) 
Hello? Who’s there? 

The sound stops again. Scrooge listens
to the silence, goes back to work. In 
a moment, there is a SOUND OF CHAINS 
CRASHING to a surface. Then, the 
HIDEOUS MOAN of a man is heard as the 
chains continue to rattle. Scrooge
spits out the food that’s in his mouth, 
and leaps beside his chair, perhaps
under his table. Again, silence.
Scrooge waits. And waits. Then he 
carefully begins to emerge from his
desk. Instantly, the CHAINS and
MOANING are heard again, much louder
than before. Scrooge retreats. As he 
does, the LIGHTS in the room flicker 
and dim. The SOUND of the chains are 
joined by HEAVY FOOTSTEPS and SWIRLING
WIND and DISSONANT BELLS. The room 
seems to shake. THUNDER. The MOANING 
continues and increases. Scrooge
sticks his head out from under the 
table and starts to wail in fright. 

Then, BRIGHT SMOKE emerges from a spot
in the floor. 

 

17. 
Rising from the smoke is a man, about
Scrooge’s age, far more withered, far 
more decrepit. He is bathed in dust 
and burdened with a chain, the links of 
which seem to be made of cashboxes, 
keys, ledgers, padlocks, deeds and
heavy purses wrought in steel. 

This, of course, is the ghost of Jacob
MARLEY. 

MARLEY 
(bellowing, echo)
SCROOOOOOGE! 
(Scrooge only whimpers in

fright)
SCROOOOOOOOOOGE! SHOW YOURSELF, YOU SNIVELING, WHIMPERING 
PIMPLE ON THE FACE OF HUMANITY!!! 

SCROOGE 
(from beneath table)
Are you sure you have the right man? 

MARLEY 
SCROOOOOOOOOOOGE! 

SCROOGE 
(petrified)
WHO ARE YOU! 

MARLEY 
Ask me who I was. 

SCROOGE 
(peeking around)
Who were you, then? 

MARLEY 
In life, I was your partner, Jacob Marley! 

SCROOGE 
Jacob Marley. But you can’t be. 

MARLEY 
And why not? 

SCROOGE 
Because Marley is dead. 

MARLEY 
Do I look healthy to you? 

 

18. 
SCROOGE 
(beat)
Jacob! But...it’s impossible. 

MARLEY 
Believe in me, Ebenezer! Believe in me or suffer my fate! 

SCROOGE 

(emerging from beneath table)
I will not! I will not believe in you! This is merely...a
slight disorder of my stomach. Badly prepared food is all it
is! I’ll never let that woman in my kitchen again. 
You...you are simply an undigested bit of beef...a crumb of
cheese...a... 

SCROOGE & MARLEY 
...fragment of an underdone potato... 

MARLEY 
I know. I know. I’ve heard it all before. 

SCROOGE 
There’s more of gravy than of grave about you! 

At this, Marley lets out a FRIGHTFUL
WAIL, horrible beyond belief. The room 
shakes, the CHAINS clank, the THUNDER 
roars. The LIGHTS FLICKER wildly.
Scrooge screams in terror and retreats
to underneath his table. 

MARLEY 
DO YOU BELIEVE IN ME OR DO YOU NOT!!! 

SCROOGE 
(again sticks his head out)
Oh, I do! I do! But why do you trouble me? 

MARLEY 
It is my lot. In death, I am doomed to walk the Earth among
my fellow men and witness the poverty and misery I have
inflicted upon so many people for so many years. I must 
envision their torture, their pain, their constant struggle.
I must envision it now because I ignored it during my life! 

He emits another WAIL with ACCOMPANYING 
SOUNDS which force Scrooge back under
the desk. 

SCROOGE 
Please! Stop doing that! 

 

19. 
MARLEY 
Know me, now, Ebenezer Scrooge! Know me and fear me, for I 
am who you are. 

SCROOGE 
(sticks head out; beat)
Well...perhaps...for one little difference. 

MARLEY 
What difference? 

SCROOGE 
You’re dead. I’m not! 

Another WAIL. Again Scrooge hides. 

MARLEY 
I wear the chain I forged in life! I was a loathsome and 
hideous individual! Only one man left on Earth surpasses me
in malevolence and greed! Only one man will walk through the
blackness of the nether world with a heavier burden than I! 

SCROOGE 
(beat)
Wakefield, the butcher? 

MARLEY 
Scrooge! 

SCROOGE 
Timberlake, the tailor? 

MARLEY 
SCROOGE! 

SCROOGE 
Ah! Periwinkle, the banker! 

MARLEY 
SCROOOOOOOGE!!!! 
(another CACOPHONY of SOUND) 

SCROOGE 
(emerges from under desk)
Oh, Jacob! Oh, Jacob, please! Speak comfort to me! Jacob! 

MARLEY 
I CANNOT! It is merely my place to show you the results of a
life wasted, a life misused, a life that was not a life at 
all! A life so very much like yours! 

SCROOGE 
But you were always a good man of business, Jacob! 

 

20. 
MARLEY 

Business! Mankind was my business! The common welfare was 
my business! 

SCROOGE 
All right! All right! I was just trying to help! 

MARLEY 
HEAR ME! My time is nearly gone! How I may appear to you in
a shape which you can see, I cannot tell. I have spent many
an hour these seven years, invisible to you, but with you
nevertheless. 

SCROOGE 
(shivers at this thought)
You’ve been...with me? All these seven years? 

MARLEY 
Yes. 

SCROOGE 
Oh. How nice for you. 

MARLEY 
IT IS PART OF MY PENANCE! But tonight, I am here to warn you
that you have yet a chance to escape my fate. 

SCROOGE 
Oh, Jacob! You are so kind! To spare me from further 
terror. How will you save me, Jacob? Will you place your
hand on my heart and bless me? That would be good. Or will 
you recite a prayer to guide me? That would be very good.
Or will you simply look gently into my eyes and wish me well
and then leave me alone? That would be very, very good. 

MARLEY 
I will send three ghosts to haunt you! 

SCROOGE 
That’s not good. 

MARLEY 
You will obey their instructions to the letter! 

SCROOGE 
I think...I’d rather not. 

MARLEY 
The choice is not yours, if you are to be saved. You want to 
be saved, do you not? 

SCROOGE 
Well, being saved is good, I’ll say that, but the haunted 
part, I... 

 

21. 
MARLEY 
EXPECT THE FIRST TONIGHT! When the bell tolls one! 

SCROOGE 

How about...you get ‘em all over here now, at the same time?

You could introduce me and... 

MARLEY 

EXPECT THE SECOND TOMORROW NIGHT, at the same hour. And the 

third the next night when the last stroke of twelve has

ceased to vibrate. 

SCROOGE 
Do you have to get so dramatic about it? 

Another CACOPHONY OF SOUND, as before. 
Scrooge hides one last time. Again,
the BRIGHT SMOKE emerges from the
floor, and Marley begins to sink out of
sight. 

MARLEY 

REMEMBER WHAT HAS PASSED BETWEEN US, EBENEZER SCROOGE! 

REMEMBER THE FEAR, REMEMBER THE HORROR, REMEMBER THE TERROR! 

AND KNOW THAT WHAT IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN TO YOU IS EITHER GOING 

TO SAVE YOU, OR LEAD YOU TO THE BLACKEST OF BLACK DEATH! 

A final CACOPHONY OF SOUND as Marley’s 
ghost disappears into the fireplace. 

Instantly, Scrooge’s room is as it was 
before Marley’s appearance, though the 
quiet of the night has enveloped the 
space. 

Scrooge stands, frozen. Carefully, he
approaches the spot in the floor where
the ghost appeared. He taps on the
spot with his foot, and scurries away.
Nothing happens. He steps back to the
same place, taps harder, and again runs 
away. Nothing. Once more he goes
back, and jumps up and down on the 
spot. Nothing. He takes a long, deep
breath. He goes over to his half-eaten
meal, lifts up the plate, and grimaces. 

SCROOGE 

Bah! Bad food! That’s all it is! I consume a bit of bad 

food and I belch up Marley! Bah! Bah! HUMBUG!!! 

He steps over to the spot again, and
looks directly at it. 

 

22. 
SCROOGE (cont’d) 
Do you hear me? HUMBUG!!! 

Instantly, all the NOISES return in
cacophonous splendor for a brief,
spectacular flash. Scrooge screams and
runs out of the room. LIGHTS OUT on 
the sitting room. 

Downstage, the Carolers appear. As 
they sing, SCROOGE’S BEDCHAMBER 
appears. 

At the conclusion of the song, LIGHTS
UP FULL on the bedchamber, where Gladys
prepares Scrooge’s bed, which is 
surrounded by bed curtains. There is 
also an elaborate, functioning
fireplace. As Gladys works, she hums a
cheery Christmas tune. Scrooge enters,
now fully dressed in bed clothing, cap
and all. 

SCROOGE (cont'd)
Here! What are you doing, woman? 

GLADYS 
Me name ain’t “woman.” Me name is Gladys. It’s been Gladys 
these thirteen years I been your chambermaid. And in case 
you haven’t been payin’ attention, what I’m doin’ is what I 
been doin’ at this time of night, every night, for each one 
of them thirteen years. I’m openin’ up your bed curtains so 
as to make it possible for you to slide into the bed easy
like rather than climb over the top and drop yourself down. 

SCROOGE 
Is that supposed to be funny? 

GLADYS 
It’s supposed to be, but as I know the physical act of 
laughin’ ain’t somethin’ your various body parts are equipped 
to accommodate, I set it out there more along the lines of
information. 

SCROOGE 
You’re dismissed for the evening! Off with you! 

GLADYS 
(heads for door)
Me heart is broke. 

(at door)
I’ve already told me family you’ve refused to give me the day 
tomorrow. They gave me a holiday wish to pass along to you,
but bein’ a Christian woman, I.... 

 

23. 
SCROOGE 
I need you here! Who will prepare my food?

(grimaces)
Such as it is...What would happen to me if I went an entire
day without eating? 

GLADYS 
I’d be willin’ to take the chance. 

SCROOGE 
OUT! 

Gladys leaves. Scrooge goes through a
ridiculous routine, preparing for bed.
It is very precise, silly and 
outrageous. When it is completed, he
rolls back the covers, and leaps into
bed. An oil lamp glows at his bedside.
He reaches for the lamp, then stops
himself. 

SCROOGE (cont’d)
(to himself)
This isn’t good. Where is my mirror?
(he find a small hand mirror on

his table)
Scrooge! You must stop! You must not think any longer! You 
are thinking about Marley and about the three ghosts and you
are not allowing yourself to sleep! You must stop thinking
immediately and close your eyes, for the Marley you think you
saw tonight was nothing more than the Marley you knew in real
life--an upset stomach! Stop thinking! 

Scrooge puts down the mirror and plops
his head onto the pillow. He closes 
his eyes. 

SCROOGE (cont’d) 
Eyes closed. Not thinking.
(beat)
Eyes closed. Not thinking.
(beat)
Eyes closed. Not thinking.
(beat, as his eyes bulge open)
Eyes open. Thinking.
(he grabs mirror, looks)
What did I just tell you? Stop thinking! 

The BELL BEGINS TO TOLL leading up to
the stroke of the hour. Scrooge
galvanizes in his bed. He reaches to 
the watch fob on his side table. He 
checks the time. 

 

24. 
SCROOGE (cont’d)

The hour of one approaches!
(ding ding ding dong)

Well, then, if Marley was indeed a ghost himself...
(ding dong ding dong)

...and not some gastronomical agitation...
(ding ding ding dong)

...then the spirit he foretold should appear...
(ding dong ding dong)

when the hour is struck... 
(the clock strikes one)

NOW! 
(Scrooge waits, silence)

Nothing! Just as I suspected! No spirit whatsoever! I was 

a fool to even think...well, as I said... 
(looks into mirror again)

...thinking only gets you into trouble! I shall sleep like a

baby! 

Scrooge puts down the mirror, reaches
for the oil lamp and snuffs it out. He 
gathers up the bed curtains and closes
them around him. He SINGS A SWEET 
LULLABY to himself. Nothing moves. 

Then, suddenly, one of the bed curtains
lurches forward in the air. Scrooge
sticks his head out from inside the bed 
area, alert. 

SCROOGE (cont’d) 
What was that? 
(nothing)
Something...lurched.
(nothing)
Oh, well. 

He closes the curtain and disappears.
Silence. Then, again, another lurch
from the bed curtain. Again, Scrooge
starts and sticks his head out. 

SCROOGE (cont’d) 

There it is again! There is unaccountable activity in my

bed. I must be able to see...! What in the... 

He opens all the bed curtains and leans
over to light the lamp. He settles 
back in the bed, then reaches for the 
bed cover, but before he can touch it, 
it lurches. More GIGGLING. The bed 
cover begins jumping up and down.
Scrooge screams and scurries around the
bed in fear, avoiding the lurches. 

 

25. 
Finally, from the bottom of the bed, a
tiny woman plops to the floor. Her 
name is MATILDA. She wears what looks 
like a tunic, with a sprig of flowers
in her hair. She is a ball of energy,
and leaps around the room with delight. 

MATILDA 
I’m here! I made it! I can’t believe it! They told me I’d 
never make it, but I did! I did! Are you Mr. Scrooge? Yes! 
You are! I can tell by your grumpy old face! How wonderful! 

SCROOGE 
Are you...the spirit whose coming was foretold to me? 

MATILDA 
Yes! Isn’t that amazing! I mean, there you were
just...trying to sleep and now here I am just...popping out
of your bed and it’s just so...so... 

SCROOGE 
Frightening? 

MATILDA 
Magnificent! 

SCROOGE 
Well...who...and what...are you? 

MATILDA 
(beat)
Oh, I’ve been waiting to say this for...forever!
(clears throat)
I am the Ghost of Christmas Past! 

SCROOGE 
Past? But how could you....how much past could you have?
How old are you? 

MATILDA 
Oh, not my past. Your past. I have no past. Except the
past minute or so. That was in my past. My past just
passed. 

(giggles) 

SCROOGE 
Impertinent! Enough! Why are you here? 

MATILDA 
Not so fast! I’m new at this! I want to savor the moment! 

SCROOGE 
Savor? 

 

26. 
MATILDA 

Yes. Savor. That means I want to take some time to... 

SCROOGE 
I know what savor means you...you... 

MATILDA 
Ghost of Christmas Past! 
(giggles again) 

SCROOGE 
What do you want with me? 

MATILDA 
(a pronouncement)
I will bring you to revisit years gone by! 

SCROOGE 
Why? 

MATILDA 
Because that’s what I do. Haven’t you been listening? I am 
the Ghost of Christmas... 

SCROOGE 
But what purpose would it serve? 

MATILDA 
The past holds the key to the future! 

SCROOGE 
Nonsense! The past holds the key to nothing but nostalgia
and sentiment. Rubbish! Vulgar, plebian rubbish! I refuse 
to waste my precious bedtime on such a trivial enterprise. 

MATILDA 
Oh...that is a shame. 

SCROOGE 
What is a shame? 

MATILDA 
That you think you have any say in the matter. Come! 

She raises her arms and the LIGHTS and 
MUSIC pick up again. She swirls over 
towards the fireplace. Scrooge is
swept with her. They stand in front of
the fireplace. MATILDA lifts her arms
and the FIREPLACE OPENS again, a
stunning SHAFT OF LIGHT appearing
through it when it does. MATILDA 
points into the fireplace. 

 

27. 
SCROOGE 
What??? I’m to step through there??? 

MATILDA 
(holds out her hand)
Take my hand! 

SCROOGE 
What? 

MATILDA 

Bear but a touch of my hand, there, and you shall be upheld

in more than this! 

SCROOGE 
But... 

MATILDA 
Come! 

Scrooge takes her hand. With the 
LIGHTS AND MUSIC at full pitch, they
step through the open fireplace and
disappear. 

As they do, with MUSIC AND LIGHTS
dominating the atmosphere, the stage
area is transformed into SCROOGE’S 
DORMITORY ROOM AT BOARDING SCHOOL, many
years earlier. 

A GROUP OF CHILDREN enters, singing a
Christmas song. They swirl around the
room, dancing and singing. As they
continue, Scrooge and MATILDA appear
and enter the room. Scrooge watches
and enjoys the playful singing, then as
the children continue, Scrooge speaks. 

SCROOGE 

(delighted)

My word! It’s my old room at school! Look! My books! My

dear and only friends! Look, there’s Ali Baba! And Robinson 

Crusoe! And Aladdin! Oh, that wonderful Genie, how he kept

me company those cold winter nights! 

As the song ends, the group of children
dance out of the room, leaving a
solitary boy sitting in a chair in the
center of the room, struggling to write
a letter. This is Ebenezer as a young
boy. 

 

28. 
SCROOGE (cont’d)
(sees boy)
Oh! Boy! Boy! What are you...who are you... 

MATILDA 
These are but memories. They cannot see nor hear us. 

The Boy puts down his pencil, and
reads. 

BOY EBENEZER 
“Dear Father...I hope you and Fan are well. All the boys have
left for the holiday, and I am here alone. The proctor
promises a fine Christmas dinner, and...

(takes up pen)
...and...I only wish...I could spend the holiday...
(he starts to weep; stops
writing; to himself)
...in my own home... 

SCROOGE 
Oh. Oh. 
(to spirits)
He’s writing a letter.
(beat)
Why has he stopped? Why is he crying? 

MATILDA 
He is remembering. Think hard, and you will see what he
remembers. 

In Limbo, in a spot of light, SCROOGE’S 
FATHER appears. He is a stern man in 
his forties. 

FATHER 
Stop your whimpering! I told you, you are to stay at the
school the year-round. I will not have you here with us!
The memory is too painful. I have tried to make you
understand. You are old enough to understand and you’re 
certainly intelligent enough to understand. I will raise 
you. I will pay for your upbringing and your schooling. But 
that is all I can do. You are here. Your mother is not. 
And only you are to blame! I cannot forget that! So. It’s 
very simple. Stop your blubbering and be a man! 

The image of the Father disappears.
BOY EBENEZER breaks down crying. 

SCROOGE 
My father. 

MATILDA 
Yes. 

 

29. 
SCROOGE 
My mother..caught a chill when my sister was a baby. 

MATILDA 
Yes. 

SCROOGE 
My father...he said I brought the chill into the house. My
mother...died. 

MATILDA 
Yes. 

SCROOGE 
I...I am this boy. 

MATILDA 
Let us see another Christmas. 

In a swirl of LIGHT AND MUSIC, Scrooge
and the spirit move to another room.
EBENEZER, Scrooge at fifteen, sits in
the same chair, alone, as before. This 
time, he’s reading. After a moment, he 
throws the book to the floor, 
distraught. There is a KNOCK ON THE 
DOOR. Ebenezer looks to the doorway.
In runs FAN, his sister, about ten 
years old. 

LITTLE FAN 
(as she runs to Ebenezer)
Brother! Dear, dear brother! 

EBENEZER 
Little Fan! Why...what are you doing here? Does Father 
know? If he finds out, he... 

LITTLE FAN 
Father is waiting in the coach, Ebenezer! We have come to 
bring you home! 

EBENEZER 
Home? Home, little Fan? 

LITTLE FAN 
Yes! Father is so much kinder than he used to be. He spoke
gently of you the other night as I was going to bed, so I
dared ask him one more time if you could come home to be with 
us. And Ebenezer, do you know what he did? 

EBENEZER 
What? 

 

30. 
LITTLE FAN 

He cried! He cried and told me how much he missed you. How 
badly he mistreated you. And he hugged me and told me he was
going to bring you home to be part of the family again! 

EBENEZER 
Sister! This is...this is the most wonderful... 

SCROOGE 
Oh, stop talking and go! 

LITTLE FAN 
Oh, stop talking and go! This will be the merriest Christmas 
ever! 

Ebenezer and Little Fan rush away. 

SCROOGE 
What a large heart in such a little girl! 

MATILDA 
She reminds me of...me! 

SCROOGE 
I loved her so! 

MATILDA 
She died a young woman. With one child. 

SCROOGE 
(somewhat bitterly)
My nephew. 

MATILDA 
(reacting to Scrooge’s 
attitude)
Yes. Your nephew. 

SCROOGE 

(bitterly)
He doesn’t understand. He doesn’t know what it’s been like 
for me to... 

MATILDA 
Ssh! To another Christmas! 

More ELABORATE MUSIC AND LIGHTS. The 
scene changes to Fezziwig’s Warehouse. 
When the scene change is complete,
Scrooge and MATILDA re-emerge and
observe. 

 

31. 
FEZZIWIG appears in Limbo, checking his
pocket watch. He is a jolly, robust
man in his fifties. 

SCROOGE 
Look! Look...is it? Could it be? 

MATILDA 
Ssh! 

SCROOGE 
Fezziwig! Bless his heart! It’s Fezziwig alive again! 

MATILDA 
Ssh! Let the past speak to you! 

FEZZIWIG 
Yo, there! Ebenezer! Dick! 

Two young men in their twenties respond
to the call. One is Ebenezer, called 
YOUNG SCROOGE for our purposes, the
other DICK, his friend and workmate. 

SCROOGE 

(as the boys appear)
I was apprenticed here! My old workplace. I was made a man 
in this establishment, I was! How wonderful to 
see...Why...Dick Wilkins, to be sure! Bless me, yes! There 
he is! He was very much attached to me, was Dick! Dear, 
dear Dick! 

FEZZIWIG 
Yo, ho, my boys! No more work tonight! Christmas Eve, Dick! 
Christmas, Ebenezer! Let’s have the shutters up and call in
the revelers before a man can say Jack Robinson! 

Dick and Young Scrooge disperse and
call in all of Fezziwig’s employees, 
who break into celebration mode 
instantly. LIGHTS UP FULL ON 
WAREHOUSE. MRS. FEZZIWIG dispenses
food and gifts to the employees.
There’s dancing and singing and fiddle 
playing and eating and drinking and
laughing. 

Scrooge can hold himself back no longer
and dances and sings and revels among
all the others. Everybody else, of
course, except the spirit, is oblivious
to his participation. 

 

32. 
As the celebration continues, Scrooge
spies Young Scrooge, his younger self,
in a corner with a beautiful young
woman, BELLE. 

SCROOGE 
Spirit, it’s...it’s... 

MATILDA 
(to Scrooge)
Belle! Do you remember her? 

SCROOGE 
(in some pain)
Do I...remember...Belle... 

MATILDA 
I knew you would! Listen...listen... 

Scrooge does, as we begin to hear the
young people’s conversation. 

YOUNG SCROOGE 
I won’t always be an apprentice, you know! Someday I’ll be 
rich! I’ll have more money than all these people put 
together! 

BELLE 
Oh, Ebenezer...you know I don’t care about that. 

YOUNG SCROOGE 
Oh, but you should! You should hope that I achieve all my
goals and desires, for they will benefit you! If we are to 
be married, I... 

BELLE 
Ebenezer! You’ve never mentioned such a thing before! 

YOUNG SCROOGE 
Would such a thing be attractive to you? 

BELLE 
I may be persuaded to explore...such a thing... 

YOUNG SCROOGE 
After all, with my sister Fan already married and having a
child, it’s time for me to catch up! 

BELLE 
Ebenezer! 

Young Scrooge takes a ring out of his
pocket, and puts it on Belle’s finger. 

 

33. 
YOUNG SCROOGE 
For you, my love. 

BELLE 
Oh...Ebenezer! It’s so beautiful. 

YOUNG SCROOGE 
We will be happy, Belle! We will be happy and rich and
successful and powerful. I know it. 

BELLE 
I’ll settle for happy, Ebenezer. 

SCROOGE 
(as the young people embrace)
Belle...oh, Belle... 

MATILDA 
How lovely she was. 

SCROOGE 
She is. Oh, she is... 

As the celebration winds down and the 
revelers disperse, thanking Fezziwig
elaborately, Scrooge eases back to the
spirit. 

MATILDA 
Such a small matter...to make these silly folks so giddy and
thankful with a little money. 

SCROOGE 
Oh, it isn’t the money, Spirit! He has the power to render
us happy or unhappy, to make our jobs light or burdensome, a
pleasure or a toil. The happiness he gives is as great as if
it cost a fortune. 

Scrooge steps to the side, thinking. 

MATILDA 
I got you thinking! I knew I could do it! 

SCROOGE 
No...it’s just that...I should like to be able to say a word
or two to my clerk just now. That’s all. 

MATILDA 
I only have a few more minutes! Listen! The same couple.
The same room. But a year has passed... 

Instantly, we see Belle sitting in a
chair, with Young Scrooge pacing in
front of her. 

 

34. 
YOUNG SCROOGE 
Well, I am...astonished. This is the most outrageous...Why,
may I ask? 

BELLE 
Another idol has displaced me. It can cheer and comfort you
in time to come, as I would have tried to do, had you let me. 

YOUNG SCROOGE 
I don’t understand what you’re saying to me. What idol has 
displaced you? 

BELLE 
A golden one. 

YOUNG SCROOGE 
Oh, no! Not you, too! Fezziwig was failing! I rescued him! 
Marley and I turned his business into our own and we’ve 
succeeded! What is the harm in that? I am so tired of the 
notion that there is nothing to condemn in this world more
than the pursuit of wealth. 

BELLE 
The pursuit is one thing, Ebenezer! But when the pursuit is
all that there is, then I concede defeat. Look, Ebenezer, 
what happened in your family was a terrible thing. I know 
that...But you’ve not been the same man since... 

YOUNG SCROOGE 
(sloughing her off)
Aahhh... 

BELLE 
It was nobody’s fault! But it’s made it impossible for you 
to trust anyone or anything in the world but the comfort your
wealth provides you. 

YOUNG SCROOGE 
That has nothing to do with it. I have achieved my
predestined station. Can you fault me for that? 

BELLE 
You refuse to understand... 

YOUNG SCROOGE 
Belle, I love you. You know that. We belong together.
Everyone says so. 

BELLE 
Everyone doesn’t know what I know. What you know. I’m 
sorry, Ebenezer. 

 

35. 
YOUNG SCROOGE 
(sternly)
We are to be married. 

BELLE 
No. 

YOUNG SCROOGE 
But... 

BELLE 
No, Ebenezer. No. I love you. I will always love you. I 
love who you were, who you wanted to be before...But that
person may never be again. I know that now. I remember the 
life I used to see in your eyes. I remember loving that
life. I remember adoring those eyes. 

YOUNG SCROOGE 
Don’t you see the life any more? 

BELLE 
Oh...oh, yes, I do. 

YOUNG SCROOGE 
Well, then, I... 

BELLE 
I see it when you’re at the counting house. I see it when 
you are running your fingers through the coins and notes you
acquire in your business dealings. I see it then, I see it 
there, but I see it nowhere else. 

YOUNG SCROOGE 
This is...not fair. 

BELLE 
May you be happy in the life you have chosen. 

Belle steps away, stops, and removes
the engagement ring from her finger.
She gives it to Young Scrooge. 

BELLE (cont’d)
This belongs to the person you once were. Find him. 

YOUNG SCROOGE 
But, Belle, I... 

BELLE 
Find him, Ebenezer. 
(beat)
I love you. Goodbye. 

 

36. 
As Belle disappears, the light fades on
Young Scrooge, and comes up on Scrooge
and the spirits. 

SCROOGE 
Spirit! Show me no more! Why do you delight in torturing
me? 

MATILDA 
One shadow more! 

SCROOGE 
No more! I don’t wish to see it! No more! 

MATILDA 
ONE SHADOW MORE! 

They exit as MUSIC AND LIGHTS
accommodate a simple scene change to a
room in the CRATCHIT HOUSE. MARTHA 
sits as her mother, MRS. CRATCHIT, 
paces nervously. Scrooge and MATILDA
re-enter and observe. 

SCROOGE 
Spirit, what is this place? 

MATILDA 
You’ll see. You’ll see. 

MARTHA 
Will Tim be all right, Mother? 

MRS.CRATCHIT 
Your father will tell us, Martha. The doctor is in there 
now. 

BOB enters the room, wearily. 

BOB 
He should be comfortable for the night. The doctor has done 
all he can. 

MRS. CRATCHIT 
If we could only afford to take him to hospital, to an
experienced... 

BOB 
My dear... 

MRS. CRATCHIT 
But that...that skinflint you work for...that...that
Scrooge... 

 

37. 
BOB 
Ssh! Ssh, now... 

MARTHA 
Father? Will he live? Will Tiny Tim live? 

MRS. CRATCHIT 
Tell her. Go ahead! Tell her! 

MATILDA 
Come away! 

SCROOGE 
But, Spirit, I have to know! I must... 

MATILDA 
COME AWAY NOW!!! 

The MUSIC AND LIGHTS slowly erupt
again. Scrooge tries to listen to the
conversation but the sound of the 
voices is muffled. He can’t hear. 

SCROOGE 
Spirit! Spirit, what are they saying! Why aren’t you 
letting me hear this!!! Spirit! Spirit! 

Scrooge falls to the floor, weeping at
the feet of the spirit. A CACOPHONY OF 
MUSIC and A DAZZLING SPLASH OF LIGHT as 
Matilda disappears and Scrooge
continues to weep. He is back in his 
bedroom. There is deathly silence.
Everything, it seems, is as it was
before the spirit appeared. 

SCROOGE (cont’d)
(to himself)
Why, I...I must have...been asleep! Yes! That’s the answer! 
(the clock strikes; ding ding
ding dong)
Another hour approaches!
(ding dong ding dong)
Which one will this be? 
(ding ding ding dong)
I’ll soon know. 
(ding dong ding dong; the clock

then strikes one)
One again! Why, no time has passed at all! It’s this 
foolish dreaming of spirits and whatnot has me confused!
Enough! I must get my sleep and restore myself to my normal
state of health! 

 

38. 
Suddenly, a dazzling display of SOUND
and LIGHT. From the back of his 
bedroom, Scrooge is assaulted by a
BLINDING LIGHT, which thrusts him on 
his back. Scrooge turns towards the
audience. We hear the bellowing voice
of The Ghost of CHRISTMAS PRESENT. 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT (V.O.)

I AM THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT!!!! LOOK UPON ME, AND 

KNOW ME BETTER!!! 

The Ghost laughs heartily as Scrooge
cringes in fright. 

MUSIC. 

BLACKOUT 

END OF ACT ONE 

 

39. 
ACT TWO 

No time has passed. Scrooge is still
on the floor, gazing at the Ghost of
CHRISTMAS PRESENT. He is an enormous 
figure, with a bellowing voice and
grand manner. He sits on a throne 
surrounded by a bounty of food and
drink. Scrooge is still shaking. 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
I can see by your trembling knees and moist armpits that
you’ve never seen the likes of me before! 

SCROOGE 
(checks armpits)
Uh...no, I have not. 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
You’ve never walked with the elder members of my family? 

SCROOGE 
I don’t think so, no. Have you had many brothers, spirit? 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
More than eighteen hundred!
(laughs) 

SCROOGE 
A tremendous family to provide for! 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
Ah. Not the brightest star in the constellation, I see. I 
have my work cut out for me! 

SCROOGE 
Spirit...if it is your charge to continue my education... 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
It is! Touch my robe! 

SCROOGE 
(hesitant)
Oh...I’m not very good at this... 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
TOUCH MY ROBE! 

Scrooge does, and the LIGHTS CHANGE as
he and Present move away. As they do, a
different part of the street scene
appears, with merchants and shoppers
and street denizens going about their
business. 

 

40. 
SCROOGE 

Ah! The square around the corner from my counting house! Is 
this a time from my past, spirit? 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
The time is now, Scrooge! The day is today! Christmas Day! 

SCROOGE 
Oh! Of course! Christmas Day. 

Bob Cratchit, with his son TINY TIM on 
his shoulders, appears in the crowd.
The boy bears a crutch. 

SCROOGE (cont’d) 
Oh, look! It’s my clerk! Bob Cratchit! 
(yells)
Cratchit! Oh, Cratchit! 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 

He can’t hear you, remember? You are a slow learner, aren’t 

you? Watch! 

LIGHTS FADE on Scrooge and Present and
UP on the street scene. Bob puts Tim
down, to catch a breath. Bob begins to
sing. Eventually, Tim joins him. The 
tune evolves into a little DANCE, led 
by Bob. Tim participates mainly by
tapping his cane. When the song ends,
the small crowd watching applauds. 

LIGHTS UP on Scrooge and Present, now
in the scene, with Scrooge applauding
as well. As Scrooge speaks, Bob lifts
Tim on his shoulders again, and walks 
away. A GROUP OF CAROLERS CONVENES AND 
BEGINS TO SING as the scene changes to
the CRATCHIT HOUSE. 

SCROOGE 
The boy is...well again! 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
Yes. For now. 

SCROOGE 

Spirit...what do you mean? What ailment does the boy suffer?

I demand you tell me! Why is he...? 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 

Scrooge! Can it be...you are...concerned for the boy’s 

health and welfare? 

 

41. 
SCROOGE 
(hedging)
Well...no...I mean...it’s none of my business... 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
Come! 

SCROOGE 
Spirit, please! I insist you... 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
COME! 

The Carolers complete their song as the
Cratchit house setting is completed.
Scrooge and Present observe. 

MRS. CRATCHIT 

(hurrying)
Oh, where is your father? And Tiny Tim? And your sister
Martha has never been this late for Christmas dinner. Peter, 
here, set these there, and these there...Oh, my goodness,
Martha promised me she’d be here to help... 

MARTHA 
(appearing; dressed far better

than her mother)
I’m here, Mother! They kept me this morning to tidy up the
shop! 

BELINDA 
Oh, Martha, you have such beautiful clothes... 

MRS. CRATCHIT 
Your clothes will do, Belinda...at least until that ogre your
father works for pays him what he deserves... 

MARTHA 
Oh, Mother, I wish we could have one meal that didn’t involve 
a discussion about Ebenezer Scrooge. 

MRS. CRATCHIT 
And I wish I could live one day that didn’t reek of the 
poverty imposed on us by Ebenezer Scrooge. 

MARTHA 
You’re angry because I’m late. I’m so sorry. 

MRS. CRATCHIT 
Never mind, child! 
(kisses her)
I’m blessed to see you! Warm up by the fire! 

 

42. 
PETER 
(looking away)
Here comes Father! 

BELINDA 
Where? 

PETER 
Up the walkway! Look! Martha! Hide! 

Martha hides in a corner as Bob enters 
with Tiny Tim on his shoulders. Mrs. 
Cratchit greets him. 

MRS. CRATCHIT 
Good heavens, Bob! Where were you? You didn’t stop in to 
report to Mr. Scrooge, I hope? 

BOB 
Of course not, my dear. Not on Christmas Day. Tim and I 
stopped to do a little caroling. Where is Martha? Shouldn’t 
she be here by now? 

PETER 
Not coming. 

BOB 
(taken aback)
Not...not coming? But...it’s Christmas Day, I... 

MARTHA 
(runs to his arms)
Oh, Father! It was only a joke! 

BOB 
(relieved; embracing her)
Ah! Upon my word!

(takes off hat)
Go ahead! Count ‘em! You’ve added at least ten gray hairs 
to my head! 

MARTHA 
(laughing)
Oh, Father! 

PETER 
(listening off)
Can you hear? Can you hear the pudding popping in the tin? 

BELINDA 

(runs to Peter, listens)
Yes! Martha! Tim! Come! Let’s listen to the pudding 
popping! 

 

43. 
The children rush off, the others 
helping Tim. Bob removes his coat and 
things as Mrs. Cratchit continues to
work on the table. Scrooge and Present
continue to observe. 

MRS. CRATCHIT 
You went to church? 

BOB 
Yes. We did. 

MRS. CRATCHIT 
And how did he behave? 

BOB 
As good as gold. Sometimes...he gets thoughtful, you know?
I think it’s because he spends so much time alone. On the 
way home tonight he told me that he hoped people in the
church saw him with his crutch, because it might be good for
them to remember on Christmas Day who made lame beggars walk
and blind men see. 

MRS. CRATCHIT 
(starts to cry)
Oh, Bob... 

BOB 
(comforts her)
I know, dear. I know. Come. Let’s enjoy our dinner. 

MRS. CRATCHIT 
Yes. 
(composes herself a moment,
then calls...)
Children! We’re ready! 

The family gathers around the table,
each helping Tim into his place in some 
way. There is ad-lib chatter as the 
family marvels at the feast. Scrooge
watches in awe. 

SCROOGE 
Spirit...how...how is it possible... 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
For Bob Cratchit to provide such a meal on what you pay him? 

SCROOGE 
Well, I didn’t exactly mean... 

 

44. 
CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
Bob Cratchit is a man, Mr. Scrooge. A caring man. A caring
man provides. 

SCROOGE 
A caring...man.... 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
...provides...Listen... 

TINY TIM 
(silencing the chatter)
Quiet! I have something to say! 

BOB 
Oh! Tim has something to say! 

TINY TIM 
I do. 
(clears throat)
It...is...SUCH...A...GOOSE!!!! 
(the family laughs, as does
Scrooge) 

SCROOGE 
Such a goose, he said! Did you hear that, Spirit? Such a 
goose! 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
Ssh! 

BOB 
(breaking the laughter)
Now, now...my dears...please, each of you, bow your heads...

(they do)
“Father in heaven, bless us this day, as you have done.
Bless us as friends to each other, as friends to our 
neighbors and acquaintances, and most importantly, bless us
as a family. 

ALL 
Amen. 
(all but Bob start to chatter
and grab for food) 

BOB 

(stopping them)
Uh! One more thing, please. Raise your glasses of punch!
Come now, raise them up!

(they do)
To Mr. Scrooge! The founder of the feast! 

 

45. 
MARTHA 
(warning)
Father... 

MRS. CRATCHIT 

(lowering glass)
The founder of the feast, indeed! I wish I had him here. 
I’d give him a piece of my mind to feast upon! 

BOB 
My dear...the children! Christmas Day! 

MRS. CRATCHIT 
I don’t know a day when one should drink the health of such 
an odious, stingy, hard, unfeeling man as Mr. Scrooge!
Nobody knows this better than you, Robert! 

BOB 
My dear... 

MRS. CRATCHIT 
Oh, I’ll drink his health for your sake! Not for his. 
(lifts glass)
Long life to him! Such as it is! 

TINY TIM 
(after a moment)
Don’t be sad, Mother. It’s Christmas! 

MRS. CRATCHIT 
I know, dear. I’m sorry. I’m sorry to all of you. I love 
you, very, very much. 

BOB 
And we love you! 

TINY TIM 
God bless us, every one. 

The LIGHTS DIM on them as the family
members take their seats again and
begin to enjoy the dinner. 

The LIGHTS FADE to feature Scrooge and
Present. 

SCROOGE 
Spirit...tell me if Tiny Tim will live? 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
I see a vacant seat in the poor chimney corner, and a crutch
without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows 
remain unaltered by the Future... 

 

46. 
SCROOGE 
No! Oh, no! 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
The child will die. 

SCROOGE 
No, kind Spirit, no! Please! Tell me he will be spared! 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
Spared? From dying? Why...I understood you approved of
dying. It...”decreases the surplus population!” 

SCROOGE 
Spirit! Spirit! Please! 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
Onward! 

The spirit directs Scrooge away as the
SOUNDS of the PARTY at Fred’s house are 
heard. 

SCROOGE 
Spirit! What is that? Where are we going? Who is...who 
is... 

They disappear as the LIGHTS COME UP
FULLY ON FRED’S HOUSE, where a small 
party is in progress. There are two 
couples at the party: FRED and 
DOROTHY; TOPPER and GWENDOLYN. At 
present, Fred is leading some children
in a singing game, which ends with all
the children gathering presents and
running off into another room. 

FRED 

(laughing loudly)
Now, what were we discussing before the children came into
the room? 

DOROTHY 
Your uncle. 

FRED 
Ah! Uncle Scrooge! Well, I made every effort yesterday to
invite him to join us, but I failed miserably. 

DOROTHY 
You try much too hard to accommodate him and I don’t see why.
The way he treats you. 

 

47. 
FRED 
(carefully)
Now, Dorothy, dear... 

DOROTHY 
He is a sick old man, with sick old ideas. 

FRED 
(to guests)
My wife sees only the dark side... 

DOROTHY 

(to guests)
Do you want to know why Scrooge is this way? Shall I tell 
them, Fred? 

FRED 
Oh, I wish you wouldn’t, my dear... 

SCROOGE 
No...No... 

TOPPER 

(a guest)
Oh, do tell us, Fred! Knowing old Scrooge the reason must be
a silly one! Perhaps Fred here, when he was a boy, sneaked
into Scrooge’s pantry and filched one of the old buzzard’s 
month-old tea cakes to use for a doorstop!

(all laugh)
Or better! Or better! Maybe Scrooge had an insatiable
desire to chat up little Dorothy, here..

(boisterous laugh from all) 

GWENDOLYN 
(another guest)
Oh, Topper! Stop!
(to all)
He’s in his cups! 

TOPPER 
And when young Fred whisked her down the aisle, old Scrooge
vowed he’d never utter a kind word in his presence again! 

FRED 
(to Dorothy)
See what you’ve started. 

TOPPER 
Well, Fred, if you don’t want me to keep on speculating, 
you’ll have to tell us! 

GWENDOLYN 
Oh, you’d better tell him, Fred, or he’ll never leave you 
alone! 

 

48. 
DOROTHY 

Go on, dear. 

FRED 
Well, he...you see...he loved my mother. His sister. Fan. 
Loved her dearly. And, of course, you know...you know she
died when I was born...so... 

A long moment as this is absorbed. 

TOPPER 
Fred. Good Lord. 

FRED 
So, you see...he took it quite hard. And he never could 
forgive me...for being born. 

GWENDOLYN 
Oh, dear...Oh, dear... 

FRED 
And as...terrible as it is...the way he’s acted towards 
me...I somehow...can’t blame him. 

DOROTHY 
Well, I have no patience with him. 

FRED 
Oh, I have! I am sorry for him; I couldn't be angry with him
if I tried. Who suffers by his ill whims? Himself, always.
Here, he takes it into his head to dislike us, and he won't 
come and dine with us. And what is the consequence, after
all, of his anger? He loses some pleasant moments, which
could do him no harm. I am sure he loses pleasanter
companions than he can find in his own thoughts, either in
his mouldy old office, or his dusty chambers. I mean to give
him the same chance every year, whether he likes it or not,
for I pity him. He may rail at Christmas till he dies, but he
can't help thinking better of it -- I defy him -- if he finds
me going there, in good temper, year after year, and saying
Uncle Scrooge, how are you? If it only puts him in the vein
to leave his poor clerk fifty pounds, that's something! And 
to tell you the truth...

(begins to chuckle) 

TOPPER 
What, Fred? 

FRED 
To tell you the truth...I do think I shook him up yesterday!
(all laugh lightly) 

TOPPER 
That, I would have liked to see. 

 

49. 
DOROTHY 

Me too! 
(all laugh) 

FRED 
Enough now! Let’s play some games! 

All react enthusiastically as the LIGHT
focuses on Scrooge and Present. 

SCROOGE 
Spirit! They don’t understand! He didn’t fully explain to 
them how...what went through my heart the day Fan...little
Fan... 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
Abandoned you? 

SCROOGE 
But she..she had no control over.... 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
Oh? And little Fred did have control? Is that your
argument? Are you beginning to see now, Scrooge? 

SCROOGE 
See what? See what, Spirit? Are you telling me that it was
fair? Are you telling me I was treated justifiably by Fate?
It was not I who came into the world just to snatch my dear
little sister out of it! 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
Nor was it you who brought the fatal chill to your mother. 

SCROOGE 
No, it wasn’t! My father, he...he didn’t understand, he... 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
To whom are you responsible, Scrooge? 

SCROOGE 
What? Spirit, I don’t know how you want me to... 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
To whom are you responsible? 

SCROOGE 
Stop confounding me, Spirit, I... 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
“I see a vacant seat in the poor chimney corner...” 

SCROOGE 
What? What are you...? 

 

50. 
CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
“I SEE A VACANT SEAT IN A POOR CHIMNEY CORNER... 

SCROOGE 
(whispers, defeated)
...and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved...”
(gets it)
Oh...Spirit... 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
Listen! 

SCROOGE 
Spirit! 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
LISTEN! 

LIGHTS re-focus on Fred’s parlor. 

TOPPER 
Explain the game again, Fred! 

FRED 
Oh, it’s so simple! I merely imitate something, and you ask
Yes or No questions to determine what it is! 

DOROTHY 
Just go ahead, Fred! They’ll catch on! 

GWENDOLYN 

Yes, Fred! Do go on! Topper, you are such a slow poke!
(nudges him) 
FRED 
All right! Here we go! 
Fred bends over and assume the visageof a grumbling, growling being of some 
sort. He walks around the room angrilypushing people and things and continuesto grumble and growl. 
DOROTHY 

Are you an animal?

(Fred growls)
He’s an animal. 

GWENDOLYN 
Do you live in London? 

FRED 
(growls, nods)
Yes! 

 

51. 
DOROTHY 
He grunts and talks at the same time! 

TOPPER 
Could be half the people in my office! 

GWENDOLYN 
Do you walk on two legs?
(Fred does an elaboration on
his own walk, keeps growling)
Yes! 

DOROTHY 
Do you live in a menagerie? 

FRED 
(growls)
NO! 

TOPPER 
Are you ever sold at market? 

FRED 
(growls)
NO! 

TOPPER 
Are you a horse? 

FRED 
NO! 

GWENDOLYN 
A bull! 

FRED 
NO! 

DOROTHY 
A tiger! 

FRED 
NO! NO! NO! 

TOPPER 
(with humor)
Are you an ass? 

FRED 
(Fred stops, thinks aloud)
You’re getting warmer... 

 

52. 
TOPPER 
Growl one more time! 
(Fred does)
I’ve got it! Scrooge! You are your Uncle Scrooge! 

FRED 
Correct! 

Everybody laughs uproariously. Scrooge
sinks to the floor, next to the spirit.
Fred, still laughing, reaches for a
glass. 

FRED (CONT'D)
You see! It’s still possible Uncle can give us a laugh at 
Christmastime! 

(raises glass)
To my Uncle Scrooge! A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to
the old man, wherever he is! He wouldn’t take it from me, 
but he may have it, nevertheless! To Uncle Scrooge! 

ALL 
(raising glasses)
To Uncle Scrooge! 

The LIGHTS CROSS FADE from the party to
Scrooge and the Spirit. As they do,
the spirit finds a place to sit, and
reclines with some pain. 

SCROOGE 
Spirit...are you...why, you’ve grown very old! 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
My life upon this Earth is very brief. It ends tonight. 

SCROOGE 
Tonight! 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
Pay attention! 

At this, FOREBODING MUSIC. The LIGHTS 
CHANGE to focus frighteningly on
Present. From beneath his robes, two 
sets of feet emerge, hideous, almost
clawed. Scrooge is taken aback. 

SCROOGE 
Spirit, I...I... 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
PAY ATTENTION!!! 

 

53. 
A blast of MUSIC. Present opens his
robes to reveal two children in dire 
straits. Meager, ragged, scowling,
wolfish. And cowering in as much fear
as they inject into the atmosphere. 

SCROOGE 
Spirit! Are they yours! 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 

They are man’s! And they cling to me, hoping for

deliverance. The Boy is Ignorance. The Girl is Want. 

Beware of them both, Scrooge! But most of all beware of this 

boy! 

SCROOGE 
Ignorance! 

The Boy emerges from beneath the robes
and slowly walks towards Scrooge, who
backs away in fear. As Present 
continues to speak, the MUSIC
INCREASES, AND THE LIGHTS SWIRL. 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 

Look at his brow, Scrooge! Can you see what is written

there? CAN YOU??? DOOM! Continue on your chosen path,

Scrooge and it is your only possible destination! 

SCROOGE 
SPIRIT!!! 

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
DOOM! DOOM! DOOM! 

As Present bellows and the LIGHTS AND 
MUSIC SWIRL, exacerbating Scrooge’s
horror, the Boy retreats to Present’s 
robe. Present, still moaning “Doom!”
disappears. The horrible MUSIC BUILDS
TO A CRESCENDO, then changes abruptly
to an ominous CHORD. Scrooge is alone,
cowering in a SPOTLIGHT. He turns, and 
sees ANOTHER SPIRIT appearing in the
distance. The spirit, draped in black
and hooded, moves slowly towards him.
When the spirit reaches Scrooge, he 
stops. 

SCROOGE 
(cowering)
I am in the presence of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come?
(no response) 

 

54. 
You are about to show me the shadow of the things that have
not happened, but will happen in the time before us?

(the Spirit turns and points)
Ghost of the future, I fear you more than any spectre I have 
seen. Will you not speak to me?

(the Spirit points again, more

sharply)
No. You will not. The responsibility is now mine to
understand. Lead on, Spirit. Lead on. 

Scrooge touches the garment of the
Spirit and they ease slowly away. In 
another part of the stage, A
BUSINESSMAN and an UNDERTAKER meet at a 
STREETCORNER. As they speak, Scrooge
and the Spirit insinuate themselves
nearby. 

UNDERTAKER 
Oh, I don’t know the details. I only know he’s dead. 

SCROOGE 
Who’s dead? 

BUSINESSMAN 
Are they sure? With him it’d be hard to tell! 

UNDERTAKER 
Old Scratch has got his own, at last! I thought he’d never 
die. 

BUSINESSMAN 
What has he done with his money? 

UNDERTAKER 
All I know is he hasn’t left it to me! 
(they all laugh) 

SCROOGE 
What are they...? Who...? 

BUSINESSMAN 
Will there be a funeral? 

SCROOGE 
Who’s funeral? 

UNDERTAKER 

(with delight)
Oh, there will be a funeral! A cheap one, but there will be
a funeral! 

BUSINESSMAN 
You don’t miss a trick, Smithers! 

 

55. 
UNDERTAKER 
Will you go? 

BUSINESSMAN 
I won’t go. I can’t think of anyone who would go. 

SCROOGE 
I’ll go! 

UNDERTAKER 
You may be right. Hmm. Embarrassin’ for me, if I can’t drum 
up some mourners. 

BUSINESSMAN 
I might go...if lunch were provided. 

UNDERTAKER 
(a good idea)
Hmm. Lunch. 

BUSINESSMAN 
Yes. Lunch. I’ll go...provided I am fed. Whatdya say? 

UNDERTAKER 
I’m thinking...I’m thinking... 

They consider this as they leave. The 
Spirit starts to move away. 

SCROOGE 
Wait! Spirit! Wait...I might...Shouldn’t we linger to see 
if...I appear in the Square? Perhaps I could find out
who...who is dead, Spirit, I...

(the Spirit points, sharply)
Ah. No. I see. Lead on. 

The Spirit moves slowly to another part
of the stage as Scrooge follows.
LIGHTS then come up on OLD JOE’S shop, 
a decrepit den filled with scraps,
rags, old bottles and old bones. OLD 
JOE sits in the midst of all this 
rubble, smoking a pipe. 

With him are a LAUNDRESS, the 
UNDERTAKER and GLADYS, Scrooge’s 
chambermaid. The two women carry large
bundles, while the Undertaker bears a 
tiny cloth bag. The women haggle.
Scrooge and the Spirit are to the side. 

LAUNDRESS 
‘Ere, now, I was in the door first! 

 

56. 
GLADYS 

We come in together! The only reason you was first was your

belly protruded its way in front of ya! 

LAUNDRESS 
My goods, first, Joe! You’ll find ‘em worth a pretty penny! 

GLADYS 
You know me longer, Joe! Me first! She’s just the laundry 

other people’s affairs! 

woman. I’m the chambermaid! I got somethin’ special, I do! 
JOE 
Ladies! 
(as they continue to argue)
Ladies! 
SCROOGE 
Gladys! My chambermaid! I had no idea she was mixed up in 

JOE 

(he breaks them apart)
Ladies! What’s the hurry? We’re not going to pick holes in 
each other’s pockets, now, are we? 

GLADYS 
I suppose not! 

LAUNDRESS 
And he what owns these ain’t goin’ anywhere!
(they all laugh) 

JOE 
Ain’t it true! Ain’t it true! 

UNDERTAKER 
We should be ashamed of ourselves. 

LAUNDRESS 
Ah, who’s the worse for the loss of a few things like these?
Not a dead man, I suppose! 

GLADYS 
If he wanted to keep ‘em after he was dead, the old screw, 
why wasn’t he natural in his lifetime? If he had been, he’d 
have had somebody to look after him when he was struck with
death, instead of lying gasping out his last there, alone by
himself. 

LAUNDRESS 
It’s a judgement on him! 

GLADYS 
I wish it were a heavier judgement, but what I brung’ll do me
fine. Open my bundle, Joe! 

 

57. 
LAUNDRESS 

No, Joe! Me first! 
(the women argue again) 

UNDERTAKER 
Oh, I’m tired of the two of you. Here, Joe. 
(dumps contents of bag in front

of Joe; a few trinkets)
He had precious little hangin’ off him. But what’s there is 
choice! 

GLADYS 
(looking)
Precious little, is right! 

JOE 
(examining plunder)
Yeah. Uh huh. Uh huh. 
(hands over a few coins)
There’s for yours. And you’ll not get another sixpence! 

UNDERTAKER 
But, Joe... 

JOE 
Next! 

LAUNDRESS 
(pushes her way to front, opens
bag, dumps)
‘Ere’s mine! 
(as she puts goods in front of

Joe)
Sheets. Towels. Stockin’s. Night shirt. Under garment.
Under garment. Sugar tongs. 

GLADYS 
Here now! You’re the laundress! Where do you come by sugar
tongs! Explain yourself! 

LAUNDRESS 
He had ‘em in the pocket of this night shirt!
(throws down shirt)
No explanation required! 

JOE 

(handing out money)
Ah...I always give out too much to the ladies. It’s a 
weakness of mine! It’ll be my ruination! 

GLADYS 
Now open my bundle, Joe! 

 

58. 
JOE 
(opens it, gazes in amazement)
What’s this now? Bed-curtains? 

GLADYS 
(proudly)
Bed-curtains! 

JOE 
You don’t mean to say you took ‘em down, rings and all, with 
him lyin’ there? 

GLADYS 
I do mean to say it! Why not! 

JOE 
You were born to make your fortune, Gladys! 

GLADYS 
That’ll teach him for addressin’ me as “woman.” 

JOE 
(finding more)
Blankets? You got his blankets? 

GLADYS 
He ain’t likely to catch cold without ‘em now, would you say? 

JOE 
(dropping blanket)
He didn’t die of anything catching, did he? 

GLADYS 
Don’t be afraid of that! And don’t forget this!
(reaches in to get a dress
shirt) 

JOE 
Such a fancy shirt! 

GLADYS 
It’s the best he had, and a fine one, too! They’d have 
wasted it, if not for me! 

JOE 
Wasted how? 

GLADYS 
They’d have buried him in it, sure! 

JOE 
You mean...you snatched it off him? While he was lyin’
there? 

 

59. 
GLADYS 

I did! And replaced it with a calico number. He didn’t look 
any uglier than he did in that one! 

JOE 

(hands over money to Gladys)
Well, this is the end of it! What a world! He frightened
everyone away from him when he was alive, to profit us when
he was dead! 

They all laugh heartily as they gather
their spoils and booty. LIGHTS FADE on 
them, UP FULLY on Scrooge and the
Spirit. 

SCROOGE 
I understand, Spirit! My lesson is learned! Gladys...the
bed curtains, so much like mine! I understand! The man 
these wretched people speak of is...like me in some way!
He...he has no dignity, even in death! His worldly
possessions have been obliterated by the greed of others!
I...I am to...better myself with this knowledge...I...I 

Another BLAST OF MUSIC as the Spirit
points directly upstage. There, the 
body of a man on a cold slab is rolled
ignominiously on and offstage by the
Undertaker. 

SCROOGE (cont’d) 
NO! What is...Spirit, it is the man! The man in death! Oh, 
Spirit, please take me from this place! He is alone! He is 
ignored! He is...abandoned! I understand, Spirit! I have 
learned! Please! Please show me someone...anyone...who has
felt some emotion at this man’s passing! Spirit! Please! 

The Spirit turns and points to another
part of the stage. The LIGHTS FADE on 
the silhouette and UP on KIRK and his 
wife, CAROLINE, a couple in their
forties. 

CAROLINE 
Well? Is the news good or bad? 

KIRK 
Some good. Some bad. 

CAROLINE 
Tell me the bad. It can’t hurt any worse than what I know 
now. 

KIRK 
He is dead. 

 

60. 
CAROLINE 

Dead? Well, then....to whom shall our debt pass? 

KIRK 
Nobody knows. But before that is determined, we shall be 
ready with the money. And even if we are not, whoever our 
new creditor is will be hard pressed to be as merciless as
he. 

CAROLINE 
So...the good news and the bad news...are the same. 

KIRK 
Yes. We may sleep tonight with light hearts, Caroline. We 
are free! He can torture us no longer! 

As they embrace, LIGHTS CROSS to
Scrooge and the Spirit. Scrooge
remains distraught. 

SCROOGE 
Oh, but their emotion is harsh and based upon this miser’s 
death! Stop teaching me, Spirit! Show me some tenderness 
resulting from this evil man’s demise! 

The spirit points to another part of
the stage. In a sharp light, Bob
kneels at a funeral bier which holds 
the body of Tiny Tim. Bob is smothered 
in grief, barely able to keep himself
upright. He tries to pray. 

BOB 
Dear God...please...take care of my little boy. Give him now 
the happiness he brought to all of us here. We are 
all...blessed by his bravery, the kindness he showed us...all
the while knowing he...he...

(raises head)
Yes, he knew. He certainly knew. His time here was short, 
and he made the best of it. I only wish I...I wish I could
have done... 

(he weeps openly) 

SCROOGE 
Spirit, why is he torturing himself! Why, Bob Cratchit did
everything in his power to take care of that boy! 

BOB 
Oh, I wish...I wish I could have... 

SCROOGE 
Everything! He did everything in his...in his...
(beat, finally understands)
...in....his...power...oh, Spirit... 

 

61. 
Bob composes himself, and stands up.
He leans over to kiss Tiny Tim. Then 
he slowly walks away. 

SCROOGE (cont’d) 
Spirit! Please! No more! No more, Spirit! 

Slowly, the Spirit leads Scrooge to
another part of the stage, a corner of
the Cratchit house, where the family is
gathered, close-knit. Peter is reading
from a book. Mrs. Cratchit and the 
daughters are sewing. Scrooge and the
Spirit ease to the side. 

PETER 
(reading)
“And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them.” 

MRS. CRATCHIT 

(sets down sewing; rubs eyes)
The light is so dim....Where is your father? He should be 
home by this time. 

PETER 
Always by this time. But I think now he walks more slowly
than...before. 

MARTHA 
Oh, Peter... 

MRS. CRATCHIT 
I have known him walk with Tiny Tim upon his shoulder...very
fast, indeed. 

SCROOGE 
Tiny Tim! 

BELINDA 
And so have I. 

PETER 
So have we all. 

SCROOGE 
Spirit! Could I have...? Had I been...more generous to
Cratchit...would Tiny Tim have...would he have...?

(the spirit turns away from
Scrooge) 

Bob then enters, removing his hat,
scarf and coat as he does. Belinda 
runs to him. 

 

62. 
BELINDA 

Father! 

BOB 

My dear! My dears!
(they all embrace; observing

the sewing)
And look! Why you’ll be quite ready with the quilt for the 
service on Sunday! 

MRS. CRATCHIT 
Sunday! 

BOB 
Yes. It is all arranged. I’ve chosen...the spot. 

MRS. CRATCHIT 
So you visited today, then? 

BOB 
Yes, my dear. I wish you could have gone. It would have 
done you good to see how green a place it is....But we will
visit there often...won’t we... 

(sits)
We will...visit...there... 
(he breaks down) 

There is a knock on the door. Martha 
steps off to answer. Bob pulls himself
together. Martha returns with Fred, 
who takes off his hat as he enters. 

BOB (cont’d) 
Why...why...Mr...Mr... 

FRED 
Fred, Bob! It’s Fred. 

BOB 
Of course! Why...won’t you sit down, and... 

FRED 
No. No. Please. I just...heard the sad news. And I wanted 
to extend my deepest, deepest sympathy to you and your
family. 

MRS. CRATCHIT 
Well, thank you, sir. 

BOB 
Yes, thank you. Sincerely. 

 

63. 
FRED 
(observing children)
What a fine family you have, Bob! 

BOB 
Thank you, sir. This is Belinda. And you’ve met Martha. 
And... 

FRED 
You must be Peter. 

PETER 
Yes, sir. 
(to Bob)
He knows my name! 

FRED 
Your father has spoken highly of you when I’ve visited...my 
uncle. We’ve talked a number of times about... 

(considers)
Yes...Peter...what would you say to stopping by my store on
Monday morning! I should think an apprenticeship is due a
boy about your age, wouldn’t you say! 

PETER 
Oh, yes, sir! Father! I’ll be able to help! 

BOB 
(to Fred)
Thank you. Thank you so very much. 

FRED 
Well, I’ll be going. Please. If there’s anything you need.
Feel free to call on me. 

BOB 
Goodbye, sir. Happy Christmas. 

The rest of the family also wishes Fred
a Happy Christmas as he leaves. When 
he is gone, the other children gather
happily around Peter. 

SCROOGE 
A caring man...a caring man...provides... 

BOB 
(gathering the family around

him)
You see? The little fellow is protecting us! He is seeing
after us! Even though he is no longer with us! 

MARTHA 
Yes, Father! 

 

64. 
BOB 
So whenever we part from one another, let’s none of us ever 
forget poor Tiny Tim, shall we? How patient and how mild he 
was. How he would want us to stay together in our minds and
hearts as a family, no matter how far we may stray from home. 

PETER 
Yes, Father. 

The family acknowledges Bob’s wish, as 
the LIGHTS CROSS to Scrooge and the
Spirit. 

SCROOGE 
Spirit...something tells me that our parting moment is at
hand. Tell me...please...who was the man lying dead? 

OMINOUS MUSIC creeps into the scene.
Slowly, the Spirit turns and begins to
point. As the music slowly builds, we
see what appears to be a gravestone.
After a moment, it becomes clear that 
an old woman is standing alone in front
of the gravestone. This is the older 
Belle. The MUSIC BUILDS as Belle 
shakes her head and walks away. 

SCROOGE (cont’d) 
Why, it’s...it’s Belle. She must know this man! She 
must...Oh, Spirit, who is he! Who is this terrible man! 

The Spirit points sharply to the
gravestone as the MUSIC CONTINUES TO
BUILD. Scrooge slowly moves towards the 
stone. The MUSIC BUILDS LOUDER AND 
LOUDER as he approaches. He reaches 
the stone. He leans over and wipes
snow away from the engraving. A LIGHT 
SLAMS onto the stone as the MUSIC 
REACHES ITS PEAK. The stone, of 
course, reads “Ebenezer Scrooge.” 

Scrooge wails and falls to the ground. 

SCROOGE (cont’d) 
NO! NO!!! It can’t be! 
(turns and wails; the Spirit is

gone)
SPIRIT! SPIRIT! SPARE ME! I HAVE COME TO SEE THE HORRIBLE 
ERROR OF MY WAYS! I WILL CHANGE! I PROMISE! I BLESS THIS 
DAY YOU’VE COME TO ME TO SHOW ME THE WAY! I WILL HONOR 
CHRISTMAS IN MY HEART, AND TRY TO KEEP IT ALL THE YEAR! I 
WILL LIVE IN THE PAST, THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE! 

 

65. 
THE SPIRITS OF ALL THREE SHALL STRIVE WITHIN ME! I WILL NOT 
SHUT OUT THE LESSONS THEY TEACH! SPIRIT! SPIRIT! SPIRIT! 

As Scrooge wails, the LIGHTS AND MUSIC
WHIRL him back to his BEDROOM, where he 
finds himself sprawled on his bed. He 
is repeating his entreaties to the
Spirits as he awakens. 

SCROOGE (cont’d)
I will live in the Past, the Present and the Future...I will 
honor Christmas in my heart...I will...I will...

(notices the bed curtains)
Look! They are not torn down! They are not torn down rings
and all! They are here! I am here! The shadows of things
that would have been may be dispelled! They will be! I know 
they will! 

(runs around the room,

deliriously happy)
I don’t know what to do! I am as light as a feather! I am 
as happy as an angel! I am as giddy as a drunken man!

(to window)
A Merry Christmas to everybody! A Happy New Year to all the
world! Hello there! Whooooop! Hellooooo! 

(he laughs--a huge guffaw; then
stops abruptly)
What was that? 

(beat)
A laugh! I laughed! Good heavens, I haven’t heard one of 
those in years! I don’t know what day of the month it is! I 
don’t know how long I’ve been among the spirits! I don’t 
know anything. I am quite a baby! Never mind! I don’t 
care! I’d rather be a baby! Hello! Whooop! Hello, there! 

BELLS CHIME in the city. Scrooge runs
to his front window, opens it, and
spies a BOY running by. He stops him. 

SCROOGE (cont’d) 
You there! Boy! What is today? 

BOY 
Today? Why, it’s Christmas Day! 

SCROOGE 
Christmas Day! I haven’t missed it! The Spirits have done
it all in one night! Well, why not! They can do anything
they like! They’re Spirits! Boy! Boy! Do you know the
poulter’s in the next street, at the corner? 

BOY 
I should hope so! 

 

66. 
SCROOGE 
An intelligent boy! A remarkable boy! Do you know whether
they’ve sold the prize turkey that was hanging up there? 

BOY 
The little prize Turkey or the big prize Turkey? The one as 
big as me! 

SCROOGE 
What a delightful boy! The one as big as you! 

BOY 
It’s hanging there now! 

SCROOGE 
Wonderful! I want you to go and buy it.
(runs to money, giggling, gets

a pouch, tosses it to Boy)
Tell ‘em to bring it here, and I will direct them where to 
take it. Come back with the butcher, and I’ll give you a 
shilling. Come back with him in less than five minutes, and 
I’ll give you half a crown! 

The Boy whoops with joy and runs off.
Scrooge races back inside. 

SCROOGE (cont’d)
I will send it to Bob Cratchit! He won’t know who sent it! 
What a superlative joke! What a magnificent idea! So this 
is what it means! Merry Christmas! If I had known how 
wonderful it felt, I’d have felt it years ago! Merry
Christmas! Merry Christmas! 

Scrooge runs off as the SET CHANGES TO
THE STREET, where people gather
joyously, in SONG AND DANCE. 

As the dance ends, Scrooge, now dressed
elegantly for the day, enters the
crowd. The tenor of the crowd 
diminishes abruptly. 

SCROOGE (cont’d) 
MERRY CHRISTMAS! 
(beat)
I’m not kidding!
(beat)
MERRY CHRISTMAS! 

The people begin to mumble to each
other in astonishment. 

 

67. 
Fred enters. When he does, the crowd 
continues to watch in awe as Scrooge
makes his transformation. 

FRED 
(not joyous)
Uncle. 

SCROOGE 
Nephew. 

FRED 
(beat, nothing from Scrooge)
Well, then... 
(starts to walk away) 

SCROOGE 
I know what you’re thinking. 

FRED 
Oh? 

SCROOGE 
You’re thinking...how long must I wait for that old miser to
die? How long must I wait to inherit his fortune? 

FRED 
Uncle, if that’s what you’re thinking, then you have no idea 
what kind of man I am. 

SCROOGE 
Oh, believe me, nephew. I know what kind of man you are. 

FRED 
Uncle, I don’t have any design on your wealth. If you really
want to know what I’m thinking, I’m thinking how wonderful it
would be if you were to find some true happiness on this day. 

SCROOGE 
(beginning to giggle)
You have no design on my wealth. 

FRED 
Of course not, Uncle. 

SCROOGE 
Good then, because it is my design to make a large donation
every year to the impoverished!

(Fred stops)
You approve, I assume? 

FRED 
Uncle, what...? 

 

68. 
SCROOGE 

Fred. Nephew. I was...on my way to your house. Is that 
invitation to dinner still open? 

FRED 
Uncle...why, of course, it is! Will you come? 

SCROOGE 
Fred...I am so, so sorry. Truly, I am...Will you forgive me? 

FRED 
Of course! Well, of course! I’ll run and tell Dorothy! 
We’ll see you at the house in half an hour! 

SCROOGE 
Thank you, my boy. Thank you...
(They embrace; Fred starts off)
And one more thing...
(Fred stops)
Merry Christmas. 

FRED 
No bah? No humbug? 

SCROOGE 
Merry Christmas, dear nephew. 

FRED 
Half an hour! 
(Again, they embrace; again, he
runs off) 

FINK and ENTWHISTLE emerge from the
crowd and begin to sneak away. Scrooge
spots them and yells. The crowd still 
stands in awe. 

SCROOGE 
Wait! 

ENTWHISTLE 
Oh! I told you we should have taken the other street. 

SCROOGE 

(approaches them)
Gentlemen! I would like to respond again to your plea from
yesterday! 

FINK 
We heard your response loudly and clearly, sir! 

SCROOGE 
Ah, but this response is much, much quieter. Listen! 

 

69. 
Scrooge takes out a wad of paper money,
wrests the FINK’s hand open, and begins 
to pile bill after bill into it. 

FINK 
But, sir, I... 

SCROOGE 
Ssh! 
(finishes handing over money)
There. And a great many back payments are included. 

ENTWHISTLE 
I...I don’t know what to say. 

SCROOGE 
Say nothing. Just promise to visit me when you need more. 

FINK 
More? 

SCROOGE 
Already? Well, whatever you say!
(hands over more money) 

FINK 
Thank you, sir! 

ENTWHISTLE 
Much obliged to you, sir! 

They walk off happily gazing at the 
money. As they do, 

The crowd is now totally silent,
staring at the new Scrooge. He turns 
and sees them. 

SCROOGE 
Well, what are you all staring at! You know what I want you
to do, don’t you?

(they all start to run off)
NO! STOP!!! 
(they do)
SING!!! SING!!! SING!!! 

The crowd disperses, singing. Scrooge
runs off. 

LIGHTS UP ON THE STREET SCENE, the next 
morning. Fred and Dorothy appear, arm
in arm. 

 

70. 
DOROTHY 
Well, I’ll have to admit, last night’s dinner was one for the 
ages. 

FRED 
Indeed it was! 

DOROTHY 
I never thought your uncle could be so charming. 

FRED 
He’s been saving it up for fifty years. We were bound to 
squeeze it out of him eventually. 

DOROTHY 
Look! His counting house. Do you suppose he’s in? 

FRED 
I don’t want to find out! For now,I want to remember him as 
he was last night. Let’s go before he can spoil it all! 

They laugh and move away. As they
leave, Scrooge enters and paces giddily
in front of his counting house,
checking his watch fob. 

SCROOGE (cont’d)

(to himself)
Oh, he’s late! He’s late! How wonderful! He must have 
reveled in his Christmas yesterday as I did! And now Bob 
Cratchit is late! 

He sees something in the distance, and
hides. Bob appears, taking off his
hat, coat and scarf as he tries to rush 
into the counting house. 

SCROOGE (cont’d)
(jumps out)
CRATCHIT!!!! 
(Bob stops in his tracks)
What do you mean by coming here at this time of day? 

BOB 
I’m sorry, sir. I am a bit behind my time...It’s only once a 
year, sir...You see, I was making rather merry yesterday,
sir, and I... 

SCROOGE 
I don’t want to hear your feeble excuses! I am not going to
stand for this sort of thing any longer. And therefore... 

(Bob puts on his hat)
...because of the way you have worked in this shop... 

 

71. 
(Bob puts on his scarf)
...and because of the manner in which you treat me... 

In the distance, we hear the CAROLERS 
SINGING. 

SCROOGE (cont’d) 
Wait! Do you hear that? 

BOB 
Hear what, sir? 

SCROOGE 
That! That! 

BOB 
Oh, the caroling, sir. Yes. I hear it. 
(the singing gets closer) 

SCROOGE 
It’s lovely, isn’t it? 

BOB 
Yes, sir. What, sir? 

SCROOGE 
I said the singing is lovely. 

BOB 
Sir, are you feeling all right? 

SCROOGE 
Well, then...there’s only one thing for me to do. 

BOB 
(confused)
Sir? 

Scrooge steps over to the front of the
counting house, and reaches for the
Scrooge and Marley sign. He removes 
the “Marley” part of the sign,
revealing the new name: “Cratchit.”
The sign now reads “Scrooge and 
Cratchit.” 

BOB 
Mr. Scrooge...I don’t know what to say... 

SCROOGE 
Say nothing. We will discuss everything this very afternoon
over a Christmas bowl of smoking Bishop! From this day
forward, Bob, your family will want for nothing. Ever again. 

 

72. 
BOB 
Mr. Scrooge, I...my little boy, he... 

SCROOGE 
Yes. A hospital. What he needs...is his. 

BOB 
Mr. Scrooge...I wish I had something to...to give to you... 

SCROOGE 

You’ve given me more than you can imagine. You’ve taught me 

that a caring man provides. 

BOB 
(beat)
I’m so happy, sir. 

SCROOGE 
Merry Christmas, Bob Cratchit. 

BOB 
Merry Christmas, Mr. Scrooge. 

They go into the counting house as the
lights slowly fade to evening. A man, 
his wife and children enter. The man 
begins to sing “Silent Night.” Slowly,
more and more townspeople enter,and
join in the singing. Bob’s family,
including Tiny Tim, arrives on the 
scene. They join in as well. 

Belle appears, and greets some of the
people as the song continues. Scrooge
finally arrives, and looks through the
crowd until he finds Belle. She is 
taken aback. He takes a ring out of his
pocket, and gives it to her. For a 
beat, the singing stops. 

SCROOGE 
I found him, Belle. I found him. 

The singing continues. Scrooge finds
Tiny Tim, and lifts him into his arms.
The carol concludes. The LIGHTS DIM. 

THE END 

 

73.