Catherine Jean Donald

Spirits Of Christmas| Small orchestration

  • About the Show

    "Spirits of Christmas" is a musical production based on “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. It tells the story of “A Christmas Carol” in a modern setting. It is the tale of a mean old miser, Scrooge. One Christmas Eve Scrooge is visited by the spirit of his dead partner who was also mean in his life time. He warns him to change his ways or things would not go well for him in the afterlife. He tells him to expect visits from three spirits, who would show him events in the past, present and future and thereby hope to convince him to change his ways. As the play progresses we follow him through these three time frames and eventually to his decision to change his ways for the better.

    Synopsis

    Spirits of Christmas is a musical production which tells the story of “A Christmas Carol” the classic by Charles Dickens. It has been put into a modern setting, as this story could well have happened in the present day and age. The characters are not unique to the 19th century and their values and ethics are displayed by people in today’s world.

    The story is told of Scrooge, who is a miser. He is a wealthy accountant with his own accounting firm. However, he does not spend a cent more than he needs to, either on himself or on anyone else. He lives alone and will not socialise with anyone else, even his own nephew, his only living relative. He will not even consider giving money either to people that he knows who are in need, or to charity.

    One Christmas Eve, as he is sitting alone in his room, he is visited by the ghost of his former partner, Jacob Marley. Marley warns him that he is heading in the same direction as he did while he was still alive. He tells him that people who do not spend their lives in doing good deeds for other people would be condemned to walk the Earth after their death and watch the suffering of people they could once have helped. He then tells Scrooge that he would receive visits from three more Spirits who would try to prevent him from a certain fate. Scrooge walks with each of these Spirits in turn, visiting his past, scenes from the present, and what would happen in the future, should he not mend his ways. His journey involves many different people whose lives he watches. We see a gradual change in Scrooge as he works through the lessons that the three Spirits teach him.

    Casting Information

    Individual characters •Scrooge: A mean, grumpy old man, intelligent and hard working but mean to the point of depriving himself of all creature comforts and certainly not willing to share any of his time or money with anyone else. He is rude and obnoxious. •Fred (his nephew): A cheerful and good natured young man, constantly trying to get his uncle to spend time with him and his wife, to no avail! •Bob Cratchitt: Scrooge’s clerk, a middle-aged man. He is a humble man, a wonderful family man. He is very afraid of Scrooge as he desperately needs his job, being a poor man with a big family to feed. •Gents 1 & 2: Two good natured men, collecting money for charity •Marley: Scrooge’s business partner before his death, 7 years ago – now a ghost! He is a stern, serious presence. Even Scrooge is afraid of him. •First spirit: An ethereal spirit in female form – gentle but at times very firm with Scrooge. She wears a simple robe/tunic, white and sheet-like •Young Scrooge: Scrooge as a teenager, a quiet, serious boy. (This character can also play Scrooge as a young adult in the next scene) •Fran: Scrooge’s sister. A young girl – early teenage years, very bubbly and warm •Fezziwig: Scrooge’s employer, a big, jolly man, generous and good tempered, full of life. •Richard: Scrooge’s fellow clerk – very similar to him as a young adult – an acting but not a speaking part •Belle: Scrooge’s fiancée – a lovely, gentle girl. Children 1-6: These are the children that Belle has had with her husband. They are happy healthy children. •Father: Belle’s husband, a good natured, loving man •Second spirit: A “larger than life” man in every way. He wears a big towelling dressing gown and has a wreath of leaves on his head. He carries a horn of plenty. He makes large gestures, talks and laughs loudly but is gentle with Scrooge •Mrs Cratchitt: Bob’s wife. She is a very ordinary lady – a wife and mother coping with all the challenges of everyday life. The family is poor but she is dressed neatly. •Peter: Their son aged about 15 Belinda: Their daughter aged about 12 •Martha: Their daughter, aged about 18 •Tiny Tim: Their youngest son, aged about 10 – he is disabled, only being able to walk with crutches, and then with some difficulty •Fred’s wife: The wife of Scrooge’s nephew. She is an attractive, vivacious young woman – very much in love with her husband •Guests 1-4: These are friends of Fred and his wife, possibly 2 other couples of similar age. •Two young children: They are dressed in rags – an acting not a speaking part •Third spirit: A sombre, slow moving spirit, dressed all in black, from head to foot. The spirit does not ever speak, only gestures. •1st to 4th men: Ordinary people walking in the street •Bus man 1 & 2: These are two businessmen, dressed in suits and carrying their briefcases/laptop bags. They are smart, confident and good natured. •Joe: Owner of the pawn shop, a loud mouthed, working class man •Charlady, washerwoman, undertaker: These are all working class people, poorly dressed, but dressed in line with their work. They are rough people, not at all sophisticated! They are a comical lot. •Husband: This is an ordinary man who, with his wife, rent a flat that is owned by Scrooge •Wife: The man’s wife •Two grave diggers:Two young men in work overalls. This is an acting not speaking part •Boy: This is a young boy walking past Scrooge’s window •Delivery man: This man delivers the turkey to Scrooge. He is dressed in clothes appropriate to working in a grocery store. This is an acting not speaking part. •Groups Act 1 Scene 1: A group of carol singers of any age and description – dressed warmly and holding torches and sheets of paper Act 1 Scene 3: A crowd of happy people, walking in the street. They are described more fully in the text. Act 1 Scene 4: A group of characters from children’s books. These are fantasy figures and must be easily recognisable by the audience. Act 1 Scene 5: A group of party goers – people dressed for a party. They come in bringing food and drink with them. They sing “Fezziwig’s song” and dance “Fezziwig’s dance” with Fezziwig and the young Scrooge and his workmate. There is also a person who plays the fiddle for the dance. This could be played or mimed. Act 2 Scene 1: A group of carol singers (could be the same as in the first scene) and a group of people walking on the street, some with shopping bags. They stop to listen to the carol singers. This is also described in the text. •WHO SINGS WHICH SONGS? For all the songs labelled as chorus songs, a group of children who will be singing these chorus songs can be on stage as follows: Jacob Marley is dead: This is sung by a group of children wearing neutral clothing, possibly black tops and pants to symbolise death. The children can be grouped on stage at the beginning of the scene (around the characters already on stage, who freeze as the song is sung) and leave the stage at the end of the song God Bless you merry gentlemen / Scrooge’s reply: This is sung by the group of carol singers and by Scrooge Marley’s ghost: This is sung by Marley’s ghost Lonely little boy: This is sung by the characters in the books that young Scrooge is reading. Their interaction with Scrooge is described in the text. Fezziwig’s song: This is sung by all the partygoers as described below. There is also a dance which needs to be choreographed. Belle’s song: Sung by Belle It’s Christmas time: This is sung by the carol singers and the crowd watching them, as described below. If I could: Sung by Tiny Tim and when repeated sung by his whole family on stage I’ll keep him in my heart:Sung by Fred. Chorus sings as detailed in the song A blessed load of nothing: Joe sings (and raps) a lot of this song as a solo. The “others” could just be the small crowd gathered at the pawn shop or other people could enter and join in. These would be other poor, working class people. If I could (reprise) The first part is a solo sung by Scrooge. The chorus joins in at “Every end.....” (see musical score) They could also be in black as they were in the beginning of the play and enter the stage behind the little scene which takes place at the front of the stage. They could carry torches to symbolise the light that is beginning to dawn. They would exit at the end of the song. It’s not too late: Everyone sings this dressed in whichever costume they have had during the play

    Performance Group

    Spirits of Christmas is a play which is more suited to the senior Primary phase – children from the ages of about ten to thirteen years. There are a number of solo parts, some of them with solo singing roles. There are also plenty of small parts and one or two-liners. There are a number of chorus roles. It is also possible to give a particular scene or scenes to a particular class so that scenes can be practiced during class time, minimising the amount of time one will have to spend with the entire cast all together. The play can then be joined together at the end. The message of the play is a good one for the children and the audience alike and adds to the learning experience!

    Production Material

    20 Libretto/Vocal Books
    Piano
    CELLO
    Violin
    Recorder I

Partners & Associates

  • cipc
  • bsa
  • samro