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A Christmas Carol, adaptation by Year 7 December 2013 This play/poem was written after reading David Calcutts adaptation

of Beowulf. We were inspired by the choral nature of the script; the kennings; the patterns; the soliloquies and speeches and the idea that a human being might be shaped and altered by creatures rather like the Fates. Scene One by Alexander Gooch and Henry Allan-Jones Bob Cratchit sits at his desk working hard in a ledger while Scrooge does the same at another desk. Lights on Cratchit. Bob: This cold will be the death of me. Every day I sit in this ice house counting that Christmas-killer Scrooges money; doing his dirty work for him. Yet still he lets me freeze. Numb fingers. He expects me to write, and what do I get? Nothing! My family is starving, and if that scoundrel, Scrooge, doesnt play his cards right, by my reckoning he will be on the menu this Christmas. Year upon year, month upon month, week upon week, day upon day, second upon second, I work for this old, single-minded joy-taker, lounging in his ice hotel. I wouldnt be surprised if this Christmas I went there in a coffin, and even that would have icicles hanging from the lid. Ill tell you what Bah humbug to him and all his family. Bah humbug to all of them! He turns to face Scrooge. Lights on both. I believe I have the right to leave this wretched place? Scrooge: You shall leave when the job is done whether it takes an hour or a year just get it done! Bob gets back to work. Bob : Christmas is a time of joy, Mr Scrooge not a time of hard work. Scrooge : Are you asking for a day off? If you are, you can go and live with the rest of the street scum! Bob: Do you have any respect for those unprivileged souls who have to fight to survive? Scrooge : You dare to defy me? A curse on your starving family and all who love and care for them! Get out of my sight! Bob hurriedly leaves the scene. Scrooge collapses in his armchair. Scene Two by Alexander Gooch and Henry Allan-Jones Fred knocks on the door. Fred : Would you attend my Christmas party?

Scrooge: My friend, have I not told you this before? I would not attend your celebrations even if it was the last thing I did. So would you be kind enough to take your useless Christmas gathering somewhere else? Scrooge slams the door on Fred. Scrooge: Bah humbug. Enter portly gentlemen. PG1: Ive been here all day and havent got more than a penny. PG2: You wont be getting any more than a Bah humbug at this place. PG1:Ill try my luck. A Bah humbugs better than nothing. Portly gentlemen leave in different directions. There is a loud Bah humbug from offstage. PG1 walks back across the stage and sighs.

Scene Three : Olivia Campbell and Abby Blackwell Scrooge: Night swallows my tiredness. Its Christmas tomorrow. Bah humbug! Pause. Wait! Who goes there? Jacob? Jacob Marley? Jacob Marley: Change your ways My dark soul, Is at the bottom of a dark pit, Of greed and desire, Of temptation and hate. The path that I followed Bore me these chains. Do not follow in my footsteps, Or you will be the one in the pit! Change your ways!

Scenes Four and Five by Oliver Shutt and Max Curtis. Marley : Scroooooge! Scrooge: Who goes there? Who is it? What do you want with me? Marley : Tis I, Jacob Marley. 2

Scrooge : How are you here? Youre dead! It is impossible! Marley : I am here to help you have a better fate, so you do not end up like me. Scrooge: I do not need a better fate. I am fine the way I am. Marley: Trust me, you do. Scrooge: So, how do you propose to help me then? Marley : Over the next three nights, three ghosts will visit you. Ghost 1 : The ghost of Christmas Past. Ghost 2 : The ghost of Christmas Present. Ghost 3: The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. Scrooge: What? Is this really true? Marley: Yes, Ebenezer. It is. Scrooge : At what hour will they come? Marley : At midnight. Ghost 1: Light-snatcher. Ghost 2: Dark-bringer. Ghost 3: Star-snuffer. Marley leaves as Scrooge collapses into a deep sleep. Scrooge wakes up at the stroke of midnight. Ghost of C. Past : Scrooooge! Scrooge: Who goes there? Are you the Ghost of Christmas Past? Ghost of C.Past: Yes. It is I. Scrooge: Where will you take me? Ghost of C.Past: To a Christmas long gone. To a Christmas you will remember with fondness. Scrooge: What has this got to do with my fate? Ghost of C.Past: Come with me you will find out. Scrooge(shakily) : bah humbug! The ghost takes Scrooge to visit Christmases of the past.

Scene Six by George Symonds and Roshan Patel John: School days. George: Good days. Albert: Young days. John: Merry times. George: Happy times. Albert: Times to remember. John: All have passed away. George: All have vanished. Albert: All have died. John: Belle. George: Belle. Albert: Belle. John: Your one love. George: Your true love. Albert: Your once beloved fiance. John: Heart-broken George: Lonely life. Albert: All is lost. John: And Fezziwig. George: Fezziwig. Albert: Fezziwig. John: Your master. George: Your merchant. Albert: Your guardian. John: Then Belle left you. George: Because you Albert: Loved money more than you loved her. John: And she left you forever. George: And ever. 4

Albert: And ever. Ghost of CP: Look at you! Crying! You selfish Christmas-killer. Scrooge: I will mend my ways. Ghost of CP: You will never learn. Scene Seven Scrooges Dream by Tom Edwards Scrooge: It is night now. Darkness lies in the house. It sleeps in the corners. It rests on the bedstead like a muffling blanket. Stillness. But still the infernal churchmen sing their song! If there really is a God, he would have delivered me from this infernal din. Some respectable citizens are trying to sleep. Bah-humbug! Best stay awake until it stops. Ghost Chorus: And the dust begins to gather, Swirling, A tornado of grit and ash. A shape materialises, A foot, Then another, Legs, A torso, And then a huge, bearded head. With a scream, And a groan of creaking floorboards, Everything stills. Scrooge: A terrifying figure approached and then leapt it towards me! Ghost of C Present: Good evening Mister Scrooge. I have come to teach you your second lesson. Follow me and all shall become clear. Scrooge: No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I refuse to come along for another lesson. They are all pointless. Is it too much to ask for an old man to get some sleep?

Ghost Chorus: The old man wakes, The old man dreams. Whisked away on a journey, To learn his past, To learn his present, To learn his future. Scrooge: Where are you going? Where are you taking me? The Cratchitts? Who cares about them? Are there no workhouses or slums? The Cratchitts have got themselves into this misery, and it is their job to get themselves out. Ghost of C Present: Can you see now, the true depth of your depravity? It is the very family you can help by spreading Christmas cheer. Scrooge: But who is this boy this crippled soul? Ghost of C Present: Ah, I see you have met Tiny Tim? Scrooge: I had no idea this was happening right under my nose. Tell me, spectre, is there anything that can be done for him? Ghost of C present: Change your ways and he shall live. Now come. We have a party to attend. Scene Eight: George Symonds and Roshan Patel Scrooge: This gathering is wonderful. Oh look! Theres William and Elizabeth dancing the jig merrily! And over there, the orchestra is playing magnificently with their fiddles and their fifes and their pianoforte. And the blazing fire beams out at me whilst I eat this fantastic meal of turkey and all the trimmings. I wish I could stay longer I wish could. Its all my fault! I am just so miserable. I have an empty heart. Want: So lonely. Ignorance: SO very lonely. Hunger: Will always be lonely. Scrooge: What was that horrific shriek that noise? Want: It is us. Want. Ignorance : Ignorance and Hunger: Hunger. Ignorance/Want/Hunger: The creatures that make you. 6

Scrooge : Ill change my ways. I promise. Ghost of Christmas Present: You will never learn the ways of kindliness. Scrooge: I will, I can, I must. Ghost of Christmas Present: You never shall!! The Ghost vanishes as suddenly as it came. Scrooge falls back on his bed, flabbergasted. Scene Nine: Olivia Campbell and Abby Blackwell Scrooge wakes with the chiming of the midnight bell. Once more he is visited by a ghost this time the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come who guides him on but speaks not. Scrooge: What? No? It cannot be that witching hour descends again. I fear what I might see this night. Take heed, Scrooge, take heed. The Ghost leads Scrooge towards a solemn scene. Businessman: The old fool! All this money wasted! This could have helped the poor for many years. Poor couple : Curse that beast of an employer of yours. Never spent a penny on anybody but himself. Poor man : Money-hoarder. Poor woman : Christmas-murderer. Poor man : Dream-ripper. Poor woman : Family-destroyer. Scrooge : Who is it that they are talking about? They clearly dont think of him too highly. Saint Nicholas : Nobody mourns his death and vagabonds steal his goods. Think of his life before. Now think of yours Scene Ten: Aditi Mehendale and Lucy Allan-Jones Scrooge: The ghost yields, and of a sudden, I find myself in a graveyard, looking at a tombstone but whose? I lean forward and the mist clears. My own name deep-set in the unforgiving stone. Ebenezer Scrooge. I feel chilled to the bone, but not because it is cold. My heart is frozen, pierced by shards of iceshards of my thoughtless wrongdoings in this world. 7

The tombstone looms closer in the shroud of shadows. Scrooge: Please, I implore you, Spirit of the Dead, forgive my past, listen to my plea. I will make amends. Never again, will I shun the festivity of Christmas. If only I could wipe the slate clean. I would never again dampen the joyous atmosphere of that festival. A whirlwind surrounds me; I open my eyes and I am back in bed. Scene Eleven : Aditi Mehendale and Lucy Allan-Jones Fate 1 : He leaps out of bed. Fate 2 : Joy in his heart. Fate 3: Anxious to redeem. Fate 1 : A Merry Christmas on his lips. Fate 2: A Merry Christmas in his heart. Fate 3: Peace and Goodwill to all. Fate 1: And so the wrong-doer, Fate 2: The sin-spreader, Fate 3: The happiness-dampener Fate 1: Becomes the peace-bringer, Fate 2: The good-spirit-sharer Fate 3: The joy-teacher. Scrooge: A turkey just the thing to make my clerks day. I should find the largest one and send it straight away. However, that shall have to wait for I have a party to attend. The guests will be surprised to see me, but soon they shall know that I mean naught but well, for I, Ebenezer Scrooge, am a changed man. 8

Villagers: That man, I hardly recognise him, A smile such as I have never seen before. And, if the rumours are true, He has sent a turkey to the Cratchit house. He has changed so much For a man who was so miserable He is now a symbol of joy Who has put all his wrongs right. Scene Twelve As The Years Go By by Tom Edwards Ghost of Christmas Past: And thus our job is done.

Ghost of Christmas Present: The one who knew no Christmas Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come: The one who thought no Christmas could exist, Ghost of Christmas Past: Climbed forth into the future,

Ghost of Christmas Present: Spread the joy of a holiday he had once shunned Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come: And treats his fellow human beings with kindness, generosity and warmth. Ghost of Christmas Past: He treats Tiny Tim as if he were his own child,

Ghost of Christmas Present: And spreads joy in the Cratchits house. Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come: Gives gifts to the poor. Ghost of Christmas Past: He is a changed man. Ghost of Christmas Present: A new leaf turned to the wind. Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come: But he still cannot bear carol singing. Scrooge: Bah,humbug!