After the sung PROLOGUE [“THIS IS A LOVE STORY”], the action switches to a London street, where the crowd are celebrating Christmas Eve. [Song: “ROLL ON, CHRISTMAS”] Their cheerful mood is shattered by the arrival of Scrooge [Song: “EBENEZER SCROOGE!”. He makes his way to his office, where he confronts his clerk, the downtrodden Bob Cratchit, and refuses him extra coal for his fire. Scrooge’s nephew Fred pays a visit, as he does every year, asking his uncle to dine with himself and his wife, which Scrooge, as usual, declines, railing both at Christmas and Fred for wasting money on getting married. Fred replies with [Song: “BEAUTIFUL WOMAN”] then departs.
Some charity collectors appear [Song: “CHARITY”] and though the crowd give generously, the collectors are shocked by Scrooge’s refusal to give even a penny, and are sent packing by Scrooge at his most curmudgeonly [Song: “I HATE EVERYBODY”] He extends his mean-minded attitude to Bob Cratchit, reluctantly allowing him Christmas Day off. Cratchit leaves, and Scrooge too, to a short Reprise of [Song: “I HATE EVERYBODY”]
The Chorus enter and sing [Song: “TWO OF A KIND”] about how Scrooge and his partner Jacob Marley, who died seven years ago, were two of a kind in their meanness.
The action switches to Scrooge’s bedroom, where he is startled to be haunted by the guilt-stricken, remorseful ghost of Jacob Marley, who wears a chain made of ledgers, deeds and cash-boxes. He tells Scrooge that his chain is much longer and warns him [Song: “TOO LATE NOW”] that he has a small chance of avoiding the same ghastly fate as Jacob. He will be haunted each night at midnight by three Ghosts. Scrooge is not too keen on the idea, but Marley repeats that it’s his only chance [Reprise: “TOO LATE NOW”]
With Marley gone, Scrooge begins to bluster again, but is interrupted by the arrival of the Ghost of Christmas Past, who takes him on a journey out of his bedroom. [Song: “SCROOGE AND THE SPIRIT”]
Scrooge arrives at the school were he was a young pupil, a solitary boy, even in those days. [Brief Song: “I REMEMBER”] He is joined by his little sister [the future mother of Fred]. There is the first hint of a change of heart in Scrooge, especially when he is transported to Mr.Fezziwig’s Warehouse, where he was an apprentice, and spent the only truly happy part of his life. [Song: “LET’S HAVE A PARTY”] But then a little while later he sees his younger self with Belle, his fiancé, who regretfully breaks off their relationship because of Scrooge’s mounting fixation with acquiring wealth, [Song: “WHERE IS THE MUSIC?”]
The Ghost of Christmas Past leaves the saddened Scrooge, to be replaced by the rapping Ghost of Christmas Present, with his posse of rappers. [Song: “CHRISTMAS PRESENT RAP”] They take him to Bob Cratchit’s house [Song: “SCENE CHANGE RAP”] where Bob and his family are starting their meagre Christmas dinner. One of Bob’s family is the crippled Tiny Tim and Scrooge witnesses Tiny Tim’s thanks for their Christmas celebrations. [Song: “GOD BLESS US, EVERYONE”]
END OF Act One
After an OPTIONAL CAROL CONCERT, introduced by a Music Hall Chairman, The Ghost of Christmas Present and Posse take Scrooge to his nephew Fred’s house, where Fred is entertaining his dinner guests with an impersonation of Scrooge [Song: “I HATE EVERYBODY”] Fred and the guests then mock Scrooge [Song: “DEAR OLD UNCLE SCROOGE”] The spirits, having shown Scrooge a grim scene with two desolate children huddled together, alone and destitute, then depart, [Song: “EXIT RAP”] and the saddened Scrooge is left to face the sinister Ghost of Christmas Future, a dark, unspeaking figure, who points to the Market Place, where four lads happily dance in carrying a coffin which they take off for a man who has just died to be put in.
The crowd gather round the Market traders, celebrating the death of the much disliked man, [Song: “CLAP YOUR HANDS”] Scrooge asks to be shown some tenderness connected with a death, and is transported to Bob Cratchit’s home, where the family are mourning the death of Tiny Tim [Song: “AND EVERYONE LOVED HIM] Scrooge is mortified, and even more so when the Ghost points out the tombstone of the unloved dead man from the Market scene. It is Scrooge’s own!
Scrooge collapses in remorse, clutching at the Ghost’s gown – only to wake up in his own bed, clutching his bedsheet. It is Christmas morning, with the bells ringing outside. Scrooge is both delighted and transformed. [Song: “ROLL ON CHRISTMAS!”] He gets an urchin to buy up the biggest turkey in the shop and send it to Bob Cratchit. He then gets dressed and goes into the street, where the crowds are amazed at the new Scrooge [Song: “EBENEZER SCROOGE!”] as are the Charity collectors, to whom he gives generously.
He then makes his way to his nephew’s house, where Fred is entertaining his dinner guests with his Scrooge impersonation [Song: “I HATE EVERYBODY”] Scrooge enters; at first the guests are suspicious but soon warm to him as Scrooge shows his change of heart [Song: “DEAR OLD UNCLE SCROOGE” – genuine, not a send-up]
The next morning, Boxing Day, Scrooge’s wish is granted as Bob Cratchit arrives later than he’s ever done before. Scrooge does a big “rant” and Bob fears he’s going to get the sack, but with a smile, Scrooge raises his salary, promises to help Tiny Tim – and offers to buy him a new coal scuttle! [Finale: “THE REST OF MY LIFE”]
There are a host of optional Curtain Reprises.
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