Scrooge The Panto

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Description

Synopsis:

Charles Dicken’s Scrooge, is given the panto treatment in this wonderful version. Set in Scrooge’s Sweet Factory, it follows the rotten behaviour of mean old Scrooge, towards his downtrodden staff. After two charity workers appear and cause Scrooge to suffer a near-fatal heart attack by asking for money.  Nothing it seems would ever turn Scrooge away from being the meanest man in London. But when factory cook, Jan Butty bumps into the ghost of Scrooge’s late partner Jacob Marley, strange things begin to happen in the sweet factory.

Roles:

10 principals plus many small and cameo roles. Plenty of scope for doubling or even trebling up, meaning a much smaller cast required than might first appear.

Runtime:

All of our scripts have a runtime of under 2hrs (not including any interval) But this is very dependent on your own production and can be edited by yourselves to suit your own needs.

Music:

All of our pantomimes come with a full, suggested songs and music cues and SFX list.

Style:

Traditional British pantomime, incorporating visual comedy, slapstick and audience participation.

Free Sample

Characters

Ebenezer Scrooge
Jan Butty
Bob Cratchit
Fred
Jacob Marley
Elizabeth
Mrs Cratchit
Tiny Tim Cratchit
Dough
Nut

Chorus/Minor Roles

Charity Worker 1
Charity Worker 2
Spooks
Ghosts of Past, Present and Future
Paper Boy
Young Scrooge
Katy Cratchit
Susan Cratchit
Charles Dickens
Belle
Fezziwig
Butcher
Workers; Mourners; Guests; Schoolkids; etc.

N.B. Many characters have small or cameo roles, leaving plenty of scope for doubling or trebling up.

Scene One

Scrooge’s Sweet Factory

Music cue 1: Bob Cratchit and Workers. After song ends…

Music cue 2: Enter Jan Butty (SR) pushing on a tea-trolley with a large teapot, cups and saucers. Also plates of sandwiches and a medium-sized box wrapped in festive paper.

JAN BUTTY: Tea’s up! Come and get it while it’s hot!

WORKER 1: I’m gagging for a nice cuppa.

WORKER 2: Then you’re wasting your time drinking Jan’s. It’s weaker than gnat’s water.

JAN BUTTY: Blame old Scrooge. He only allows me one teabag per week. I have to keep drying it out and re-using it.

WORKER 3: You’d think Mr Scrooge would make an exception for Christmas.

JAN BUTTY: There’s more chance of a politician telling the truth.

CRATCHIT: It’s true. I sometimes think he hates Christmas.

WORKER 4: (searches trolley) Don’t you have any milk, Jan?

JAN BUTTY: No, I have a phobia about milk. The last time I tried drinking it I almost died.

CRATCHIT: Why, what happened?

JAN BUTTY: The cow sat on me.

WORKER 5: What sort of sandwiches have you got, Jan?

JAN BUTTY: What sort would you like?

WORKER 5: The sort that’s made of bread.

JAN BUTTY: Very funny.

WORKER 6: Any chance of a bacon sarnie?

JAN BUTTY: Sorry, bacon’s off.

CRATCHIT: How come?

JAN BUTTY: The butcher backed into his bacon slicer and got a little behind with the order. Have a ham sandwich instead. (hands over a sandwich)

WORKER 6: Thanks. (bites sandwich) Owah! There’s something hard in this sandwich. (opens it and takes out a set of false teeth) Uggh! False teeth!

JAN BUTTY: I wondered where my best pair had gone.

WORKER 6: That’s the first time my food’s ever bitten back.

WORKER 1: I’d like a cheese sandwich please, Jan.

JAN BUTTY: What kind of cheese would you like?

WORKER 1: I’m quite partial to Gorgonzola.

JAN BUTTY: (passes him a sandwich) Here you are then.

WORKER 1: Thanks. (goes to take a bite, then stops) Hang on. (opens sandwich and takes out an old sock) What’s this?

JAN BUTTY: It’s one of Scrooge’s old socks. I must’ve forgotten to take it out last night.

WORKER 2: Why did you leave a smelly old sock in a cheese sandwich?

JAN BUTTY: How else do you think they make Gorgonzola?

WORKER 1: I can’t eat that!

JAN BUTTY: Then how about a peanut butter sarnie instead?

WORKER 5: You remind me of peanut butter, Jan.

JAN BUTTY: Is that because I’m smooth and tasty?

WORKER 5: No, it’s because you’re thick and nutty.

Workers laugh.

JAN BUTTY: I don’t know why I bother bringing you lot, refreshments.

WORKER 6: We work hard Jan, and we’re entitled to a decent cuppa and edible food.

JAN BUTTY: Then I suggest you take it up with your union rep.

CRATCHIT: I don’t think that’s a good idea Jan.

JAN BUTTY: Why not?

CRATCHIT: Because each time we elect a union rep, Mr Scrooge immediately sacks them.

JAN BUTTY: And who is your current union rep?

WORKERS: Bob Cratchit!

CRATCHIT: Not so loud! Mr Scrooge might hear you.

JAN BUTTY: Whatever happened to power to the workers?

CRATCHIT: I can’t afford to get the sack Jan. I’m still paying Mr Scrooge back for a loan he let me have, to buy a new crutch for Tiny Tim.

JAN BUTTY: Strange bedfellows aren’t they – sweet maker, and money lender? Do you know, he even threatened to evict me last week?

CRATCHIT: Be fair Jan, you did pay your rent with gold chocolate coins.

WORKER 1: How come you paid old Scrooge with chocolate money, Jan?

JAN BUTTY: I was hoping he wouldn’t notice them amongst all the real gold coins.

CRATCHIT: Who’s the present for Jan?

JAN BUTTY: It’s a secret. I’m just looking for somewhere safe to leave it, to stop anybody peeking at it. I know. (places present front of curtains DSL) There. Now, you lot can keep an eye on it for me.

CRATCHIT: Sorry Jan. But we’re going to be too busy packing and stacking. Why don’t you ask this lot…(indicates audience)…to watch it for you instead?

JAN BUTTY: What a good idea. (to audience) Will you lot look after this prezzie, for me? If anybody goes near it, just shout snowballs! And I’ll come running.

CRATCHIT: Let’s have a practice Jan. You go off, and I’ll pretend I’m about to nick it.

JAN BUTTY: Okay, Bob. (exits SR)

Bob goes towards box and audience shout.

Enter Jan at a run (SR)

JAN BUTTY: (to audience) Not bad, but I’m sure you can do better. Let’s try it again. And this time I want you to shout loud enough to wake the dead.

CRATCHIT: Off you go Jan.

WORKER 2: I think she went off years ago. (laughs)

JAN BUTTY: How would you like to go off in an ambulance? (exits SR)

CRATCHIT: Nice and loud this time everybody. (repeats business)

Enter Jan at a run (SR)

JAN BUTTY: That was much better.

CRATCHIT: (picks up a cardboard box) I’ve brought a few Christmas decorations, to brighten up the place ready for the staff party.

WORKER 3: How can you afford decorations, Bob?

WORKER 4: Old Scrooge doesn’t pay us enough to live on, let alone buy decorations.

CRATCHIT: They’re only paperchains my kids made from old newspapers.

JAN BUTTY: Anything’s better than staring at these bare factory walls.

WORKER 5: These walls remind me of Mr Scrooge.

CRATCHIT: In what way?

WORKER 6: They’re cold, grey and hard.

WORKER 1: Old Scrooge won’t like us putting up decorations. He hates anything that reminds him of Christmas.

CRATCHIT: I’m sure he won’t mind. It’s not as if he’s paying for them, is it? Now, cheer up everybody. Christmas is a wonderful time of year, so let’s enjoy ourselves.

They put up decorations. Music cue 3: Ensemble. After song ends…

Enter Scrooge (SL)

SCROOGE: What’s going on here? I pay you lazy rabble to work, not entertain yourselves! (pointing at the paperchains) And what’s all this rubbish?

CRATCHIT: It’s just a few decorations for the staff Christmas party, Mr Scrooge.

SCROOGE: Party! You’re not holding a party on my time, Cratchit!

WORKER 2: But It doesn’t start until after work has finished for the day, sir.

SCROOGE: And just how do you expect to hold a party in the dark?

CRATCHIT: (puzzled) In the dark, Mr Scrooge?

SCROOGE: You surely not expecting to use my lighting and heating, are you?

JAN BUTTY: Heating! That’s a laugh. This factory’s colder than the North Pole.

SCROOGE: Then it’s lucky you have plenty of blubber to keep you warm, isn’t it?

JAN BUTTY: Cheek! Everybody says I have the body of a super model.

SCROOGE: Super tanker more like.

WORKER 3: Jan’s right – it’s perishing in here.

SCROOGE: You needn’t worry about that anymore.

WORKER 3: You mean we can turn the heating on?

SCROOGE: No – I mean you’re sacked! Now, get out!

Exit Worker 3 trudging off (SL)

JAN BUTTY: (leads audience) Aaaah!

SCROOGE: Anybody who sympathises, can join him.

JAN BUTTY: I never liked him, much.

WORKER 4: Me neither.

WORKER 5: Troublemaker.

Workers nod and murmur in agreement.

SCROOGE: Put him down for eviction, Cratchit.

CRATCHIT: Eviction, Mr Scrooge?

SCROOGE: Now that he’s unemployed, he won’t be able afford his mortgage payments.

CRATCHIT: (downbeat) Yes, Mr Scrooge.

SCROOGE: Remove these decorations, or you can all forget your Christmas bonus.

JAN BUTTY: We’re getting a Christmas bonus!?

SCROOGE: Yes.

WORKER 6: What is it Mr Scrooge?

SCROOGE: (snaps) Having a job on Boxing Day! You can also clear the ice from the factory path. I don’t want customers falling over and breaking anything.

WORKERS: Yes, Mr Scrooge. (exit Workers SL)

CRATCHIT: It’s very thoughtful of you to think about your customer’s safety, Mr Scrooge.

SCROOGE: Bah! I couldn’t care less about their safety.

CRATCHIT: Then why are you having the path cleared of ice?

SCROOGE: Have you ever tried selling stuff to anybody, writhing on the floor in agony?

CRATCHIT: No, Mr Scrooge.

SCROOGE: Well, I have. And it isn’t easy I can tell you. Get back to your kitchen Jan Butty!

JAN BUTTY: All right, I’m going. I just hope I don’t bump into that horrible ghost I met earlier.

SCROOGE: Have you been at the cooking sherry again?

JAN BUTTY: No, I haven’t! I saw a ghost in the kitchen this morning, and it looked like your old partner, Jacob Marley.

SCROOGE: Jacob? You must be crackers! Any more talk like that, and you’ll be certified.

JAN BUTTY: I’d rather be certified than mummified, like you.

SCROOGE: Watch it, or I’ll have you replaced by a vending machine.

JAN BUTTY: One day you’ll regret how you’ve lived your life, Ebenezer Scrooge. You mark my words.

SCROOGE: How can I regret a life that’s seen me rise from nothing, to become the richest man in London?

JAN BUTTY: Not to mention, the hardest and meanest. (exits SR with trolley)

Carollers are heard singing offstage.

SCROOGE: See who’s making that infernal noise, Cratchit.

CRATCHIT: Yes, Mr scrooge. (peers into wing SL) It’s a group of carol singers, sir.

SCROOGE: Don’t leave them outside in the cold, man! Show them in!

CRATCHIT: (delighted) Yes sir, Mr Scrooge! (exits SL)

Enter Cratchit with Carollers (SL)

DICKENS: Merry Christmas to you, Mr Scrooge.

SCROOGE: Bah! Humbug!

DICKENS: Christmas, a humbug? I don’t think so, sir.

SCROOGE: What’s your name, young man?

DICKENS: Charles Dickens, sir.

SCROOGE: And do you have a licence for singing in public?

DICKENS: You don’t need a licence for carol singing sir.

SCROOGE: What gives you the right to disturb my peace and quiet with your caterwauling?

DICKENS: But it’s traditional to sing carols at Christmas time.

SCROOGE: Well, I don’t care to hear them. Now, clear off before I call the police!

DICKENS: (to audience) I believe I’ve found the subject for my next book. I think I’ll call it, A Christmas Carol. (to Carollers) Let’s go friends, we’ll get no joy here.

Exit Carollers (SL)

SCROOGE: (to audience) What are you lot, staring at? Haven’t you anything better to do, than sit on your lazy backsides? Who let this riff raff in, Cratchit?

CRATCHIT: They’re only here to see the show, sir.

SCROOGE: Using my heating to get warm more like. Throw them out at once.

CRATCHIT: I can’t do that sir.

SCROOGE: Why not?

CRATCHIT: They might demand a refund on their tickets.

SCROOGE: Don’t use filthy language like refund, in my presence Cratchit.

CRATCHIT: Sorry, Mr Scrooge.

SCROOGE: If they’re staying, then we might as well sell stuff to them. Do we still have that batch of chocolate mice, Cratchit?

CRATCHIT: You mean, the ones containing real mice?

SCROOGE: That’s right.

CRATCHIT: Yes, sir. I was about to throw them all in the skip.

SCROOGE: I’m not throwing away profit just because vermin fell into the chocolate vat!

CRATCHIT: But Mr Scrooge, it might make them sick.

SCROOGE: Then sell them sick bags also. By the way, how is that house of yours? Is it still in the same condition as when I sold it to you?

CRATCHIT: Yes. The roof still leaks, the walls are still cracked and the damp’s still rising.

SCROOGE: Then why haven’t you fixed it?

CRATCHIT: I don’t earn enough to afford repairs, sir. In fact, I was wondering if I might have a pay rise. If it’s not too much trouble.

SCROOGE: Well, it is! Ever since Brexit, our sales to the EU are down. I’ll review the situation next year, Cratchit.

CRATCHIT: Begging you pardon sir, but that’s what you say every year.

SCROOGE: Then you ought to be getting used to it by now. Of course, there’s always the alternative.

CRATCHIT: And what’s that, sir?

SCROOGE: (snaps) Unemployment! Now, where are those eviction notices for today?

CRATCHIT: They’re on your desk, Mr Scrooge.

SCROOGE: (sits at desk) And what about tomorrow’s? I might as well deal with them too.

CRATCHIT: But tomorrow’s Christmas day, sir.

SCROOGE: I’m well aware of that, Cratchit.

CRATCHIT: You can’t throw people out of their homes on Christmas day, Mr Scrooge.

SCROOGE: Oh yes, I can! (Cratchit secretly leads audience to say, oh no you can’t) Silence, you miserable wretches!

CRATCHIT: But the bailiffs won’t be working on Christmas day, sir.

SCROOGE: Those lazy, good for nothing bailiffs. Very well, leave them until Boxing day.

MARJORY: (off) Hello! Shop!

SHIRLEY: Is there anybody in?

SCROOGE: If it’s more carollers, set the dogs on them. (head down checking papers)

Enter Charity Workers, Shirley, and Marjory (SL)

MARJORY: I hope you don’t mind us barging in, but the door was open.

CRATCHIT: Good day ladies, and a merry Christmas to you both.

SHIRLEY: And a merry Christmas to you too, Bob.

CRATCHIT: What can we do for you, today?

MARJORY: We’re fundraising for the poor and destitute.

CRATCHIT: (produces a coin) Here ladies. It isn’t much I’m afraid, but it’s all I have.

SHIRLEY: That’s very kind of you Bob, but we’re not here to collect from you.

MARJORY: Considering what old Scrooge pays his workers, we ought to donate to you.

CRATCHIT: Nevertheless. I’m sure there are others worse off than me. (hands it over)

SHIRLEY: If only everybody were as kind and thoughtful as you Bob.

MARJORY: Merry Christmas Mr Scrooge.

SCROOGE: (not looking up) Humbug!

SHIRLEY: Don’t mind if I do. (takes a humbug from a jar and licks it)

SCROOGE: (looking up) That’s 50p you owe me, for the humbug.

SHIRLEY: In that case, you can have it back. (puts it back in the jar)

SCROOGE: That’s still a penny you owe.

SHIRLEY: But I only had a lick!

SCROOGE: A humbug lasts for approximately fifty licks, which works out at a penny a lick.

SHIRLEY: (slams a coin on Scrooge’s desk) There! You miserable old skinflint!

SCROOGE: Now, state your business.

MARJORY: We’re charity workers, collecting on behalf of the poor and needy.

SCROOGE: (stands – mortified) Ch…ch…ch…charity workers?

SHIRLEY: That’s correct, sir.

SCROOGE: Aaaah! (clutches his chest, staggers to CS, gasps and falls to the floor)

CRATCHIT: Are you all right Mr Scrooge?

MARJORY: I think he requires resuscitation, Shirley.

SHIRLEY: We’d better conduct CPR, Marjory.

MARJORY: Have you brought the resuscitator with you?

SHIRLEY: Yes indeed. (produces a large sink plunger) Here it is. (hands it to Marjory)

Marjory bends over Scrooge and places the plunger over his mouth. Scrooge holds the plunger in place as Marjory pulls and pushes it up and down. Scrooge’s head rises and falls as the plunger is worked.

MARJORY: Do you think he’s dead?

SHIRLEY: With him, it’s hard to tell.

Enter Fred (SL)

FRED: Merry Christmas, Bob!

CRATCHIT: (panicking) Mr Fred, sir!

FRED: (rushes over) Whatever’s the matter with Uncle Ebenezer?

CRATCHIT: He had a funny turn, after these two charity collectors asked him for money.

FRED: I’m not surprised. They’d have more luck getting blood from a stone.

Scrooge breaks free from the plunger and stands.

SCROOGE: What a horrible experience that was.

MARJORY: Welcome back to the land of the living, Mr Scrooge.

SHIRLEY: Even though you look as though you belong in the land of the dead.

MARJORY: Now, how much shall we put you down for?

SCROOGE: Nothing!

MARJORY: You wish to remain anonymous?

SCROOGE: I wish to be left alone! I don’t make merry at Christmas, and I don’t see why I should pay for others to do so.

FRED: But the poor need our help more than ever at this time of year, uncle.

SCROOGE: I do help them.

FRED: How?

SCROOGE: My taxes help pay for the workhouses. If they’re needy, then let them go there.

SHIRLEY: But many would rather die than go to the workhouse.

SCROOGE: Then let them die and decrease the surplus population.

FRED: You can’t mean that uncle, surely?

SCROOGE: I surely do. There are too many lazy people in this world as it is.

CRATCHIT: But what about the milk of human kindness, Mr scrooge?

SCROOGE: It’s gone off, Cratchit. It stinks. As far I’m concerned, anybody who says merry Christmas. Should be boiled with his pudding and used to stuff his own turkey.

MARJORY: You really are the meanest person I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet.

SCROOGE: Flattery will get you nowhere.

SHIRLEY: Then good day to you sir! Come Marjory.

FRED: (donating money) Here you are ladies. And a Merry Christmas to you both.

MARJORY: Thank you, sir. And a Merry Christmas to you also.

SCROOGE: Show them out Cratchit.

CRATCHIT: This way please, ladies.

Exit Cratchit and Ladies (SL)

SCROOGE: I must have my front door electrified. That should keep the scroungers away.

FRED: Christmas is a time to think of others, uncle. And to share what we have, with those less fortunate.

SCROOGE: Listen to yourself nephew. Every Christmas you find yourself a year older and not a penny richer.

FRED: It’s true, Christmas doesn’t put a penny piece in my pocket. But it lifts my spirits and makes me thankful for what I have.

SCROOGE: Humbug! Christmas is a time for idlers and scroungers. They ought to learn the value of money, like I did. Music cue 4: Scrooge. After song ends…

FRED: You won’t dampen my spirits, uncle. I intend to make merry this Christmas as usual.

SCROOGE: What have you to be merry about? You’re poor enough.

FRED: And what have you to be glum about? You’re rich enough.

SCROOGE: You keep Christmas in your way nephew, and I’ll keep it in mine.

FRED: But that’s just it uncle, you don’t keep it. Please join me and Elizabeth for Christmas dinner.

SCROOGE: Every year you invite me to Christmas dinner, nephew.

FRED: That’s true.

SCROOGE: And every year I say, no.

FRED: That is also true.

SCROOGE: Then why do you continue inviting me?

FRED: Because I live in hope that one day, that hard heart of yours will soften and you will finally accept my offer.

SCROOGE: You’re wasting your time, nephew.

FRED: Perhaps. Now, if you’ll excuse me. I’m off to help serve free meals to the homeless.

SCROOGE: You’re giving away free meals!?

FRED: Indeed I am. Although I wish I didn’t have to.

SCROOGE: Put me down for one.

FRED: But you’re not homeless uncle.

SCROOGE: No, but I provide you with most of your customers. If it wasn’t for me evicting people, all you do-gooders would be out of a job.

FRED: You really do take the biscuit, uncle.

SCROOGE: Are you giving those away free, too?

FRED: Good day uncle, and a merry Christmas to you. (turns to exit)

SCROOGE: Bah, humbug!

FRED: (turns) And a happy new year. (turns and exits SL)

SCROOGE: Humbug! Humbug! That nephew of mine is too soft-hearted for his own good.

Enter Cratchit (SL)

CRATCHIT: Begging your pardon sir, but it’s past closing time. Shall I tell the workers to go home now?

SCROOGE: If you must. And tell them not to be late tomorrow.

CRATCHIT: But tomorrow’s Christmas day, Mr Scrooge.

SCROOGE: So you keep reminding me, Cratchit.

CRATCHIT: Begging your pardon, sir. But it’s usual practice for all workers to have Christmas day off, on full pay.

SCROOGE: It’s no wonder so many businesses are going bust. If they don’t work on Christmas day, then they won’t have a job on Boxing day

CRATCHIT: But Mr Scrooge, sir…

SCROOGE: That’s my final word, Cratchit!

CRATCHIT: Yes, sir. Goodnight sir – and a merry Christmas to you.

SCROOGE: Bah, humbug! (exits SR)

Enter Workers (SL)

WORKER 4: Come on Bob! It’s time to go home and spend Christmas day with our families.

CRATCHIT: I’m sorry everybody. But Mr Scrooge says that we must work on Christmas day, or lose our jobs.

WORKER 5: But that’s not fair!

WORKER 1: The mean old so and so!

WORKER 2: Trust old Scrooge to spoil our Christmas again.

Exit Workers (SL) leaving Cratchit alone.

CRATCHIT: I’d better make sure all the lights are off before I leave, or Mr Scrooge might deduct the cost from my wages. (exits SR)