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:

9 principals 5 smaller roles, plus several small and cameo roles. Plenty of scope for actors to play 2 or even 3 roles, meaning a much smaller cast required than it might first appear.

Runtime:

All of our scripts have a runtime of approx 120 minutes, assuming that you use the full number of suggested musical numbers and not including any interval. But this is very dependent on your own production and can be edited by yourselves to suit.

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
Mrs Cratchit
Elizabeth
Tiny Tim Cratchit
Susan Cratchit
Katy Cratchit
Jacob Marley
Shirley
Marjory
Dough
Nut

Chorus/Minor Roles

Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future
Paper Boy
Young Scrooge
Belle
Charles Dickens
Fezziwig
Butcher
Spooks, Factory Workers, Mourners, Dinner Guests, Children, etc.

N.B. Many characters have small or cameo roles, leaving scope for doubling or trebling up. For instance, Shirley and Marjory could double as Dough and Nut. Paper boy could double as young Scrooge, Fezziwig could double as Charles Dickens, etc.

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 still 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 It’s not my fault. Old Scrooge 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, than old Scrooge making an exception for anything.

Bob Cratchit It’s true. I sometimes think he hates Christmas.

Worker 4 (searching the trolley) Don’t you have any milk, Jan?

Jan Butty No. I’ve developed a phobia about milk. The last time I tried drinking it I almost died.

Bob 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. And don’t go thinking I’ve forgiven you for putting superglue on my teapot handle yesterday.

Worker 5 You just can’t let it go, can you?

Worker 6 Any chance of a bacon sarnie, Jan?

Jan Butty Sorry, bacon’s off.

Bob 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 into the 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. (takes them back)

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 Certainly. 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 sweaty old socks. I must’ve forgotten to take it out last night.

Worker 2 Why on earth did you leave a smelly old sock, in a cheese sandwich?

Jan Butty Well, 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.

Bob Cratchit I don’t think that’s a good idea Jan.

Jan Butty Why not?

Bob Cratchit Because every time we elect a union rep, Mr Scrooge immediately sacks them.

Jan Butty And who is your current union rep?

Workers Bob Cratchit!

Bob Cratchit Ssssh! Not so loud. Mr Scrooge might hear you.

Jan Butty Whatever happened to, power to the workers?

Bob 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, sweet manufacturer and money lender, aren’t they? Do you know, the old skinflint even threatened to evict me last week?

Bob 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.

Bob 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.

Bob 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. And so original. (to audience) Will you lot look after this prezzie, for me? If anybody goes near it, just shout snowballs! And I’ll come running.

Bob Cratchit Let’s have a practice Jan. You go off, and I’ll pretend I’m about to nick your prezzie.

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 did struggle to hear you, just then. Let’s try it again. And this time I want you to shout loud enough to wake the dead. Do it again, Bob.

Bob Cratchit Okay, Jan. Off you go.Worker 2I think Jan went off years ago. (laughs)

Jan Butty How would you like to go off in an ambulance? (exits SR)

Bob Cratchit (to audience) Nice and loud this time. (goes towards box and audience shout)

Enter Jan at a run (SR)

Jan Butty That was much better. I easily heard you that time.

Bob Cratchit (picks up a cardboard box) Look, everybody. I’ve brought a few Christmas decorations. We can use them 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.

Bob Cratchit They’re just paperchains made from old newspapers. My kids made them last night.

Jan Butty Anything’s better than staring at these bare factory walls.

Worker 5 These walls remind me of Mr Scrooge.

Bob Cratchit How do you mean?

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.

Bob 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.

All begin putting up paperchains. 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?

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

Scrooge (snaps) Party! Party! You’re not holding a party in 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?

Bob 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 won’t need to 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 did like him, much.

Worker 4 Me neither.

Worker 5 Good riddance I say.

Workers nod and murmur in agreement.

Scrooge Put him down for eviction, Cratchit.

Bob Cratchit Eviction, Mr Scrooge?

Scrooge Yes. Now that he’s unemployed, he won’t be able afford his mortgage repayments.

Bob Cratchit (downbeat) Yes, Mr Scrooge.

Scrooge And remove these decorations, or you can all forget about your Christmas bonus.

Jan Butty We’re getting a Christmas bonus!?

Scrooge Of course.

Worker 6 What is it Mr Scrooge?

Scrooge (snaps) Having a job on Boxing Day! Now, go and clear the ice from the factory path. I don’t want customers falling over and breaking anything.

Workers Yes, Mr Scrooge. (exit Workers SL)

Bob Cratchit It’s very thoughtful of you to think of your customer’s safety, Mr Scrooge.

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

Bob Cratchit Then why are you having the path cleared of ice?

Scrooge Have you ever tried selling stuff to anybody, writhing on the floor with a broken leg?

Bob Cratchit No, Mr Scrooge.

Scrooge Well, I have. And it wasn’t easy, I can tell you.

Bob Cratchit I imagine not, sir.

Scrooge And you get back to the 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 just like your old partner, Jacob Marley.

Scrooge Jacob? You must be crackers! Any more talk like that, and I’ll have you certified.

Jan Butty I’d rather be certified than mummified, like you.

Scrooge Shut up, 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 offstage.

Scrooge See who’s making that infernal noise, Cratchit.

Bob 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, Cratchit. Show them in, man.

Bob Cratchit (delighted) Yes sir, Mr Scrooge! (exits SL)

Scrooge Yes. Show them in and I’ll show them what I think of carollers.

Enter Bob 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 is 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, get off my property before I call the police.

Dickens (to audience) I do believe I’ve found the subject for my next book. I think I’ll call it, A Christmas Carol. (to Carollers) Come along everyone, we’ll get no joy here.

Exit Carollers (SL)

Scrooge (leers at the audience) And 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?

Bob Cratchit They’re only here to see the show, sir.

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

Bob Cratchit I can’t do that sir.

Scrooge Why not?

Bob Cratchit They might demand a refund on their tickets.

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

Bob 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?

Bob Cratchit You mean, the ones containing real mice?

Scrooge That’s right.

Bob Cratchit Yes, sir. I was about to throw them all in the skip.

Scrooge What!? I’m not throwing away profit just because some vermin fell into the chocolate hopper. Lock all the doors and don’t let anybody leave, until they’ve bought some.

Bob Cratchit But Mr Scrooge, it might make them sick.

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

Bob Cratchit Yes, sir. The roof still leaks, the walls are still cracked, and the damp is still rising.

Scrooge Then why haven’t you fixed it?

Bob 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 of continental chocolates are down. I’ll review the situation next year, Cratchit.

Bob 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 is always the alternative.

Bob Cratchit And what’s that, sir?

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

Bob Cratchit They’re on your desk, Mr Scrooge.

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

Bob Cratchit But tomorrow’s Christmas day, sir.

Scrooge I’m well aware of that, Cratchit.

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

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

Bob Cratchit But the bailiffs won’t be working on Christmas day, sir.

Scrooge Why 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 Rottweilers 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.

Bob Cratchit Good day ladies, and a merry Christmas to you both.

Shirley And a merry Christmas to you too, Bob.

Bob Cratchit What can we do for you, both?

Marjory We’re fundraising for the poor and destitute.

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

Shirley (refusing it) 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.

Bob Cratchit (making them accept) Nevertheless. I’m sure there are others worse off than me.

Shirley If only everybody was as kind and thoughtful as you Bob.

Marjory Merry Christmas, Mr Scrooge.

Scrooge (not looking up) Humbug!

Shirley I don’t mind if I do. (takes a humbug from a jar and licks it)

Scrooge (looking up from his papers) 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 quick 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) You’re, ch…ch…ch…charity workers?

Shirley That is correct, sir.

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

Bob Cratchit Are you all right Mr Scrooge?

Marjory I think he requires resuscitation, Shirley.

Shirley Then we’d better get cracking, 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!

Bob Cratchit (panicking) Mr Fred, sir!

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

Bob 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 that 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.

Bob 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 own 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 (handing over 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.

Bob Cratchit This way please, ladies.

Exit Bob 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 spendthrifts 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. Now, why don’t you join me and Elizabeth for Christmas dinner?

Scrooge Every year you invite me to Christmas dinner, nephew.

Fred That is true.

Scrooge And every year I say, no.

Fred I’m afraid 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 Bob Cratchit (SL)

Bob 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.

Bob Cratchit But tomorrow’s Christmas day, Mr Scrooge.

Scrooge (irritated) So you keep reminding me, Cratchit.

Bob 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 is my final word, Cratchit.

Bob Cratchit Yes, sir. Goodnight sir, and a merry Christmas to you.

Scrooge Bah, humbug! (exits SR)

Enter Workers (SL)

Worker 4 Come along Bob! It’s time to go home and spend Christmas day with our families.

Bob 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 Bob Cratchit alone.

Bob 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)