About A Contemporary Christmas Carol

For me, the Charles Dickens story ‘A Christmas Carol’ is masterpiece. Since becoming a drama teacher it has been the play that I have most enjoyed directing. So why did I decided to modernize this classic rather than keep it in its original context?

The answer is simple – its relevance to our own modern day world. Many of the themes within Dickens’s work are still pertinent today, including humanity, generosity and social justice. But I wanted to know if the actual story would work in a contemporary setting.

Much of the narrative is similar to the original – Scrooge is still a mean moneylender who is visited by three spirits that aim to show him the error of his ways. But much of the detail has changed including characters, names and, most notably, the ending (don’t panic – Scrooge still ‘sees the light’). However, the dialogue is contemporary and, bar the odd unashamedly Dickens phrase, the words aim to reflect the modern world we live in.

The cast size can vary. My production featured 120 students (with some of the roles double cast for alternative performances) but the play can be performed with as little as 40 (with the use of mutli-role)

Like my other work, this book includes ideas for staging, music and sound, costume and direction. And like my other work these can be used or discarded at will.

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