A Christmas Carol – Audition Pack

We do not expect you to be word perfect or ‘off script’ at the auditions. These pieces have been altered slightly from the scenes in the play.

Please print out your own copy before attending the auditions to reduce the need to share copies. If you cannot then please let us know in advance.

If you are auditioning via a self tape please view this guidance. If you are auditioning via video call then this should run in a similar way to an in person audition.


Audition piece #1 Narrator

Scrooge and Marley were business partners for, oh I don’t know how many years. But Marley … was dead! There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. Old Marley was as dead as a doornail. Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a doornail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. You will, I hope, permit me to repeat emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a doornail.


Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend and sole mourner. And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event but he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral – and solemnised it with an undoubted bargain! The mention of Marley’s funeral brings me back to the point I started from. There is no doubt that Marley was dead. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate.


Now, once upon a time – of all the good days in the year, on Christmas Eve – old Scrooge sat busy in his counting-house. It was cold, bleak, biting weather; foggy; he could hear the people in the court outside, beating their hands upon their breasts and stamping their feet upon the pavement stones to warm them. The City clocks had only just gone three, but it was quite dark already.


Audition piece #2 – Fred and Scrooge

Fred (nephew): (very cheerful) A Merry Christmas, uncle! God save you!
Scrooge: Bah ………. Humbug
Fred (nephew): Christmas a humbug uncle! You don’t mean that, I am sure.
Scrooge: I do. Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason do you have to be merry? You’re poor enough.
Fred (nephew): Come, then, (gaily) What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You’re rich enough.
Scrooge: Bah ….. Humbug!
Fred (nephew): Don’t be cross, uncle.
Scrooge: What else can I be, when I live in such a world of fools as this? Merry Christmas! Out upon Merry Christmas! What’s Christmastime to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, and not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books, and having every item in ‘em presented dead against you? If I could have my way, every idiot who goes about with “Merry Christmas” on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. (Fred is aghast) He should!
Fred (nephew): Uncle!
Scrooge: Nephew! Keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine.
Fred (nephew): Keep it! But you don’t keep it.
Scrooge: Let me leave it alone, then. Much good may it do you! Much good it has ever done you!
Fred (nephew): Don’t be angry, uncle. Come! Dine with us tomorrow
Scrooge: I’ll see you in hell ……
Fred (nephew): Buy why? Why?
Scrooge: Why did you get married?
Fred (nephew): Because I fell in love
Scrooge: Because you fell in love! (growled sarcastically) Good-afternoon!
Fred (nephew): Nay, uncle, but you never came to see me before that happened. Why give it as a reason for not coming now?


Audition piece #3 – Belle and Young Scrooge

Belle: (tearful and softly) It matters little. To you, very little. Another idol has displaced me; and, if it can cheer and comfort you in time to come as I would have tried to do, I have no just cause to grieve
Scrooge: What Idol has displaced you?
Belle: A golden one
Scrooge: This is the evenhanded dealing of the world! There is nothing on which it is so hard as poverty; and there is nothing it professes to condemn with such severity as the pursuit of wealth!
Belle: You fear the world too much (gently). All your other hopes have merged into the hope of being beyond the chance of it’s sorded reproach. I have seen your nobler aspirations fall off one by one, until the master passion, Gain, engrosses you. Have I not?
Scrooge: What then? Even if I have grown so much wiser, what then? I am not changed towards you.
Belle: (shake head)
Scrooge: Am I?
Belle: Our contract is an old one. It was made when we were both poor, and content to be so, until, in good season, we could improve our worldly fortune by our patient industry. You are changed. When it was made you were another man
Scrooge: I was a boy (impatiently)
Belle: Your own feeling tells you that you were not what you are but … I am. That which promised happiness when we were one in heart is fraught with misery now that we are two. How often and how keenly I have thought of this I will not say. It is enough that I have thought of it, and can release you.


Audition piece #4 – Mrs Cratchit, Bob Cratchit, Belinda, Peter, Martha, two young Cratchits and Tiny Tim

Mrs Cratchit: What has ever got your precious father, then? And your brother, Tiny Tim? And Martha wasn’t as late last Christmas Day by half an hour.
Belinda: Here’s Martha, mother! (walk in Martha)
Two young Cratchits: Here’s Martha, mother! Hurrar! (running to welcome Martha) There’s such a goose, Martha!
Mrs Cratchit: (greeting Martha) Why, bless your heart alive, my dear, how late you are!
Martha: We’d a deal of work to finish up last night and had to clear away this morning, mother!
Mrs Cratchit: Well! Never mind so long as you are here now. Sit ye down before the fire, my dear, and have a warm, Lord bless ye!
Two young Cratchits: No, no! There’s father coming (rushing round) Hide, Martha, hide!
(Martha hides as Bob Cratchit walks in with Tiny Tim on shoulders or carried – once in, put Tiny Tim down and he goes off on a crutch)
Bob Cratchit: Why, where’s our Martha?
Mrs Cratchit: Not coming
Bob Cratchit: Not coming! Not coming upon Christmas Day! (Martha comes out and runs into his arms)
Mrs Cratchit: And how did little Tim behave?
Bob Cratchit: As good as gold, and better. Somehow, he gets thoughtful, sitting by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you ever heard. He told me, coming home, that he hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a ….(tremulous voice here) a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember, upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk and blind men see. I must say, Tiny Tim is growing strong and hearty. (Tiny Tim returned and went to sit at the fire helped by his brother and sister)
Peter: (to the two children) You two will need to come and help me carry the goose – what a fine bird it is, isn’t it mother? (exit with two children)
Mrs Cratchit: Oh absolutely
(Bob goes to sit down and Tiny Tim shuffles to sit by his father’s knee and the family gather round in a half-circle. Peter and the two children come in with the goose covered by a cloth)
Bob Cratchit: A merry Christmas to us all, my dears. God bless us!
Tiny Tim: God bless us, every one!


Audition piece #5 – Fred, Fred’s wife, Wife’s sister, Other female, Topper, Scrooge and Spirit

Fred: Ha, ha, ha! …. Ha, ha, ha! (holding his sides and doubled up in laughter)
Scrooge: Why, Spirit? How did we get to my nephew’s (Spirit puts his finger to his lips to hush him)
Wife: Ha, ha, ha!
Everyone: Ha, ha, ha!
Fred: No stop!! He said that Christmas was a humbug, as I live! He believed it, too!
Wife: More shame on him, Fred!
Fred: He’s a comical old fellow, that’s the truth; and not so pleasant as he might be. However, his offences carry their own punishment, and I have nothing to say against him.
Wife: I’m sure he is very rich, Fred. At least, you always tell me so.
Fred: What of that, my dear? His wealth is of no use to him. He don’t do any good with it. He don’t make himself comfortable with it. He hasn’t the satisfaction of thinking – ha, ha, ha! – that he is ever going to benefit us with it.
Wife: I have no patience with him.
Wife’s sister: No, indeed.
Other female: No, no, no. We cannot have any patience with him.
Fred: Oh, I have! I am sorry for him; I couldn’t be angry with him if I tried. Who suffers by his ill whims? Himself, always. He takes it into his head to dislike us, and he won’t come and dine with us. What’s the consequence? He don’t lose much of a dinner …..
Wife: Indeed, I think he loses a very good dinner. Everybody else said the same, and they must be allowed to have been competent judges, because they have had just had dinner; and dessert is upon the table!
Fred: Well! I am very glad to hear it, because I haven’t any great faith in these young housekeepers. What do you say, Topper?
Topper: (eyeing up one of the ladies) A bachelor is a wretched outcast who has no right to express an opinion on the subject. (the lady he was eyeing up fans herself and giggles)
Wife: Do go on Fred (clapping hands) He never finishes what he begins to say! He is such a ridiculous fellow!
Fred: Ha, ha, ha! I was only going to say, that the consequence of his taking a dislike to us, and not making merry with us, is, I think, that he loses some pleasant moments, which could do him no harm. I am sure he loses pleasanter companions than he can find in his own thoughts, either in his mouldy old office or his dusty chambers. I mean to give him the same chance every year, whether he likes it or not, for I pity him. He may rail at Christmas till he dies, but he can’t help thinking better of it – I defy him – if he finds me going there, in good temper, year after year, and saying, “Uncle Scrooge, how are you?” If it only put him in the vein to leave his poor clerk 50 pounds, that’s something; and I think I shook him yesterday.
Topper: Shaking Scrooge (in disbelief) – ha, ha, ha!


Audition piece #6 – Old Joe, Mrs Dilber, Laundry woman and Undertaker

Old Joe: Let the charwoman alone to be the first! Let the laundress alone to be the second, and let the undertaker’s man alone to be the third.
Mrs Dilber: Look here, Old Joe, here’s a change! If we haven’t all three met here without meaning it!
Old Joe: You couldn’t have met in a better place (removing pipe). Come on, show us what you got (woman throws bundle on floor)
Woman: What odds, then? What odds, Mrs Dilber? Every person has a right to take care of themselves. He always did!
Mrs Dilber: That’s true, indeed. No man more so.
Old Joe: Why, then, don’t stand staring as if you was afraid, woman! Who’s the wiser? We’re not going to pick holes in each other’s coats, I suppose?
Woman: No, indeed!
Mrs Dilber: We should hope not!
Woman: Very well then! That’s enough. Who’s the worse for the loss of a few things like these? Not a dead man, I suppose?
Mrs Dilber: (laughing) No, indeed!
Woman: If he wanted to keep ‘em after he was dead, wicked old screw, why wasn’t he natural in his lifetime? If he had been, he’d have had somebody to look after him when he was struck with Death, instead of lying gasping out his last there, alone, by himself!
Mrs Dilber: It’s the truest word that ever was spoke. It’s a judgement on him.
Woman: I wish it were a little heavier; and it should have been, you can depend upon it, if I could have laid my hands on anything else.
(Undertaker produces his plunder – a seal or two, a pencil case, pair of sleeve buttons and a brooch of no great value)
Undertaker: Open that bundle, Old Joe, and let me know the value of it. Speak out plain. I’m not afraid to be the first, nor afraid for them to see it. We knew pretty well that we were helping ourselves before we met here, I believe. It’s no sin. Open the bundle, Joe.
(They are examined and appraised by Old Joe and an amount written down and given to Undertaker)
Old Joe: That’s your account, and I wouldn’t give another sixpence, if I was to be boiled for not doing it. Who’s next?
(Mrs Dilber shows sheets and towels, a few items of clothing)
Old Joe: I always give too much to ladies. It’s a weakness of mine, and that’s the way I ruin myself. That’s your account. If you asked me for another penny, and made it an open question, I’d repent of being so liberal, and knock off half a crown.
Woman: And now undo my bundle, Joe. (Joe goes down on his knees and opens the bundle dragging out a large heavy roll of some dark stuff)
Old Joe: What do you call this? Blankets?
Woman: Ah! (laughing and leaning forward on her crossed arms) Bedding! Best bedding!
Old Joe: You don’t mean to say you took ‘em, with him lying there?
Woman: Yes, I do. Why not?
Old Joe: You were born to make your fortune, and you’ll certainly do it.


Audition piece #7 – Caroline, husband, Children, Scrooge, Narrator, Peter and Mother

Caroline: Is it good (hesitating) or bad?
Husband: Bad
Caroline: We are quite ruined?
Husband: No. There is hope yet, Caroline
Caroline: If he relents, there is! (amazed) Nothing is past hope, if such a miracle has happened.
Husband: He is past relenting. He is dead (Caroline clasps her hands and crosses herself) What the half-drunken woman, whom I told you of last night, said to me when I tried to see him and obtain a week’s delay – and what I thought was a mere excuse to avoid me – turns out to have been quite true. He was not only very ill, but dying.
Caroline: To whom will our debt be transferred?
Husband: I don’t know. But, before that time, we shall be ready with the money; and even if we were not, it would be bad fortune indeed to find so merciless a creditor in his successor. We may sleep tonight with light hearts, Caroline!


Audition piece #8 – Narrator, Peter, Scrooge, Mrs Cratchit and Two Children

(Future takes Scrooge round the stage and Scrooge looks round the audience and people on stage. Caroline and husband leave stage while Mrs Cratchit and children enter and sit looking at Peter reading a book, Mother and daughters sit
sewing. All very quiet
.)
Narrator: The Ghost conducted Scrooge through several streets familiar to him and, as they went along, Scrooge looked here and there to find himself, but nowhere was he to be seen. They entered Bob Cratchit’s house; the dwelling he had visited before; and found the mother and the children seated quietly, very quietly round the fire.
Peter: (reading) “And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them”
Scrooge: (thoughtfully) Where have I heard those words? I didn’t dream them. The boy must have read them out as we entered. Why does he not go on?
Mrs Cratchit: (putting down the sewing and puts hands to her face) The colour hurts my eyes.
Scrooge: The colour? Ah, poor Tiny Tim!
Mrs Cratchit: They’re better now. It makes them weak by candlelight; and I wouldn’t show weak eyes to your father when he comes home for the world. It must be near his time
Peter: Past it rather (shutting book) But I think he has walked a little slower than he used, these few last evenings, mother.
Mrs Cratchit (they are all quiet but eventually she replies, cheerfully but faltering once) I have known him walk with …. I have known him walk with Tiny Tim upon his shoulder very fast indeed!
Peter: And so have I. Often.
Mrs Cratchit: And so have I.
Children: … and so have I.
Mrs Cratchit: But he was very light to carry, and his father loved him so that it was no trouble, no trouble …. and there is your father at the door! (hurrying to meet him – brings him in to sit down and two younger children sit upon his knee and place their cheeks against his saying …)
Children: Don’t mind it, father. Don’t be grieved.
Bob Cratchit: (cheerfully) My word, you have all been busy – just look at all the work you and the girls have done, you will be done long before Sunday.
Mrs Cratchit: Sunday! You went today, then, Robert?
Bob Cratchit: Yes, my dear. I wish you could have gone. It would have done you good to see how green a place it is. But you’ll see it often.


List of Main Characters

NarratorGuides the Audience throughout
Bob CratchitClerk to Ebenezer Scrooge
Tim Cratchit (Tiny Tim)Youngest sickly son of Bob Cratchit
Mr FezziwigA kind-hearted, jovial old merchant
FredScrooge’s nephew
Ghost of Christmas PastA phantom showing things past
Ghost of Christmas PresentA spirit of a kind, generous, and hearty nature
Ghost of Christmas Yet to ComeAn apparition showing the shadows of things wich yet may happen
Ghost of Jacob MarleyA spectre of Scrooge’s former partner in business
Old JoeA marine-store dealer and receiver of stolen goods
Ebenezer ScroogeA grasping, covetous old man, the surviving partner of the firmof Scrooge and Marley
Mr TopperA bachelor
Dick WilkinsA fellow apprentice of Scrooge’s
BelleA comely matron, and old sweetheart of Scrooge’s
CarolineWife of one of Scrooge’s debtors
DebtorHusband of Caroline and one of Scrooge’s debtors
Mrs CratchitWife of Bob Cratchit
Belinda CratchitDaughter of Bob Cratchit
Martha CratchitDaughter of Bob Cratchit
Peter CratchitSon of Bob Cratchit
Mrs DilberA laundress
FanThe sister of Scrooge
Mrs FezziwigThe worthy partner of Mr Fezziwig