A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A RRRR adaptation by Ignatz Ratzkywatzky
On Christmas Eve, Ebenezer Scrooge and Bob Cratchit, Scrooge’s underpaid clerk, are the only two people that are still not at home celebrating Christmas. Bob Cratchit is still working away at his ledgers, and on the other hand, the only reason that Scrooge is not celebrating is because he despises this holiday, the joys of the Christmas carols teeming outside his house are unbearable nightmares to his ears. The only music to his ear is the sound of his underpaid clerk mumbling out the numbers while working on the day’s accounts.
“Humbug!” Scrooge says of Christmas and it emphasis on charity. When a gentleman knocks on Scrooge’s door to inform him that he is gathering donations for the poor, Scrooge responds that the poor and the ill-stricken can go to the workhouses and prisons for shelter and care.
Consumed by greed, Scrooge is no longer able to comprehend anything beyond their materialistic values. And he does not realized how damaging this is until the ghost of Jacob Marley, Scrooge’s old business partner, appears to him in the middle of the night. Marley’s apparition is wrapped in chains and weighed down by padlocks, cashboxes, and many other other objects that symbolize the heavy burdens of greed. Marley has come to warn Scrooge that if he does not change his avaricious ways, he would suffer a worse fate than Marley. The only hope and redemption Scrooge has, Marley says, is to receive visits from three ghosts–the Christmas Spirit of the Past, the Christmas Spirit of the Present, and the Christmas Spirit of the Future.
After the ghost of Jacob Marley disappears, Old Scrooge is confronted one after another by the three ghosts of Christmas. The Christmas Spirit of the Past takes Old Scrooge to visit his past, and Scrooge is reminded that he was happy once and loved by a woman–but those were quickly taken away when young Scrooge became a greedy businessman. Then the Christmas Spirit of the Present arrives and brings him to see Bob Cratchit’s disabled son, Tiny Tim. Scrooge seems to have regained his compassion but he stands helpless as he finds out that Tiny Tim is also slowly dying. Old Scrooge cries and begs for help, but the grim Christmas Spirit of the Future silently creeps in and shows Scrooge the crude reality of death. Just as Scrooge is becoming overwhelmed with trepidation, he wakes up to find that he is still in his bed. Will Scrooge remember what he has just seen? Has he learned anything from the three Spirits of Christmas?
Come to the Red Room Theatre to find out!
Wendy Wan Yi Chen
Class of 2014
Department of Foreign Languages and Literature
National Taiwan University