King Scrydan is so cheap that he can’t even pay attention. And if he did, he would know that everyone calls him Scrooge behind his back. Coming from beyond Jamaica, his dearly-departed brother Marley (along with a Jamaican to English interpreter) warns him that his skin-flint ways will lead to a fate worse than death. Scrooge will be visited by three ghosts who persuade him by whatever means necessary to mend his ways and learn to live a little. Lightly interactive with the audience and lots of fun. A great Christmas show!
Cast Size: 7 Male, 7 Female, 3 M/F, Extras (With doubling, 7 Male, 5 Female, 2 M/F, Extras)
Note: Available only through Eldridge Plays at: http://www.histage.com
May joy be granted to all of you here,
While song and laughter give you cheer.
Let the first course be served!
KING: First course? There’s more than one?
QUEEN: (Awkwardly.) It is a banquet, my King.
KING: Our banquets all come in one course. All on a nice foil plate—with separate compartments so that your peas don’t get in your mashed potatoes. The tricky part is peeling back the aluminum foil at just the right time from the apple pie …
QUEEN: This is a banquet, my King, not a Banquet frozen dinner. And since the castle is so cold, I have no idea how you’d thaw it out anyway.
KING: Wood for the stove doesn’t grow on trees, you know.
QUEEN: Well, actually, wood—
KING: Yes, yes. I know.
KING: (Grudgingly.) Oh, all right. Let the “first” course be served. Servants, serve the bread and salad.
(KAZOO FANFARE. SERVANTS enter with bread & salad for the guests. FIONA and SERVANT go to the “special” table (see PRODUCTION NOTES.) and use tongs to put one olive and one crouton on each salad plate. The QUEEN rises up to see what they are doing.)
QUEEN: Fiona! One olive and one crouton for a first course?
FIONA: I am merely following the King’s instructions, milady.
QUEEN: (To KING.) My King, one olive and one crouton for a first course? This is dreadful!
KING: (Stands.) I most certainly agree, my Queen. (To FIONA.) Serving wench! What did I tell you about our serving portions?
FIONA: (Sighs.) Yes, my King. (To SERVANT.) Cut those olives in half! (SERVANT cuts the olives in half and starts giving each guest half an olive.)
QUEEN: My King! Half an olive?
KING: Olives don’t grow on trees, you know.
QUEEN: Well, actually, olives do—
KING: Yes, yes. I know. It’s an expression.
QUEEN: Our guests must be served properly.
KING: They are being served properly. (KING & QUEEN sit down.) Why, when I was a boy, I was thankful for every crouton and olive I got. These days … (KING is interrupted by reggae music. MARLEY and INTERPRETER enter.) What is the meaning of this!
QUEEN: (Looking around.) Meaning of what, my King?
KING: Don’t you hear that awful racket?
QUEEN: What are you talking about?
KING: I hear reggae music. (Looks up at MARLEY.) Marley!?
MARLEY: (As MARLEY speaks, the music stops.) Me bredda! (Picks up the KING’s empty plate.) How yuh nyam summuch?
KING: Excuse me?
INTERPRETER: He says, “My fraternal sibling! Why do you eat to excess? (Editorializing.) Note that the last line was delivered with a sarcastic tone.
KING: Who are you?
QUEEN: I am your wife.
KING: Not you, him. (Points to INTERPRETER. QUEEN looks to where he points and is clearly confused. She looks to EARL, concerned.)
INTERPRETER: I am the Jamaican to English interpreter.
KING: Jamaican to English? (To MARLEY.) But, Marley, you’re not Jamaican. You’re dead.
MARLEY: It’s a tall story. Me tell yuh after dis likkle sinting yuh a gi me.
INTERPRETER: It is an epic tale. I will inform you of the details after the hors d’oeuvres have been served.
KING: Hors d’oeuvres?
QUEEN: (To KING.) To whom do you speak, sire?
KING: And why can’t my Queen see you?
MARLEY: Me bredda, de rest of de fambly no see me. Me a duppy man.
INTERPRETER: My brother. The rest of our relatives cannot perceive me. I am a phantom. A specter. A transmogrified …
KING: I know what a phantom is.
QUEEN: My King? Why do you speak of phantoms? Are you ill?
FIONA: (To SERVANTS.) Quick! The King is distracted. Bring this table full portions! (SERVANTS quickly serve “special table” the full portion.)
KING: (To QUEEN.) I feel perfectly fine. Are you telling me that you can’t see him? (Points to MARLEY.) Marley, what are you doing here?
MARLEY: Like I said, me a duppy man …
INTERPRETER: As I stated earlier, I am a phantom. A specter. A …
QUEEN: (To KING.) Marley? My husband, your brother is dead. You look a bit pale. Like you’ve seen a ghost.
INTERPRETER: (Interpreting what the QUEEN just said.) Marley? Me hubbyman, your bredda is dead. You coo ‘pon gaan fe bed you’ve seen a duppy man.
KING: (To INTERPRETER.) I don’t need an English to Jamaican translation.
INTERPRETER: (Pause.) Right.
KING: (A bit snappish to QUEEN.) I wasn’t talking to you.
QUEEN: (To KING.) Then I shall return the favor. (She stands and exits.)
KING: (To MARLEY.) But, you. Tell me the epic tale now.
MARLEY: No bodda bawl im soon cum bak.
INTERPRETER: No need to weep. I will soon return. (MARLEY and INTERPRETER exit.)
KING: My Queen, I’ve had an extraordinary vision. (Turns to empty chair.) My Queen? (Looks around.) What strange tidings are these!
EARL: My lord?
KING: (Ignoring EARL.) The ghost of my brother? But I don’t believe in ghosts. (Picks up his goblet and looks in it.) There must have been something in the wassail that has altered my perception. Ah, yes, too much alcohol content. (Pause.) I thought I told Fiona to water it down. I must speak with her at once. (Stands and exits. Lights down.)