Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" One-Man Show Script & Score
by Tony Palermo
Here is a version of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" intended to be read by a single-narrator--with optional pre-recorded musical accompaniment. This would serve well for a grandparent reading a condensed version of the "Carol" to grandchildren beside the fireplace. I offer full cast versions of the "Carol" for radio and stage, but have seen requests for a smaller, more intimate rendering of the tale. Charles Dickens was an actor before he was a writer and he often performed excerpts from his novels to theater audiences in Britain and America. I've taken Dickens' own reader's "Carol" from 1867 and trimmed it down from 3 hours to 30-minutes long. However, this version is not just a telling of the story--with lots of narration and occasional dialogue. It is more a dramatized "Carol" to be performed by a single-storyteller--much the way audiobook narrator Jim Dale brought the Harry Potter books to life. You don't need to be a gifted mimic to render the sour Scrooge or meek Bob Cratchit, but this script makes it easy to assume one voice and then switch to another since the radio-script format lends itself to clear reading off the page in a live performance.
For information regarding how to obtain the script, contact me at . I deliver the script via e-mail as a PDF file, and the optional pre-recorded music cues can either be downloaded as MP3 files, or shipped via regular mail in the form of audio CDs.
I also offer a small-cast version of the "Carol" for Family or Staged-Reading performances. See Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" as family/staged-reading version for info.
A Christmas Carol is Tony Palermo's very faithful adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic story of Christmas, memory, and redemption. The dialogue is verbatim Dickens, but condensed and arranged to bring forward Dickens' themes of charity and goodwill toward men. This shortened version includes the famous scenes of the Charity Seekers, Marley’s Ghost, the three Spirits, Fezziwig's Ball, Belle, the Cratchit family, the graveyard, the prize turkey and Scrooge's final surprise for Bob Cratchit. However, it omits several scenes entirely; no teenage Scrooge and his sister Fan, neither of Nephew Fred’s parties, no mention of the Children—Ignorance & Want, no Rag & Bone shop, and no mocking businessmen. In 30 minutes, the story still holds up as an emotional experience. This version also employs (optional) music but doesn’t require any sound effects. Instead, they are described by the narrator, the way Dickens’ handled them in his original story.
Here's a downloadable MP3 clip of a famous scene, with one actor doing all the voices--accompanied by music and sound effects:
Here's a downloadable excerpt of the single-narrator "Carol" script:
You can view/print the excerpt, which is in the PDF format, via the free Adobe Acrobat reader program, which works for PCs and Macs. http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2_allversions.html
PRE-RECORDED MUSIC TRACKS:
VALUABLE NOTES ON THEME AND PORTRAYALS:
PRICES FOR 30-minute
One-Man-Show 'CHRISTMAS CAROL':
Once you download the MP3s, you can burn them to audio CDs or trigger them from a computer or MP3 player.
HOW TO PAY FOR SCRIPT AND MUSIC TRACKS:
I accept credit card payments via the free and secure www.PayPal.com service.
1) Go to the
www.PayPal.com website, click on the “Send Money” button, and
register for free. (They accept debit cards too.)
You must pay in U.S. dollars—which is
easy to do on Paypal.
If you have any questions, contact:
TONY PALERMO is an audio
theatre producer, performer, and educator living in Los Angeles, California.