Stanley Unwin’s reimagining of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

First published in the December 1962 edition of the TV Times, we present a transcription and performance of Stanley Unwin’s unique adaptation of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol!

And so deep joy to Charlie Dickens who wrote it, and for its moral. Because Ebeneezer Scrooge, so meanie mo, and since the pass of his partner-shivvers Jacob Marley long since deep as a deadery doornail.

Well, as it began and near Christmas Eve, Scroogie’s clerk Bob Cratchit, very much underpay and work harder with one knob of coal in the fireplace and swing his mitteny hands to warmer. “Merry Christmas!” callit Bob to his master.

“Merry Christmas bah and humbug!” shouten Scrooge. “All who wish the merry should havvit the sprig of holly’n stuffit thro the heart.”

When the carol singers gave a fine rendery of ‘When his lass was king of Stevenage’ Scrooge not so much as gabe a fardle and snorten thro the windowm with more bar and humbug. Oh the sadness folly!

Now when Scroogie arriven homeward and saw in the glooming all foggit’n misty, the head of Jacob Marley instead of the doorknocker, there was a frightfold for his open the door and creak and dangly!

Scrooge, too stingy for coal-fire’n warm his toe-neighbours and trittly how footsteps up to bed for the warm and sleepit to try and forget the Marley ghosters. No soon the flickery eyelids when “Clanky, clanky,” and Marley stompers along the passage and straight through the dorm!

“I crum to warm, not to marm,” saidit the ghost. “For all your meanery stinge over the yearlods, and a lesson for your changey-way. Three ghosties will vizzie and do a deep tuggery on your heartstrings!” Then turned and falolloped backwards thro the door without so much as unlock!

Well. All trembly fluttering, Scrooge waited. Just as sleepers creepily on, he heard the clock strike one and the curtain slowly moven on his four poster, and ghostly apparition tug on his nightcap tassle. “O Scroob for your past sin and lookit back shamefold from the morn to evil. For only in this way can you learn to be taught.”

And wayback he was tooken by the spirit to the people of his early misdeeds – dear little Fan, his sister, and boys’n girls playing in the garbage.

Also there was a Mr. Fussiwug who gave a fine ball and celebrail for Christmas. Oh the joy, if he could have it all over again and mendit. Tut, tut! But the spirit move and show him more of the early follies reminder, until Scrooge can standit no longer, then ghostevorale in a dazzly whiter than light. Gone!

Well. Still aspen-trembled, Scrooge wait’n for the next spiriting and suddenly found himself whoosh! In his own roomy parlour with decorated holly-o, misteltones, and all paper chains dangle down dilly! And there was the Ghostly Christmas Present! Fine green robery with trimmy fur. He said, “Mr. Scroogie, look upon, and do you recognise?”

“Ah yes,” saidit Scrooge, very heartfeel and meeky. For this he knew was to example him and dig deep in his mouldy pokkery and makeit Christmas bright, and fill it up the flowm bowel and horn-a-plenty for other people’s enjoym. Oh yes!

Then he found himself transport and into the home of his clerky Bob Cratchit; all hard worky and only fifteen shillies pay for feedy fambly and clothe. O Folly! The Cratchit fambly were having a humble Christmassy enjoyle and there was a toast call, “Let’s drinkit health to Mr. Scroogie” and they all raisin glasses of weaker currant juice.

“Me too!” cried Tiny Tim who was Bob Cratchit’s tiny son and not too strong. “Oh heartstrings and shamey!” thought Scrooge and a tear drip’n dribbly down his left cheek bowl, and the spirit left him and departed on a wind of willy whispers.

Now the next ghost was called “Christmas to Come” and he whisked Scrooge up and forwards to a country grave-yarn thro lowing herbs and lea, and closely down to a grave stone.

What was this? A scription on the stone said “Here lie Ebeneezer Scroob who in his lifetime creedy rab…” This was too much. Scrooge strugglit and freedom with a quick up-quake, and it was daylight. Oh fresh and relief and to start all over again!

He opened the windom and asked a little boy on a trotty errand, “What day is it?” “Christmas Dale!” shouten the boy and go slidey down on the icepatch with a whole gang; all sideways, one foot and follop in a heap for a good laugh!

Scrooge, so gladly released from the dreams and nightmare horribold that he quickly dressit, ‘n poppa handful of money in the pokkery for a spendy spree and give presents.

First to the butcher’s and bought a fine goose all pimplode and prepared for Bob Cratchit’s wife for a fine fambly dinner and stuffit, then a Christmas puddey for after and custardy with sprintly brandy-flabe and set light. And finally, presents all round with a game of huckle my thimbold.

Oh, the joy of all this, especially as Mr. Scrooge put up the wages of Mr. Cratchit to twenty-five shilly! They all gave one last cheer for Mr. Scrooge, founder feasty, ‘cos we all luvvim!

Written by
Chris Dale

Writer, editor & voice actor on Big Finish's Doctor Who, Terrahawks, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet audio ranges. Host of the Randomiser on the Gerry Anderson Podcast.

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