Scrooge (musical)

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Scrooge
The Musical
Music Leslie Bricusse
Lyrics Leslie Bricusse
Book Leslie Bricusse
Basis Scrooge (1970 film) and Dickens' A Christmas Carol
Productions 1992 Birmingham
1993 Melbourne
1996 West End
2003-14 UK and Ireland tour
2004 Chicago
2005 West End revival
2012 West End revival
2017 Leicester

Scrooge: The Musical is a 1992 stage musical with book, music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse.[1] Its score and book are closely adapted from the music and screenplay of the 1970 musical film Scrooge starring Albert Finney and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Bricusse was nominated for an Academy Award for the song score he wrote for the film, and most of those songs were carried over to the musical.

Synopsis[edit]

Like the film, the musical closely follows the plot of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, in which the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes a profound experience of redemption over the course of a Christmas Eve night, after being visited by the ghost of his former partner Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

Productions[edit]

UK and Ireland productions[edit]

Leslie Bricusse spent several months with the director Bob Tomson adapting the screenplay for the stage. Tomson recommended appointing designer, Paul Farnsworth, to the team and established a Victorian theatre style for all the locations, illusions and characters. Initially the ghost illusions were entrusted to Paul Daniels, but he was replaced after the first production with Paul Kieve.

The original production starred Anthony Newley as Scrooge and opened on 9 November 1992 at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham.[2] The cast also included Stratford Johns, Tom Watt and Jon Pertwee. The production later transferred to the West End, starring Newley, at the Dominion Theatre from 12 November 1996 to 1 February 1997.

Bill Kenwright produced a remount of the original production which toured the UK and Ireland for the Christmas seasons between 2003 and 2013 starring Tommy Steele in the title role (with the exceptions of Shane Richie in the 2005 and 2007 tours and Michael Barrymore in the 2006 tour. The show was on hiatus for the 2008 Christmas season). The production transferred into the West End starring Steele for the 2005 (while Richie toured an identical production) and 2012 Christmas seasons at the London Palladium, making Steele the record-holder for the most performances headlined at the Palladium.

A brand new production will be presented at the Curve Theatre in Leicester from 18 November 2017 to 14 January 2018, directed by Curve artistic director Nikolai Foster for the musical's 25th anniversary. It will also be produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian and is expected to tour the UK in the Christmas 2018 season.[3]

Australian production[edit]

After premiering in Birmingham, the original UK production traveled to Australia featuring Keith Michell, Max Gillies, Tony Taylor and William Zappa, ran from November 1993 to January 1994 at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne.[4]

U.S. productions[edit]

The American premiere opened on 26 October 2004 at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre in Chicago. This production was produced by Bill Kenwright and starred Richard Chamberlain in the title role.

It has also been performed by the Spring Lake Theater Company in Spring Lake, New Jersey, every Christmas season since 1982. Mark E. Fleming originated the production at Spring Lake and has staged the production at the Premier Theatre Co since its founding in 1987.

Another production of the show has been performed since 1982 by The Players Of Utica, located in Utica, New York. Director Peter Loftus has been the only director for the show during the entire run, which celebrated its 30th year in 2012. The production has become an annual community event during the holidays, in terms of both audiences and casts. The 2012 cast was one of the largest of its 30-year run, with over 250 members. The show regularly does a community performance for local schools and senior programs. Turnout for this annual performance has exceeded 1,500 students from area schools.

Characters[edit]

Musical numbers[edit]

Cast recordings[edit]

The original London cast recording featuring Anthony Newley as Scrooge was released by JAY Productions Ltd on 14 October 1997 and is currently available to purchase on iTunes.[6] A second cast recording of the 2005 London Palladium production with Tommy Steele was also released by Bill Kenwright Records and was available to purchase in the theatre foyers, however is currently not available to purchase or download.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bricusse, Leslie; Mark St Germain; Charles Dickens (1998). Scrooge (libretto). Published by Samuel French, Inc.,. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  2. ^ "Scrooge". Musical Heaven. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  3. ^ "Curve Theatre / CURVE ANNOUNCES BRAND NEW PRODUCTIONS OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER'S MASTERPIECE SUNSET BOULEVARD & LESLIE BRICUSSE'S MAGICAL FAMILY MUSICAL, SCROOGE". Curve Theatre / CURVE ANNOUNCES BRAND NEW PRODUCTIONS OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER’S MASTERPIECE SUNSET BOULEVARD & LESLIE BRICUSSE’S MAGICAL FAMILY MUSICAL, SCROOGE. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  4. ^ https://www.ausstage.edu.au/pages/event/20791
  5. ^ "Scrooge!". Scrooge!. Samuel French. Retrieved 10 December 2015. 
  6. ^ "Scrooge (Original London Cast) by Scrooge & Various Artists on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2017-01-18.