“Marley was dead, dead as a door-nail. Let that fact be understood for certain” (or something like that) starts the only Dickens I have ever read.
I am sure that more academically qualified people than myself would dismiss “A Christmas Carol” as an unworthy short story, but although I love a good TV or film adapation of a Charles Dickens work I find the books too wordy and the language just plain tricky.
Anyway, one of the items in the Gibson Cub Scout Pack programme was rehearsing for and putting on a playlette for the Mums and Dads as part of the Cubs Entertainer badge work this coming Monday.
This has involved two weeks of reading through and rehearsal and then a dress rehearsal and performance due on 30 November.
The planning was vague to say the least, and after the meeting three weeks ago Baloo - who was in charge – was asked whether there was a script or something to start work with the following week.
His reply did not inspire – “Well not yet, but we are working on it and it should be ready by next Monday. I think it will be a take on A Christmas Carol.”
I received a phone text message the following Sunday, “Are you up for a bit of acting on Monday?”
I answered “Acting the fool?, maybe.”
At the Monday meeting, the scripts were passed around. I was given one with the comment, “I hope we haven’t type cast you too much, you will be Scrooge”.
Now, Dear Reader this did not spook me too much. I thought there would be a couple of scenes, but it would be easy enough.
The first read through confirmed that there were not too many words to say.
At a second read through with some stage directions being given, my “not much” theory was blasted completely out of the water.
Scrooge enters the stage on the first line of the script from The Narrators: “There was a man called Scrooge”.
I then walk London’s streets and utter two lines before going to my work place.
There I have dialogue with Bob Cratchit about having Christmas Day off, then with my Nephew Fred and then have a few crossed words with some Charity Workers.
Then a sudden change of scene to Scrooge is bedroom to be accosted by first Marley’s Ghost and then the Ghost of Christmas Past.
He takes me to Scrooge’s school and Fezziwig’s shop party, before I am passed on to the Ghost of Christmas Present who takes me on to Nephew Fred’s and Bob Cratchit’s.
The game of Pass-the-Scrooge is carried on by the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come with the trip to the graveyard before I wake up mid-nightmare and it is still Christmas Day.
Of course, Scrooge has had his transformation and gets the Boy to buy the massive turkey for Bob Cratchit’s Christmas feast and then goes to dinner and we all end up singing “We wish you a Merry Christmas”
So the “bit of acting” actually equates with my being on stage from the first line to the last.
Monday’s meeting is the Dress Rehearsal and actual performance.
It should be “interesting”.
In other Scouting News, I managed to complete a First Response course yesterday.
Next weekend I am part of the cooking crew at a two day County Scout "Management" Course. It should not be too onerous as I have heard that numbers may be between 8 and 10.
There may also be a Gibson Cub Scout Pack Christmas Party on Saturday, but this needs to be confirmed.
I have been privileged to see three excellent but very different gigs this week.
On Tuesday, I was at the lovely Union Chapel in Islington to see Billy Bragg. This was a very stripped back affair, with The Bard's only accompaniment being CJ Hillman on Pedal Guitar and guitars.
The following evening, I saw Courtney Barnett's rocking set at The Forum, Kentish Town.
On Saturday, it was up to the Royal Albert Hall to see Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. That really was a fun night.
The pre-Christmas house cleaning continues when I get the time or can actually be bothered (not often enough). Guests are arriving on or about 22 or 23 December.
I am not sure when the Christmas house decorations will go up this year. In the past, I have had them in place on 1st December or as late as a week before the big day.
As with the housework, it will get done when I get the time. At this point, however I am not sure when this window will open.
That has got to be enough for now.
Until next time. Let's be careful out there.