Derek needed little persuasion as he’d always wanted to play Scrooge and he eventually
did take the part in the musical. He went professional and once appeared alongside
Jeremy Irons in a historical drama.
Even when I was fourteen, when we staged our own version, the story was an old tradition
in our family. My mum had read parts of it to us, as had one of my junior school
teachers, Mr Thompson. My brother Bill (Scrooge) and I planned an ambitious production
with dramatically lit sets, puppets, models and some taped dialogue.
The most memorable costume was the Spirit of Christmas Past. Bill’s friend Richard
Ryan wore a costume made of a gold-sprayed plastic sack with a candle mounted on
his head-dress which was an upturned brass bowl.
I ENJOYED the 3D version of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the cinema today.
The characters and settings were like the original illustrations coming to life and
much as I’d imagined them when I illustrated a children’s version 1987.
I was asked to do if for Bordos books in France for a series of retold classics,
designed to help French children learn to read English. Anything mentioned in the
text had to appear, clearly, in the illustration. The simplified retelling varied
slightly from the original.
As I was concerned about keeping Scrooge and Bob Cratchit recognisable through the
story I asked Ken and Derek from the local amateur dramatic group to pose in character
for Polaroid photographs.
Derek as Scrooge
The Spirit of Christmas Past - I drew the warehouses in the background from photographs
in the souvenir programme from the film ‘Oliver!’.
Ticket printed with a mini-duplicator pad - like a Gestetner but in hand-stamp form.