Another Christmas Carol
by Jeff Goode
copyright © 2003
In Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge's age is not discussed, other than a mention that he is "old". Presumeably, he is older than most of the other characters, but his precise vintage is simply not that important to the story. Given the health and dietary standards of the period, Scrooge (and his partner Marley) might be anywhere from 40-100 years old. The exact age is entiredly up to the director.
There are several references to time in Marley's Ghost which should be altered to reflect the various ages of the actors in the cast. (For example, the firm of Marley & Scrooge may have been in business for 40 years - but not if Marley himself is only in his 40s!)
The following timeline of events in the text, as-written, is provided in order to save you time in coming up with a timeline that fits your own production. This timeline was designed for a fairly young cast.
1843 - Scrooge Haunted by Three Spirits
This was the year Dickens first published A Christmas Carol, and it has been arbitrarily chosen as "The Present" at the end of the play. Marley's visits to Scrooge and Tiny Tim at their bedtimes, take place during this year.
1836 - Death of Marley
Marley had been dead seven years at the time of Scrooge's haunting, so the funeral at the beginning of the play takes place this year, along with all of its contemporary scenes: Tuttle & Wilkins at the counting house; the Laundress at the pawn shop; the Reverend and the Housekeeper, etc.
1835 - Birth of Tiny Tim
The character of Tiny Tim should be at least 7 years old, otherwise Marley wouldn't know he existed. (Note: The actor playing the part can be younger than 7, because Tiny Tim is supposed to be very small for his age.)
1808 - Birth of Bob Cratchit / Death of Margaret
Tiny Tim could be the oldest or the youngest of the Cratchit children - or their only child - so there's a great deal of flexibility in establishing his father's (Bob Cratchit's) age. If Bob were born in 1808, he would be 28 at the time of Marley's death and 35 during the Cratchit dinner scene. Bob's mother (Marley's sister) Margaret dies during childbirth, and she is 9 months pregnant when she receives the letter from Toby.
1807 - Scrooge breaks up with Belle
This timeline has the events of Young Scrooge & Marley's early career happening in fairly rapid succession. You may wish to spread them out over a longer period of time.
1806 - Marley blackmails the Fezziwigs / Scrooge & Marley go into business
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