As the streets of London make ready for their Christmas celebrations (Prologue/Christmas Cheer/Ebenezer Scrooge) the miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, dampens the spirits of the gathering crowds by giving his philosophy of the festive season.
In his counting house, he goes further by spurning family links with his nephew, Fred, who hoped that his uncle would join him and his wife for Christmas Day. Everyone wants something for nothing, including his clerk, Bob Cratchit, who expects to be paid even though he doesn’t work Christmas Day (Shillings, Pound and Pence).
Bob Cratchit takes his son, Tiny Tim, to get their Christmas fare, and though Tim is sick, they celebrate the love and joy they feel when they are together (Good Things Come).
On his doorstep, Scrooge encounters two gentlemen who are collecting for the poor. Scrooge lets them know what he thinks in no uncertain terms. He pays taxes towards the Poor House and expects those who cannot look after themselves to go there (Reprise-Ebenezer Scrooge). As they leave, Scrooge is confronted by the face of his former partner, Jacob Marley, appearing on his door knocker. As he reaches out to touch it, it fades and Scrooge is left shaken but is still able to berate his house keeper and his laundress as they try to get him into the Christmas spirit.
As he sits, in his nightgown, to take his supper, he is visited once more by Jacob Marley, loaded with chains of his own making, who tells Scrooge that unless he changes his ways, Scrooge’s fate will be worse than his (Link by Link). Marley tells him Scrooge that he will be given one chance to make amends; he will be visited by three ghosts that very night.
Woken by the first phantom, The Spirit of Christmas Past, (Shine a Light) Scrooge starts his journey of self discovery. He is shown his own solitary schooldays and his loving little sister, Fan, a girl who was to die in childbirth, leaving Scrooge the only surviving family he has; Fred, his nephew. He is shown his youth as a clerk for the Fezziwigs, and at their annual Christmas party (Pride of the Ball), he meets his only true love, Belle (Heart of Gold). As the years roll on, Scrooge is shown his younger self growing cold with the love of money and Belle, not seeing the man she once loved in him, breaks off their engagement. Scrooge is left to feel the anguish he felt then once more as he watches his younger self (Remember).
Finding himself back in his bedchambers, Scrooge is visited by a booming fellow, The Ghost of Christmas Present, who raises him high above the streets of London to see how the rest of the world celebrates Christmas (Drink It In).
The Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge the joy with which others celebrate the festive period (Reprise-Good Things Come). Scrooge is shown the humble home of the Cratchit family and their love as a family (Do as the Cratchits Do) and, even though Scrooge treats Bob so terribly, Bob raises a toast to him much to the dismay of his family. As the children go to bed, Tiny Tim says his prayers, untouched by his own suffering (God Bless). Scrooge shows a chink in his armour when he is told that if nothing is done, Tiny Tim will not see another Christmas. Christmas Present shows him the ignorance and heartlessness of the world, as a sad band of orphans pass by with their master, and rebukes Scrooge’s outlook on the poor. Scrooge needs forgiveness and, even as he starts to understand, the Ghost of Christmas Past starts to fade away, leaving him alone (Am I that Man?).
Alone, in the street, a dark figure approaches Scrooge and, though it does not speak, he knows he is in the presence of the Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come. Scrooge is shown a number of former business associates who speak heartlessly of a man who has recently died. He watches his laundress and housekeeper take goods stolen from the dead man’s bedchamber to a villain in the backstreets of
Back in his bedchambers, Scrooge wakes to find that he is alive and vows to be a changed man. As he skips about, merry with the thoughts of what he will do, his laundress and housekeeper enter (The Man is Mad).
Out in the street, Scrooge cancels all debts and makes his way to the Cratchits to make amends. He offers them a prize goose and raises Bob’s salary. As the celebrations start, he gives a generous donation to the poor and asks forgiveness of his nephew, Fred. Now Scrooge has family and will become the man everyone knows is the spirit of Christmas (Finale).