The play has just been published by Next Stage Press!

MRS DILBERS CHRISTMAS CAROL
by Arthur M. Jolly

9-36 roles.
Running time: 80 mins.


CHARACTERS


Mrs. Dilber
Chestnut Vendor
Chimney Sweep
Doorknob
Benny Factor
Flan Thropist
Bob Cratchit
Frederick Scrooge
Emily Cratchit
Jaxob Marley
Belinda Cratchit
Martha Cratchit
Peter Cratchit
Tiny Tim Cratchit
Ghost of Christmas Past
Young Ebenezer
Mean Child
Meaner Child
Young Belle
Scrooge (18)
Belle (18)
Abigail
Mr. Fezziwig
Mrs. Fezziwig
Ghost of Christmas Present
Clarabelicious Two-Poots
Rose Two-Poots
Topper
Ghost of Christmas Future
Little Match Girl
Dr. Jekyll
Sweet Tiny Tim
Ghost of Christmas Truce
ENSEMBLE

Mrs Dilber's Christmas Carol
Natasha Renae Potts as
Little Match Girl
Photo by Sean Durrie

SETTING

London, 1842

SYNOPSIS

Mrs. Dilber - Scrooge’s maltreated housekeeper in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol - meets Marley and the Spirits of Christmas before they haunt Scrooge, and sets off on a past, present and future adventure of her own in this subversive reimagining of the classic Christmas story.

About Mrs. Dilber's Christmas Carol

Comedy, Full Length, Large Cast: 9-36 Actors plus ensemble

A Radio play version is available from the playwright

Mrs Dilbers Christmas Carol at Loft Ensemble Theatre
Isaac Deakyne as Jaxob Marley, Bree Pavey as Mrs. Dilber in the Los Angeles Premiere.
Photo by Sean Durrie

A Christmas Carol like you've never seen it!


Mrs Dilbers Christmas Carol at Loft Ensemble Theatre
Lemon Baardsen as Ghost of Christmas Present
Photo by Sean Durrie

      Mrs. Dilber's Christmas Carol is a subversive new version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, but instead of centering on the old rich guy, it features Mrs. Dilber - the housekeeper who takes the bedclothes from his still-cooling corpse in the original - and her epic attempt to get some bedcurtains of her own in spite of a series of ghosts and other diversions on a night adjacent to the more familiar story.

NOW AVAILABLE from Next Stage Press!



Why this play?

I wrote the play because, well, I'm so tired of A Christmas Carol. I mean, I like it - it's a fun play, and I've seen some lovely versions, including Patrick Stewart's fantastic one-man version on Broadway... but now I want something a little different. I'm ready for a change, and when I want to see a play that suits my tastes exactly, luckily I have an easy solution. Write it!

It has some of the silly moments of The Lady Demands Satisfaction, actually even sillier in many places, but with the same elemental core of seriousness - although where TLDS dives into gender roles, Mrs. Dilber's Fabulous Bedcurtains aims squarely at the social inequality that has only gotten worse since Dickens wrote his original.

Once I was into writing it, I started thinking about the fireplace in my childhood home in England. It was an old home - some parts of the house dating back 600 years, but the fireplace in the living room was Victorian. If you leaned your head in with a flashlight and looked up inside the flue, you could see the metal rungs built into the side to allow a small child to climb up inside the chimney with a brush to clean out the choking soot. It's hard to look at something like that today and fathom the careful, planned logic of building metal rungs into the chimney to facilitate terrible child labor as it was constructed, but there they are.

So yes, this is a comedy - and I think a funny one - but there are some serious elements in there too; and Mrs. Dilber talks about her childhood working in a cotton mill, and the opening line is from a child chimney sweep... our old Voctorian chimney and all it represents was on my mind when I wrote this one.

Mrs Dilber's Christmas Carol at Loft Ensemble
The premiere at Loft Ensemble Theatre, Los Angeles, 2022
Standing, Bree Pavey as Mrs Dilber. Seated, L to R, Raymond Donahey as Bob Cratchit, Maia Luer, Matthew Monaco, Macedonia Bullington, Jay Hoshina and Robert Jolly as Cratchit kids, Madylin Sweeten Durrie as Emily Cratchit.
Photo by Sean Durrie.





Upcoming productions!

The play will be produced in November by Wayland Theatriks at the Wayland Union Fine Arts Center, November 22nd and 23rd 2024, and will also be produced in December 2024 by Loft Ensemble Theatre in North Hollywood!





Sample Dialogue...


An excerpt from Mrs Dilbers Christmas Carol




NPX reviews of Mrs Dilbers Christmas Carol





Mrs Dilber's Christmas Carol Premieres!

Mrs Dilber's Christmas Carol premiered in Los Angeles, at Loft Ensemble Theatre in North Hollywood, directed by Tor Brown and Marc Leclerc, and produced by Bree Pavey and Sarah Nilsen, under the original title Mrs Dilber's Fabulous Bedcurtains.
Loft Ensemble previously produced Long Joan Silver and The Lady Demands Satisfaction. This was my third production with them... and they are brining it back in 2024!

Mrs Dilbers Christmas Carol at Loft Ensemble Theatre