Leicester Square Theatre
You were a stranger to me
in your sober coat and high, starched collar.
Scrooge too, scowling and slow, lifting his head
and taking his first breaths
was not the wooden puppet that I knew
but animate: a bitter, sneering man
I would not like to meet.
That little room of yours became a treasure box
of small surprises – music and laughter,
turkey and crackers. I saw the snow
and heard the soft, sweet music
of the violin, conjuring time and place,
the clanking of chains
and murmuring of ghosts.
You conjured up a distant evening,
snowfall on a quiet road,
and then (your favourite, I know)
a moonlit flight over a silver sea.
You carried fear and hope, frost-bitten fingers
and a crackling fireside
till we arrived, inexorably, at Christmas.
Dickens loved a feast, and you bowed out
with bowls of steaming punch
and plum pudding, music and laughter,
dancing and holly.
You left us warm with hope and charity,
blazing coals and candlelight,
redemption and revelry.
A Christmas Carol played at the Leicester Square Theatre, and at the Dickens House Museum, in December 2011