Wednesday 21 December 2022


From my Christmas Carol archive: memories of three theatrical Scrooges: Patrick Stewart, Anthony Newley (and Scrooge composer, Leslie Bricusse) and Tommy Steele. 



I sent my programme for the Patrick Stewart one-man production – which one of the greatest pieces of theatre I have ever seen – to (what was then) The Albery Theatre and never getting it back, despite having enclosed return postage! But then, some 18-months later, long after I'd given up on ever seeing it again, the signed programme miraculously materialised, like one of Scrooge's ghostly visitors!

I can't recall how I got the Anthony Newley and Tommy Steele programmes signed, I probably left them with the Stage Door keepers (I was never one for haunting Stage Doors, waiting for the star to leave after a performance) but I certainly remember the circumstance of getting Leslie Bricusse to add his signature to the Newley Scrooge programme.

It was in Beverley Hills where I was interviewing Mr Bricusse for one of my radio shows. After he'd signed the programme, knowing his interest in Dickens and Ebenezer Scrooge, I gave him a copy of The Unsung Story, my book on A Christmas Carol. He received it enthusiastically and then, suddenly jumping up, he rushed from the room calling back over his shoulder: "I've got something for you that you absolutely won't have in your Dickens collection!" He  returned with a copy of the Japanese libretto for the Tokyo production of Scrooge to which he added a typical inscription...



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