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"The Three Jolly Ghosts of Christmas" is Eliot Smith's magical retelling of a classic festive tale, brought to life with dramatic choreography and festive storytelling, set to a new instrumental piece of music by multi-award-winning composer Adam Johnson with atmospheric costumes.

This stunning contemporary dance production to enthral and entertain families and children aged 7+ is based on the iconic Christmas story A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and is a festive reminder of kindness, friendship and helping others.

Performed by four astonishing dancers with humour and playful mix of dance styles, the dance opens with Scrooge being forever miserable and grumpy. But when the jolly ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet To Come take him on a magical-dancing adventure, the ghosts open his heart, which ultimately brings about his change of character before it’s too late.



Choreographer Eliot Smith

Composer Adam Johnson

Dramaturg Jane Morland

Artistic Advisor Yamit Salazar

Property Designer and Costume Eliot Smith

Duration 18 minutes

Premiere Wooler Library, Northumberland 02 December 2023



Marley is dead. In a street in the old city of London, on Christmas Eve, carol singers are dancing joyfully.


Outside the counting house where Scrooge and the late Marley have made their money, Ebeneezer Scrooge is seen, as a lonely mourner. But the appearance of Scrooge signals an abrupt end to the festivities, which gives meaning to all the events that follow.


Act 1: Scrooge and the voice of Marley 

Inside the counting house Scrooge is seen working and counting his money, whilst presenting his cold-hearted unhappiness on the festive season.


While Scrooge is finishing his lonely evening at work the sounds of chains and a  voice of his dead colleague, Marley, presents him with a terrible warning.


Scrooge, is it the voice of Jacob Marley. I am here tonight to warn you that you have yet a chance and hope of escaping my fate. You will be visited by three jolly ghosts and you must dance with them or be cursed to carry much heavier chains of my own.


This is your chance to be happy. Don’t be afraid. Be jolly.


Act 2: The Ghost of Christmas Past

The Ghost of Christmas Past appears and takes Scrooge back to a Christmas of many years ago.


The same party where his first love tells him that she would not be his wife for he had a greater love than her, whilst dancing a waltz.


Scrooge becomes distressed as he discovers he is powerless to undo the mistakes he made as a young man.


Act 3: The Ghost of Christmas Present 

Scrooge is confused but feels gladdened by the appearance of the Ghost of Christmas Present who shows him the joy, colour and magic of Christmas. 


Scrooge is affected by the warmth and love that illuminates his heart. But decides not to believe.


Act 4: The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come leads Scrooge on a dark path with skeleton hands and fingers. Finally Scrooge realises with horror, that this dark path could be his life to come.


Act 5: Christmas Day

Scoorge then finds himself in his own bed on Christmas morning. There is still time to change!


He dresses frantically and sets off into the streets to prepare for an enormous Christmas gathering.


Carol signers and the Jolly Ghosts return and are all enlisted into helping to bring the best that money can buy and soon a dazzling array of chocolate and sweets is assembled for everyone to enjoy.


As Scrooge welcomes them to his party the first flakes of snow begin to fall and the street becomes the scene of a joyful celebration.


Act 6: God Bless Us, Every One!

Scrooge's journey is complete. The embittered and maligned old man has found the generosity of spirit to regain his lost humanity and to share in the joy and love of the festive period.


The story ends with the three jolly ghosts dancing with Scrooge and an affirmation of peace on earth to all.

ESD acknowledge the generous support for The Three Jolly Ghosts of Christmas from:
Arts Council England and Woodhorn Museum 

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