Ron Nicol Plays
Ron Nicol Plays

ONE-ACT ADAPTATIONS

One-Act Adaptations of classic stories.

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THE CHIMES

(Spotlight Publications)

 

8m 5f 1or more m/f - Toby "Trotty" Veck; Margaret "Meg" Veck; Richard; Alderman Cute; Mr Filer; Sir Joseph Bowley; Lady Bowley; Mr Fish; Tugby; Will Fern; Lilian Fern as a child; Lilian, 9 years later; Mrs. Chickenstalker; Spirits.

 

Adapted from the Charles Dickens story and set in London in the 1840s - the "Hungry Forties". One New Year’s Eve, Trotty Veck is filled with gloom at reports in the newspaper about crime and immorality, and wonders if the working class is wicked by nature. His doubts increase when encounters with Alderman Cute and MP Joseph Bowley confirm that the poor are ungrateful and have no place in society. Meeting homeless vagrant Will Fern and his orphaned niece Lilian, Trotty offers them his hospitality. That night Trotty is summoned to the church by the Bells, who in a series of visions show him how dismal the future is, with Richard becoming an alcoholic, Lilian descending into prostitution, and Meg  driven to contemplate suicide. In despair, Trotty confesses to all his doubts. He wakes to find that the visions are only dreams, and that the New Year has dawned.

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL

(Spotlight Publications)

 

Large cast with much doubling/trebling possible - Ebenezer Scrooge; Bob Cratchit; Fred; Lady Collector; Jacob Marley; Spirit of Christmas Past; Scrooge as a boy; Fan; Scrooge as a young man; Dick Wilkins; Mr Fezziwig; Mrs Fezziwig; Fiddler (n/s); Belle; Spirit of Christmas Present; Mrs Cratchit; Belinda Cratchit; Peter Cratchit; Martha Cratchit; Tiny Tim Cratchit; Caroline; Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come; Old Joe; Charwoman; Mrs Dilber; Gravedigger (n/s); Child; Street-traders, Shoppers, Friends, Neighbours.

 

Setting: London in the 1840s. Open set with multiple locations

 

Adapted from the Charles Dickens story. Ebenezer Scrooge is only interested in making money, and sees Christmas as an excuse for idleness and the expectation of charity. His former business partner Jacob Marley appears to him in ghostly form, warning Scrooge that if he continues in his avaricious ways he’ll be unable to escape a miserable fate. That night, Scrooge is visited by the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Glimpses of his past life as a young man, visits to the happy households of his clerk and his nephew, and fearful visions of the future persuade Scrooge to change his covetous nature.

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THE CRICKET ON THE HEARTH

(Spotlight Publications)

 

4m 4f 1m/f - John Peerybingle, Mary ‘Dot’ Peerybingle, The Stranger, Caleb Plummer, Tackleton; Bertha, May Fielding, Mrs. Fielding, The Spirit of the Hearth

 

Setting: Rural England in the 1840s.

 

Adapted from the Charles Dickens story. John Peerybingle has a much younger wife, Dot. When a mysterious stranger arrives, John suspects that Dot and the newcomer are secret lovers. Meanwhile, Caleb Plummer’s blind daughter Bertha, in love with Caleb’s tight-fisted employer Tackleton, learns that Tackleton is about to marry her friend May Fielding. Then John makes a discovery that seems to confirm his suspicions. The Cricket on the Hearth attempts to dismiss John’s doubts with a series of visions. Eventually it’s revealed that the mysterious stranger is Caleb’s missing son Edward in disguise, who has returned to claim his childhood sweetheart May. Thanks to Dot’s intervention, Edward marries May, Tackleton gives his blessing to the marriage, and John and Dot are finally reconciled.

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THE SNOW QUEEN

(Samuel French Ltd)

Large mixed cast : doubling and trebling possible.

An adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen favourite. Gerda searches for her friend Kai when he's kidnapped by the Snow Queen. With the help of a Crow and a Reindeer, she travels to the far North and confronts the Queen in her ice palace.

This is an abridged version of Ron Nicol's full-length adaptation of "The Snow Queen" and is available in manuscript form from Samuel French UK.

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