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Elliot Norton Reviews; Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley


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Elliot Norton Reviews
Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley
Program Number


Series Description

Boston theatre critic Elliot Norton interviews prominent actors, directors and producers on their craft. (Aired from October, 1958 to 1982. Winner of both Peabody and Tony Awards.) Series release date: 1958

Program Description

Elliot Norton interviews actor Gene Rayburn and playwright Israel Horovitz about “A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley” at the Charles Playhouse in Boston. Rayburn is known for performing in light comedies, such as “Tribute”, so the role of Scrooge is a change for him. He says that it is good to play such a mean character, because it is a way to get the hostilities out of him. They engage in conversation about contemporary cynicism and lament the fact that there is not enough love in the world. They then question whether or not the world was always like this. Rayburn adds that plays like this “can stress the human factor and help bring it out in people,” which he considers a good thing.

Horovitz decided to write an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” after growing mad at modern adaptations he considered unfair to Dickens, citing one performance in which Dickens was featured onstage with a typewriter. He views the novel as centering around two characters: Scrooge and Marley. He sums up the plot as being “about a dead man who returns as a ghost to lovingly teach his partner what he learned in death so that the partner can have some kind of life left.” He considers the play theatrically exciting because of the use of dramatic irony. Marley tells the audience at the beginning what he will put Scrooge through and then acts as a tour guide, so the audience anticipates throughout what will happen to Scrooge.

Director: Joanna Lu. Taped 12/16/1981.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Talk Show
Performing Arts
Chicago: “Elliot Norton Reviews; Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley,” 12/16/1981, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed March 19, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_0657F32DF9F0469AAC41FEF30AF6A877.
MLA: “Elliot Norton Reviews; Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley.” 12/16/1981. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. March 19, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_0657F32DF9F0469AAC41FEF30AF6A877>.
APA: Elliot Norton Reviews; Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_0657F32DF9F0469AAC41FEF30AF6A877
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