NICK Lane first adapted A Christmas Carol for a one-man show for himself and some puppets at Hull Truck Theatre in 2000.

Seventeen years later, on the back of his adaptation of Pinocchio being so well received at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Nick was invited by the Scarborough theatre's artistic director, Paul Robinson, to revisit Charles Dickens' redemptive tale of Ebenezer Scrooge.

"He gave me free rein to let my mind wander and that's something I've definitely done, so it's very daft but it was important to me that it also had a political message about goodness and being kind to each other," he says.

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Joey Hickman as Ebenezer Scrooge in A (Scarborough) Christmas Carol. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

In Lane's version, "Scrooge, the meanest man who ever lived, is given a horrible shock on Christmas Eve by the ghost of his partner Jacob Marley and guided on a journey of learning by three spirits, a time worm and a woman with a nut for a head". A woman with a what? Well, Nick did say his show was daft.

Add some rattling chickens, four servants who tell the tale, and songs by Scarborough composer and lyricist Simon Slater and Scarborough has a "fun, interactive musical re-telling" of A (Scarborough) Christmas Carol.

"What we've done again is taken the classic story that you know and given it a funky twist. I'm pretty sure you won't ever have seen a Dickens adaptation with a time worm, or a Ghost of Christmas Past who takes Scrooge to the wrong past – someone else's past!" says Nick.

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Anne-Marie Piazza, left, Alicia Mckenzie and Elliott Rennie as three of Scrooge's servants in A (Scarborough) Christmas Carol. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

"I've also put some Scarborough references in there as there are some big Boxing Day traditions in the town. It's a day that's known as Ladies Day here, and on the beach there's the Fishermen vs Firemen football match, for example."

Director Paul Robinson has called Lane's Christmas plays "pantoesque", as much a play as a pantomime. "All audiences are important, but especially for children at Christmas, when not every town has a great panto, I wanted to make sure they had a show here that had lots of fun in it," says Nick.

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Writer Nick Lane and director Paul Robinson

"You have to work in a different way for adult audiences, but it's important with children to give them something they've not seen before but also something they're familiar with."

Nick loves responding to that need in his work for children. "I'm an infant in my head, except when it comes to paying bills, and I like retaining that element of my imagination. I love the sound of children laughing; it's beautiful!" he says.

Glory be, the Stephen Joseph Theatre has confirmed that the team behind Pinocchio and A Christmas Carol – Lane, Robinson and Slater – will reunite for Alice's Adventures In Wonderland at the SJT next winter.

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Joey Hickman's Ebenezer Scrooge and Alicia Mckenzie's Ghost of Christmas Present. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

"Anyone who saw last year’s Pinocchio and this year’s A (Scarborough) Christmas Carol will know that when Nick, Simon and I get together, things go off the wall!" says director Paul Robinson. "Throw the wild imagination of Lewis Carroll into the mix, and anything can happen. We promise that Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland will be as bonkers as its predecessors, while still telling the story that everyone knows and loves.

"We’re all looking forward to seeing Nick’s interpretation of Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts and, of course, the famous ‘Eat Me, Drink Me’ magic!"

The SJT's show for Christmas 2018 will be heading down the rabbit hole from December 6 to 30. Meanwhile, A (Scarborough) Christmas Carol will run until December 31 this winter. Tickets for both shows are on sale on 01723 370541 or