In a remote church in the rural British countryside, its caretaker becomes enraged at her daughter’s choice of fiancée. After calling out to whoever will listen for strength, he is visited by three goblins whose arrival is announced with the sound of chimes. They each show him a different, increasingly bleak vision of his daughter and fiancée’s future without his support. In the spirit of A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens’ haunting tale is one of renewal, goblins, and the ties that bind.
Schools: This play is school friendly, but is considered PG-13. Some material may be objectionable or sensitive for certain school districts.
Toby Veck is the caretaker of a remote church in the rural British countryside. After bemoaning
his pitiful lot in life to anyone who will listen (which is seemingly no one), his daughter, Meg, arrives with a special surprise: a hot, home-cooked meal. The meal is meant to be a celebration of her recent engagement— an occurrence that is news to her father. Before Toby can get fully enraged at his young daughter’s seemingly impetuous decision, Richard, her fiancé, arrives expecting a celebration to be in order. Instead of congratulations, Richard is met by a fairly hostile Toby, who accuses him of not thinking this through. He points out that neither Richard (an aspiring philosopher) nor Meg (who has never worked) have jobs or money, and that encourages them to get their life on a positive path before committing to marriage and a family. Richard exits in a huff, and Meg leaves, heartbroken that her father won’t support her but determined to marry Richard.
With the kids gone, Toby again beseeches whoever will listen for strength. He is greeted with the sounds of the chimes, and a powerful voice… but it’s not the Voice of the Almighty. No! It is the goblins of the church, who have been listening to Toby, and they appear to him now as ghastly apparitions. While Toby is initially frightened by these creatures, he begins to engage with them and even learn what they know. Over the course of the play, they show Toby three futures: one in which Meg and Richard are struggling, another in which they marriage is nearly destroyed with Richard’s drinking and Meg’s despondency, and the final where Meg steps up to the side of a bridge, young son in-hand, prepared to kill herself. It is in this final future— during which Toby screams to his daughter but she cannot hear him— that Toby realizes that it is his disownment that lead to his daughter’s terrible fate, not her own impetuous choices. The futures dissolve into memory, and the goblins leave with a final wish for Toby: do right by yourself, do right by your daughter. Back in real time, Meg returns to try and make a final peace with her father, and he embraces her, full-heartedly accepting her for she is and imploring for her to do the same.
Toby Veck (M) – The caretaker of the church; Meg’s father.
Meg Veck (F) – An optimistic, empathetic young woman (18-25).
Richard Wells (M) – A bright, obstinate philosopher (18-25).
Danzos – A large goblin with magical powers (may be played by multiple actors).
Glolbassi – A small goblin with a sneaky streak… and magical powers (may be played by multiple actors).
Minimum cast: 5 – 1 F, 2 M, 2 F/M.
Maximum cast: 9 – 1 F, 2 M, 6 F/M (additional goblins may be added to create a larger sense of darkness and the lines may be distributed accordingly).
Setting: A remote church, mid-19th century.
Performance Royalties are based on theater particulars. Please fill out an application for a personalized quote.
Billing responsibilities, pertinent copyright information, and playwrights' biographies are available in the show rider that comes with your license agreement.
Materials: your materials will be sent to you two months prior to your opening date and will include everything necessary for your production and can be ordered in Printed or Digital format. Printed Materials are provided on unbound three-hole punched loose-leaf paper while Digital Materials are provided via email as downloadable PDF files for you to print in-house. All materials are yours to keep! No deposits, no returns.
The required materials for The Chimes: A Goblin Story include:
Wicked Lit Print Edition - The beautifully designed anthology, available at wholesale costs to sell in your lobby!
Director's Script – Single-sided script with space for director’s notes.
Logo/PR Pack – Includes high-resolution artwork and reference photos. Also, ready-designed posters, reviews and pull quotes, if available.