Playing the Role of Marley, by Stephen Fordham

Q: Jacob Marley and Mr. Fezziwig are dramatically different characters but they both have a profound effect on Scrooge.  How do you view their importance in Scrooge’s life, and how did that affect your performance?

A: When Scrooge views his past life with two very influential, but different bosses, he is reminded of Fezziwig’s role model of generosity and joie de vivre. Scrooge also knows about Fezziwig’s later decline in health and failed business. As we know, Scrooge initially chooses the Marley lifestyle of success in business at the expense of interpersonal relationships and true happiness. Marley’s ghost is troubled by his past choices, and he comes to Scrooge literally to scare him into changing his ways before it’s too late. Marley has the advantage of knowing what awaits Scrooge if he doesn’t change, and his visit along with the other three ghosts plants the seeds for Scrooge’s transformation.

In my own life I have known many happy-go-lucky, jovial individuals like Fezziwig. At the same time I have met quite a few solitary, success-driven, work-a-holics like Jacob Marley. In playing these polar opposites, I drew from my own life experiences to portray each character as honestly as possible.


Stephen Fordham as Jacob Marley