At the end of the show, after Jack’s “Scrooge was better than his word” monologue there were sleigh bells. There was a light. And there was the most incredible “Ho Ho Ho!” There’s something ancient about it. The approaching sound. The bells. It’s plugged into something older than time.
And there he was. Santa. In his full green, which I hadn’t expected. If he had been somebody pretending to be Santa he’d have to have been a geek like me. He would have to have known about the history of the colour of Santa, and be plugged into all sorts of other deep and strong shifts in that incredible trope. But it was actual real Santa.
One of the Santas I was paid to pretend to be – before Scrooge became my Christmas – was at Selfridges and I was projected to the street as a rudimentary hologram from the hottest studio you can imagine in the basement of the store. I would be seen in a box outside and could communicate with shoppers through an array of microphones and cameras, but with the technology of over ten years ago. I quickly realised how powerful that costume is. I also learnt that the first thing that any Santa has to learn is the reindeer names. People fuck with you if they know them.
It’s the most incredibly powerful trope…
Tonight, though, we had the true actual Santa join us on stage. He was real. He was Santa. He had the voice, the power and the timelessness. He came to the parlour at the end, when Scrooge was redeemed. He helped secure the redemption. Wonderful wonderful man.
Scrooge got an orange. He wondered if it would burn like the coal he used to get. Scrooge is still carrying his history of being an arsehole though. He asks after the reindeer. “How are they? I remember them. Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen and Cupid and Rudolph and Donner and Blitzen… And the other one. What’s his name?” Scrooge is still being a bastard. I forget sometimes that people don’t know me. I know they can just say “Now you’re being a bad boy again Ebenezer, trying to trick me,” and I’ll totally own up to it. But I also know that those fucking reindeer go into your dna very quickly and there’s no way in hell he won’t know the one I’ve skipped. I’ve taken a gamble, knowing that Santa is gonna smash it. He goes above and beyond.
“You must mean the reindeer that the dinosaurs didn’t like,” he says. I LOVE SANTA. I LOVE SANTA. HE’S AS QUICK AS HE IS CLEVER. Comet. I LOVE YOU SANTA!
What a gift, on a Christmas Eve. What a wonder. What a truly glorious visitation. Actual Santa. He came. The two opposing Christmas tropes stood beside one another. Humbug next to ho ho ho. I felt like I might get an actual Christmassy lump of coal for fucking with him, but I totally blame it on the fact I was still in character and I knew he’d smash it.
Christmas. Merry merry merry merry. Jack and I are watching the Muppets. Have a wonderful wonderful day. CHRISTMASSY CHRISTMASFACE. HURRAH.