Music by Kevin Richardson, Book and Lyrics by Ivo Mosley.
Premiered September 2007, in the Henry Wood Theatre, London.
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FORMAT: Two-act musical drama with interval.
MUSICAL STYLE: Varied and tuneful.
CAST: Optimum cast at least twelve, with members doubling or even trebling in various roles.
PRODUCTION HISTORY: ‘London Stories’ was showcased at Goldsmith’s College, London, in 2007, directed by Simon Usher.
OUTLINE OF SIX OF THE ELEVEN SCENES:
Outside a penny gaff theatre, a barker is trying to lure people in to watch the show. A boy (who will feature in some of the stories) is persuaded to part with his money.
After being raped in public by a Roman centurion (a punishment for her husband defaulting on a loan from the Romans) Boudicca goes on the rampage.
Interlude1: some Scottish immigrants arrive to rebuild London. They are greeted with ‘Bloody foreigners!’. By the next interlude, of course, they have joined the Londoners. The theme of the interludes is consistent: time passes, and yesterday’s immigrants become today’s Londoners!
The Wapping Witch
Joan Peterson was hanged as a witch in 1652 after being stitched up by her neighbours. In our version, there are some furious antics between stagehands and audience after a row about which is more horrible and mad – then or now?
Interlude 2: Some Jewish musicians arrive from Venice in search of a place where they will suffer less discrimination.
The ‘hanging judge’ is captured by the mob when King James II is sent packing. The mob subjects Jeffreys to a riotous ad hoc trial of their own.
Interlude 3: Huguenots arrive from France hoping for the protection of a Protestant King.
A father who is not allowed to see his daughter dresses up as spiderman and does dangerous things to get on the news. He sings to a little crowd of onlookers who have gathered, before being blasted to bits by a group of yummy mummmies.
Finale – Carnival
A wealthy African immigrant arrives. Other Londoners are trying to find Carnival, which has been banned this year and is taking place illegally. We take our opportunity to have a go at the apparatchiks who try to spoil everyone’s fun before a rousing chorus uniting everyone (even the apparatchik):’Sweet Thames Run Softly’.
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