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COLETTE

Cover to OCR

A story with music by John Dankworth

The Stables Theatre, Wavendon - November 15, 1979 (2 previews & 3 performances)
Comedy Theatre - 24 September, 1980 (47 perfs)


Colette, born Burgundy, France in 1873, died Paris in 1953. The name, hallowed and revered by many, is still almost unknown to some. The average Anglo-Saxon still hesitates - was she an authoress, an actress, a businesswoman, a public figure, a national heroine, a femme fatale?

To some extent she was all of these, but there is little doubt that it is the first role that posterity will come to revere her. Her many books show brilliance and greatness as a writer which her peers acknowledged, especially in her later life. Her box-office successes like the Claudine series and the famous short-story, Gigi contributed greatly to her worldly comforts and her international reputation, but several of her "in-between" works will, in the view of many who should know, be the ones which will emerge as the masterpieces.

This show in no way attempts to deal with the merits, the thought processes, the artistic dilemmas or indeed any aspect whatsoever of Colette the writer. It sets out solely to inform the audience, by means of the special language of the musical, of the facts surrounding this very special lady's life and lifestyle. The fact that during her career she did become temporarily all the things listed above obviously makes her a great temptation as a subject of such an entertainment - and I stress the word entertainment, as I have no aspirations for it to be judged as anything more profound. Whatever the motivations of her inner soul she was quite plainly a vivacious, amusing and extremely interesting human being, whose sheer love of living deserves chronicling, quite apart from the undoubted significance of her world on a more profound level. Let those who would consider the shows happenings a slight upon the greatness of Colette take heed!

The musical Colette was written as a result of a suggestion by Cleo Laine who, I suspect, feels a special affinity with this lady whom she has never met.

John Dankworth

Musical Numbers:

  1. You Can Be Sure of Spring - Colette
  2. He's A Captain - Colette
  3. I'm Special - Willy
  4. Ambitious - Colette and Willy
  5. Paree! - Colette
  6. Our Relationship - Colette and Willy
  7. Alone With Myself - Colette
  8. Attention Will Wander - Willy
  9. You've Got To Do What You've Got To Do - Colette
  10. We'll Stick Together - Colette
  11. I Never Make the Same Mistake - Colette and Henry
  12. Little Girl - Colette
  13. Nothing Special - Maurice
  14. A Little Touch Of Powder - Colette
  15. Love With Someone Younger - Colette and Maurice
  16. Will He Ever Be Back? - Colette
  17. Little Red Room - Colette

Instrumentation:

Violin; viola; cello; Woodwind; Piano; Bass/bass guitar; guitar; drums; percussion

Discography:

Original Cast Recording - Sepia RSR 1006