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A Musical Comedy in 2 Acts, 2 scenes. Book by OWEN HALL: Lyrics by ERNEST BOYD-JONES and PAUL RUBENS: Music BY LESLIE STUART.

Lyric Theatre, London - 11 November, 1899 (455 perfs)
Casino Theatre, New York - 12 November, 12 November, 1900 (505 perfs)


Act one opens in Florodora, a small island in the Philippines. Here is manufactured the popular fragrance "Florodora," made from the essence of the Florodora flower. The perfume factory, along with the island itself, is owned by Cyrus W. Gilfain, an American who, upon the death of the original owner, finagled the business away from the family and is now the island’s reigning sovereign. In his employ are the clerks Tennyson Sims, Ernest Pym, Max Aepfelbaum, Reginald Langdale, Paul Crogan, and John Scott).
Dolores is the daughter of the previous owner of Florodora. But, although she is now forced to work for Gilfain, she is ever optimistic Frank Abercoed, who is really Lord Abercoed and travelling incognito, has arrived on the island to act as Gilfain's manager. He meets, and is immediately smitten with, Dolores.

A ship has docked at the Florodora harbour. First we meet Leandro, overseer of farms on the island, and Valleda, head of one of the Florodorean farms. Next we are introduced to Lady Holyrood, a lady of title and little else. Penniless, she has come to Florodora at Gilfain's suggestion, to find a husband - specifically, our hero Frank. She is accompanied by Gilfain's daughter Angela who is betrothed to Captain Arthur Donegal of the 4th Royal Life Guards, the brother of Lady Holyrood. Also aboard the ship is Anthony Tweedlepunch, a detective who is searching for the girl who rightfully owns the perfume business. He comes to the island disguised as a travelling showman, phrenologist, hypnotist, and palmist. And finally, we are introduced to the villain, Cyrus W. Gilfain, as the entire company joins voices to welcome him.

Angela has invited six of her dearest friends to accompany her: Miss Daisy Chain, Miss Mamie Rowe, Miss Lucy Ling, Miss Cynthia Belmont, Miss Lottie Chalmers, and Miss Clare Fitzclarence (the famous Florodora Girls). Gilfain's clerks are beside themselves to meet such cultured beauties, and they agree to show the girls around their island.

Lady Holyrood has also created quite a stir around the island. Privately, she invites us to experience the effect she had on the populous of London; Dolores, hopelessly in love with Frank, sings to the famed Florodora flower; and Angela and Captain Arthur Donegal, very much in love, have a very proper discourse on the subject.

Gilfain discovers that Frank and Dolores have fallen in love. In an effort to thwart Dolores' rightful claim to the Florodora fortune, Gilfain plans to marry her himself. He hires Tweedlepunch, who he thinks is an actor, to break up the love affair between Dolores and Frank, thereby making Frank available to marry Lady Holyrood. Here, the trio, Gilfain, Tweedlepunch, and Lady Holyrood, discuss her marital possibilities.

Angela tells us the tale of a young girl who knew what she wanted in a husband, and how her perseverance paid off.

Tweedlepunch, a detective in disguise pursuing the girl who really owns the Florodora business, explains the precise science of phrenology to Gilfain, Valleda, and Leandro. (Phrenology is the study of the bumps on your head and how they relate to certain personality traits.) The four characters discuss the possibility of finding a mate through the use of phrenology.

By presenting Tweedlepunch as a highly respected phrenologist, Gilfain plots to marry off his clerks to the heads of the Florodora farms (all young island girls), thereby attaining even more control of the island. For his part, Tweedlepunch must examine everyone's cranial bumps of love and pronounce the proper marriage couples. But, he is later chastised by Lady Holyrood, Angela, and Captain Donegal for interfering with the love affairs of the island.

Tweedlepunch has succeeded in breaking up the relationships between the English Girls and Gilfain's clerks, and the young island girls and their boyfriends. Frank has refused to marry Lady Holyrood, and Gilfain discharges him. Gilfain, based on the fraudulent pronouncements of Tweedlepunch, has decreed that the clerks will wed the island girls or be discharged. Needless to say everyone is upset. Frank must now return to England, and he tells Dolores he must go but will return for her if she waits patiently.

The second act of Florodora is set at Abercoed Castle, Frank's ancestral home in Wales. Six months have past, and somehow, during intermission, Gilfain has managed to become the castle's new owner.

Privately, Lady Holyrood discloses to us how to survive in society without money; Gilfain shares his philosophy on living a rich life; the clerks, having been discharged by Gilfain rather than be forced into marriage with the island girls, finally meet up with their fair English Girls; and Angela sings a charming song for no apparent reason.

Tweedlepunch, who has finally realised that Dolores is the rightful heir to the Florodora fortune, has told her that her father was his only friend, and that he will help her retrieve her family business. They break into the Abercoed castle but are surprised by a chorus of lords and ladies who demand to know who they are. In desperation they try to convince everyone that they are the evening’s entertainment.

Lady Holyrood, with no perspective husbands in sight, decides that Gilfain will become her next husband. Frank, who has been refused entrance to the castle by Gilfain, defies orders and manoeuvres his way inside the courtyard. There he sees Dolores for the first time since he left the island. Heartbroken that he never returned as he said he would, she sings to him a story about a similar romance gone wrong. Back inside the castle, Captain Arthur Donegal, entertains the invited lords and ladies and Valleda and Leandro, pretending to be servants, enlighten us to what makes them better than the aristocracy they serve.

Frank tells Dolores that he is really Lord Abercoed and was unable to return to her in Florodora because he was trying to keep Gilfain from acquiring his ancestral home. Tweedlepunch finally confronts Gilfain and spins a wild ghost story that terrifies Gilfain into admitting that he has stolen the perfume business. Gilfain returns the properties he has taken from Dolores and Frank, and the final curtain comes down on a triple happy ending. Frank marries Dolores; Gilfain marries Lady Holyrood; and Gilfain's daughter, Angela, marries Captain Donegal of the Life Guards.

Cast and Original Performers

(Clerks to Gilfain)

(Florodorean Girls, heads of the various Farms)

(Friends of Angela Gilfain)

Florodorean Farmers, Labourers, Flower Girls, Welsh Peasants, etc.

Musical Numbers

  2. SEXTETTE ... "The credit's due to me" ... (Sims, Pym, Aepfelbaum, Langdale, Grogan, and Scott)
  3. SONG ... "The Silver Star of Love" ... (Dolores)
  4. Duet ... "Somebody ... (Dolores and Abercoed)
  6. CONCERTED NUMBER ... "Come and see our Island"
  7. SONG ... "When I leave town" ... (Lady Holyrood)
  8. DUET ... "Galloping" ... (Angela and Donegal)
  9. TR10 ... "I want to marry a man, I do" ... (Lady Holyrood, Tweedlepunch, and Gilfain)
  10. SONG ... "The fellow who might" ... (Angela and Chorus)
  11. SONG ... "Phrenology" ... (Gilfain)
  12. TRIO ... "When an interfering person" ... (Lady Holyrood, Donegal, and Angela)
  13. SONG ... "The Shade of the Palm" ... (Abercoed)
  16. SONG AND CHORUS ... "Tact" ... (Lady Holyrood)
  17. SONG ... "The Millionaire" ... (Gilfain)
  18. CONCERTED NUMBER ... "Tell me, pretty maiden" (I must love some one) (English Girls and Gilfain's Clerks)
  19. SONG ... I've an inkling" (Lady Holyrood)


  1. SONG ... "The Queen of the Philippine Islands" (Dolores)
  2. DUET ... "We get up at 8 a.m." (Valleda and Leandro)
  3. SONG ... "I want to be a military man" (Donegal)
  4. SONG ... "He loves, he loves me not " (Dolores) .
  5. SONG ... "Willie was a gay boy" (Angela)
  6. DUET ... "When we are on the stage" (Dolores and Tweedlepunoh)
  7. SONG ... "The Island of Love" (Dolores)

Scenes and Settings

Act I — Floradora, a small Island in the Philippines.
ACT II.—Abercoed Castle, Wales,