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The Girl Behind the Countergbtc-tn

Musical farce in 2 Acts. Music Howard Talbot , Lyrics Arthur Anderson, additional lyrics by Percy Greenbank; Book Arthur Anderson & Leedham Bantok

Wyndham's Theatre, London - 21 April, 1906. (141 perfs)
Herald Square Theatre, Broadway: Opened 1st October, 1907; closed 6 June, 1908 (282 performances)

Synopsis (Original)

Winnie Willoughby's mother wishes her to marry the frightful 'Johnnie', the Viscount Gushington but Winnie has other ideas. Amkng her ideas is the fancy to play at shop-girl and she persuades Millie MOstynm manageress of the Maison Duval, to let her take on the flower stall at the establishment.

Her first customer is Hayden Coffin, recently and richly returned from the goldfields of Africa. But troublke is afoot. Winnie has been keeping her eyes on Chatlie instead of her till and it is found that ten pounds is missing. Winnie is sacked.

In the second act, at a fancy ball, Winnie sets out to prove her innocence and to get her father's approval of Charlie as a husband. She achieves both: the real culprit in the affair of the £10 note is the shop boy, Adolphus Dudd, who wanted the cash to impress his sweetheart at the ball; and Winnie's father is caught being flirtatious with Ninette, an emplyee of the Maison Duval, which puts him in no position to refuse his concent to Winnie.

Musical numbers

Original Version included

  1. In the Land Where the Best Man Wins - Charlie Chetwynd
  2. Someday - Charlie Chetwynd
  3. I Mean To Marry a Man - Winnie
  4. The Greenaway Girl
  5. Ze Enterpraising Frenchman

Act I - The "Maison Duval."

  1. Opening Chorus - "Hurry, scurry, to and fro..."
  2. Song - Duval and Chorus - "Oh! ze managère discreet, 'e is very 'ard to beat..."
  3. Song - Gussie - "It's jolly nice to be as deuced popular as I am..."
  4. Song - Winnie - "Why should a maid bestow her hand..."
  5. Duet - Dudd and Susie - "I mean to start a fancy shop..."
  6. Concerted Number - Customers and Chorus - "They've been shopping till they're dropping..."
  7. Song - Charlie and Chorus - "A land there is o'er the ocean wide..."
  8. Duet - Winnie and Charlie - "Won't you buy a spray, or a choice bouquet..."
  9. Song and Dance - Ninette and Chorus - "I'm a little lady who is rather fascinating..."
  10. Finale Act I - "Here's a situation! If her tale be true..."

Act II - The Baron's Court Exhibition. "The Rose Carnival."

  1. Opening Chorus Act II - "The Exhibition buildings are en fête tonight..."
  2. Song - Millie and Chorus of Girls - "In a sleepy country hamlet, in the drowsy vale of Kent..."
  3. Duet - Susie and Dudd - "We are orthodox types of an era gone by..."
  4. Duet - Ninette and Duval, with Chorus - "We paid our fares and climbed the stairs..."
  5. Song - General Sir Wilkie Willoughby,and Chorus - "In good Queen Bess's glorious time..."
  6. Duet - Winnie and Charlie - "When you are by my side a king am I..."
  7. Song - Charlie - "My heart is yours alone, dear..." (composed by Leslie Stuart under the name of Augustus Barratt)
  8. Duet - Millie and Gussie - "When you're my little wife..."
  9. Song - Dudd and Chorus - "If there hadn't been an apple on the tree." (by A. J. Mills and Bennett Scott)
  10. Song - Ninette and Chorus - "Come with me, if you are melancholic..."
  11. Finale Act II - "So come along, and join the merry throng..."
  12. Duet - Millie and Gussie - "I'm glad you take my wooing in this unromantic way..."


American Version

Scenes and Settings

Act I: Interior of The Universal, an American department store in London
Act 2: The Jardin de Paris, at Hammersmith, devoted to the first-class entertainment of second-class people.

Musical Numbers


  1. Opening Chorus - Ensemble
  2. The Entreprising Frenchman - Henri Duval, Chorus
  3. Flirting - Dudley, Susie
  4. Eh? Ah? Oh! - Mrs Henry Schiff
  5. Shopping Shoppers, Chorus
  6. (The Best I Get Is) 'Much Obliged to You' - Millie (Music and Lyrics by Benjamin Hapgood Burt.)
  7. The Bandbox Girl - Ninette
  8. Pony Ballet
  9. Won't You Buy? - Winnie, Charlie
  10. Finale


  1. Frivolity (The Frivolity March)- The Pony Ballet
  2. I Want to Marry a Man (I Mean to Marry a Man) - Winnie
  3. (Any Time You're) Passing By - Millie
  4. When You Steal a Kiss or Two (Making Love) - Ninette (Music and Lyrics by Kenneth S. Clarke.)
  5. The Cherry in the Glass - Charlie (Music by Paul Lincke. Lyrics by Will D. Cobb.)
  6. Now I've Married a Millionaire - Mrs Henry Schiff
  7. The Way of Trade - Susie, Dudley, Pony Ballet, Chorus
  8. Finale