powered by FreeFind


The Kissing Dance

Musical in 2 acts by Howard Goodall. Book and lyrics by Charles Hart. Based on She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith.

Premiered by National Youth Theatre 1998
Jermy Street Theatre. London - 25th March, 2011. Closed 23 April, 2011 (season)

The action takes place in the late seventeen-hundreds, in and around Nonesuch, an old country house deep in the English countryside.


It is All Fools’ Eve, a night when in the realms of love, the world can be turned upside-down and the lord of Misrule can take control.

In the great hall at Nonesuch, home to the Hardcastle family (old campaigner Mr Dick Hardcastle, his formidable wife, Dorothy, their pretty and sharp-witted daughter Kate, her equally clever cousin, Constance Neville and the mischievous Tony Lumpkin, Dorothy’s son by her first marriage), the servants are preparing to receive two important guests: an old friend of Mr Hardcastle’s from his military days, Sir James Marlow, and travelling separately, his eligible son Charles.

Both fathers are hoping that Charles will offer his hand in marriage to Kate and unite the two families forever. But unbeknown to them, Charles suffers from the mysterious affliction of “the Englishman’s Malady”. While gallivanting amongst working-class girls “who wait at tables”, he is a notorious womaniser, but when confronted with girls “of his own station”, he is plagued by an unaccountable reserve and modesty which turn him into a tongue-tied idiot.

Charles has a problem: he is on his way to meet his intended, Miss Kate Hardcastle, but knows that the presence of polite female company will render him painfully shy and speechless. He is nonetheless riding to Nonesuch with his great friend George Hastings (who also happens to be courting Kate’s cousin Constance) and all goes well until they lose their way and stop at the “Fur and Feathers” to ask for directions…..


Mrs DOROTHY HARDCASTLE - .Formerly Mrs Lumpkin
TONY LUMPKIN - Her young son {a scallywag}
SIR JAMESMARLOW - An impecunious London gentleman
THOMAS {of BRUNDISH} - ..His manservant
Mr CHARLESMARLOW - Sir James's son
ROGER - Mr Chas Marlow's man
Mr GEORGE HASTINGS - Friend to Mr Chas Marlow
STINGO - Manservant to Mr Hastings
Miss KATE HARDCASTLE - Daughter to Mr & Mrs Hardcastle
PIMPLE- .....Miss Hardcastle's maid
PANSY- ......A serving-girl
Miss CONSTANCE NEVILLE- ....Friend of Kate Hardcastle's {& niece to Mrs D
Mr DICK HARDCASTLE- .A landowner {Mrs Hardcastle's 2nd
DIGGORY- ....His servant
PERKIN- .....An attractive stableboy
BRIDGET- ....Cook
MRS BOUNCER- ....Landlady of the "Fur & Feathers" public-house
BET BOUNCER- ....Her daughter {a handsome wench}
Ensemble- ...Servants, Country folk, patrons of the"Fur &
Feathers" {as desired, etcetera}

Musical Numbers

Act One

1. All Fools’ Eve - Diggory, Bridget & Servants [Ensemble]
2. Miss Hardcastle'sWedding Kate [Song]
3. Two Gentlemen of London - Kate & Constance [Duet]
4. The Catch Club - Bet, Mrs Bouncer, Tony& Ensemble [Ensemble]
5. Nonesuch - Tony, Marlow, Hastings & Mrs Bouncer [Song with Chorus]
6. Liberty Hall - Mr & Mrs Hardcastle & Constance [Trio]
7. All Fools' Eve -- reprise Hardcastle & Diggory [Duet (fragment)]
8. Courting the Lady - Hastings, Constance, Marlow & Kate [Quartet]
9. The Poacher's Stick - Tony [Song]
10. Act One Finale - Company [Ensemble]

Act Two

11. Moonraking - Servants, Hasting & Constance [Duet & Chorus]
13. The Decent Thing - Marlow& Kate [Duet]
14. Beating the Knave - Marlow, Hastings, Constance [Trio]
15. The Kissing-Dance - Diggory, Bet & Servants - Ensemble
17. All in a Garden Green - Hastings & Company [Song]
18. Nonesuch -- reprise - Tony & Hastings [Solo/Duet]
19. Moonraking -- reprise - Constance & Hastings [Duettino]
20. Miss Hardcastle'sWedding - Kate [Song]
21. Act Two Finale - Company [Ensemble]

Perusal Score, Libretto and Cast Recording available on the official Howard Goodall website www.howardgoodall.co.uk/musicals/kisstext.htm