powered by FreeFind


Mr. Cinders

Cover to 1983 revival cast recording

Music by Vivian Ellis and Richard Myers
Libretto and Lyrics by Clifford Grey and Greatrex Newman
Additional Lyrics by Leo Robin and Vivian Ellis

Adelphi Theatre, London - 11 February, 1929

The Story

(The late 1920s)

In this very amusing inversion of the fairy story, Jim is the down-trodden Cinderella figure. Living at Merton Chase he is the adopted son of Sir George Lancaster and Lady Lancaster. She has two sons, Lumley and Guy, from her previous marriage when she lived at the neighbouring stately home, The Towers. The present owner of The Towers is Henry Kemp, an American millionaire who has a pretty daughter called Jill.

To escape from the law in the shape of P.C. Merks after a traffic offence, Jill pretends to be the new maid at Merton Chase. Lumley gets friendly with Jill's cousin and companion, Minerva, and Guy is similarly smitten with Phyllis Paterson. An invitation comes from Jill's father for all at Merton Chase to attend a costume ball at The Towers. Jim is not allowed to attend the ball but Jill, still pretending to be the maid Sarah, persuades him to disguise himself as the celebrated South American explorer, the Earl of Ditcham.

The day of the ball coincides with Jill's 21st birthday and on that day she inherits the priceless Verity necklace. Lumley reveals, with the help of a newspaper report, that the real Earl of Ditcham sailed for South America that morning, so the disguised Jim is shown to be an imposter. After Jill has announced that her necklace has been stolen and it is discovered in Jim's pocket, things couldn't look blacker for him.

However, with Jill's help he escapes through a secret panel and captures Smith the butler, the real thief of the necklace. P.C. Merks comes later to Merton Chase looking for the owner of the hat worn by the so-called Earl of Ditcham, who valiantly captured and trussed up the thief. It is obviously nowhere near the right size for the heads of Lumley or Guy or even Sir George, but it fits Jim perfectly. He wins £1,000 reward and when asked to return the necklace to Mr Kemp's daughter, Jim is astonished to learn that the maid "Sarah" is really Al. With engagements announced between Lumley and Minerva, between Guy and Phyllis, and of course between Jim and Jill, all ends happily.

Principal Characters

(plus Chorus) 

Musical Numbers

The musical numbers in the 1929 version were:

  1. True to Two – Lumley
  2. I'm a One Man Girl – Jill, Jim
  3. On with the Dance – Minerva (Lumley's girlfriend)
  4. "Spread a Little Happiness" – Jim
  5. Buda-Pest –
  6. She's My Lovely – Kemp
  7. Ev'ry Little Moment – Minerva, Lumley
  8. I've Got You, You've Got Me – Jill, Jim
  9. I'm On a See-Saw –
  10. The Swan – (instrumental)

The numbers in the 1983 revival were:

  1. Tennis - Lady Lancaster, Guy, Lumley & Ensemble
  2. Blue Blood - Lady Lancaster, Guy, Lumley & Ensemble
  3. True To Two - Lumley, Enid, & Cynthia
  4. I Want The World To Know - Guy & Phyllis
  5. One-Man Girl - Jim & Jill
  6. On With the Dance - Minerva, Lumley, Guy & Ensemble
  7. Dying Swan - Instrumental
  8. At The Ball - Jim, Guy, Lumley
  9. Spread A Little Happiness - Jim
  10. Spread A Little Happiness (Reprise) - Jill
  11. The 18th Century Drag - Minerva
  12. On The Amazon - Jim
  13. 18th Century Drag (Reprise) - Jim, Sir George & Ensemble
  14. Please, Mr. Cinders - Jill
  15. She's My Lovely - Jim
  16. Every Little Moment - Minerva & Lumley
  17. I've Got You - Jim & Jill
  18. Honeymoon For Four - Guy, Phyllis, Lumley & Minerva
  19. Spread a Little Happiness (Finale) - Full Cast (minus Lady Lancaster)


(Total number of books = 5)

1 Cello; 1 Clarinet/Flute/Picc/1 Sax; 1 Piano; 1 Piano II; 1 Conductor Score - annotated vocal score