A musical in 2 Acts. Based on Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club by Charles Dickens
Book by Wolf Mankowitz : Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse. Music by Cyril Ornadel
Palace Theatre, Manchester - 3 June, 1963
Saville Theatre, London, 4th July, 1963 - 27 February, 1965 (694 perfs)
Curran Theatre, San Francisco - 19 April, 1965
46th Street Theatre, New York - 4 October, 1965 (56 perfs)
There isn't a jollier show anywhere than this musical version of The Pickwick Papers. It exactly catches the cheerful and goodhearted spirit of the gentleman with the bald head and round glasses who is its hero. The well-loved story, the tuneful music and witty lyrics provide a recipe that can't fail to delight audiences. The famous "If I Ruled The World" is just one of a host of strong numbers, and there is plenty of work for chorus and dancers.
"The Pickwickians are Dickensian to the life ... and their opening number is a delight." Plays and Players
It is England, the year 1828 in the Fleet,
a debtor's prison, Mr. Samuel Pickwick and his 'Gentleman's Gentleman'
Sam Weller are reminiscing on the adventures that led to their imprisonment.
It was Christmas Eve 1827 in the courtyard of Mrs. Bardell's inn the "George and Vulture", and Pickwick greets his old friend Wardle and his family, daughters Emily and Isabella and their maiden aunt Rachel. He introduces them to his fellow members of the Pickwick Club, the poetic Snodgrass, the sporting Winkle and Tupman, the romantic.
Enter the wily Jingle who, before long, has tricked the innocent Tupman into paying for his ticket to the ball that night. Here, discovering that Rachel is an heiress, Jingle sets about courting her, thereby spoiling Tupman's chances and landing Winkle in a pretty pickle!
The next morning Pickwick returns to his rooms to discover the ebullient Sam striking up a 'friendship' with the new maid Mary. After some thought he decides to hire Sam as his Gentleman's Gentleman. Unfortunately, when he seeks Sam's release as Boot Black, Mrs. Bardell mistakes the request for a proposal of marriage and Pickwick finds himself in a compromising position!
Winkle, having slept through the ball, is surprised to receive a challenge to a duel. When the affair is happily resolved the Pickwickians and the Wardle family go skating; there they discover Rachel has succumbed to Jingle's flattery and run off with him, and Pickwick is presented with a writ for Breach of Promise. They follow the runaways to Eatanswill where Pickwick succeeds in buying Jingle off. Pickwick's next call is to the offices of Dodson and Fogg where he learns some hard truths about the law. In the Court room, Sgt. Buzfuz so ably states Mrs. Bardell's case that Pickwick is found guilty with damages; after refusing to pay he finds himself in the fleet ... where we came in.
There are six female and twenty-five male parts, plus extras
Chorus of Pickwickians, ladies, gentlemen and children
Musical Numbers, Scenes and Settings
The action takes place in and around London and Rochester in the Year 1827 - 1828.
Outside the Fleet Prison
- "Business is Booming" - Hot Toddy Seller, Cold Drinks Seller and Turnkey
Inside the Fleet Prison
- "Debtors Lament" - Chorus
- "Talk" - Sam Weller and Chorus
- "That's What I'd Like For Christmas" - Pickwick and Chorus
- "The Pickwickians" - Pickwick, Snodgrass, Tupman and Winkle
- "A Bit of a Character" - Jingle, Snodgrass, Tupman and Winkle
The Ballroom of the George and Vulture
- "Quadrille" - The Company
- "There's Something About You" - Jingle, Rachel, Tupman, Snodgrass, Emily, Isabella and Chorus
Pickwicks Chambers at the George and Vulture
- "Learn a Little Something" - Sam Weller and Mary
- "You've Never Met a Feller Like Me" - Sam Weller and Pickwick
- "Look into Your Heart" - Pickwick and Mrs. Bardell
A Field near a River
- "Winter Waltz" - Chorus
The Town Square at Eatanswill
- "A Hell of an Election" - Chorus
- "Very" - Jingle
- "If I Ruled The World" - Pickwick and The Company
- "The Trouble with Women" - Tony Weller and Sam Weller
The Offices of Dodson and Fogg, Solicitors
- "The Letter of The Law" - Dodson and Fogg, Pickwick, Sam, The Pickwickians, The Clerks.
- "British Justice" - Pickwick and The Company
Inside the Fleet Prison
- "Do as you Would be Done By" - Jingle, Pickwick, Sam, Mrs. Bardell and Chorus
- "The Pickwickians" (reprise) - The Company
- "If I Ruled The World" (reprise) - Pickwick
Finale - Full Company
1st, 2nd and 3rd Violins, Viola, Cello, Bass, 1st and 2nd Flutes, 1st and 2nd Clarinet, 1st and 2nd Trombone, 1st and 2nd Trumpet, Drum, Guitar
NB: This title is restricted-please enquire for availability