The Quaker Girl
by James T. Tanner, Adrian Ross, Percy Greenbank and Lionel Monckton
Adelphi Theatre, London 5th November, 1910 - (536
Park Theatre, Broadway - 23 October, 1911 (240 perfs)
The text was revised and the play revived at the London Coliseum on 25th
May, 1944. This production closed owing to flying bombs, went on tour,
and later opened again in London, this time at the Stoll Theatre in February,
"THE QUAKER GIRL" then toured England and Scotland continuously from the Summer of 1945, until December, 1948, being received everywhere with great enthusiasm.
Prudence is the niece of Nathaniel and Rachel Pym, a prim and proper pair, who rule the Quaker Community of a pic-turesque English village. Into the serene atmosphere of this Community there arrives a certain exiled French Lady of great distinction, the Princess Mathilde, followed by Captain Charteris, to whom she is to be married. Charteris has armed himself with a special marriage licence and even more special 'best man' in the person of Tony Chute, of the American Embassy in Paris. The ceremony duly takes place in the village church in the presence of all the rustics who join in the festivities on the village green, among their number being Prudence who quickly attracts the attention of the highly susceptible Tony. Prudence, carried away by the life and gaiety of the scene, is induced to take a sip of wine by her wayward cousin, Jeremiah, but alas, at this moment, with the wine to her lips, Nathaniel, Rachel and other Quakers appear on the scene. They sternly command her to leave these sinful people and follow them.
But life as a Quaker is so dull that she prefers to entrust herself to the care of, Madame Blum of the "Maison Blum", Paris, who is in attendance on the Princess. Madame Blum, with a practical eye to business, sees possibilities in the alluring simplicity of the Quaker dress, and thus we next see Prudence as a Mannequin in Madame's establishment in Paris where she herself becomes all the rage with the men, and her simple costume with the women. Princess Mathilde in company with. her maid Phoebe has also returned to France disguised as one of Madame's work girls.
Among Prudence's admirers are Prince Carlo and Monsieur Duhamel, a distinguished senator. The prince invites them all to a Ball, but Tony, knowing the Prince's character, begs Prudence not to go. She is compelled to break her promise as the Princess is being hotly pursued by Monsieur Larose, Chief of Police. As the Prince has recognised Princess Mathilde amongst the work girls, he threatens to disclose her to Larose should Prudence not accompany him to the ball. For the sake of Mathilde, Prudence reluctantly breaks her promise to Tony, who is furious but when he learns the true reason, he sees the wisdom of it all and begs forgiveness for having doubted her. Thus the little story comes to a bright and happy end.
ACT I - An English country village.
- Chorus and Solo (Mrs. Lukyn) - Jarge, we've such a tale to tell
- Entrance of Quakers and Double Chorus - While our worthy village neighbours
- Song (Mathilde) - O, time, time!
- Duet (Mathilde and Charteris) - Wonderful
- Quartet (Mathilde, Phoebe, Charteris and Tony) - A Runaway Match
- Song (Prudence) - A Quaker Girl
- Duet (Prudence and Tony) - A bad boy and a good girl
- Concerted Number - Tip-Toe
- Song (Jeremiah) and Chorus - Just As Father Used to Do
- Finale - It's the Wedding Day
ACT II - Madame Blum's Dressmaking Salon, Paris
- Opening Chorus - Girls - In this Abode
- Song (Phoebe) and Chorus of Girls - Or Thereabouts!
- Chorus - On Revient de Chantilly
- Valse Song (Prince) and Chorus - Come to the Ball
- Duet (Prudence and Tony) - A Dancing Lesson
- March Quintet - Barbizon
- Finale - Ah! Ha! Monsieur Larose!
ACT III - The Pré Catalan, outside Paris
- Song (Prince) and Chorus - Couleur de Rose
- Duet (Jeremiah and Phoebe) - Mr. Jeremiah, Esquire!
- Song (Prudence) - Tony, from America
- Duet (Prudence and Tony) - The First Dance
- Finale - Love, I have Met You
Scenes and settings
ACT I - An English Country Village.
ACT II - Madame Blum's Dressmaking Salon, Paris.
ACT III - The Pré Catalan, outside Paris.
Chorus: Villagers, Quakers, Work Girls, Guests, Customers, Racing
Retaining the story structure and most of Lionel Monckton's music, this skilful adaptation with a new orchestration has pared down the Acts from three to two and added three entirely new songs, while still preserving the charm and entertainment of the popular original.
Mathilde, an exiled French princess, secretly marries Captain Charteris in an English country village where she has befriended a young Quaker girl, Prudence, with whom American Tony Chute has fallen madly in love. Upbraided by the Quakers for attending the wedding festivities, Prudence accepts the wedding party's invitation to accompany them to Paris where she becomes an instant success. Mathilde is sought by the police who enlist the help of her ex-fiancd, Prince Carlo. To protect Mathilde, Prudence is blackmailed into accepting Prince Carlo's invitation to a ball he gives on the night of the Chantilly races. Unaware of her selfless motive, Tony is enraged with Prudence. However Prudence's innate goodness bears results and the senior French Minister allows Mathilde to remain in France, Tony and Prudence are reunited and the toast of the ball is The Quaker Girl!
The Cast: M8 F8. Extras
Scene 1: An English country village.
Scene 2: On the way to Paris (frontcloth).
Scene 3: La Maison Blum
Scene 1: Prince Carlo's private enclosure at Chantilly Racecourse.
Scene 2: On the way from the races (frontcloth).
Scene 3: The gardens of the Pré-Catalan Restaurant
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horns 1 + 2, Trumpets 1 + 2, Trombone, Solo Violin, Solo Cello, Bass, Percussion-kit, Percussion, Harp