Shows "C"

CHRYSANTHEMUM a melodrama in ragtime by Neville Phillips and Robin Chancellor: Music by Robb Stewart New Lindsay Theatre, London 14 March 1956 (40 perfs) Prince of Wales Theatre, London (transferred to Apollo) 13 November, 1959 (148 perfs (total)) SYNOPSIS The action takes place in Greenwich Park Lane and Limehouse in 1913 - the age of Ragtime, Russian Ballet, William Morris, Suffragettes, Opium Dens, Lloyd George and the White Slave Trade. STORY One morning Chrysanthemum Brown goes out to fetch in the milk but vanishes. It is three years later that she returns with the milk cans, filled this time. Her father accuses her of having been to Buenos Aires and consequently turns her out of his house and onto the streets where she wonders in Limehouse with the other fallen ladies. The secret that Chrysanthemum cannot reveal is that she has been a victim of the white slave trade. She was ensnared by the evil Ma Carroty and when Chrysanthemum learns that the innocent Mary Ann, beloved of her other Bob Brown, she is horrified. Mary Ann has been whisked away by Ma Carroty as she dallied to meet Bob in the park. Chrysanthemum rushes to Limehouse to rescue Mary Ann and she returns the girl to Bob. Mary Ann is now safe but Chrysanthemum loses her heart to John Blessington-Briggs. Mary Ann, in gratitude for being saved convinces Chrysanthemum's family that she had been at a Paris finishing school during the period she was absent - and not in Buenos Aires at all. A double wedding is on the cards, Mary Ann and Bob, Chrysanthemum and John. Unfortunately Uncle Fred spoils the celeations by inging in Pepe who recognises Chrysanthemum as the "Flame of Buenos Aires". Chrysanthemum returns to Limehouse, determined to find Ma Carroty and seek revenge. She disguises herself as a Chinese strip-dancer to enter Ma Carroty's establishment, "The Skull and Chopsticks". However, her disguise is penetrated and she is imprisoned. Back at the Brown household Pepe has revealed the truth to the family. He it was who had saved Chrysanthemum from the bordellos of Argentina. She had become his dancing partner and subsequently famous and rich enough to be able to return home to England. The judgement of Chrysanthemum is revised and John goes off to find his love. Drama follows as Ma Carroty prepares to immolate the gagged and bound Chrysanthemum. In the nick of time, John, together with Bob and Mary Ann arrive and rescue Chrysanthemum just as the building goes up in flames. Ma Carroty is captured and her true identity revealed. MUSICAL NUMBERS: ACT 1 1. Overture 2. Opening Chorus: "Alexander" - The Brown Sisters, Boy Friends & Guests 3. 2a Melos 4. Song: "Ships At Sea" - Bob & Guests 5. 3a - Chysanthemum's Entrance 6. 3b - Melos