Shows "C"

CAPTAIN STIRRICK Musical in 2 Acts: Music based on the ballads of Old London by Richard Brett, lyrics by Jeremy James Taylor, book by David Scott and Jeremy James Taylor SYNOPSIS Set in London at the beginning of the 19th Century, Captain Stirrick tells the dramatic story of the child-thief Ned Stirrick and his infant gang of pick-pockets as they plunder the rich to survive in the harsh conditions of George III's England. The colourful fantasy of the Fantoccinis and their puppets vividly highlight the taut drama and its inevitable tragic ending. A gripping play with a ballad score which strongly evokes the atmosphere of the London underworld. STORY Act One The scene opens at the House of Correction, Cold Bath Fields, London in 1807. There are thirty children in various cells slowly moving into position. A door opens, the Chaplain suddenly appears, and the children say their evening prayers with. During the prayer, the Warder counts the boys, and after they are finished, he and the Chaplain leave him. As soon as they are gone, the boys resume their activities. Led by Donkin, a small group approaches Joe Coverley, a diminutive boy sitting alone. They ask him to tell a story. When they don't like his story, they eventually end up attacking him like wild animals! Suddenly, the Warder opens the door and hurls a boy into the room. It is Ned Stirrick. The boys take no notice of him and continue with their story game - this time having Charlie Clarke as the victim. Charlie tells them a story about a one-legged mermaid. Before Charlie can finish his story, the boys beat him up. Stirrick interrupts and tells the story of a boy named Ned Stirrick who went to sea with his father. His father was killed there and Ned ran back to England where he started a gang of thieves. This gang "cleaned up" all the fairs from Liverpool to Dover. The scene transports us to one of those fairs. One August, Ned's gang was meeting at Bartholomew Fair, Smithfield, London. There are many different things to see at this fair: freak shows, the fat lady, puppet shows, etc. The "vilest" or most interesting display at the fair is the Court of Pie Powder - a travelling court of prompt justice which moved from fair to fair. Here speedy justice can be given to any wrongs that have been done. The crowd disperses and everyone leaves except for Stirrick and a few kids waiting for the rest of his gang. Donkin appears with a new boy, Jones, who appears to be too innocent to steal. However, he produces two watches he just stole from Donkin (who lifted them earlier). Bill Long, the fake cripple, hobbles around the corner. The boys converse that he hasn't been pulling his share lately. If they don't pick pocket enough - they can't eat. Daffy and Jack arrive waving a bundle of dripping clothes they took off a dead body they found in the river! Maria arrives with a small boy, Tommy, being led by the hand. This boy isn't a pick-pocket because he's blind. However, he can sing - which he does very well. Stirrick forces Maria to get rid of the boy since they don't need a blind singer - they need pick-pockets! Once Stirrick has the group assembled, he tells them that they must continue working together and be careful not to get caught. Together, they celebrate their devious and various ways of stealing. Everyone rushes off to do various jobs. Stirrick is alone and takes off his red trademark coat. This is the coat his father wore when he was shot on duty. Using the coat, he enacts a puppet show telling the story of his father and how he was killed. While Stirrick is doing this, Leach, the Punch and Judy puppet man from the