Shows D

DOROTHY Music by Alfred Cellier: Written by B.C. Stephenson Gaiety Theatre, London 25 September, 1886 Standard Theatre, Broadway 5 November, 1887. SYNOPSIS (Rural Kent in 1740) The plot surrounds the Squire's daughter, Dorothy and her cousin Lydia, who, tired of the social rounds, decide to pose as villagers during the festival of the Hop Pole, (An annual celebration occurring in the vicinity of the Hop Pole Inn), at the end of the Hop picking season. It so happens that Geoffrey, a "young English gentleman", and his friend Harry, under assumed names, are using the Hop Pole Inn as a hideout to escape Lurcher, a Sheriff 's officer who has been chasing them with a bundle of writs. The men and girls are mutually attracted but neither pair knows the other's true identity. Lurcher arrives on the scene and is tricked into posing as a servant to the two men when they visit the house of the Squire. There is a faked burglary, Lurcher dines too well, identities are exposed, but the end is obvious and happy. STORY Act I At old John Tuppitt's inn in rural Kent, the country folk of the neighbourhood of Chanticleer Hall, the property of Squire Bantam, are enjoying themselves on the morning of an autumn day in 1740. Dorothy Bantam, the Squire's daughter, and Lydia Hawthorne, his niece, take the opportunity to dress informally and join in the festivities. They find that Phyllis, Tuppitt's daughter, has promised to marry Tom Strutt, a local man. They try to dissuade her, believing that women should remain free from the fetters of matrimony. The Squire wants Dorothy to marry Geoffrey Wilder, his nephew and heir, whom she has never met and who has been leading a wild life in London. Coffin as Harry Sherwood Wilder, pursued by bailiffs, has fled London and is on his way to his uncle's house, driven by debt to comply with Squire Bantam's matrimonial plans for his daughter. Wilder and his friend Sherwood pull up at Tuppitt's inn for refreshment. Dorothy and Lydia pass themselves off as village girls, Dorcas and Abigail. Wilder and Sherwood are smitten, and Wilder rapidly gives up the idea of marrying his cousin even at the risk of arrest for debt. The principal bailiff, Lurcher, catches up with Wilder, but is prevented from arresting him because he has infuriated the villagers by serving a writ on an old woman of the village. Wilder saves him from a ducking and persuades him to help in a scheme to pay off all Wilder's debts. Dorothy and Lydia, their insistence on permanent spinsterhood shaken by the attractions of Wilder and Sherwood, give the two men rings, making them promise never to part with them. Act II Squire Bantam is entertaining guests when the arrival of a stranger is announced. This is Lurcher passing himself off as secretary to the Duke of Berkshire. He asks for hospitality for the duke and his friend, Lord Crinkletop, whose carriage has broken down. Wilder (posing as the "duke") and Sherwood (Crinkletop) are welcomed by Bantam. Dorothy and Lydia enter, but the two men do not recognise them as the rustics who enchanted them in Act I. The women play on the susceptibilities of the men. Wilder becomes beguiled by Lydia and Sherwood by Dorothy. Eventually the women succeed in persuading each man to give them the rings that "Abigail" and "Dorcas" gave the other at the inn.