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HALF A SIXPENCE A musical comedy in 2 acts, 18 scenes: Book by Beverley Cross; based on the novel Kipps by H.G. Wells; Music & Lyrics by David Heneker Cambridge Theatre, London - March 21, 1963 (677 perfs) Broadhurst Theatre, New York - April 25, 1965 (512 perfs) SYNOPSIS The play opens in Shalford's Drapery Emporium where Kipps works and lives as an apprentice draper. Ann, Kipps's childhood sweetheart, is in service so they don't get much chance to see each other. Kipps thinks that a lovers token might help the romance along but the next day brings news that is to change his life. He learns that solicitors are looking for him and consequently gets a little drunk. He is marched off to join his woodwork class run by Helen Walsingham. Kipps falls for her without much hope. Ann is cross with Kipps for not meeting her and walks out on him just before he learns that he has inherited a fortune. Spurred on by his new social standing Kipps proposes to Helen, but her family pressure makes him realise that Ann is his first and real love. Kipps and Ann marry but his yearning to maintain his social standing creates problems between them which are only resolved when a fortune is lost. A small fortune is offered to him ... he rejects it. "What a rum do everything is," he comments. STORY Act I Arthur Kipps is twenty years old and an apprentice in the Folkestone drapery of Mr Edwin Shalford. It is hard work, seven to seven, and strict discipline, bed at 930 and on line for work first thing, and woe betide if Shalford's motto of `Fishency, System, Economy' isn't the watchword of every day. Particularly economy. Kipps and his fellow apprentices resent their fife with the healthy resentment of youth, but only Sid Pornick who has taken up with Socialism has made any practical step towards fighting the system. When Sid tries to get the others to join him at a Fabian meeting, they squirm out their excuses—girls, sore feet, or, in Kipps' case, a meeting with Sid's sister Ann who's in domestic service down the road. He can't talk to girls, but Ann he's known since they were kids so that's different. Ann has a smart head and a tart tongue to put her brother's fancy ideas firmly in their place, and she also has a soft spot for the awkward Artie Kipps. She won't let him kiss her, kissing's soft, but she doesn't mind saying she'll be his girl and taking the half-sixpence he offers her as a lover's token. Artie's next meeting with Ann goes out the window when his employer volunteers him as a student at the Young Persons Association, an institution for keeping working class youth off the street by teaching them useful occupations, in which the Walsingham family, good customers at Shalford's emporium, are interested. But that evening, while the glum Artie is on his way to his unwanted class, he is the victim of a little accident, run down by an out-of-control cyclist. has-ocrThe cyclist in question is Mr Chitterlow, an actor and playwright of a flamboyant turn and the possessor of a coincidence. When Kipps introduces himself, Chitterlow performs a double-take. He has seen the boy's name in the daily newspaper one of those delightful advertisements that end 'may hear something to his advantage'. Chitterlow hurries his new friend off to a public house to celebrate his imminent good fortune and, while Chitterlow bonhomously spreads the news, Artie celebrates whatever it is that's coming to him with his first alcoholic drink and a rousing chorus song. The merry-making spills into the street and Kipps is spied by Shalford, disentangled from a lamppost and, expectations or no expectations, frog-marched off to the Young Persons Association. The class at the Association is taken by Miss Helen Walsingham, recently of London University and devoted