Shows J

JACK SPRATT, VC Music by Peter Allwood, book by Jeremy James Taylor and David Scott SYNOPSIS This show from the National Youth Music Theatre won an award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Set in Edwardian England just prior to the First World War, it tells the story of the Spratt children, sent away to school in the Lake District, and particularly young Jack, who finally conquers his fear of water to earn the respect of his schoolmates. An emotional tale to captivate audiences, with a score that mixes music hall melodies and Elgarian nobilmente. Suitable for secondary school and youth groups. STORY ACT ONE Captain Henry Cadogan sits in a trench in the Somme in 1918. He is reading a letter from Nurse Irwin. She writes about how she misses him and how she often thinks of him. She reminisces of times four years past when they were together, writing of picnics and swims, and wonders what ever happened to Spratt, a young man they taught to swim and who once rescued Henry. She remembers how brave he was and wonders if he is still as brave now that he is a soldier. Just then, Spratt runs in and delivers a note to Henry. He is stationed with him. Henry tells him he thinks it is almost time to go-there are explosions all around and they are getting closer and worse. Henry finishes the letter and gives the sign that it is time to move. Spratt panics for a moment, but then Henry urges him onward. It is 1914 on the shores of Lake Windermere. The boys of St. Michael's are in the midst of a dry land swimming class. The instructor assures them that by learning all the techniques on land they will be far better swimmers than those who just struggle to learn in the water. He tells them how swimming and singing are similar in that they both are good for the lungs and the soul. He makes them sing the motto to show that music and muscle can go hand in hand. ("Swim for Victory") As they sing and practice, the girls from St. Catherine's come by, for they are in the middle of a leisurely day of picnicking and picking flowers. The boys' instructor tells them that they will have three new boys joining them. A train has just pulled into Oxenholme Station and Agnes, age 12, Dick, age 15, and Jack, age 11 step off. The three Spratt siblings seem a bit lost and have notes pinned to them saying, "To be delivered to the Warden of St. Michael's, Kendal." Next, Maggie and Geordie Irwin rush in, having just arrived as well. The Porter gathers the boys and girls together and readies to send them on their own ways. The siblings that are being separated all must say goodbye, and wonder what life will be like now. ("Oxenholme Station") The boys are on their way to St. Michael's. Joss, the post boy, and Dick are getting acquainted. Dick explains that he has been sent here because he is a pickpocket and he can't help himself. Meanwhile, Jack is talking to Curly who is one of the school monitors. He has brightened up quite a bit from the sullen state he was in at the station. Dick explains that he has never been out of London before, so if you show him wide-open spaces and frogs and sheep he gets quite excited.("Never Been Away from London") Mr. Kingsley takes a moment on the way to explain to the boys what St. Michael's is, for they have been told nothing. It is a home for boys where they live and relax and eat and learn. The home is best known for it's swimming prowess. At the mention of swimming, Jack begins to panic-he is afraid of water. The girls have arrived at St. Catherine's. They are greeted by all of the girls from the home, as well as Lady Cadogan who is the home's chief patroness, and her children, Olivia and Henry. The girls then sing a welcome song to the new arrivals. ("Welcome to St. Catharine's")Agnes suddenly realizes she has her brother