Shows K

never one to miss a cue, enters, denies the affair and produces a letter allegedly written by Miss Danby. The Countess reads the letter and assures the crowd that its contents completely vindicate Kean. The letter, in actuality, is an invitation from Kean for the Countess to join him the next evening in his dressing room! He sets the scene for their indiscretion by directing her to wear a veil and use a secret passage. Kean and the Countess acknowledge their deceit with a knowing glance at her exit. As the assembled company is called to dinner, the Count informs Kean that he is not welcomed as a guest at his table. Left alone with his thoughts, Kean sings of the passion yet to be experienced at the clandestine meeting he has just arranged with the Countess ("Sweet Danger – Reprise"). Outside the Drury Lane Theatre we find a vivacious crowd of street vendors, acrobats and theatre-goers singing a merry tune while eagerly awaiting the evening's performance. The excited crowd proclaims their favourite actor to be the "King of London." Inside the "King of London's" dressing room we find Kean anticipating the arrival of the veiled Countess. Solomon tries vainly to discuss the numerous debts the actor owes, but is assured that amorous attention will persuade the Countess to pay those bills. The Prince of Wales storms into the dressing room, very aware that the letter read by the Countess was the identical love letter that Kean sends to all of his mistresses! The Prince makes an offer - abandon the Countess as a mistress, and he will pay the actors' debts. A veiled woman enters from the secret passage and the Prince, despite his suspicions, remains a gentleman and excuses himself. Kean is shocked to discover that the woman under the veil is not the Countess, but the beautiful Anna Danby! She admits that she has run away from her fiancé, Lord Neville, to become an actress and beseeches Kean to take her – as an apprentice in his company. After an audition to discern her talents Kean agrees to her proposal and she happily exits. Kean settles back to prepare for the evening's show by having another drink. In a reflective moment before his entrance as "Romeo" he sings of his love for the Countess. Meanwhile, on the foggy banks of the Thames outside the disreputable Green Frog Tavern, Lord Neville and his henchman are plotting to discredit Miss Danby, while, inside, the tavern has erupted in song. When Kean arrives he and joins in the singing taking a verse for himself. As the number ends and the customers of the tavern return to their pursuits. Miss Danby, arriving at the tavern, sees Solomon and informs him that she is here at Kean's invitation. Kean reads the note she received and denies its authorship. The letter must be part of a trap concocted by Lord Neville! Kean surmises that Neville's plan is to have Anna abducted from the tavern and ravaged, so that in her disgraced condition she'll have to marry any man that would still accept the damaged goods as a wife – namely Neville. Anna unashamedly reveals that Neville's plan won't work as she is already considered "damaged goods" from a previous dalliance. Besides, her plan is to marry Kean, because he needs a wife. Their conversation is interrupted when Kean is informed that the actress scheduled to play Desdemona the next evening has left town. In desperation, he offers the role to Anna. Lord Neville arrives and Kean challenges him to a duel for writing the letter to Miss Danby and forging his name. Neville says that a duel between them is impossible as a peer of England cannot fight a mere actor. Kean enlists the help of his fellow players to stage a divertissement and shame Neville. As "victor" of the conflict, Kean tells a trio of prostitutes to finish Neville off. Neville leaves the pub in shame as the crowd again congratulates Kean as the "King of London." In the dressing room the following evening we find Solomon and Anna rehearsing Othello as Kean has not been seen since he left the Green Frog. A very hung-over Kean enters, not remembering that he asked Anna to play Desdemona. He realises that it doesn't really matter who plays the role because he's never going to act again! But, as the evening's performance is a benefit for Old Victor, Kean realizes that he and the show must go on, hangover or not. Anna tends to his aching head with a cool cloth, but Elena enters through the secret passage and interrupts the scene. A verbal sparring match between the women erupts and Kean tries to intervene. Anna exits into the secret passage hoping never to see her rival again. Kean asks Elena why she didn't join him at the Green Frog and she reveals that her husband has begun to