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MAGGIE MAY A musical in two acts. Music and lyrics by Lionel Bart, book by Alun Owen Adelphi Theatre, London - September 22, 1964 (501 perfs) SYNOPSIS This hard-hitting story of life in Liverpool's dock-land centres on Patrick Casey, son of the legendary union-martyr, initially reluctant but finally proud, to assume his father's mantle, and Maggie May Duffy, young and vibrant, who abandons 'the game' for Casey, only to believe she has lost him to his union dreams. Around them is a gallery of strongly-drawn characters: Willie Morgan, the corrupt demagogue, Cogger the 'fixer' and traitor, Old Dooley, remembering past union struggles, Norah the toadying publican, all caught up in a fast-moving drama with a tragic climax, and filled with the strong, earthy songs for which Lionel Bart is renowned. STORY Act I The tale of Maggie May is set in Liverpool, that part of Britain where, dirtily and noisily, England meets Ireland alongside the docks that border the Irish sea and the folks speak a dialect that is 'part Irish, part Welsh and part catarrh'. It was in Liverpool that Margaret Mary Duffy was born and grew up and made special friends with little Patrick Casey, and life in the streets and in the docks went on its usual way until the day that Patrick's father was killed. Joe Casey was a natural born leader. Or a natural born rabble-rouser, depending on which way you want to look at it. He was a professional striker and street orator and he got the death and a bit of the glory he always wanted when he was trampled to death by police horses while haranguing his fellow dockers into violent action against their employers. It was Margaret Mary's birthday that day, but she had no Patrick Casey to share it with her. He was dragged off by his mother to make a show over his father's death, and Margaret Mary was left with only her doll for birthday company. Twenty years have passed and Mary Margaret Duffy, nowadays better known as Maggie May, is a whore on the Liverpool Docks. She's grown into a fine woman and she's been a whore, and a right popular one, all of her working life. She calls all her customers Casey as she waits for the one real Casey to come back out of the blue yonder. For Patrick Casey didn't follow his father on to the docks. He went and joined the navy and sailed away from Liverpool and from the shadow of his father's life and death. Twenty years after his 'martyrdom' Joe Casey is remembered only by the older men on the docks, but the Union is still an inbred part of the lives of the men who work the shipyards and there are plenty of younger belligerents to carry on nature's war against the employer, whether through genuine conviction or personal ambition. Old Dooley is one of the straightforward ones. The Union book is the book by which he runs his life and he has no time for the youngsters, like his own son Eric, who take it with a pinch of salt until it suits them. Not all the young people are careless of the Union, however. Cogger Johnson is deeply into Union business, but he is not a Union man of the old school like Dooley: he's in there for his own gain, for his own importance, as much as for the Natural Struggle. He remembers the story of Joe Casey all right, but with different emotions to those that Dooley feels. To Dooley, Joe Casey was indeed a martyr who died for his cause, but this attitude wins largely scorn from the young men of the 1960s to whom the labour struggles of the past mean little or nothing. It is Cogger Johnson who brings Patrick Casey in to work on the docks. Dismissed from the navy, Casey is