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THE PIRATE QUEEN Musical in 2 Acts 19 Scenes. Music Claude-Michel Schönberg ; Lyrics Alain Boublil, Richard Maltby, Jr. & John Dempsey. Book Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, & Richard Maltby, Jr. Based upon Morgan Llywelyn's novel Grania: She-King of the Irish Seas Premiered at Cadillac Palace Theatre, Chicago -October 3, 2006 - November 26, 2006. The Hilton Theatre, Broadway - 6 March, 2007 (opening 5th April - 17 June, 2007 (85 perfs + 32 previews), The Story: The following text is partly based on the official synopsis included as a playbill insert during Chicago production. STORY ACT 1 The Prologue begins with a silhouette of a woman at the wheel of a ship. She is Grace O'Malley. When the curtain rises we see that she is a young woman, merely pretending. A young man enters, and Grace hides from him. He is Tiernan, her childhood friend. They begin to swordfight until they get too close. They begin to kiss passionately. The musical opens in Clew Bay, on the launching of Clan O'Malley's newest ship, The Pirate Queen, captained by Chieftain Dubhdara O'Malley. We see Grace, Chief Dubhdara's daughter, who begs to be allowed to be a sailor on the Pirate Queen's maiden voyage. When he denies her, she laments to Tiernan about the restraints of being a woman during this time. At a time when women on a ship are considered to bring bad luck, she decides to hide among the crew disguised as a boy. When disaster subsequently strikes on the high seas, she proves her mettle and earns her place as one of the ship's crew. Ecstatic that she can stay on board, Grace and Tiernan promise each other that they will marry. Clan O'Malley goes about its business of pirating the seas and encounters the British War ship. During this battle Grace shows her bravery and leadership when she single-handedly saves her fathers life, and kills the English Captain. This action causes Dubhdara to decide to make her the captain of the Pirate Queen. He says, You, Grace, are the Pirate Queen. Grania becomes famous and feared as a proud defender of her country. In England, Queen Elizabeth I and her confidante, Lord Richard Bingham, weigh the news of this formidable woman. Elizabeth considers herself Queen of Ireland and will have no rival, least of all a woman! She orders Grace O'Malley destroyed. Ireland finds itself in turmoil. As England's oppression grows, warring Irish clans are forced to unite. Clans O'Flaherty and O'Malley meet and decide to join together. Although Grace is still in love with Tiernan, she is to be married to Donal O'Flaherty, heir to Clan O'Flaherty, as a way to unite the clans. Tiernan is heartbroken at the news. Grace is equally devastated that she must give up everything she has fought for: Tiernan and the Sea. Nevertheless she accepts it as her duty to her country, and accepts the marriage union. She and Donal are married. Tiernan soliloquises on his continuing love for Grace, and vows to always be her protector. Donal proves himself to be a womanising, cowardly scoundrel and his marriage to Grania is a stormy affair. About a year into their marriage, the English attack Rockfleet, where Grace and the rest of the Clan O'Flaherty reside, while the men were off fighting in Belclare. The women, led by Grace, defeat the English soldiers by seducing them and then killing them. However, we find out that the English also attacked Clew Bay and that Dubhdara was badly wounded by an English blade, and Grania, Donal, and the clan travel to see him before his death. Meanwhile, Bingham returns to England, defeated and in disgrace. However, when Queen Elizabeth suggests that she may marry the man who defeats Ireland, allowing him to produce an heir, Bingham becomes