The Cingalee

Programme Cover

A musical play in 2 acts by James T. Tanner: music by Lionel Monckton, lyrics by Adrian Ross and Percy Greenbank, additional material by Paul Rubens.

Daly's Theatre, London - Opened March 5, 1904: Closed March 11, 1905 (365 perfs)
Daly's Theatre,New York - Opened October 24, 1904 (33 perfs)


Harry Vereker, the owner of a Sinhalese tea-plantation, wishes to wed Nanoya, one of his workers. She, however, cannot follow her inclinations having been married at four years old to the potentate of Boobhamba. To avoid this marriage she has fled, disguised, from her position as the owner of the very plantation on which she now works, and Harry has been conned into 'buying' it by a rascally lawyer, Chambuddy Ram.

But the High Commissioner orders that Nanoya must be found and Ram is accused of hiding her. He is also accused of the theft of a famous black pearl and ordered to produce both at once.

The pearl turns up with one Peggy Sabine, engaged as governess for Harry's wife-to-be. Peggy has won it in a gambling game in London. Ram sets out to get hold of both Peggy and the jewel, not to mention Nanoya. Things are made easy for him when Harry buys the pearl as a gift for Nanoya and Ram easily delivers both parts of his commission up to the judiciary.

In the second act Nanoya is freed from the unhappy early marriage by the combined efforts of everybody. Boombhamba has a harem in which every wife wears a different colour as an aid to identification. Since there is only one colour missing from his rainbow he can have only one wife more. At the crucial moment he spots one he prefers to Nanoya, who is sent packing back to her Harry's arms.

Musical numbers

  1. Opening Chorus - "Sleepy Ceylon."
  2. Octet - Tea Girls and Pupils - "Girls on a tea plantation..."
  3. Song - Vereker - "Beyond the bar of fair Manaar..."
  4. Duet - Nanoya and Vereker - "Little girl to school must go..."
  5. Chorus and Scene - "What on earth is that?"
  6. March, Chorus and Song - Boobhamba - "Hail the noble deeply venerated..."
  7. Song - Chambhuddy - "Some years ago when a very chotah boy..."
  8. Song - Lady Patricia - "As you have to decide on a bride..."
  9. Song - Naitooma and Tea Girls - "Tea, Tea, Tea."
  10. Duet - Peggy and Chambhuddy - "White and Brown Girl."
  11. Sextet - "In the Island of Gay Ceylon."
  12. Song - Nanoya - "My Cinnamon Tree."
  13. Finale - Act I - "Have you found the girl?"
  14. Act II Opening Chorus - "At the Palace of Boobhamba..."
  15. Song - Nanoya, Tea Girls and Chorus - "I'm a maiden merry, sorry to be sold..."
  16. Concerted Number - "I'm afraid I do not quite understand..."
  17. Song - Chambhuddy - "If English Pot a rich man be..."
  18. Song - Vereker - "My dear little Cingalee."
  19. Quartet - "True Love."
  20. Song - Naitooma and Chorus - "A Cingalese Wedding."
  21. Chorus - "On the quiet lake the moonbeams shimmer..."
  22. Song - Boobhamba and Chorus - "A Happy New Year."
  23. Song - Nanoya - "You met a little girl one day..."
  24. Duet - Peggy and Chambhuddy - "In a jungle once on a time..."
  25. Finale - Act II - "Cingalee, Cingalee..."

    Addendum - Song - Lady Patricia - "You and I, and I and you..."


Scenes and Settings

Programme Cover Reproduced courtesy of Don Gillan (Copyright),

ACT II Finale included on "The Monkton Album"