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The Gay Parisienne


A musical comedy in 2 acts by George Dance and Ivan Caryll. Music by Ernest Vousden and revised by Ivan Caryll.

Theatre Royal, Northampton, 1894 and then toured.
Duke of York's Theatre, London - April 4th, 1896 - 28th March, 1897 (369 perfs).
Herald Square Theatre, New York, under the title "The Girl from Paris"


Mlle. Julie Bon-Bon, the Gay Parisienne, has tricked the well-and-truly married Canon Honeycombe into signing a proposition of marriage, and she now arrives at his country parsonage to sue him for breach of promise. By this means she and her accomplice/lover, Adolphe Pompier, intend to stock their bottom drawer at the unworldly Canon's cost.

But, in his hasty (and innocent) original encounter with Mlle. Bon-bon, Honeycombe has given her the wrong visiting card, and Julie has summonsed his neighbour, Amos Dingle. Dingle once had his life saved by the good Canon and so agrees to take his place in an undefended case for the sake of peace, in spite of the anathema heaped on him by the statuesque Mrs. Honeycombe, who lends her encouragement to her daughter's lover who has been briefed for the prosecution.

Julie arrives and proceeds to bewitch old Major Fossdyke, chairman of the jury, and not unexpectedly wins ten thousand pounds in damages.

The distraught Canon confesses all, and flees to a European spa town where he fakes a report of his death in a mountain accident. But everyone concerned descends on the spa where Honeycombe is hiding disguised as a Scot, and after a good deal of coming and going, the truth is revealed when Norah Honeycombe's Tom turns the tables on Pompier by blackmailing him over his occupation as a professional spy.

Julie gives up her charade, and all is allowed to end happily.

Musical Numbers


ACT I - Honeycomb's Lawn, Kingston-on-Thames.

  1. Opening Chorus - "Hi! for the Thames on a summer's day, Ho! for the merry throng; and Hi! for the dresses bright and gay, Ho! for the boating song..."
  2. Song - Honeycomb and Chorus - "The object of our clothing is to cover and conceal the loveliness which nature has endow'd..."
  3. Duet - Tom and Norah - "One peaceful eve in summertime, within a garden fair, a maiden heard the midnight chime, but still she linger'd there..."
  4. Song - Major Fossdyke and Chorus - "I'm proud to say that I am one of the Battersea Butterfly Shooters; as volunteers we take the bun..."
  5. Duet - Julie Bon-bon and Pompier - "I'm all the way from gay Paree, Mam'zelle Julie Bon-bon ... and I am Monsieur Pompier, un petit garçon..."
  6. Concerted Piece - Tom, Norah, Mr & Mrs Honeycomb, Pompier, Julie and Major - "And now to the court we quick must go, and may we win the day..."
  7. Duet and Dance - Honeycomb and Julie Bon-bon - "Whene'er a maiden falls in love, ought she not to confess? ... 'Twould be unwise to say it..."
  8. Quartet - Julie Bon-bon, Pompier and Mr. & Mrs. Honeycomb - "Cock-a-doodle, Cock-a-doodle, Cock-a-doodle-do! Julie Bon-bon wins her case..."
  9. Finale Act I - "Hail the hero of the day! Hail him with hip, hip, hooray! Hail the bright and rising star! Hail the hero of the Bar! ..."

ACT II - The Spa Hotel, Schoffenburgen.

  1. Opening Chorus, with solo - Hans - "Isn't it wonderful? Isn't it strange? In a few weeks what a marvellous change! Once the hotel now so busy and gay..."
  2. Saltarelle
  3. Song - Pompier - "I know a little girl who is very, very shy; be careful of the girl that's shy. She goes about so modestly with downcast eye..."
  4. Quartet - Tom, Percy, Cecil and Ducie - "A coupon which Cook's recommend, a hansom to Charing Cross end, a smoker to Dover, a calm passage over..."
  5. Duet - Honeycomb and Julie Bon-bon - "The tendency of modern times is all for first and third, and one or t'other we must each select..."
  6. Song - Ruth and Chorus - "Some people have the money, and others have the brains, but lots would like to have a voice like Sister Mary Jane's..."
  7. Song - Norah and Chorus - "Ere we part, love, it may be for years ... It may be for years ... Take these flow'rs, love, watered by my tears..."
  8. Quartet - Mrs. Honeycomb, Major, Ruth and Pompier - "I'll be a lively widow, and I'll roll my merry eye, and dress myself as lively widows do..."
  9. Concerted Piece - "Ding-dong, ding-dong goes the big, big gong, and echoes far around; it plainly states that dinner waits, a truly welcome sound..."
  10. Pas de Quatre
  11. Song - Bon-bon and Chorus - "Tell me what you does with all your money, says Sambo..."
  12. Duet - Ruth and Major - "Upon the stage let's have a fling, we'll try the music halls, and trill the sweet poetic lays each lady singer bawls..."
  13. Finale Act II - "Now for the Carnival! Now for the fun! Now for a frolicsome day! Blue are the heavens and warm is the sun; let us be merry and gay.."

Song no. 12 was composed by Gustave Kerker. Song no. 20 was composed by Andrew Mack.


  • Canon Ebenezer Honeycombe ("A Shining Light")
  • Mrs Honeycombe (his Wife)
  • Norah Honeycombe (their Daughter)
  • Mabel (Norah's Friend)
  • Major Fossdyke (of the "Battersea Butterfly Shooters")

The Major's Daughters

  • Angela
  • May
  • Ethel
  • Gladys
  • Maud
  • Edith
  • Violet
  • Rose
  • Amos Dingle (Honeycomb's friend)
  • Tom Everleigh (a Barrister)
  • Algernon P. Ducie (an American)
  • Percy Tooting (Ducie's Friend)
  • Cecil Smyth (Ducie's Friend)
  • Hans (Proprietor of the Spa Hotel, Schoffenburgen)
  • Gretchen (Servant)
  • Anna (Servant)
  • Fritz (Servant)

  • Ruth (Honeycomb's Servant)
  • Blatterwatter (a Gendarme)
  • M. Auguste Pompier (a French Spy)
  • Mlle Julie Bon-Bon ("The Gay Parisienne")

Scenes and settings

ACT I - Honeycomb's Lawn, Kingston-on-Thames.
ACT II - The Spa Hotel, Schoffenburgen.