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A musical comedy in 3 acts by Basil Hood. Music by Howard Talbot and Hugo Felix

Shaftesbury Theatre, London - 25th September, 1913 - 15th May, 1914 (254 perfs


The fabulously wealthy Madame Alvarez has come to London for the season, bringing with her a fortune in pearls.

Hearing of a plot to steal her jewels, she resolves to have a duplicate set made and she visits Messrs Palmyra Pearls to order them. Mr Jecks, the director of Palmyra, is overjoyed, for Mme Alvarez' pearls are sure to be the talking point of the season, but his jubilation is cut short when the lady decides suddenly to return to the Argentine in pursuit of a handsome naval officer and cancels her order.

Leaving a large sum of money with the company's lady secretary to pay her bills, Mme Alvarez vanishes from the London scene. Then the secretary has a bright idea: no one in London has yet seen the millionairess so why should not she, Miranda Peploe, 'do the season' as Mme Alvarez, wearing the Palmyra pearls and gaining the firm priceless publicity?

Supported by Mr Jecks (disguised as her Spanish uncle), Miranda Peploe/ Alvarez is launched with great showy splendour upon London society and in society she finds true love in the form of the young Duke of Trent.

Jecks, too, finds his fate in the arms of the wealthy, nouveau-riche, Mrs Baxter-Browne, and a third love affair, between Lady Betty Biddulph and the Duke's agent, Robert Jaffray all of wich ends happily with the inevitable denouement.

Musical Numbers

ACT I - Scene 1 - In the Dukeries (a district in the county of Nottinghamshire.)

  1. Pastorale
  2. Song - Duke and Chorus - "Now bless ye the day-break in May or in June, when the hound and the horn together make tune! Oh, who can lie still..."
  3. Duet - Mabel and Duke - "You will find your Southern lady never learnt in English schools; fascinating, palpitating with a pulse her passion rules! ..."
  4. Finale Scene 1 - "No doubt you've heard Palmyra Pearls are absolute perfection; we advertise them 'any size', inviting your inspection! ..."

ACT I - Scene 2 - Palmyra Pearl Premises in Bond Street, West London.

  1. Entrance of Pearl Girls - "We are the Pearl girls of Palmyra fame! At ten o'clock we muster, arrayed from top to toe in pearls of lambent lustre, to wander..."
  2. Song - Hopkins and Chorus - "Listen to a shop-man on the topic of his trade, and forgive him if the subject doesn't drop; for a shop-man is a showman..."
  3. Duet - Miranda and Jecks - "Are you capable of crossing to the Continent alone? With the Channel steamer tossing, could you stand it on your own? ..."
  4. Duet - Miranda and Byles - "O, ever since the world began has man's mistake been this: to think a miss must take a man ... And not take man a-miss..."
  5. Scena - "A multi-millionairess comes, the mistress of gigantic sums; I think that we should welcome her as though a Royal customer! ... I think so too!..."
  6. Song - Madame Alvarez - "O Pellegrina! Pilgrim from a Persian sea! Pearl that Cleopatra gave love-gage to Antony - Antony, her lord and slave..."
  7. Finale - "Who is the gent? ... The Duke of Trent, your Grace, good ev'ning ... Though my agent has told you that I would have sold you a building site..."

ACT II - Hurlelagh.

  1. Chorus - "Ev'rybody's chattering of charming Madame Alvarez: what of Madame, this of Madame, that of Madame A! Nobody, of course, believes..."
  2. Song - Pringle - "I write little personal pars of society's doings diurnal, which I venture to say are the prop and the stay of a highly respectable journal..."
  3. Duet - Lady Betty and Jaffray - "I was taught to be kind to animals when I was a child of two; and I sum up young men and their characters..."
  4. Tango Duet - Miranda, Jecks and Chorus - "I'm the May'ress of gay Buenos Ayres! ... And our May'ress is an heiress! ... For the multiest millionairess..."
  5. Trio & - Melodrama - Miranda, Duke and Pringle - "Oh! who will you make a Queen, good sir, oh! who will you make a Queen? The girl who's fond of gaiety, or..."
  6. Song - Lady Betty and Men - "When I was quite a tiny girl some years ago, Oh, such a lot of little boys I used to know ... A lot of little boys..."
  7. Septet and Chorus - "Galloping, galloping all the time, oh that's the game of Polo! You play to win for the team you're in, and scorn the game of Solo! ..."
  8. Finale Act II - "Each in a mask, who are the three? ... Well may you ask, who are we? We are a noted gang - ha, ha! of Continental crooks..."

ACT III - River Place.

  1. Opening Chorus and Dance - "Lithe as a lily and sweet as a rose, oh, she is entrancing! Light as a fairy that twirls on her toes, lantern'd by the moon..."
  2. Song - Jecks and Chorus - "When I walk'd into Selfridge's I felt supremely sily, surrounded by frivolities all feminine and frilly. The girl behind the counter..."
  3. Duet - Lady Betty and Jaffray - "When you talk to perfect strangers, have you ever found ... Have you ever found ... there are many hidden dangers..."
  4. Song - Byles - "When a chap 'as made 'is choice, same as me and my Mirander, he should let 'er 'ear 'is voice singin' under 'er verander..."
  5. Duet - Miranda and Duke - "William was a Footman ... Mary was a maid ... Said William: 'I am suited here till she leaves!' Mary swept the carpets..."
  6. Finale Act III - "Hè hè hè, hèjà, hèjà, jé! Don't ever run away, we hope you've come to stay! Hè hè hè! Where you stroll or stay, you shall hear..."


The Duke of Trent    
Robert Jaffray   (his Land Agent)    
Mr. Jecks   (Manager of the Palmyra Pearl Shop)    
Mr. Muggeridge
Mr. Banbury
Mr. Poulter
(Directors of the Palmyra Pearl Company)
Mr. Hopkins   (Head Assistant at the Shop)    
Byles   (Messenger and Odd Man at the Shop)    
Lord George Matlock
Captain Cunningham
(Friends of the Duke)
Mr. Pringle   (a Society Journalist)    
James Ogilvie   (Chief Officer, R.M.S. "Parana")    
Higgins   (a Derbyshire Rustic)    
Ernest   (the Duke's Footman)    
Agatha, Duchess of Trent   (Mother of the Duke)    
Lady Betty Biddulph   (the Duke's Sister)    
Lady Catharine Wheeler    
Madame Alvarez   (of Argentina)    
Miss Mabel Cheyne-Walker    
Mrs. Baxter-browne    
Miss Fitzroy
Miss Beresford
(Assistants at the Pearl Shop)
Miranda Peploe   (Secretary and Typist)    

Synopsis of Scenery

Act I

Scene 1
Scene 2

-   In the Dukeries.
-   Palmyra Pearl Premises, Bond Street, West London.

Act II

-   Hurlelagh.



-   "River Place".