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Music by Nigel Hess, Lyrics by Bille Brown and Nigel Hess, Book by Bille Brown

Aldwych Theatre London 22 December, 1981


As the curtain rises, Mazda, the Master of the Shadows, tries to steal the Swan Down Gloves but he is prevented by Lumina, the Lady of Light, who banishes the darkness and brings the morning to the village of Snitterfield-Up-Yore. It is rent collecting day and Dame Rosie Tripe, the mother of Kit the Glover, does not have a groat to her name. Kit reassures her and sets off for London with his brother Will, a simple scrivener, to sell the gloves.

Sir Walter Raleigh who has just returned from exploring the New World, is on his way to London to see the Queen. With him is Harry, Earl of Southampton and a sex kitten by the name of Lady Alice, the Cornflower Cat. She strays and comes across a bit of rough, Nightwork, a mercenary Tom. Nightwork joins Kit and will and they all enter the enchanted forest. Griselda Brimstone, the Marchioness of Lower Slaughter, meets Dame Rosie in the forest and they become acquainted. Meantime, Kit and Nightwork have lost Will - and the way. Also alone and lost in the unexplored territory is Harry who finds himself face to face with a softly weeping dragon, George.

sdg-cdThrough Mazda's magic meddling, Nightwork disappears in the clutches of the left hand Glove. When Will meets Griselda it is love at first blight: he believes he has found his dark lady and gives her the right hand Glove. Both gloves are gone with less than a mile to London. Their hopes seem dashed. Lumina freezes the river so they can all cross into the town to search for the lost Gloves but Mazda surprises the company by making the ice crack. Poised on the brink of disaster - and a watery death - we come to the end of Act I.

As the curtain rises on Act II Dame Rosie is stuck in the frozen River Thames and sinking fast but Lumina comes to the rescue. Will has a plot in hand and there is a plan afoot to recover the lost Gloves. The Dame rallies the good company with a song and dance. Griselda enlist Hack and Spit, two out-of-work actors, to kidnap Lady Alice but she is rescued by Nightwork. Undaunted by her first battle, Griselda now summons an ambitious, articulate punk rat, Rodney Gnawrot, who agrees to poison the tea at Sir Walter's party in return for a peerage and the franchise on this new spud deal. Dame Rose meets Squire Lump who had been sent off in the first act for over-acting. He is now looking for an entrance.

At Raleigh's party, Will makes his debut as a writer. It is a disaster. The Rats run riot plaguing the tea; the Mad Marchioness poisons herself and the Gloves are up for grabs. Rodney takes Harry and Alice hostage - the price of their release being the Swan Down Gloves. George comes to the rescue.

Musical Numbers:

  1. Any Old Rose - Squire Lump and Dame Rosie
  2. Best Foot Forward - Dame Rosie, Will, Kit, Buttons and Harry
  3. Catastrophe - Nightwork
  4. Demewer But Dangerous - Alice and Nightwork
  5. Everything's Going To Be Fine - Kit, Will and Company
  6. Fire Down - Mandans, Dragon and Company
  7. Going Into Town - Will and company
  8. How's the Way - Harry
  9. Let's Be Friends - Dame Rosie and Griselda
  10. Make Your Own World - Kit and Nightwork
  11. Muck - Gnawrot and Punk Rats
  12. Stuck In A Muddle - Company
  13. With the Sun Arise - Riotous Villagers


plus chorus of rats, villagers, Mandans from the New World, skaters, etc.


OLC - That's Entertainment Records TER 1017