HENRY the TUDOR DUDE: Production notes


As stated in the introduction to the printed copies, you are more than welcome to cut the text to suit your company. In particular many companies opt to leave one or two songs out, and in most cases the narrative runs quite smoothly without them. However, if "Big Bessie" is cut, sadly the formidable Elizabeth I escapes the show with hardly a mention, so if you are thinking of leaving "Big Bessie" out, it would be nice to replace it with this section:

Bottom of Page 48:

Henry:       It's pathetic isn't it? Peasants can have sons, serfs can have sons, dogs, mice and fish can have sons, but not me.


News-reader:       We now have a rather strange report that suggests Henry is quite wrong to underestimate his second daughter. For a bizarre glimpse of the future, we turn to the Court Clairvoyant.


Joan:       Elizabeth will take the throne
The greatest Queen the world has known.
For five and forty years she'll reign,
And defeat the armada sent from Spain.


News-reader:       Makes you think, doesn't it?


Continue on page 50...

Author's Questions and Answers

You are welcome to use any, all or none of this for programme notes or other publicity purposes.

Why did I write it?
Most musicals feature a plot which goes something like: boy meets girl, they fall out, they make it up and finally they live happily ever after. The plot for Henry runs: boy marries girl as soon as possible (in one case before he's even met her) they fall out and then somebody dies horribly. Not once, but six times. Now that's what I call entertainment.

How long did it take to write?
I got the idea on Oct 3rd 1992 about 11:30 pm. It took six weeks to dig out some dull fat books to get all the information I needed, and in fact most of the useful material came from a tatty red exercise book labelled "Poskitt - Form III - History" in which Henry is spelt Henery. Having plotted the outline, it was about a year before a full script was ready for a read through by a lively bunch of chums in Wimbledon, who went on to produce it.

Do the songs take long to write?
It depends. The opening song took 20 years. Well not really, but the quiet tune for the introduction was first hummed up a tree in Durham when I was getting an engineering degree, the main melody I wrote for a didn't-happen Christmas video 17 years later and the words eventually turned up on a beer mat. By way of contrast, "I Wanna Be Queen" was written entirely while I was having a shower. It might even have had a couple more verses if the washing machine hadn't been switched on.

Where has HENRY appeared?
To my utter surprise HENRY has not only been performed throughout the U.K. but also several times in New Zealand, also in Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia and Nairobi - where it must have been very hot wearing the costumes!

What came after Henry?
Using the same mix of songs and comedy I wrote "Fawkes - the Quiet Guy" and most recently: "Nell's Belles - the tale of the Swinging (16) Sixties" with plagues, fires, executed Kings, orange girls and excessive violence - it has all the essential ingredients for good clean family entertainment!


Hints on using live Music or Backing Tracks

To Kjartan's C.V. (This includes details which you may use in programmes or other publicity.)

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