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Samuel French's Bookshop
"NELL'S BELLES" window display
by Robert Cooke
Kjartan Poskitt's Shows

All shows are published by Samuel French Ltd, 52 Fitzroy St, London W1P 6JR
who can provide perusal scripts, demo CDs, piano/vocal scores, band parts and backing tracks.

HENRY
THE TUDOR DUDE
NELL'S BELLES
FAWKES
THE QUIET GUY
THE
RUMPELSTILTSKIN
RACKET
SAMMY'S MAGIC GARDEN

MUSIC DEMOS

These are recorded by me with a few friends, but hopefully you'll see the potential and be inspired to do better!
Click these links to get full demos of all the songs for:

The music on the demos is also available without the vocals as backing tracks for use in performances. Please contact Samuel French Ltd for backing tracks. They can also supply piano/vocal scores and band parts.

Some sound advice on using live music or backing tracks!


HENRY the Tudor Dude

... your body will ROCK and your head will ROLL...

Henry had both his 100th and 101st productions in Nov 2004!

The life of King Henry VIII - England's most outrageous monarch is accurately related in this rock and roll musical which has been performed by amateurs, schools and semi-pro groups, throughout the U.K. and also in such far off places as New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia and Kenya.

Battles with France, the reformation of the church, umpteen executions and the tale of six wives are all brought to the stage by the Tudor Newsteam in this riotous extravaganza.

ABRIDGED VERSION NOW AVAILABLE ... especially suitable for large younger groups such as primary schools (ages 8-12). You can get more details here: HENRY abridged version

A GOOD TIME FOR EVERYONE...
We all had so much fun with "Henry The Tudor Dude" and from the cards, letters and comments I've received, the audience clearly did as well!
Although a real challenge for youngsters of this age (12-14) it gave them all opportunities to develop their talents in many different ways.
It'll take some following!
Michael Stanley, Allerton School, Northallerton.
The author is reluctantly dragged on stage...
Curtain call at the fabulous Georgian Theatre, Richmond, N Yorks, July 2014
Directed by Susan Hedges and Tracey Lacey with costumes by Gillian Shaw

Age range: Suitable for any large varied group.

Scenery: A basic stage set on which odd props/ furniture are quickly brought or struck to suggest locations as needed.

Music: Songs vary from serious rockers to cool swingers. Backing tracks available, also vocal score, piano/vocal score, optional extra band parts for drums, bass, guitar and 2nd keyboard.
Listen to FULL DEMOS of all the songs!

Running time: (for the full show): Act 1= 60 mins - Act 2 = 55 mins.

HENRY THE TUDOR DUDE
CHARACTERS

NEWSREADER for TUDOR NEWS
REPORTER for TUDOR NEWS
LATIN CORRESPONDENT for TUDOR NEWS
KING HENRY VIII
EMPSON } Henry VII's tax collectors
DUDLEY }
EXECUTIONER
THOMAS WOLSEY
WAR CORRESPONDENT for TUDOR NEWS
PEG } gossiping palace sevants
MAUD }
JOAN the court clairvoyant
BOY HENRY Henry age 13
NANNY
WILL SOMMERS court jester
HOLBEIN the artist
PIETRO TORRIGIANO the sculptor
POPE CLEMENT VII
GUISEPPE The Pope's Henchman
CHARLES V King of Spain
PRINCESS MARY Catherine of Aragon's daughter
THOMAS CROMWELL
THOMAS CRAMNER
THOMAS MORE
WARDER 1
WARDER 2
DOCTOR
MIDWIFE
JUDGE

and of course the six wives:

CATHERINE OF ARAGON
ANNE BOLEYN
JANE SEYMORE
ANNE OF CLEEVES
KATHRYN HOWARD
CATHERINE PARR


Plus lots of wanna-be queens, soldiers, girlfriends, crowds, jolly Germans, courtiers...
Many doubles are possible. (Minimum cast about 15).
HENRY THE TUDOR DUDE
SONGS
  • The Coronation Song - ALL
  • The Body Rock 1 - Crowd, Empson and Dudley
  • I Wanna Be Queen - Court Girls
  • The Battle Of The Spurs - Henry and Soldiers
  • Wonderful Waste Of Time - Wolsey and Chorus
  • Six Finger Annie - Courtiers and Anne Boleyn
  • Do Your Worst - Catherine of Aragon, Mary and ladies
  • The Three Toms - Cromwell, More, Cramner and Courtiers
  • The Body Rock Instrumental
  • The Body Rock 2 - Executioner, Wolsey, Warders
  • Rise Up (Reformation Rock) - Cromwell and ALL
  • Blue! - Henry and Courtiers
  • Big Bessie - Joan and Chorus
  • The Body Rock 3 - Judge, Jury, Anne Boleyn
  • It's A Boy - ALL
  • Wunderbar Anne - Cromwell and the Germans
  • We Know You Like A Laugh Mr Cromwell - Judge, Henry, Cromwell and ALL
  • This Time It's For Real - Kathryn Howard, Henry and ALL
  • The Coronation Finale - ALL except Henry who's dead.
  • The Body Rock Encore - ALL

Listen to FULL DEMOS of all the songs

The music is available on a CD of backing tracks.
There are also full arrangements for

  • Piano/vocal score
  • Bass
  • Guitar
  • Drums
  • 2nd keyboard
Henry at Bilton Grange School, Rugby - March 2005
SAMUEL FRENCH Ltd can supply the following:
  • The Books
  • A basic vocal score (melody line and chords).
  • The full piano/vocal score
  • Additional band parts for guitar, bass, drums and 2nd keyboard
  • Backing tracks on CD
  • They will also let you borrow a perusal script and demo CD.

If you have any questions please contact me at

HENRY Production notes and ideas


Henry at Ashville College, Harrogate - July 2008


NELL'S BELLES

The swinging 16 sixties show

Nell performed by Alyth Musical Society, Perthshire - April/May 2004.
The 1660's was an amazing time to be alive. As well as the plague and the great fire of London, there was the opening of Drury Lane Theatre where a bunch of hopeful girls hoped to find an escape from life in the nearby bawdy house. Find out how their outrageous antics lead to the love story of Charles II and his girlfriend Nell Gwyn - and how they went on to re-shape history.

( Obviously it all had to be hushed up at the time for national security reasons, but at last the real truth can be told! And if you don't believe it - you know what they say about the sixties: if you claim to know exactly what went on, you can't have been there.)

Following Nell's hilarious debut in Hexham in March 2001, the show has been produced all over the UK and abroad including France, Canada, Poland and Australia. The show was especially written to give lots of good roles for women, and it includes plenty of comedy and lively rock songs.

Charles and Nell's Belles (Nell is wearing the glasses!) from the first production by Hexham Junior Youth Theatre 30/3/2001.

Casting: Over 35 speaking parts including Nell and her singing group of friends ("Nell's Belles") which features her pickpocket sister, the telepathic twins, the fortune teller. There's also Nell's drunken mother, King Charles and his wife and all his "official" mistresses, his scheming brother James and loads more including a whole army of charladies. Lots of chorus work. Many doubles/triples possible. (Minimum cast about 12).

Age range: Suitable for any large varied group although a few small edits may be appropriate if under 10's are involved.

Scenery: A basic stage set with two doors which fulfil a variety of roles including tavern entrances, bedroom doors, bathing huts, stage exits etc. Extra props (including a blue sea cloth for the beach scene) and furniture are quickly brought or struck to suggest locations as needed.

Music: 16 songs (including reprises) mainly dance/rock numbers but also a couple of slow swings and ballads. Most songs are scored with lead and backing vocals. Backing tracks available, also piano/vocal score and optional extra band parts for drums, bass, guitar, sax.
Listen to FULL DEMOS of all the songs

Running time: Act 1 = 55 mins - Act 2 = 50 mins.

CLICK HERE if you'd like a large JPEG of this book cover design to use for your posters or programmes.
NELL'S BELLES
CHARACTERS

NELL GWYN the actress
ROSE GWYN Nell's pickpocket sister
VIOLET Nell's scary friend
MERCY Nell's fortune-telling friend
AGATHA Nell's dotty friend
ANNIE } Nell's telepathic twin friends
BESS }
HELENA GWYN Nell's drunken mother
CHARLES HART a grand actor
ROBERT DUNCAN manager of Drury Lane Theatre
KING CHARLES II
QUEEN CATHERINE Charles' Portuguese wife
BARBARA VILLIERS an English mistress
LOUISE a French mistress
HORTENSE an Italian mistress
JAMES Charles' tiresome brother
MR CHIFFINCH page of the bedchamber
MRS CHIFFINCH keeper of the privy
IRENE }
RITA } Charles' charladies
ELSIE }
TOM FARRINOR the creepy baker
TITUS OATES the revolutionary
DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM
FATHER HUDDLESTONE
DOCTOR
NURSE
SOLDIER 1
SOLDIER 2
BARMAID
NEWSPAPER SELLER 1
NEWSPAPER SELLER 2
NEWSPAPER SELLER 3
NEWSPAPER SELLER 4
VERA }
PAULINE } extra charladies
IVY }
BRENDA }
DOT }
CONNIE }
THE GRIM REAPER

CHORUS including: singers, spare girlfriends, charladies, guards, ghosts...
Many doubles are possible. (Minimum cast about 12).

Nell's Belles was written for companies who have more female performers than males.
However the balance can easily be changed by having men play some of all of the charladies.

NELL'S BELLES
SONGS
  • Happiest Days - ALL
  • Palace Of Love * - Charles, Chaffinches and Girls
  • A Little Bit Of Bawdy - Violet, Agatha and Chorus
  • Cross My Palm With Silver - Mercy, Annie, Bess
  • All Shut Out * - Nell and the Belles
  • The Reaper - Agatha, Belles, Ghosts
  • Charlie Boy * - Nell and the Belles
  • Fire! - instrumental
  • The Phoenix * - James and Chorus
  • No Commitments - Nell
  • The Seaside Special * - Belles and chorus
  • Life Without You - Charles and the Belles
  • Filth! - The Charladies
  • Gimme The Nurse * - Catherine, Charles and Belles
  • Happiest Days (reprise) * - ALL
  • The Seaside Revisited - ALL

Listen to FULL DEMOS of all the songs here!

The music is available on a CD of backing tracks.
There are also full arrangements for

  • Piano/vocal score
  • Bass
  • Guitar
  • Drums
  • Saxophone (Eb)
Nell's Belles at Fontainebleau, France in May 2003
SAMUEL FRENCH Ltd can supply the following:
  • The Books
  • A basic vocal score (melody line and chords).
  • The full piano/vocal score
  • Additional band parts for guitar, bass, drums and saxaphone (Eb).
  • Backing tracks on CD
  • They will also let you borrow a perusal script and demo CD.

If you have any questions please contact me at

NELL production notes and ideas


FAWKES the Quiet Guy

Nov 2002: MERCEDES COLLEGE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA ended their FAWKES production outdoors with a full firework finale - WOW!

It's cabaret time down at Catesby's!

Following "HENRY's" success, "Fawkes" tells the story of the 1605 gunpowder plot. Most people will know how a gang tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament, and how Guy Fawkes was caught. Following days of ghastly interrogation the gang were all rounded up and executed. Actually, the plot was far more sinister than that and makes for a thrilling whodunnit involving spies, sabotage and someone being walled up alive! The show is set in Catesby's Cabaret Club with the outrageous hostess Miss Catherine Wheel. Even if the club didn't exist, everything in it did actually happen right up to the explosive finale!

Casting: About 40 speaking parts ranging from the creepy to the utterly camp. Characters include the desperate conspirators, good-time show girls, the dashing Lord Mounteagle and his childhood sweetheart Dorothy, the strange King James and his groom of the bedchamber, the devilishly cunning Sir Robert Cecil, three tough old women and a dummy! Lots of chorus work but many doubles possible. (Minimum cast about 18).

Age range: Suitable for any large group, although a few small edits may be appropriate if under 10's are involved.

Scenery: A basic stage set represents the Cabaret Club in which other scenes are created with simple lighting changes and extra props/ furniture when required.

Music: 12 major numbers, mostly suitable for grand showpieces with dancers, singers, effects and strong narrative content.
Backing tracks available, also piano/vocal score, optional band parts for drums, bass, guitar, trumpet, sax/clarinet and trombone.


Listen to FULL DEMOS of all the songs here

Running time: Act 1 = 60 mins - Act 2 = 50 mins.

FAWKES - THE QUIET GUY
CHARACTERS

MATTHEW } two "heavies"
EUNICE }
CATHERINE WHEEL the outrageous mistress of ceremonies
"BABY" JAMES pretend king
OLIVER a puritan sergeant
MAGGIE }
JENNIE } chorus girls
BETH }
MOLL }
SIR ROBERT CATESBY conspirator
FATHER HENRY GARNET a Jesuit priest
MRS FAWKES }
MRS PERCY } three tough old ladies
MRS WRIGHT }
THOMAS PERCY conspirator
JOHN WRIGHT Yorkshire conspirator
DENISE a waitress
SIR WALTER RALEIGH
THE GROOM very camp royal servant
KING JAMES I OF ENGLAND AND VI OF SCOTLAND
SIR ROBERT CECIL creepy royal advisor
LORD MOUNTEAGLE young nobleman
DOROTHY love-smitten chorus girl
THOMAS WINTOUR conspirator
SIR EVERARD DIGBY posh conspirator
JOHN GRANT conspirator
AMBROSE ROOKWOOD posh conspirator
CHRIS WRIGHT Yorkshire conspirator
ROBERT WINTOUR laid-back conspirator
ROBERT KEYES grumpy conspirator
THOMAS BATES humble servant/conspirator
FRANCIS TRESHAM the 13th conspirator
LILY GAGE a mysterious woman
BAGWICH a grumpy servant
MARY }
JACK } Dorothy's vengeful family
JANE }
ALICE }
QUEEN ANNE wife to King James
SIR WILLIAM WAAD the nasty Lieutenant of the Tower
SIR RICHARD WALSH

...and of course...

THE QUIET GUY


Many doubles are possible. (Minimum cast about 18).

Note: The part of the Quiet Guy was written to be played by a
traditional Guy Fawkes dummy, but this is optional.
In several productions Catherine Wheel has been played by a man in drag.

FAWKES THE QUIET GUY
SONGS
  • Cabaret Time * - ALL
  • He's A Man * - ALL
  • Something In The Cupboard - King James and Chorus
  • The Quiet Guy - Catesby and Conspirators
  • Nothing! * - Dorothy, Catherine and Chorus
  • Thirty Six Barrels * - Conspirators and Chorus
  • One Hell Of A Guy * - Cecil, Eunice, Matthew and Chorus
  • The Girl That Never Was * - Dorothy, Family and Chorus
  • Fawkes Talks - ALL
  • A Thousand Angry Men - Conspirators
  • Smile As You Go * - Mrs Fawkes, Mrs Percy, Mrs Wright, Conspirators and Chorus
  • Cabaret Finale - Catherine Wheel and ALL

Listen to FULL DEMOS of all the songs here

The music is available on a CD of backing tracks.
There are also full arrangements for

  • Piano/vocal score
  • Bass
  • Guitar
  • Drums
  • Trumpet
  • Sax/Clarinet (all songs both in Eb and Bb)
  • Trombone (all songs both in Bb treble clef and C bass clef)

A CRACKING SCRIPT FOR SCHOOL PRODUCTIONS!
We have just finished staging Fawkes - The Quiet Guy and I just wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed the whole experience... a really fun mixture of memorable characters, 'cheesy' dialogue and moving moments (when Dorothy was bricked up there wasn't a dry eye in the house).
"Nothing" is a fabulous song in my view, but the head of music favours "A Thousand Angry Men". The students really enjoyed bringing history to life in this way, in the 400th year since the gunpowder plot. All in all, a cracking script for school productions!
Ian Evans, Head of Drama, The Corbet School, Baschurch, Shrewsbury.
SAMUEL FRENCH Ltd can supply the following:

  • The Books
  • A basic vocal score (melody line and chords).
  • The full piano/vocal score
  • Additional band parts for guitar, bass, drums, trumpet, saxaphone/clarinet and trombone (supplied in both C and Bb).
  • Backing tracks on CD
  • They will also let you borrow a perusal script and demo CD.

If you have any questions please contact me at

Fawkes Production notes and ideas




The Stewkley Players Production 1996 featuring Shirley Faulkner as
The Manikin
The Rumpelstiltskin Racket

"So it's a fairy story, but this baby sure ain't no pantomime..."

Two fairground tricksters are hauled before the evil Madam Inquisitor - can Magic Miranda really spin straw to gold? Luckily the King sees the fun side as the hacks from "The Daily Slur" lap up every detail. But things are not always as they seem thanks to the gruesome games of the mysterious manikin with a hundred voices but no name...

Love, laughs, songs and participation make this into a perfect pantomime alternative for all the family which has enjoyed success with both professional and amateur casts.

We recently performed CATS and also WE WILL ROCK YOU, OUR HOUSE and HAIRSPRAY as part of our repertoire, but for most of the committee our favourite remains RUMPELSTILTSKIN !

Sandie Thomson, Secretary, BATS Next Generation

Casting: 11 speaking parts (most of which can be male or female) including the star struck Prof Miller, his strong willed daughter Miranda, the terribly nice King, the scheming Madam Inquisitor, a variety of mercenary hacks and Rumpelstiltskin - the utterly evil changeling creature. Also a variety of chorus roles including extra hacks, guards, villagers, phantoms etc.. Doubles possible. (Minimum cast 8).

Age range: Full family entertainment.

Main Scenes: (Most of these can be achieved by a few props and lights!) Fairground, Palace interior, Palace Vaults, King's Bedroom, a Turret room, a park bench, the catacombs.

Music: About 12 fairly easy songs including reprises. Backing tracks available, also piano/vocal score, optional band parts for drums, bass, guitar.

Running time: Act 1 = 50 mins - Act 2 = 50 mins.

THE RUMPELSTILTSKIN RACKET
CHARACTERS

SMITHY an apprentice reporter
SMIRCH } reporters for the Daily Slur
SMUTT }
THE BAKER
PROFESSOR MILLER a fairground showman
MIRANDA his daughter
THE KING
MADAM INQUISTOR the wanna-be queen
THE MANIKIN the evil changeling
THE TOWN CRIER
SMUDGE a photographer for the Daily Slur

Plus lots of chorus parts including villagers, messengers, guards, palace servants, crows, demons, enchanted toys and the hacks of the Daily Slur.

Note: The Professor and the King are male, Miranda and the Inquisitor are female. All other parts can be played by anyone. For smaller companies: the Baker, Manikin and Smudge can be played by one person. The Town Crier can be a voice off.

THE RUMPELSTILTSKIN RACKET
SONGS
  • The Dance of Life - ALL
  • Wake Up * - Servants
  • My Little Fish * - Inquisitor
  • The Manikin Song - Smithy, Smutt, Smirch, Hacks
  • Wake Up (reprise) - Servants
  • Sad Sad Story * - Smithy, Smutt, Smirch, Hacks
  • The Closest Friend * - Manikin
  • Bananas For You - King and Miranda
  • The Closest Friend (reprise)- Manikin
  • Exclusive And Intrusive - Hacks
  • The Closest Friend (reprise)- Manikin
  • Lucky To Be Here - Smithy, Smutt, Smirch, ALL
  • The Dance of Life (reprise) * - ALL

Listen to FULL DEMOS of all the songs

The music is available on a CD of backing tracks.
There are also full arrangements for

  • Piano/vocal score
  • Bass
  • Guitar
  • Drums


The hacks of the Daily Slur in the
BATS Next Generation production in Basingstoke June 2006.
You can now download and read my adaption of The Rumpelstiltskin Racket as a novel on Kindle!
SAMUEL FRENCH Ltd can supply the following:
  • The Books
  • A basic vocal score (melody line and chords).
  • The full piano/vocal score
  • Additional band parts for guitar, bass and drums.
  • Backing tracks on CD
  • They will also let you borrow a perusal script and demo CD.

If you have any questions please contact me at

You can hear some MUSIC DEMOS by going to the top of the page


"The audience loved every moment. I wish all kids' shows were
up to this standard." - Angie Rew, The Scotsman
"A marvellous marvellous show, full of life, laughter, colour and surprise. There was not a person in the audience who was not joining in."
- J B Lane, Festival City
Sammy's Magic Garden

WINNER of 2 Charrington Fringe Awards for Best Show

First professional production at The Polka Theatre, Wimbledon

Sammy moves into an old house along with his lively mum and inventor dad. Almost immediately he is aware of spooky goings on, but only his school friend Alice believes him. Why won't Compost the gardener let him look round? Who leaves messages in his homework book, who owns the mysterious doll that keeps appearing, is the birthday cake really poisoned, what is nasty Miss Nettle's secret and why does the sundial chime at midnight?

An all-year pantomime show with slapstick, music, mad jokes and a songsheet.

"Kjartan Poskitt has once again produced a winning formula" - The Stage

"A masterful comedy, thriller and musical. Guaranteed fun for children and adults" - City limits

The 2015 edition
Casting: 6 main speaking parts (3m 3f) and some chorus characters as further school kids and ghosts. (Minimum cast 10).

Age range: Full family entertainment.

Main scenes: The house living room, the magic garden. There are also other scenes such as street exterior, the kitchen and Sammy's bedroom which can be achieved by a few props and lights.

Music: About 10 fairly easy songs including reprises. Backing tracks available, also piano/vocal score, optional band parts for drums, bass, guitar.

Running time: Act 1 = 50 mins - Act 2 = 45 mins.

SAMMY'S MAGIC GARDEN
CHARACTERS
SAMMY MATTHEWS a schoolboy
ALICE his best friend
EGBERT Sammy's eccentric inventor Dad
GLORIA Sammy's fun-loving mum
MISS NETTLE the evil housekeeper
COMPOST the jolly gardener
SANDRA }
MARTIN } some of Sammy's school friends
KEVIN }
BRIDGET }

Plus a chorus of more schoolfriends and enchanted flower-children.

Note: Sammy can be male or female and Alice can be "Eddie" if required!

SAMMY'S MAGIC GARDEN
SONGS
  • Magic Garden Theme - music
  • School Is Over - Sammy and friends
  • Don't You Know... - Miss Nettle
  • The Weirdest Thing I've Ever Seen - Compost
  • Don't You Know...(reprise) - Miss Nettle
  • Remember There's Nothing To Be Scared Of - Compost
  • Don't Go Into The Garden - Compost
  • Catch The Cat - Gloria, Egbert and kids
  • Flame Of Youth - Gloria and Egbert
  • Remember There's Nothing... (reprise) - Compost
  • It's Nice To See You Again - Flower-Children
  • I'm Not Scared - Sammy, Alice and AUDIENCE!
  • Finale Medley - ALL

Listen to FULL DEMOS of all the songs


Latchmere Theatre production 1987 featuring Ivan Kaye as Compost.
Produced by Chris Fisher.
SAMUEL FRENCH Ltd can supply the following:

You can hear all the songs here and the backing tracks are available as MP3 downloads. If you have any questions please contact me at


To Kjartan Poskitt Home Page

Don't forget that that all shows and music are available from Samuel French (London) Ltd.

U.S.A. visitors - there's also Samuel French Inc (New York)

U.S.A. visitors might also want to see the great theatre bookshop at Moonstruck Drama Bookstore

And here's a really super site to help you with all aspects of performing songs: VOCALIST.ORG.UK

shows for amateurs
amateur dramatics
musical plays
comedy history funny
large cast backing tracks
tapes band parts easy
Henry VIII musical
Guy Fawkes musical
Nell Gwyn musical