Whittington by Les Emmans
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"Whittington" is not a pantomime, though it does include elements of the panto story. It was written as a result of a request for a work suitable for a largish junior school where all ages could take part and where rehearsal and preparation would not be too demanding.

Historical Background to Whittington

The Richard Whittington of real life is not much like the "Dick" of popular pantomime. Born around 1358, the son of Sir William Whittington a Gloucestershire land-owner, he was not particularly poor and was apprenticed to the Mercer's Company of London.

Membership of this exclusive body meant that he could trade in valuable cloth such as silk and velvet. He supplied great quantities of luxury fabrics to the Royal Wardrobe and lent considerable sums of money to King Richard II and Henry IV, often letting the debt slip by, thus ensuring powerful royal support and patronage.

He made a great deal of money from the export of wool, and gave much to charity. He was actually Mayor of London four times. (The title "Lord Mayor" was not used in his time.) He married Alice, daughter of Sir Ivor Fitzwaryn of Dorset, and died in 1423.

The legend of Dick Whittington, his cat and Bow Bells, has grown over the years, and as it makes such a lovely story, we just could not resist including some of it in our "true story". After all, Richard almost certainly had a pet cat (most did in those days), he married an Alice, and he would certainly have heard Bow Bells as London was very small at that time. (You could walk across it in twenty minutes!)

The Musical

This musical play was written for a school situation in which a number of classes of different ages and abilities were required to take part in a joint performance. It is divided into scenes and sections which can be rehearsed separately and then brought together into a final production with the minimum of joint rehearsal. There are opportunities for a number of short solo performances, though these items are equally effective when sung by a chorus. The work could of course be performed by any size of young theatre company or school group, though it does require quite a large cast for full effect.

It has four solo songs, eight choruses, three duets, two solos with chorus, plus incidental music, dance music and dialogue.

* denotes a singing role
Richard Whittington * - a young 15th Century man
Master Fitzwaryn - a wealthy member of the Mercers Company of London
Captain * - a kindly and sensible seafaring type
Sultan - a friendly potentate of an Eastern or Middle Eastern country
Mrs Hogg * - housekeeper to Master Fitwaryn, a tyrant, unhappy with her lot
Alice Fitwaryn * - a young 15th Century girl, befriends Richard
Cat * - taken in from the street by Richard (Can be played by either sex)
Tom * - the ships cat, (sings, but doesn't speak. Can be played by either sex)
Supporting Cast
Sir William Whittington - Richard's father
Lady Whittington - Richard's mother
Narrator - optional part, may also read the optional short poem (m/f)
Servant * - employed at the Whittington's family home (m/f)
Stranger - meets Richard in London (m/f)
Voice 1 and 2 - either a sailor or a servant (m/f)
Chief Minister - the Sultan's assistant (m/f)
Official - a member of the Sultan's staff (m/f)
Choruses London - Bell Chorus
  London - Street Traders
  London - Fitwaryn Kitchen Staff / Servants (inc seven small solo parts)
  Morroco - Rats and Mice
  Morroco - Sultan's Courtiers

Click on a title to hear a Windows wma sample. Please note that the numbers below do not relate to the Musical Numbers in the script/score.
  1) The London Streets (#) Richard & Servant
  2) Street Cries (#) Street Traders
  3) It's Just Not Right (+) Mrs Hogg & Kitchen Staff
  4) Alice's Song (+) Alice
  5) The Housekeepers Song Mrs Hogg
  6) The Two Of Us Richard
  7) Good Gracious Me Mrs Hogg & Kitchen Staff
  8) Alice And Richard Alice & Richard
  9) Hornpipe Song (+) Captain & Sailors
 10) On The Sea Chorus
 11) We're Rather Lucky Rats And Mice (&) Rats & Mice
 12) Oh! What A Calamity (+) Sultan's Courtiers
 13) A Cat? Sultan's Courtiers
 14) Cat's Duet (+) Cat & Tom
 15) Good Gracious Me (Reprise) (&) Richard, Alice, Fitzw'n, Cap'n, Sailors, Kitchen Svnts
 16) Closing Dance (#) Company
 17) Curtain Calls / Playout Company
(#) from the Backing Tracks CD (Performance section)
(&) from the Backing Tracks CD (Rehearsal section)
(+) recorded at a live performance at school

Schools who wish to order using Official Orders and Invoicing may do so by adding those items required to the Shopping Basket as normal. Please make sure you have an Official Order Number and the school e-mail address BEFORE you get to the Checkout.
Printed Script (Paperback, A5, 24 pages, 40g)
Order a rehearsal quantity of 7 scripts to provide one each to the principal actors, one to the Director and two for Backstage staff.
Price : 4.50      

Printed Piano Score (Paperback, A4, 26 pages, 110g)
Price : 9.80      

Backing Tracks CD
All the musical backing you need if you have no orchestra. The CD contains both rehearsal tracks and performance tracks. Please enquire for details.
Price : 12.75      

Perusal Service
Rent a script, piano score and a vocal sampler CD. Max of three titles on any one occasion. See Perusal Service for further details. UK Customers only.
Price : 2.50      

The royalty fees below are payable for each performance given to an audience, where the seating capacity of the venue does not exceed 200. Obtain a quotation by either completing the Application at the Credit Card payment Checkout, or mail-in our printed Application Form.
Schools :
£ 15.00
Amateur Groups :

Suitable For :
Duration : 45 mins
Acts : 1
: 4m, 2f, 2m/f
: 1m, 1f, 6m/f
Other Historical Items
1605 And All That

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