Act One Scene One - Mrs Murdstone's Orphanage For Girls
Song 1: ORPHANS The cruel, tyrannical Mrs Murdstone introduces Olivia, a new orphan, who has been expelled from a local convent for misbehaviour [just girlish naughtiness]. The girls fill her in about the horrible conditions, work [endless sewing] and food [Song 2: SLOP] Dicken, the handyman and slop-maker, not the brightest knife in the drawer, appears & dishes out the slop. Olivia revolts, goes up to Dickens & Mrs M, and asks for less slop, less work. Shock, horror! Mrs M threatens her with The Hole, a damp, underground cell, but Olivia runs off and manages to escape, to the orphans cheers and Mrs M's wrath. [Song 3: Reprise: ORPHANS]
Scene Two A Country Lane
Olivia reflects on the cruelty of the adults she's met so far, and wonders if she'll find happiness anywhere. [Song 4: HAPPINESS SOMEWHERE] Dicken appears, having been sent by Mrs D to catch Olivia, but he proves to be quite nice. He says he would never return her to that hell-hole, and wishes her luck on her journey to London.
Scene Three Covent Garden, London
Song 5: LONDON - Five flower-sellers are seated on the Covent Garden steps, among whom is Eliza Doolittle, and Annie, a lady who both talks posh and has lost her memory of everything up to about ten years ago. Eliza sings:- [Song 6: I WANT TO BE A LADY] and tells the other girls about a dream she had about being made into a lady by a professor. Who should overhear her conversation but George Bernard Shaw, who thinks her dream might make a good play, and takes her to tea at the Ritz. [Song 7: Reprise: I WANT TO BE A LADY] The other girls have a chat, then, as business is slack before the opera, go to tea themselves at a cafe.
Fagin & The Artful Dodger enter, wondering how to earn a living and reminiscing about the old times [before Oliver Twist undid them] [Song 8: GOOD TIMES] Eliza & GB Shaw return from tea, and Olivia enters, new in London. Fagin & Dodger persuade her to ask GB Shaw for directions. As she does so, Dodger lifts GBS's wallet, & he and Dodger flee.
GBS is all for having Olivia arrested, until Eliza intervenes and calms him down. GBS then reveals it was a false wallet that only held two opera tickets, that he couldn't go to anyway. He leaves, having given both Eliza & Olivia a pound in apology for distrusting Olivia. Eliza takes her under her wing, says she can stay with her that night, and in the morning she'll take her to Mrs Dilber, a benevolent old biddy who runs a school for girls. Suddenly Olivia is really happy. [Song 9: SUDDENLY] They leave, and Fagin & Dodger enter. Dodger persuades Fagin that they should use GBS's tickets, and go to the opera. [Song 10: LET'S GO TO THE OPERA] The opera crowd enter and go in. Four hours later, they stagger out. Fagin has lost the will to live, but Dodger is galvanically enthused, and decides he is going to be a singer. [All this during the song, which is Act 1 Finale, and ends with the fat lady singing!]
Scene One - Mrs Dilber's Poor School for Girls
Mrs Dilber introduces today's lesson to the girls, which is about life [Song 11: THAT'S LIFE] Eliza, an old friend of Mrs D, introduces Olivia to her & the girls, then leaves. Olivia gets on splendidly. The routine is lessons in the morning, earning one's keep after that, in whatever way is suitable for each girl's talent. Asked what her particular talent is, Olivia replies she's only really good at singing, which is true. Asked to give an example, Olivia sings a little tune ,which she's known all her life, but of which she only knows a few words. [Song 12: IF THERE'S A STAR] Mrs D decides her place will be in a charity-collecting group for the charity which begins at home! Then a girl, Derbhile comes in, with laundry from Sweeney Todd the barber. Derbhile being Irish, Olivia gets everyone to do:- [Music 13: THE IRISH WASHERWOMAN JIG] Derbhile opens Sweeney's bundle. Not only is it bloodstained, but a severed finger falls out. Olivia persuades Mrs D, who has a dodgy past and is at first reluctant, to take it to the police. Mrs D gives them all a holiday. [Song 14: Reprise: THAT'S LIFE]
Scene Two Covent Garden
The flower sellers are chatting. Annie is late, as she fell downstairs and bumped her head. This brings back a memory of lying in a field with smoke and noise. The bump has jogged her amnesia, and Eliza takes her to see a friend of hers, who can help find out who she is.
Olivia and two girls enter. The 2 girls rattle their charity tins to little effect, so Olivia shows then how to do it, as a crowd comes on. [Song 15: THE CHARITY RAG] Ebenezer Scrooge enters, and she even gets him to contribute! [Song 16: Reprise: THE CHARITY RAG]
Everybody exits except Olivia. Fagin & Dodger enter. Lo and behold they've become straight, and are singers with a Gilbert and Sullivan try-out. They need a young girl singer, and Olivia fits the bill exactly. [Song 17: BE AN ACTOR]
Scene Three - Sherlock Holmes's Study
Eliza introduces Annie to Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, and asks them to find out her identity, Holmes is bored and case-less at the moment and is delighted to take it on board. Annie, left alone, sings:- [Song 18: WHO AM I?]
Scene Four The Savoy Theatre
[Trial by Judge and a new Gilbert & Sullivan piece]]
Song 18: HERE COMES THE JUDGE The Judge [Fagin] enters and asks The Criminal [Dodger] to state his case. [Song 19: THE CRIMINAL'S SONG] This is a typical G & S patter song, quite quick, and the Judge asks for it again, at double tempo [Song 20: Reprise: THE CRIMINAL'S SONG] The Judge is not inclined to clemency, unless someone can put forward mitigating evidence. The Daughter [Olivia] steps forward. [Song 21: THE CONVICT'S CHILD] This tear-jerker reduces the whole court to tears, and the Judge releases The Criminal. After The Judge has left, The Criminal thanks The Daughter, pays her £5, and asks her what her name is. [Song 22: 2nd Reprise: THE CRIMINAL'S SONG]
Scene Five Covent Garden
Annie is having more flashbacks. Holmes and Watson arrive, and disclose that Annie was a victim in a train crash ten years ago, and are about to reveal more when Dodger, Fagin & Olivia appear, to applause, as new theatre stars. Olivia is asked to sing, and starts If There's A Star the 2nd line of which Annie takes over. It transpires that they are mother and daughter! Both then sing [Song 23: Reprise: IF THERE'S A STAR] [IS THIS IS A BIG WEEPIE MOMENT, OR WHAT????]
Mrs D and the girls appear. Mrs D's dodgy record on police files has been expunged as a result of her exposing Sweeney Todd. Holmes and Watson know a Professor Higgins, who can make Eliza's dream come true. Dicken appears. The evil Mrs.Murdstone has been deposed, and the place shut down. Finally, Ebenezer Scrooge offers drinks all round!
Song 24: Finale: OLIVIA
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