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Cover to Original London Cast RecordingBelle

or the Ballad of Dr. Crippen

A music Hall musical in 2 acts by Wolf Mankowitz from a play by Beverley Cross. Music and lyrics by Monty Norman.

Strand Theatre, London - 4 May, 1961 (44 perfs)

Background

First, the mysterious disappearance of a mediocre music-hall artiste, Belle Elmore. Then the flight — questioned by the police, her husband, mild, charming little Doctor Crippen, sails off with his secretary (the other woman) Ethel le Neve. Then the doings — Scotland Yard discovers them in the cellar of Crippen's house. The chase — descriptions circulated by wireless telegraph trace Crippen and Ethel at sea. The arrest — on board the S.S. Montrose off the coast of Canada. The trial — five days of front-page reading. Conviction — for Crippen after the jury has been out only twenty minutes. Aquittal for Ethel as an accessory. The execution. And when it is all over—the arguments: Was the body really Belle? Was the poison meant to kill or just to quieten. WAS IT REALLY MURDER—OR JUST AN ACCIDENT?

These were the ingredients of one of the most dramatic and sensational cases in the history of British justice. A case which made the name of its central figure a household word. A case which has inspired fifty years of non-stop entertainment. Waxworks. Three films. Eight plays. Thirty-nine books. Five hundred and sixty-four newspaper articles.

Musical Numbers

  1. The Ballad of Doctor Crippen
  2. Fifty Years Ago - Lasher and Company
  3. Mister Lasherwood and Might Mick
  4. Bird of Paradise - Belle
  5. Meet Me at the Strand - Jenny and Company
  6. You Are Mine - Ethel
  7. Colonies - Belle and Ladies
  8. The Devil's Bandsman - Mick and Company
  9. The Ballad of Doctor Crippen II - Lasher
  10. Pills. Pills, Pills - Ethel, Mick
  11. Ain't It a Shame? - Mick
  12. Song of Our Future - Ethel and Crippen
  13. Belle - Lasher, Jenny, Mick and Company
  14. Lovely London - Ethel, Crippen and Company
  15. The Bravest of Men Company
  16. A Pint of Wallop - Rosemary
  17. Fairy Godmother - Mick and Jenny
  18. Waltzing With You - Ethel and Company
  19. I Can't Stop Singing - Ethel
  20. Coldwater, Michigan - Crippen and Mark
  21. Don't Ever Leave Me - Ethel
  22. The Policeman's Song - Mick, Lasher, Jenny, Primrose and Petunia
  23. The Ballad of Doctor Crippen III - Lasher
  24. The Dit-Dit Song - Lasher, Crippen, Ethel, Nick &, Company
  25. The Minstrel Show S.S. Montrose Minstrels
  26. The Ballad of Doctor Crippen IV - Lasher
  27. The Dit-Dit Sing (Reprise) - Ethel and Company
  28. The Ballad of Doctor Crippen V - Lasher
  29. The Bravest of Men (Reprise) - Company
  30. You Can't Beat a British Crime - Company


Cast of Characters:

 

Discography:

Original London Cast Recording TER 1048