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CAMELOT

Cover to Original London Cast Recording

Music by Frederick Loewe; Libretto and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner; (based on "The Once And Future King" by

Majestic Theatre, New York - December 3, 1960 (873 perfs)
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London - August 19, 1964 (518 perfs)


The Story

(5th century Britain)

Guenevere journeys to Camelot to become Arthur's Queen. The entire court, apart from Arthur whom she has never met, comes to greet her. Nervous and shy, he is hiding in nearby woods. Presently, he is joined by Guenevere who has slipped away from the ceremony of welcome. They are soon charmed by each other and go forth happily to the wedding.

Arthur's tutor, the magician Merlin, is lured away but not before he has inspired Arthur to favour the establishment of peace and brotherhood. The fame of Arthur's Order of the Round Table brings the cream of Europe's knighthood to Camelot. No knight is more renowned than Lancelot du Lac, although the Queen and courtiers think the young Frenchman's reputation must be inflated. She encourages three knights to challenge him in the lists.

Lancelot quickly defeats all three knights in the jousting match and the Queen becomes attracted to him and he finds himself in love with her. Torn between this love and his devotion to Arthur, he asks permission to leave Camelot for foreign conquests. Two years later he returns to be made a Knight of the Round Table and realises that he still loves Guenevere. Mordred, Arthur's illegitimate son, arrives at Camelot to dishonour the King in order to gain the throne. With the help of his sorceress aunt, Morgan le Fey, he traps Arthur in the forest.

Then Mordred finds Lancelot in the Queen's Chambers, accuses him of treachery and imprisons him. Lancelot escapes but Guenevere is sentenced to burn. She is rescued by Lancelot at the last moment and he takes her off to France. Arthur must now wage war on France, even though he forgives Lancelot and Guenevere before the battle.

As a final gesture of hope for the future, Arthur sends a young boy, Thomas Mallory, back to England with orders to tell another generation of Camelot's ideals.

Musical Numbers

  1. I Wonder What The King Is Doing Tonight - Arthur
  2. The Simple Joys of Maidenhood - Guenevere
  3. Camelot - Arthur, Guenevere
  4. Follow Me - Nimue
  5. C'est Moi - Lancelot
  6. The Lusty Month of May - Guenevere & Ensemble
  7. Take Me To the Fair - Guenevere, Knights and Ensemble
  8. How To Handle A Woman - Arthur
  9. The Jousts - Arthur, Guenevere & Ensemble
  10. Before I Gaze At You Again - Guenevere
  11. Fie On Goodness - Knights, Male Ensemble
  12. If Ever I Would Leave You - Lancelot
  13. The Seven Deadly Virtues - Mordred
  14. What Do The Simple Folk Do - Arthur, Guenevere
  15. The Persuasion - Mordred and Morgan le Fey
  16. I Loved You Once In Silence - Guenevere
  17. Guenevere - Ensemble

Characters:

Arthur
Merlin
Guenevere
Lancelot
Pellinore
Mordred
Morgan le Fey
Tom of Warwick
Sir Dinadan
Sir Lionel
Sir Sagramore
Sir Clarius
Squire Dap
Lady Anne
Lady Sybil

Lord and Ladies of Camelot

Guilliam
Colgrevance
Bliant
Castor
Two Heralds
A Page
Nimue

Scenes and Settings

ACT I

Scene 1 - A hilltop near Camelot, a long time ago
Scene 2 - The same - as night falls
Scene 3 - The Royal Ante-Chamber - five years later
Scene 4 - The Countryside near Camelot - a few months later
Scene 5 - A garden near the castle - immediately following
Scene 6 - The Ante-Chamber - two weeks later
Scene 7 - The Jousting Fields - first light the following Saturday
Scene 8 - The same - the Jousts - that day
Scene 9 - The Ante-Chamber - late afternoon the same day
Scene 10 - Outside the Chapel - that night
Scene 11 - The Great Hall - immediately following

ACT II

Scene 1 - The Castle Terrace - a few years later
Scene 2 - The Ante-Chamber - a month later
Scene 3 - Near the forest of Morgan le Fey - next day
Scene 4 - The Forest of Morgan le Fey - immediately following
Scene 5 - A castle corridor - that night
Scene 6 - the Bedchamber - immediately following
Scene 7 - The Battlements - several days later
Scene 8 - France, between the opposing armies - some weeks later

 

Instrumentation

(Total number of books = 16)

2 Violins I/II; 2nd Reed Oboe/Cor Anglais; 1 Trombone I; 1 Violin III; 3rd Reed Clarinet l/Alto Sax; 1 Trombone II; 1 Viola; 4th Reed Clarinet II/Bass Clarinet; 1 Percussion; 1 Cello; Alto Sax/Tenor Sax; 1 Conductor Score - annotated vocal score; 1 Double Bass; 1 Trumpet I; 1st Reed Flute/Picc; 1 Trumpet II;