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THE CARD

The Card - Original logo

A musical in 2 acts based on the novel by Arnold Bennett. Book by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall. Music and lyrics by Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent. Produced at the Bristol Theatre Royal under the management of Cameron Mackintosh and Jimmy Wax 7 June - 30 June, 1973. Opened at the Queens Theatre, London 24 July, 1973 for a run of 130 performances closing 3 November, 1973. Previewed from 12 July, 1973

Directed by Val May; Musical Director: Ray Holder; choreography by Gillian Lynne; Scenery & Costumes by Malcolm Pride


Adapted from the novel by Arnold Bennett, this is a lively tale of a pushy young opportunist in a Potteries town in the early 1900's. A go-getting personality, his disarmingly sharp practices enable him to win over local 'society', outwit influential rivals, sort out his romantic entanglements, and make himself mayor. A very funny show, with catchy songs, it requires only a basic set with 12 variations.

Synopsis

We open with a scene set in Bursley Town Hall where Denry is being installed as Mayor of the town. In 18 flashback scenes we follow the career of Denry Machin from a lowly worker in the employment of of the unsavoury Mr. Duncalf. Denry has the necessary will to succeed, however. Seizing the moment, he purloins some tickets for THE society ball of the year. As these tickets are much coveted, he is able to exchange one for some dancing lessons with a pretty dance instructor, Ruth Earp. Another ticket he exchanges for suitable evening wear. In his new clothes, Denry cuts a dash, so much so, that he ends up dancing at the ball with the Countess of Chell.

His duplicitous life is eventually found out and he leaves Mr Duncalf's employment. He sets up business on his own account - that of rent collector. When he calls on Miss Earp for her rent, she cannot pay. Denry however, wins her over. Ruthlessly he sets out to make his way in the business world where he makes his mark with his invention - a credit card system. He pursuades to Countess of Chell to become the company's patron and things really take off. The final boost to his acceptance in the society he craves - and to his fortune - is when he supplies a famous star to the town's poorly performing football team.

As he reaches to highest level - where the play begins - he abandons Ruth who has been at his side, urging him along, and supporting him in his efforts. Denry has fallen in love with his adoring secretary, Nellie Cotterill.

Principals:

4 female, 5 male (3 opt. non-singing) Large chorus with many minor roles

DENRY MACHIN (THE CARD) - A young man full of bright ideas—go-getter type. Light baritone.
RUTH EARP - Impecunious, scheming, 'gold digger' dancing teacher. Modern type vocalist.
NELLIE COTTERILL - Young juvenile lead—rather shy and madly in love with Denry. Mezzo soprano.
THE COUNTESS OF CHELL - Elegant patron and mentor of Denry's little schemes. Non-solo singer but involved in musical numbers.
MRS MACHIN - Typical 'mum-forever' giving Denry good advice. Non-singing.
MR DUNCALF - Loud-mouthed Solicitor—full of his own importance. Baritone: very little singing but odd lines which can be spoken.
MR CALVERT - Councillor and house-owner—kind-hearted. Baritone: very little singing but odd lines which can be spoken.
PARSLOE - Young fellow work-mate of Denry's. Baritone: little singing.
MR SHILLITOE - The tailor—'Uriah Heep' type. Non-singing.
MRS CODELYN - Middle-aged widow—houseowner. Non-singing.
FEARNS & ETCHES - Young men-about-town snobs. Non-singing.
MR & MRS COTTERILL - Parents of Nellie—small parts. Non-singing.
MR BLUNDELL - Owner of ladies underwear shops. Baritone very little singing.
TRUELOVE & PEABODY - Emporium owners—small acting parts. Non-singing.
SIR MAGNUS COPE - Millionaire shipping line owner. Non-singing.
MISS WATKINS - Prim secretary to Ludy Chell. Non-singing.

School Staff, Crewmen, Harbourmaster, Servants, Townspeople etc.


ORIGINAL CAST

Denry Machin - Jim Dale
Mrs Machin - Joan Hickson
Mr Duncalf - John Savident
Herbert Calvert - Michael Malnick
Vicar/Peabody/Feams - Peter Durkin
Young Denry - Gary Bartlett//Michael Scott
Schoolmaster/Crewman - Stephen Holton
Head master/Harbourunster/Mr Blundell/Mayor/Sir Magnus Cope - John J. Moore
Nellie Cotterill - Marti Webb (Liz Bagley)
Parsloe - Alan Norburn
Countess of Chell - Eleanor Bron/Dinah Sheridan
Ruth Tarp - Millicent Martin
Mr Shillitoe/Choi - Keith Galloway
Flunkey/Assistant Harbourmaster/Truelove/Mr Cotterill - Gordon Faith//Jonathan Courage
Etches/Lifeboatman/Crewman/Jock - Jeffery Taylor
Miss Davis/Miss Watkins/Mrs Brett - Liz Moscrop
Miss Nash - Geraldine Long
Miss Tomkins - Karin Gacng
Miss Dixon - Liz Bagley
Miss Caner - Kay Zimmerman
Miss Jones - Judy Hunt
Miss Price - Francesca Lucy
Mrs Codleyn/Mrs Crosby-Cooper - Elisabeth Wade
Job Tansley/Crewman - Albin Pahemik
Bob Buckley/Crewman/Servant - Christopher Beeching
Servant/Townsman John Asquith
(Mrs Hullins)/Mrs Chudd/ Mrs Cotterdl - Beth Boyd
(Mr Blundell)/Joe Callear - Jody Hall

with Yvonne Sommeling, Glenys Groves, Michelle Scott, Roger Farrant

Musical Numbers:

ACT I

  1. HALLELUJAH (Chorus)

  2. NINE TILL FIVE (Denry, Duncalf, Calvert and Chorus) - " Get up in the morning, everybody's in a hurry for sure "
    2a: PLAY-OFF
    2b: INCIDENTAL MUSIC

  3. LEAD ME (Ruth) - " The woman's role in life is to adapt herself "
    3a: INCIDENTAL MUSIC
    3b: INCIDENTAL MUSIC
    3c: INCIDENTAL MUSIC

  4. UNIVERSAL WHITE KID GLOVES (Ruth, Duncalf Shillitoe and Chorus) - " The polka, the polka "
    4a: INCIDENTAL MUSIC—FANFARE
    4b: INCIDENTAL Music
    4c: INCIDENTAL MUSIC

  5. NOBODY THOUGHT OF IT (Denry and Chorus)
    5a: REPRISE: NINE TILL FIVE & NOBODY THOUGHT OF IT (Denry and Chorus)
    5B: INCIDENTAL MUSIC

  6. MOVING ON (Ruth) - " Nothing's working out the way I've planned "
    6a: INCIDENTAL MUSC
    6b: INCIDENTAL. MUSIC

  7. THE ENTERPRISE & COME ALONG AND JOIN US (Denry and Chorus) - " Roll up, come and gather round "
    7a: REPRISE: COME ALONG AND JOIN US (Denry) - " When you've got people near you "

ACT II

ENTR'ACTE

  1. THAT'S THE WAY THE MONEY GROWS (Denry, Nellie, Parsloe, Blundell and Chorus) - " You must speculate to accumulate "
    8a: INCIDENTAL MUSIC
    8b: INCIDENTAL MUSIC
    8c: INCIDENTAL MUSIC—FANFARE
    8d: INCIDENTAL MUSIC—FANFARE

  2. THE CARD (Chorus) - " Just look at me I'm wearing a new hat "
    9a: REPRISE: THE CARD (Chorus) - " Your glasses raise to his praise "

  3. OPPOSITE YOUR SMILE (Drury and Nellie) - " When I'm opposite your smile "

  4. I COULD BE THE ONE (Nellie) - " Once I felt the flame of love would grow "
    11a: INCIDENTAL MUSIC

  5. NOTHING SUCCEEDS LIKE SUCCESS (Denry, Ruth and Chorus) - " See this ring, slip it on your finger "

  6. THE RIGHT MAN (Company) - " Your Grace, Mister Mayor "
    13a: INCIDENTAL MUSIC
    13b: REPRISE: NOBODY THOUGHT OF IT (Delay and Nellie) - " I never thought of it till now "
    13c: REPRISE: HALLELUJAH (Chorus) - " So our Denry then was wed "
    13d: REPRISE: THE CARD (Denry and Company)- " I gave them something no one else could "

  7. THE CARD (BOWS) - Company)
    14a: PLAY-OUT

Scenes and Settings

Period: England in the early 1900s

Act I

Scene 1: Prologue: Bursiey Town Hall
Scene 2: Duncalf's Office
Scene 3: The Dancing Academy
Scene 4: The Tailors
Scene 5: The Machin Kitchen
Scene 6: The Ball
Scene 7: Duncalf's Office
Scene 8: The Streets of Bursley
Scene 9: The Dancing Academy
Scene 10: The Machin Kitchen
Scene 11: Llandudno

Act II

Scene 1: The Universal Thrift Club
Scene 2: Chell Hall
Scene 3: The Town Hall Square
Scene 4: The Machin Kitchen
Scene 5: The Town Hall Square
Scene 6: The Five Towns Hotel
Scene 7: Liverpool Docks
Scene 8: Finale: Bursley Town Hall

Instrumentation:

Reed I (alto sax, clarinet, piccolo), Reed II (tenor sax, clarinet, recorder), Reed III (tenor sax, clarinet, flute), Reed IV (baritone sax, bass clarinet, opt. flute), 3 trumpets, 2 trombones (2nd db. opt. bass trombone), 2 percussion, electric guitar db. opt. acoustic guitar, piano, concertina, violin