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Original Cast RecordingGay's the Word

Book and music by Ivor Novello. Lyrics by Alan Melville

Premiered at the Palace Theatre, Manchester - 17 October 1950
Transferred to the Saville Theatre 16 February, 1951 (504 perfs.)

Gay's The Word is really a series of set pieces linked with dialogue and sub plot.

The Story

Gay Daventry is to bring a musical to London but which, in the event, it turns out to be a flop. It was a "Novello-type" musical and the author-composer started the show with a satire on his own work. After a Novello love song, Gay leaves the theatre to muse on the show's unlikely prospects.

The ingénue of the show offers Gay £2000 to set up a drama school which she does - in Folkestone. A subplot follows the fortunes of a couple of smugglers who are anxious to use the school as a front for their operations. Teaching her students ballet, Gay drums into her pupils the recipe for success is "Vitality".

Act 2 takes place as the end-of-term show at the Town Hall. The school's dance teacher having resigned means that Gay has to go on stage as a Greek dancer. Other scenes include an auction scene in which Gay, disguised as an auctioneer sells off the contents of her basement, including a trunk used by the smugglers to conceal their contraband. The final scene is the new show which gets Gay and her pupils back on to the professional stage.


Plus Chorus

Musical Numbers

  1. Ruritania - The Boys
  2. Everything Reminds Me Of You - Prince, Linda and Chorus
  3. Guards On Parade - Gay and Boys
  4. It's Bound To Be Right On The Night - Gay
  5. Father Thames - Madame Nicolini and Students
  6. Finder, Please Return - Linda
  7. An Englishman In Love - Peter
  8. If Only He'D Looked My Way - Gay
  9. Vitality! - Gay and Company
  10. Teaching - Madame Nicolini, Monica and Margaret
  11. Vitality! Reprise - Reprise Linda, Gay and Company
  12. Sweet Thames - Linda, Boys and Girls
  13. Gaiety Glad - Gay and Company
  14. If Only He'D Looked My Way Reprise - Gay and Peter
  15. A Matter Of Minutes - Peter and Linda
  16. A Matter Of Minutes Reprise - Peter and Linda
  17. On Such A Night As This - Linda, Girls and Boys
  18. Bees Are Buzzin' - Gay and Company
  19. Bees Are Buzzin' Reprise - Gay and Company
  20. Finale - The Company