The Good Companions
a musical in 2 acts based on the novel by J.B. Priestley. Book by Ronald Harwood.
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer, Music by André Previn
Her Majesty's Theatre, London - 7 November, 1974 (252 perfs)
Yorkshireman Jess Oakroyd, a joiner and carpenter, gets the sack during the Depression and after a family quarrel hits the road. He meets young Elizabeth Trant, motoring in search of adventure, and together they deliver a crate of clothes she promised barmaid Effie to get to Elsie, her actress sister. Elsie's troupe, the Dinky Doos, have meanwhile picked up a young runaway schoolteacher Inigo Jollifant, a fabulous pianist and songwriter who is smitten with Dinky's singer Susie Dean. Unfortunately the troupe are on their last financial legs but the infusion of new talent plus Oakroyd as handyman convinces Miss Trant to back the outfit which she renames The Good Companions.
They go from success to success, but Inigo's efforts to sell Susie to a big London agency are thwarted when a gang of toughs employed by a rival break up the act and knock out the agent. Luckily, rich Lady Partlett falls for Good Companion Jerry - they wed, and Lady P's influences secure a promise of fame and fortune for all in London.
Oakroyd hears his wife is ill, returns North and after making up their quarrel, she dies. Left alone, he gets a letter from Miss Trant enclosing a hundred pounds followed by a telegram from daughter Lily in Canada there is a home for him there, and plenty of work.
- Goodbye - Dinky Doos & chorus - "G'bye, we 'ate t'say g'bye"
- Camaraderie - Jerry, Susie, Mr & Mrs Joe, Nunn, Elsie & Chorus - "We 'aven't got a threepenny piece"
- All Mucked Up - Jess & male chorus - "All mucked up … it's all mucked up"
4a - The Pools - Jess & male chorus
Transition music to No 5
- Aye Lad - Jess, Sam and Ted - "I tried to 'elp a chap today"
- The Great North Road - Jess - "When you've been 'ad and the world seems agin you"
- Footloose - Miss Trant - "When you've been left an estate that's a bother"
- Gaudeamus - Female chorus (offstage) - "Gaudeamus igitur"
8a - Poor Schoolmaster - Inigo with piano - "Poor schoolmasters stick together"
- On My Way - Inigo - "In partes res omnes gallia est divisa"
- Slippin' Around the Corner - Inigo with Mitchum, banjo
- May I Have the Pleasure of Your Company? - Mitchum and Inigo - "May I have the pleasure of your company?
- Stage Struck - Susie - "In my crib I was stage struck"
- The Dance Of Life - Miss Trant - "The dance of life begins"
- The Pleasure of Your Company - Inigo and chorus
- The Pools (Reprise) - Jess - "Son of a double-barelled gun"
- Good Companions - Inigo, Mitchum & Company - "When voyagers are cast away on strange exotic lands"
- ENTR'ACTE - Orchestra
- Slippin' Around the Corner - Jerry - "Slippin' around the corner to the Rose and Crown"
- A Little Travelling Music - Mitchum, Jerry, Susie, Elsie and chorus - "A little travelling music, Professor if you please"
- Black Week Medley - Mitchum, Inigo, and Miss Trant - "Dear pal of mine, I;m at the seaside"
- And Points Beyond - Jess, Susie, Mitchum, Inigo, Elsie, Jerry, Miss Trant, Miss Thong and Mrs Joe - "Well there's Manchester 'n' Chester 'n' "
- Darkest Before Dawn - Miss Trant - "I'm no philosopher, nor do I wish to be"
- Goodbye (Reprise) - Good Companions and Chorus - "We hate t'say good-bye"
- Susie For Everybody - Inigo and Susie - "Strictly off the record would you say"
- Ta, Luv - Jess - "Ta, luv, a great big hurrah luv"
- SCENE LINK
- I'll Tell the World - Jerry, Susie, Inigo and Chorus - "I'll tell the world that it's a wonderful day"
- Stage Door John - Susie - "Stage door John
28a - Stage Door John"
- Jess's Letter - Orchestra under dialogue
- Ta, Luv and Good Companions (Reprise)
- A Little Travellin' Music - Bows - Orchestra
- The Pleasure of Your Company (Reprise) - Full company
- Good Companions - Final reprise
- PLAY-OUT - Orchestra
Mr Joe Brundit - Baritone
Mrs Joe Brundit - Mezzo-Soprano
Susie Dean - Mezzo-Soprano and dancer
Jerry Jerninghma - Light Baritone and Dancer
Elsie Longstaffe - Soprano
Jimmu Nunn - Baritone
Morton Mitchum - Baritone (Banjo player)
Inigo Jollifant - Baritone (pianist)
Elizabeth Trant - Contralto
Jess Oakroyd - Baritone
Sam Oglethorpe - Baritone (few bars only)
Ted - Baritone (few bars only)
Miss Thong - Mezzo-Soprano (few bars only)
27 non-singing parts
Chorus of Stage hands, waiters, football crowd, porters, a theatre audience and thugs
Synopsis of Scenes:
1. Stage of the Assembly Rooms, Rawsley
3. Kitchen of Ogden Street
4. Back of a large lorry
5. Rawsley (empty stage)
6. Hall of a Cotswold house
7. Rawsley (as scene 5)
8. Washbury Manor School
9. Dullingham Junction
10 On the road the Rawsley
11 Rawsley (as scene 5)
12 Royal Standard Dining Rooms
1. Assembly Rooms, Rawsley
2. Crewe Railway Station
3. Sandybay Railway Station
4. The Pier, Sandybay
5. The Green Room
6. Dressing-room, Sandybay Pavilion
7. Miss Trant's hotel, Sandybay
8. London Restaurant
9. Sandybay (Empty stage)
10 Ogden Street, Bruddersford
11 Quayside, Southampton