Songs of a New Age
by Martin Coslett and David Lewis
Based on the Victorian Novel "Stephan Langton" by Martin Tupper of Albury, Surrey: The story of Stephen Langton, a 13th Century Hero, the Statesman who persuaded King John to sign the Magna Carta
The musical follows the life of Stephen Langton, who was Archbishop of Canterbury at the time of the Magna Carta. It begins with the battle of church versus state in a previous era - the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket by the King's men.
Twenty years later, in a Surrey village the show traces the relationship between the young Stephen and Alice, his girlfriend. When Alice is brutally beaten by Prince John's men, Stephen believes her to be dead and vows revenge upon John and his tyrannical ways. He devotes himself to the church and flees to France. Alice recovers however, and is slowly brought back to health by nuns and similarly devotes herself to "Gods work".
Stephen, as an up and coming religious leader achieves "the ear" of the Pope, and with the help of powerful papal influence, totally against the wishes of King John and his "yes-men", eventually becomes Archbishop of Canterbury.
Despite many obstacles, Stephen returns to England and Alice. He reaffirms his vow to overthrow John and free England from his evil power.
With the help of the Barons a charter is prepared. This becomes the Magna Carta and is Stephen Langton's greatest achievement.
Casting - Total Cast 25+
- STEPHEN LANGTON (Tenor) - a difficult and large part, demanding a good actor and singer required to show all levels of emotion. Needs to age from early twenties to an old man. Vocal Range:C to C (2 octaves)
- ALICE (Mezzo- Soprano) - Stephen's love. A fairly straight part of medium size with four ballad type songs. Also needs to age. Vocal Range: G below middle C to E at top of treble clef.
- PRINCE/KING JOHN (Baritone) - The "heavy" of the show required to be a nasty piece of work. Needs a loud, dominant but in the end sensitive performance.
- POPE (Bass) - A dominating, angry but majestic character. Vocal Range:D below bass clef to D above.
- Fawkes de Breaute (John's man) (B/Baritone)
- William Marshal (Baron ) (Baritone) - powerful old knight
- John de Grey (Bishop) (Bass)
- The Prior (B/Baritone)
- The Nuns (4 or more) (Altos / Sopranos)
- Abbess (Alto)
- Soothsayer - The King's fool Peter De Pomfret (of Pontefract?) - devil's advocate (fortune teller/mad Jester - the polar opposite to the Prior)
- Fontneuf - a French Herald (Baritone) -sings Letter from France)
- The Serfs (3 + extra 'people') (Tenor/Bass/Soprano)
- The Barons (3) (Tenors/Bass)
- The Bishops/Monks (3) (Tenor / Bass) 2 comics - friends of the Prior with mixed loyalties.
- John's Men (Baritone & Bass)
- Peasants and People (Mixed voices)
List of Scenes for Song of the New Age(c1999)
AT LEAST 4 ADAPTABLE SCENES ARE NEEDED:
- 4.FIELD/SILENT POOL
SCENE 1: MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL
1a - Becket's death -In Silhouette
SCENE 2: THE MARKET PLACE
1b - Have you heard?
2. - Men of Stone - Prince John's men attack but are driven off by villagers surrounding Fawkes the leader(?)
3. Song of the New Age
SCENE 3 : PRINCE JOHN'S CASTLE
4. John's Paranoia/ Men of Stone pt 2
SCENE 4A: THE MARKET-FOREST PATH LEADING TO ST MARTHA'S CHURCH
5.- To be with you
6. - Attack
7a.- I'm Burning for you - Stephen sees Alice on the ground and carries her "body" to St Martha's church during instrumental-puts her on altar.
SCENE 4B INSIDE ST MARTHA'S
7b The Vow
8. Sister,Sister -Stephen leaves Alice when he sees the nuns arrive
SCENE 5:BISHOP'S MEETING PLACE
9. Piece of the cross - The Prior is the only one who is not persuaded that De Gray has the answer.
SCENE 6:-2 CHAPELS SPLIT STAGE-Stephen and Alice are ordained
10. I've Forgotten How to Love: Monksgate
SCENE 7: CHAPEL:PRIOR and STEPHEN
SCENE 8: MARKET PLACE
11b. Prior and Stephen / 11b Cat
12. Peel the Past Away a) Vow 2/
SCENE 9 (13) SILENT POOL/COURT SCENE (SPLIT)
SCENE 10: MARKET PLACE+JOHN'S CASTLE (time passing)
14. Have You Heard?(pt 2)
SCENE 11:Clergy meeting place
15. Letter from France
SCENE 12:COURT SCENE 2 (BARON'S BANQUET)/BY THE SILENT POOL
16. Court Scene 2/The Silent Pool /Court Sc
SCENE 13:THE VATICAN and ENGLAND.
17. The Man I Admire
18. Something Starts (All characters and groups are seen)nbsp;
SCENE 1: JOHN'S CASTLE
19. Profit and Loss
SCENE 2: SPLIT:The Vatican,ROME v JOHN'S CASTLE
21.I Must Be Strong/Cat
SCENE 3: THE HORRORS OF WAR (A & S) (at the SILENT POOL)
22. Meeting the people
SCENE 4: MARSHAL & STEPHEN IN FRANCE/Barons and people in England
23. In France
SCENE 5: ST CATHERINE'S NUNNERY (CHAPEL)
24. You've Forgotten how to love.
SCENE 6: BARON'S AND BISHOPS MEET (CASTLE)
25. Prophet from Loss
SCENE 7: AN ENGLISH FIELD (Dover)
26. The Country I Love
SCENE 8: STEPHEN'S JOURNEY
27.Stephen's Journey,Charter of Words etc }
28. March of the Barons
SCENE 9: (30) Conference #1 (CASTLE)
SCENE 10: (31) Getting Closer (3 split)
SCENE 11: (32) Conference #2 - The squeeze (CASTLES)
SCENE 12: RUNNYMEDE FIELD
34.Give me a pen
SCENE 13:ST CATHERINE'S CHAPEL
36.The Man We Admire/I'd forgotten How to Love (People outside chanting Langton's name)
SCENE 14: RUNNYMEDE FIELD SONA/ANNOUNCING CHARTER
37.Sing a New Song/From Heaven
38.Song of the New Age (reprise) King John reads Charter - people rejoice.
For further information about this show, contact:
Copyright ©: Martin Coslett/David Lewis