The Water Gipsies
A play with music in 2 acts by A. P. Herbert. Music by Vivian Ellis.
- Directed by: Charles Hickman;
- Musical director: Jack Coles;
- Choreography: Narice Allen;
- Scenery: Berkeley Sutcliffe;
- Costumes: Eileen Idare & c.
Theatre Royal, Nottingham - 2 August, 1955 - toured through Manchester, Birmingham.
Winter Garden Theatre, London - Opened 31 August, 1955; closed 24 March, 1956. (239 perfs)
The story concerns the daughters of Albert Bell, an out-of-work Music Hall pit orchestra trumpeter in love with Mrs Higgins, licensee of the local pub. Daughter number one, Lily, who incidentally loathes her name, is a good-natured good-time girl with no real faith in the opposite sex at all; a fact that she demonstrates in her account of her evening out with her flashy boyfriend, Bunny, her duets with him and her final summing up. However, the main interest is the second daughter, Jane. She has three suitors, Mrs Higgins son Ernest, a priggish radical, George Bryan, a posh artist who has come to work in the rural riverside of Hammersmith, and a young illiterate bargee, Fred, who has the soul of a poet and can rhapsodise about life on the canal in the traditional ornamental boats, the pride of bargee life, towed, of course, by the old grey mare. Before Jane, who is essentially an unsophisticated dreamer can end up in honest Fred's arms, she has to dispose of the truculent and possessive Ernest and her own infatuation with artist Bryan. In fact, it is Bryan's final realisation of her innocence that makes him refuse to take advantage of her and send her back to the trusting Fred.
- Why Did You Call Me Lily - Lily
- Clip Clop - Fred
- I Should Worry - Bunny & Lily
- When I'm Washing Up - Jane
- Jane's Prayer - Jane
- Lily's Tale - Lily
- He Doesn't Care - Jane & Mr Bryan
- Castles and Hearts and Roses - Fred
- Peace and Quiet - Mr Green
- The Little Boat - Jane
- Why Should Spring Have All The Flowerrs? - Mrs Higgins & Albert Bell
- This Is Our Secret - Mr Bryan & Jane
- It Would Cramp My Style - Lily & Bunny
- You Never Know With Men - Lily
- World Records SH 228
- Must Close Saturday Records - MCSR 3033