powered by FreeFind


Whistle Down The Wind

Musical in 2 Acts; Music Andrew Lloyd Webber ; Lyrics Jim Steinman ; Book Patricia Knop, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gale Edwards
Based upon 1961 film Whistle Down the Wind and the novel of the same name by Mary Hayley Bell.


Act 1

The show begins in a small church in Louisiana. We join the action just as the congregation are about to sing. After the song, the preacher concludes his sermon, and the congregation go their separate ways - we see the children running and playin , and we are soon introduced to Swallow, Brat and Poor Baby. They meet Ed, who is about to drown some kittens. Swallow manages to save them and the children realise that they should have been home by now. We also meet Earl, who is looking for a place to put up a tent for a revival meeting, where "folks go to dance with snakes" in order to test their faith in Jesus. Back at their home Swallow leaves to go feed the kittens. In the barn, she prays that God will look after the kittens, but is startled by a loud cry, and a man jumps out at her. When she asks who he is, he only manages to moan "Jesus Christ.." before he collapses. She, Brat and Poor Baby promise they won't tell anyone that he is there.

The scene shifts to a bar where Ed is singing to entertain the townspeople. The Sheriff arrives at the bar to warn the town that there is an escaped killer on the loose, and that he could be hiding out nearby. We move back to the barn where The Man wakes to find himself surrounded by children, who all promise to take care of him and to keep his existence a secret. Later that night, Swallow brings him some food, and asks him if he will bring her mother back; "Being the Son of God, it can't be that difficult for you!".

We then meet Candy, a young black girl, and Amos, a white boy, who long to get away from the town they live in, to a place they can be free. The townspeople tell of how the town used to be, and what it must be again.

The children are discussing what it would mean if the mysterious man really were Jesus Christ, and what a difference it would make to their lives. They realise that, if they do everything right, they could save him, and that this could be the night when children rule the world. In the barn, they beg The Man to tell them a story, and he agrees, telling them a story which he says will be in the next Testament. When he finishes, they ask repeatedly what the moral is, and when he admits that he doesn't know. They offer him gifts and promise that they will always love him. Above the stage, we see the adults preparing to hunt down the escaped killer, their anger in complete contrast to the children's innocence and happiness.

Act 2

The second act begins with the townspeople, once again, preparing to hunt down the killer and we see The Man and Swallow in the barn below. The Man asks Swallow to retrieve a package for him, four miles away at the train tunnel. Noticing that she is shaking, he tells her to not to be afraid. Amos arrives at the barn to visit Swallow before he leaves town with Candy. He asks if she will tell him her big secret before he goes. He says if they share secrets, they'll have to seal them with a kiss. The Man, hiding in the barn, overhears their conversations. Swallow asks Amos to take her to the railway tunnel before he can kiss her. There, she retrieves the package, but is almost killed by a train, but Amos manages to push her out of the way in time. Because Amos saved her life, Swallow tells him her secret, that Jesus is back and is hiding in the barn.

They are interrupted by the Sheriff, who thinks he has discovered the killer, and is rather disappointed to find it is only Swallow and Amos! We also see Earl, who has been hiding in the railway tunnel the whole time, and has overheard Swallow's secret. At home, Swallow finds Poor Baby, who is upset because his kitten, which he asked "Jesus" to look after, has died. Swallow suggests they ask "Jesus" why he allowed the kitten to die. In the barn, The Man tells them another story to explain why the kitten died, saying that everyone dies in the end,even the cat.

On the highway, we see Candy waiting for Amos, but when he eventually turns up, its only to ask her where Swallow is, as he says she's in trouble. When he runs off, Candy meets Earl, who says he knows Swallow's big secret, and knows why Amos is rushing off in such a hurry. When he tells Candy, she decides to get back at Amos and Swallow by telling the whole town Swallow's secret, interrupting the revival meeting. The townspeople decide that the killer has to be found once and for all, in order to save the children.

Swallow runs back to the barn to warn The Man that the whole town is heading for the barn to catch him. He says he will have to try and run for it but she begs him to stay, promising that she will protect him. He tries to make her realise that he is not the person she thinks he is. She says that she realises that now, and simply needs him to be whoever he is. When the townspeople get to the barn, they find it surrounded by the kids who are determined not to let them hurt The Man. Swallow is trapped in the barn with him, and he says he will take her hostage, but quickly changes his mind and instead pushes her out of the barn to safety. Left alone, he sets fire to the barn, so that when Swallow manages to get back in, there's no trace of him left. Swallow is convinced he hasn't left for good. Her father tries to make her see that he wasn't Jesus. She still isn't completely convinced, asking "But how do you know?".

Musical Numbers

Act I
  1. The Vaults of Heaven
  2. Overture
  3. I Never Get What I Pray For
  4. Home by Now
  5. It Just Doesn't Get Any Better Than This
  6. Whistle Down the Wind
  7. The Vow
  8. Cold
  9. Unsettled Scores
  10. If Only
  11. Tyre Tracks and Broken Hearts
  12. Safe Haven
  13. Long Overdue for a Miracle
  14. When Children Rule the World
  15. Annie Christmas*
  16. No Matter What
  17. Finale Act 1: No Matter What / When Children Rule the World
Act II
  1. Introduction Act Two
  2. Try Not to Be Afraid
  3. A Kiss Is a Terrible Thing to Waste
  4. If Only (Reprise)
  5. Charlie Christmas*
  6. Off Ramp Exit to Paradise**
  7. Safe Haven (Reprise)
  8. Wrestle With the Devil
  9. The Hunt
  10. Unsettled Scores (Reprise)
  11. Finale: Whistle Down the Wind / When Children Rule the World