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Love Story

A new musical with book and lyrics by Stephen Clark. Music and additional lyrics by Howard Goodall. Based on the screenplay and novel by Erich Segal

Duchess Theatre, London - 6 December, 2010 - 26 February, 2011


Oliver Barrett IV went to Harvard and Jenny Cavilleri to Radcliffe. He was rich, she was poor. He was sporty, she played music. But they fell in love.

This is their story. A celebration of love and life, Love Story will win your heart. And it might just break it.


Oliver Barrett IV comes from a family of wealthy and well-respected Harvard University graduates. At Radcliffe library, the Harvard student meets and falls in love with Jennifer Cavalleri, a working-class, quick-witted Radcliffe College student. Upon graduation from college, the two decide to marry against the wishes of Oliver's father, who thereupon severs ties with his son.

Without his father's financial support, the couple struggles to pay Oliver's way through Harvard Law School with Jenny working as a private school teacher. They rent the top floor of a house near the Law School at 119 Oxford Street, in the Agassiz neighborhood of Cambridge, adjacent to a local laundromat. Graduating third in his class at Harvard Law, Oliver takes a position at a respectable New York law firm.

With Oliver's new income, the pair of 24-year-olds decide to have a child. After failing, they consult a medical specialist, who after repeated tests, informs Oliver that Jenny is ill and will soon die. While this is not stated explicitly, she appears to have leukaemia.

As instructed by his doctor, Oliver attempts to live a "normal life" without telling Jenny of her condition. Jenny nevertheless discovers her ailment after confronting her doctor about her recent illness. With their days together numbered, Jenny begins costly cancer therapy, and Oliver soon becomes unable to afford the multiplying hospital expenses. Desperate, he seeks financial relief from his father. When the senior Barrett asks if he needs the money because he got some girl "in trouble Oliver says yes instead of telling his father the truth about Jenny's condition.

From her hospital bed, Jenny speaks with her father about funeral arrangements, then asks for Oliver. She tells him to avoid blaming himself, and asks him to embrace her tightly before she dies. They lie together on the hospital bed.

The novel also includes the double meaning of a love story between Oliver and his father, highlighted by the scene between Oliver and his father at the end of the book. When Mr. Barrett realizes that Jenny is ill and that his son borrowed the money for her, he immediately sets out for New York. By the time he reaches the hospital, Jenny is dead. Mr. Barrett apologizes to his son, who replies with something Jenny once told him: "Love means never having to say you're sorry."

Musical Numbers

  1. What Can You Say? (Full Company)
  2. Jenny’s Piano Song (Jenny Cavilleri)
  3. Winter’s Night (Jenny Cavilleri, Oliver Barrett IV, Full Company)
  4. Jenny’s Piano Song (reprise) (Jenny Cavilleri)
  5. The Recital (Oliver Barrett IV, Full Company)
  6. What Happens Now? (Oliver Barrett IV, Jenny Cavilleri)
  7. Nocturnes (pre-echo) (Jenny Cavilleri)
  8. Phil’s Piano Song (Phil Cavilleri)
  9. Summer’s Day (Phil Cavilleri, Jenny Cavilleri, Oliver Barrett IV, Full Company)
  10. Pasta (Jenny Cavilleri, Oliver Barrett IV)
  11. Everything We Know (Oliver Barrett IV, Jenny Cavilleri)
  12. The Tide Has Turned (Jenny Cavilleri, Oliver Barrett IV, Full Company)
  13. Nocturnes (Jenny Cavilleri)
  14. Everything We Know (reprise) (Jenny Cavilleri, Oliver Barrett IV)
  15. What Can You Say? (reprise) (Full Company)
  16. Clapping Symphony (Instrumental)