Eminent historian Oliver Cyriax cracks open Brackenbury Museum’s archive and breaks into song with Diana Dors.
This futuristic piece from the 1950s had a glittering first night at the Tabard.
My old friend Kathryn (Bigelow) agrees it has promise. Backers for a revival,
Act 1: the villagers gather outside St Michael’s Chapel for Sunday Service in a
thinly-disguised Ruritarian village. Lucy’s parents are angling for a free
education (“Relatively Recent Converts”). Locals clad in Lederhosen exchange
gossip about how much their houses are worth. This vibrant all-white ethnic
community has fallen prey to a cult: their High Priest is a charismatic Estate
Agent! At divine service, he preaches the Gospel of Rising Property (“The Only
Way is Up”) accompanied in descant by massed ranks of negotiators. A Divorce
Shop is in the sacristy (“It all seemed to be going so well”). Fat lawyers loll
around singing dirges (“We very much regret to say… that you’ve got to pay and
pay… Please send your remittance / it’s only a pittance / to fund second
chateaux / not forgetting our bateaux”).
Lucy sobs when she realizes her father has signed her away as apprentice to an
estate agent – until she spots a handsome young man lugging an organic deer by
the antlers. He strangled it with his bare hands in Ravenscourt. He is bronzed
and healthy: the leader of the local signwriters. He tells Lucy she can be free.
There is a better life. They can rent. The young couple sing songs about how
much they love each before eloping to a life of disappointing penury.
Act 2: the tables have turned – signwriters rake in hugely-inflated wage packets
while property-owners stump around in clogs. There was a crash (“White truffles
are so yesterday”). Lucy misses her dog and old parents.
Act 3: (which I personally think needs more work): the reunited families agree
to leave their cares behind. They board a giant airship for a new life on a
distant planet where everything will be the same but somehow better (“By the
time we get to Kidston”).