Gay's the Word

by  Ivor Novello, Alan Melville

Full Length Musical, Comedy  /  17m, 24f

Gay Daventry, a producer and stage star, goes bankrupt when her new London operetta, similar to a Ruritanian Ivor Novello musical, is a disappointing failure. She agrees with the show's ingénue, Linda, to open a drama school with Linda's money at Gay's country house in Folkestone. Meanwhile, two smugglers hope to use the school as a front for their illegal activities. When she finally presents her show at Town Hall, Gay unexpectedly finds herself onstage with her cast members, and ultimately attempts to auction off her valuables in an attempt to save her school. Little does she know that insodoing she will foil the smugglers and maybe even turn out a hit new show!

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    17m, 24f
  • Duration

    Duration

    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Period, Parody / Spoof, Romantic Comedy
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

Gay Daventry, a producer and stage star, goes bankrupt when her new London operetta, similar to a Ruritanian Ivor Novello musical, is a disappointing failure. She agrees with the show's ingénue, Linda, to open a drama school with Linda's money at Gay's country house in Folkestone. Meanwhile, two smugglers hope to use the school as a front for their illegal activities. When she finally presents her show at Town Hall, Gay unexpectedly finds herself onstage with her cast members, and ultimately attempts to auction off her valuables in an attempt to save her school. Little does she know that insodoing she will foil the smugglers and maybe even turn out a hit new show!
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Reviews

"Written shortly before his death in 1951, Ivor Novello's last musical earns a footnote in the history books." - The Guardian

"Gay’s the Word, being a musical comedy about putting on an amateur musical comedy, is an ideal production for a small company" - The Telegraph 

Keywords

Friendship, Love

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Production

Details

  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Various: a provincial theatre, the Deventry School of Acting,  the town of Folkestone, etc.
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway, Operetta
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Chorus Size: Large

Casting

17m, 24f
GAY DAVENTRY
LINDA
PETER LYNTON
PRINCE
GIRL
STAGE-DOOR KEEPER
BY-STANDER
LUCY
MANAGER
MADAME NICOLINI
BIRDIE
MONICA
MARGARET
CHEADLE
DOREEN
AUDREY
JUNE
SILVANO
NESPOULOS
JULIET
ROSALIND
DESDEMONA
NELL GWYNN
ROMEO
OTHELLO
ORLANDO
BODY
SILVIA
DIANA
HENRY
WYNNA
LAURIE
JOHN
CHRISTINE
MRS. PARKES
SIR CLAUD
DUNSTAN
LARRY
BIDDER 1
BIDDER 2
BIDDER 3
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting
  • Flexible casting
  • Room for Extras
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

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Authors

Ivor Novello

Ivor Novello

Alan Melville

Alan Melville

Gay's the Word premiered at the Palace Theatre, Manchester, England, on October 17, 1950.

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