The Puppet Showman

An original musical to be performed by children, adapted from the story of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen

music and lyrics by Julie Argyle-Cross; story and lyrics by Andrew Ferguson

The Puppet Showman Product Image Synopsis

Characters

Setting

Sample Teaching Tracks

Sample Backing Tracks

Script, Score, Teaching and Backing Tracks,
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SYNOPSIS, ACT 1

This is the story of the transformation of the Puppet Showman through his encounter with the Student of Science. The Puppet Showman has always wanted to work with real actors, but the unexpected happens when his puppets come to life. The production also features the plays of the Puppet Showman, including the “The Offbeat Drummer”, a delightful tale of a new recruit to a band of drummers.

The show opens as the Puppet Showman is finishing a performance onstage with hand-held puppets; the cast of the show, as human ‘puppets’, sing offstage of their happiness when performing in the plays written by the Puppet Showman. He is very successful with his plays, yet the Puppet Showman has grown old and weary and there is talk of him retiring. Throughout the show, two narrators comment on the action and discuss the characters.

In the first scene the narrators introduce each of the main groups of puppets: the drummers, the dancers, townsfolk and the Royal Family. All are preparing for the wedding of the Princess. In the second scene the Puppet Showman sets up his stage to prepare for the performance of “The Offbeat Drummer”. This play within a play is Scene Three: a band of drummers is preparing to practise for the wedding celebrations. They are concerned that one of their members is missing, especially as there is talk of robbers in the woods. The missing drummer turns up eventually with a strange child, found wandering in the woods, who requests to be allowed to play in the band. This new recruit causes problems, though, by playing off the beat. Eventually the Offbeat Drummer’s new way of drumming is incorporated into the group and the child’s dream of playing in the band is fulfilled.

In the final scene of Act One the Student of Science is introduced, emerging from the audience and promising to share new knowledge with the Puppet Showman, not however before the final puppet play of Act One – the King and Queen entertain the townsfolk with a banquet. All jubilantly prepare for the wedding. At the end of the scene the narrators argue over the fact that one of them has told the audience the plot developments in Act Two.

SYNOPSIS, ACT 2

The second act begins with the Student of Science singing of his/her “Theories on Life”. The Student of Science then offers the Puppet Showman the opportunity to work with a troupe of real actors – the puppets are brought to life through the magnetic powers of a spiral coil. In the second scene the reality of a group of egotistical and argumentative adults is too much for the Puppet Showman. He is unable to direct his plays, the actors will not work together in a cooperative manner. The scene culminates in a huge argument amongst the actors, after which the Puppet Showman wishes that the humans return to being puppets.

The Student of Science has disappeared, as the Puppet Showman awakens in Scene Four, as if from a dream. He realizes that his ambitions to change his puppets were foolish – he has a genuine calling in the world to entertain people with his puppet plays. The Puppet Showman finds new energy and enthusiasm for this work. The last scene is a joyous celebration, the puppet show that all have been waiting for – “The Wedding of the Princess”. The proceedings are threatened by the robbers, but all is resolved in a grand finale in which each of the groups of puppets is able to contribute to the wedding celebration.

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Script, Score, Teaching and Backing Tracks,
Copying and Performing Rights
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CHARACTERS (in order of appearance)

THE PUPPET SHOWMAN
FIRST NARRATOR
SECOND NARRATOR
HEAD DRUMMER
DRUMMER #1 – spokesperson for the drummers
DRUMMER #2 – a very nervous person
DRUMMER #3
DRUMMER #4
DRUMMER #5
DRUMMER #6
THE OFFBEAT DRUMMER
PARENTS OF OFFBEAT DRUMMER – cameo singing roles
KING
QUEEN
PRINCESS
PRINCE
STUDENT OF SCIENCE
LEAD DANCER
COUSIN #1

CHORUS

DRUMMERS
TOWNSFOLK
DANCERS
“ROBBERS” (COUSINS)

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TIME

Long ago. Characters may be dressed in costumes of various periods, simply or elaborately – general feeling of the Middle Ages.

PLACE

The stage is bare. The action takes place in various locations, but none requires a set, as each is clearly explained to the audience. Access into the audience from the stage is necessary

USE OF TEACHING AND BACKING TRACKS

We recommend that during the rehearsal period the performers become less and less dependent on the teaching tracks, so that they are ready to perform the show with the backing tracks only.

The teaching tracks have all the individual vocal musical numbers provided, but do not include incidental music or reprises. As such, the teaching tracks cannot be used for a performance.

The backing tracks have all the musical numbers, plus incidental music, separately provided in order, allowing the tracks to be run through sequentially, with appropriate pauses for dialogue.

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Script, Score, Teaching and Backing Tracks,
Copying and Performing Rights
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SAMPLE TEACHING TRACKS

1. “All in time with one another”

2. “The Argument”

3. “Holus Bolus Rock ‘n’ Rollus”

4. “Jubilations and celebrations”

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Script, Score, Teaching and Backing Tracks,
Copying and Performing Rights
ALL AVAILABLE NOW – SHOP HERE

SAMPLE BACKING TRACKS

1. “All in time with one another”

2. “The Argument”

3. “Holus Bolus Rock ‘n’ Rollus”

4. “Jubilations and celebrations”

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Script, Score, Teaching and Backing Tracks,
Copying and Performing Rights
ALL AVAILABLE NOW – SHOP HERE