Undercover Kids

An original musical loosely based on ‘Emil und die Detektive’ by Erich Kästner

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

Undercover Kids Product Image Synopsis

Characters

Setting

Sample Teaching Tracks

Sample Backing Tracks

Script, Score, Teaching and Backing Tracks,
Copying and Performing Rights
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SYNOPSIS, ACT 1

Emil is a gifted young pianist living in a country town. In the first scene we see him with family and friends at his farewell party. He is going to attend school in the city, where he can have better music tuition than is available at home. Emil’s father informs everyone at the party that Emil has won a scholarship. There are mixed reactions – everyone is pleased for Emil, but Emil’s grandmother, in particular, is worried about him going to city. She describes the dangers and distractions there. Emil is comforted by his mother and father, who both believe that above all, this is a wonderful opportunity for him.

In the second scene, Emil is discovered alone on the train. He is having some doubts about leaving home and is feeling lonely. He is joined by two friendly adults, Samuel and Julia, in the train compartment. They are very interested in Emil’s story and Emil confides in them, telling a secret that he has told nobody else. He has saved a lot of money to buy a keyboard so that he can practise his music where he is going to stay in the city. His aunt, with whom he is to live, only has an old piano. He has this money with him in his bag. During the journey all are amused by a very entertaining train conductor. What Emil does not know though, is that Samuel and Julia are petty thieves. They rob Emil of his money while he is sleeping.

Emil arrives in the city at peak hour. Initially he is surprised at all the people rushing to and fro. He then discovers his loss and is devastated. Furthermore the battery on his mobile phone runs out and he cannot contact his aunt. Emil doesn’t know to whom he can turn, until a gang of kids comes by on their way to school. Once they hear of Emil’s problem, they are more than willing to assist. The ‘Undercover Kids’ live for solving crimes like this.

SYNOPSIS, ACT 2

Act Two opens at Aunt Clara’s house. Eccentric, tarot-reading Aunt Clara lives with her partner, Martin, who is a policeman. They discuss a newspaper report about two criminals. Emil soon realizes that he is not the only person who has been robbed by Samuel and Julia, but Emil does not tell Clara and Martin about his problems. He doesn’t want to appear foolish. In the meantime, the Undercover Kids have started their investigations. They contact Emil and invite him join them at their hide-out. There is some urgency to solve this crime, as the thieves are likely to spend the cash quickly.

The second scene takes place at the gang’s hide-out. Emil is welcomed by the Undercover Kids and has to choose a nickname for himself. All gang members are known by their nicknames. Five of the gang explain how they got their nicknames. The scene ends with discussion as to how the crime is going to be solved. A plan is in place!

In the final scene we discover where the thieves work – a Department Store. They are discussing their dreams for the future. They want to give up crime and lead normal lives. Julia feels ashamed of robbing Emil. What Julia and Samuel do not know is that the Undercover Kids have hidden out in the store after it has been shut and are lying in wait to surprise the thieves. There is a twist to the ending, though, because the Undercover Kids are outwitted by Samuel. Fortunately Clara and Martin are contacted by Emil and the youngsters are rescued by the police. Emil’s money is recovered and the thieves are arrested.

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

CHARACTERS (in order of appearance)

EMIL’S FATHER
EMIL’S GRANDMOTHER
EMIL’S MOTHER
EMIL
SAMUEL
JULIA
TRAIN CONDUCTOR

UNDERCOVER KIDS: (see page 14 of Script for descriptions)
EINSTEIN
JJ
SHORTY
MATA
REXY

CLARA (Emil’s aunt)
MARTIN (Clara’s partner)
Characters A-K
(eleven extra small roles in optional additional dialogue –
see page 27 of Script)

CHORUS

EMIL’S FRIENDS AND RELATIVES
COMMUTERS
‘UNDERCOVER KIDS’ GANG

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Script, Score, Teaching and Backing Tracks,
Copying and Performing Rights
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TIME

The action takes place now. Some terms used by the children may be changed to be better understood by a local audience.

PLACE

The musical can be performed with an elaborate or simple set. The following need to be indicated:

  • Party room at home
  • Train compartment with a passage-way at the back of the compartment
  • Railway platform
  • Dining or living room at home, with table
  • Gang’s hideout – this may be a disused yard, a warehouse, a cellar (or any similar place)
  • Children’s clothing section of a Department Store

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
ALL AVAILABLE NOW – SHOP HERE

SAMPLE TEACHING TRACKS

1. “All the way to the end of the line”

2. “Masters of disguise”

3. “The gang’s all here”

4. “Nicknames”

5. “Kids rule!”

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

SAMPLE BACKING TRACKS

1. “All the way to the end of the line”

2. “Masters of disguise”

3. “The gang’s all here”

4. “Nicknames”

5. “Kids rule!”

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