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WITCHWOOD
A  Musical for Secondary Schools and Youth Theatres
MUSIC AND LYRICS BY KATE EDGAR. BOOK BY COLIN WAKEFIELD.            
 
WITCHWOOD is a full length Musical in Two Acts, suitable for mixed or single sex casts, ranging in number from 50 to 300. It is set in a wood (Witchwood) threatened with destruction by proposals for a major road development.The central group is the family whose home and livelihood are most at risk,and the main image is the Great Oak of Witchwood, which will have to be felled to make way for the road. The action moves through the four seasons- a complete annual cycle of the Wood - from Summer, when the plans are first announced, to the following Spring, when the Wood is cut down. WITCHWOOD tells the story of the growing resistance to the plans and of the resultant clashes between (and within) the family, protestors, politicians and developers. It is packed with humour as well as action and, though 'issue based', is primarily designed to entertain and to provide strong acting and musical opportunities for individuals and groups.


CAST

A) The Woodlanders
The Family.
GRANNY FORRESTER: Old. Strong. Resilient. She has lived all her life in the Wood.
GEOFF: Her son, the present Estate Manager. His living and home are under threat.
SUSAN: His wife. Intelligent. A conciliator.
RED: Their first daughter (or son). Tough. Outspoken. A rebel.
BILLIE: Their second daughter (or son). A dreamer. In her element in the Wood.
 
The Animals.
A CHORUS: The closest we get to 'spirits' of the Wood. They may change the foliage of the Great Oak (and the other trees) with the passing of the seasons.
 
B)The Outsiders/Visitors
The Developers.
WOLF: The Chief Developer/Surveyor. Ruthless. Articulate.
SPARROWand STARLING:  His two 'comedy' henchpersons. Incompetent.
MEASURESand LINE:  His two 'heavy' henchpersons. Efficient and sinister.
DEVELOPERS/SURVEYORS /BUILDING  CONTRACTORS
 
The Politicians
MRS.TARA MACADAM:  The Secretary of State for the Environment. Bossy.
ENTOURAGE OF CIVIL SERVANTS: Faceless. Efficient. Well-briefed.
 
The Media
WILMA (or WILLIAM) WHITTINGTON:  News at Ten Reporter.
TV CREW: Director, Cameraperson, Boom Operator, Runner etc.
 
The Protestors
CHORUS OF PECKHAM GIRLS: School class from the Inner City, initially in the Woodon a Nature trail. Aggressive and forthright. Bored at first, but fired by the cause.
TWO TEACHERS: Harrassed, fraught and underpaid!
CAMPING FAMILY: Wife (JENNIFER) and Husband (JULIAN) with children JANET andJOHN.'Model' family from the 1950's readers.
THE PROTESTORS: Large group of 'professional' protestors.
SPARKY: Their leader. WOLF's main antagonist: old rivals from past campaigns.
CROW and ANGEL: SPARKY's chief cohorts.
THE MALVERN MUMS: Large group of JENNIFER's friends. They provide material support for the PROTESTORS. Lots of scope for hearty comedy.
 
Forces of Law and Order
RIOT POLICE, PARAMEDICS etc.
  

CASTING NOTE: WITCHWOOD was commissioned by Malvern Girls' College and first performed there on May 1st 1998. An all-girl cast of 210 was drawn mainly from the 15-17 range, with the PECKHAM GIRLS played by 14 year olds and the ANIMALS by 11-12's. Only three girls had to play men and this could be entirely reversed for a boys' school, with appropriate adjustments to the text. Casting for a mixed school or group would be easier still.

The Groups (i.e ANIMALS, PROTESTORS, DEVELOPERS, PECKHAM GIRLS, MALVERN MUMS) can be of any number. The Musical can be successfully performed with as few as 50 or as many as 300. The Peckham and Malvern references can be changed to suit the locality and casting.


MUSIC
There are sixteen Choral/Group Numbers (including Reprises), and three Solos. These can be performed  just with a piano, but the more instruments that are available - particularly percussion and wind - the better.

DESIGN

The set, costume and lighting designs can be as simple or ambitious as time and resources allow.

The central image is the Great Oak of Witchwood and its foliage should change with the four-season cycle of the Musical. The stage should suggest the depth and density of the Wood, but must leave maximum space for the actors: the full cast is on stage for the penultimate scene. The Great Oak itself should be very sturdy - strong enough for at least two people to sit in its branches. But it will fall at the end.


Contracts for WITCHWOOD are handled by JOSEF WEINBERGER PLAYS. (020 7580 2827) from whom inspection copies are available.

Further information can be obtained from
KATE EDGAR
kateedgar@traditionalpantomimes.co.uk
or COLIN WAKEFIELD 
colwake@btinternet.com

 
IN THIS SECTION
please choose a children's musical
Witchwood Seniors
DragonFire Juniors
Run, Rabbit, Run! Juniors

.

 
 
DRAGON FIRE
A Musical in One Act  for Junior Schools and Youth Groups.
MUSIC AND lYRICS BY KATE EDGAR. BOOK BY COLIN WAKEFIELD.  
Running time: 45 minutes   

DRAGON FIRE takes its inspiration from ancient Japanese folk  tales. It tells of a village terrorised by a ferocious fire-eating Dragon. Patches, a cheeky child, is the only villager brave enough to make the perilous journey across the mountains to visit the wise Goddess who can reveal how the Dragon can be defeated. DRAGON FIRE tells the story of her journey, of the strange creatures she encounters along the way, and of her meeting with the Goddess. The story ends with Patches' triumphant and ingenious defeat of the Dragon.  

DRAGON FIRE was written for an all-girl cast, but can equally be performed by boys or mixed groups. The size of the cast is flexible. There are seven main parts, and six groups of other characters, who can double up as necessary. The ideal age range is 9-13.

CAST
MAIN CHARACTERS:
AKI
HARU

Narrators.They work as a pair, contrasting both physically and in temperament.
PATCHES
Gutsy, imaginative, and free spirited.
GRANDMOTHER
Wise and kind.
PETAL
BLOSSOM

)
Two old crones, friends of Grandmother. Gossipy village elders.
KWANYIN 
Like the great Oz, but the real thing!

 
GROUPS: (Each group includes solo speaking parts)
 
VILLAGERS
MONKEYS
TURTLES
BUTTERFLIES
GOBLIN GUARDS
THE DRAGON (Voiced either by Narrators in chorus, or by off-stage microphone)

 

CASTING NOTE: The casting is very flexible and should suit the requirements of a wide variety of schools and groups. The Musical can be performed with a modest-sized or very large cast. The groups of creatures are designed to tap the specific skills of different students: e.g. the Monkeys can be played by those who are best at gymnastics but who might otherwise not be seen dead in a play.The narrators don't need to be singers. There is something for everyone. 

STAGING NOTE: The style should draw on Japanese Noh and Kabuki traditions. The narrators tell the story and  'make it happen'. They provide the props, direct the staging and help create the effects - e.g. letting down ropes for the tall trees and holding a blue cloth for the lake. The costumes can be as simple or as ornate as time and resources allow. The biggest 'makes' are the turtle shells and butterfly wings, which should be as spectacular as possible - as should be the Dragon.


MUSIC 

There are eleven songs, including four with dances. These can be performed justwith piano, but the more instruments that are available - particularly wind and percussion - the better.

DRAGON FIRE was first performed by Malvern Girls' College (Junior House) on July 1st 1995.

Contracts for DRAGON FIRE are handled by JOSEF WEINBERGER PLAYS (020 7580 2827), from whom inspection copies are available.

Further information can be obtained from
KATE EDGAR
kateedgar@traditionalpantomimes.co.uk
or COLIN WAKEFIELD 
colwake@btinternet.com

IN THIS SECTION
please choose a children's musical
Witchwood Seniors
DragonFire Juniors
Run, Rabbit, Run! Juniors

.
.

 
 
RUN, RABBIT, RUN!
A Musical in Two Acts for Junior Schools and Youth Groups
MUSIC AND LYRICS BY KATE EDGAR. BOOK BY COLIN WAKEFIELD.

Running time: approx. 65 mins. (excluding interval)

RUN, RABBIT, RUN! tells the story of two 'domesticated' rabbits who seek to return home to find their family. Their journey takes them from their  cosy farmhouse environment to a dangerous wood, from which they are lucky to escape with their lives. Reaching their home on the other side, they suffer a rude shock when they discover it has been 'developed' by a large and aggressive colony of rats. Rescued by a posse of friends they met earlier on their journey, they wonder whether the quiet life might not be better after all.

RUN,RABBIT, RUN! was written for an all-girl cast, but can equally be performed by boys or by a mixed group. There are six main parts and eight groups of other characters, who can double up as necessary. The ideal age range is 9-13.

CAST
MAIN CHARACTERS:
NATASHA
EMILY
) Sisters

BOB
MOPS
) Rabbits

DINAH THE MINA
DULUX THE DOG
) Domestic pets

GROUPS:  (Each group features at least one speaking role)
DUCKS  Duck, Drake and 5 Ducklings
SHEEP  Ram, Ewe and 2 Lambs
PIGS  Pig, Sow and 5 Piglets
FIELDMICE Ma, Pa and 6 Little 'uns
SQUIRRELS Gang of 5
BADGERS  Bert, Boris and Ben
FOXES  Reynard, Vix and 5 Cubs
RATS  Queen/King Rat, 2 Henchpersons and 14 Workers
CASTING NOTE: The Musical was written for 64, but is flexible enough to provide for a larger (or slightly smaller) cast. Not all need to be singers, and each group is led by a strong acting part.

 
STAGING NOTE:The animals should on no account be played as cute, Beatrix Potter-type creatures. The two rabbits, in particular, are gutsy characters. The pit fall is easily avoided. The costume designs can help, with all the animals portrayed as recognisable human characters, but with animal accoutrements (e.g. striped waistcoats for the badgers, pig snouts - or trotters - for the pigs, long tails for the foxes). The staging should be flexible enough to sustain the fluidity of a journey, and can be very simple.


MUSIC 

There are eleven songs, including reprises. These can be performed just with piano, but the more instruments that are available - particularly wind and percussion - the better.


RUN,RABBIT, RUN! was commissioned and first performed by Godolphin Prep, Salisbury,on June 15th 2001.

Contracts for RUN, RABBIT, RUN! are handled by JOSEF WEINBERGER PLAYS (020 7580 2827) from whom inspection copies are available.

Further information can be obtained from
KATE EDGAR
kateedgar@traditionalpantomimes.co.uk
or COLIN WAKEFIELD 
colwake@btinternet.com

IN THIS SECTION
please choose a children's musical
Witchwood Seniors
DragonFire Juniors
Run, Rabbit, Run! Juniors

.
.