Rupert Holmes , the major creative contributor to the musical Drood, spent his early childhood in England. At age three, he would experience theater for the first time when he was taken to a modern "panto", complete with cross-dressing lead boy and audience sing-alongs. Some years later, as an year-old boy fascinated by mystery books, Holmes first discovered the unfinished Dickens novel. Both of those seminal experiences would go on to have a major impact on Holmes when he was first approached to write a new musical by impresario Joseph Papp. From the Dickens work, Holmes took the central plot and most of the featured characters.

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A morning in late December. Later that morning. Dawn, the next day. Cloisterham High Street. The following afternoon. The graveyard of Cloisterham Cathedral. Early Christmas Eve. In front of curtain. The home of John Jasper. A short time later. Minor Canon Corner. Christmas Day. Stage of the Music Hall Royale. Six months later. William Cartwright, Chairman Mr. Victor Grinstead Mr.

James Hitchens Mr. Harry Sayle Mr. Montague Pruitt Mr. Alan Eliot Mr. Nicolas Michael Mr. Phillip Bax???????? Miss Violet Balfour Mr. Christopher Lyon Mr. Nicholas Michael Mr. Medford Moss Mr. As the audience take their seats, the members of the COMPANY mingle with them in the aisles, welcoming them to The Music Hall Royale and explaining how the voting for tonights performance will take place, raising their voices until the theatre is quite ababble.

Angela, my dear, are you out there? And whos that with you then? Good evening and welcome, a very warm welcome to all of you on this most thrilling of evenings here at The Music Hall Royale. Practically, he will probably need a break, which he can take in several of the long stretches that do not require his presence: the ballet, the graveyard scene through the end of the dinner scene His reappearance as narrator from some unexpected part of the stage or theatre can be most dramatic.

Now, as you are no doubt aware, our own Mr. Charles Dickens was full halfway through the creation of The Greatest Mystery Novel Of Our Time, when he committed the one ungenerous deed of his noble career: He Died, leaving behind not the slightest hint as to the outcome he had intended for his bizarre and uncompleted puzzle: The Mystery Of Edwin Drood.

Orchestra begins a stately theme Tonight, however, ladies and gentlemen, when together we reach that point in our story beyond which Charles Dickens wrote No More, I shall be asking you to Vote upon key questions regarding the outcome of our plot.

Our company will then make its most earnest effort to meet this supreme challenge: to contrive An Ending in Accordance with Your Specifications. Kick off your boots, loosen your corsetsand enjoy yourselves! Then, looking down front at an audience member Not that much, madam. Gavel once The Mystery The ancient, moldering cathedral city of Cloisterham! Not a particularly encouraging setting for the Christmas season now upon us. A wintry shudder goes through the giant elms as they shed a gush of tears.

John Jasper, choirmaster of Cloisterham Cathedral. Music segues to a hymn. Ecclesiastical music stops. Gavel bang. Brassy fanfare and huzzahs from the shills. With total disregard of the character HE is portraying, PAGET acknowledges the ensuing applause with a rakish smile, displaying several sets of teeth.

THEY embrace. A warm round of applause if you will for tonights guest artiste and Londons leading actress! Tonight she hides her distinctive form beneath the garb of young Edwin Drood. Ladies and gentlemen: Miss Alice Nutting! She wears cap and trousers, to charming effect. We are smitten Any dinner, Uncle? After all, we do have only a half dozen years or so between our ages. Dont drink yet! I must propose a toast. A toast to what, Ned?

Turns to portrait To Rosa. Surely youve not forgotten that Rosa and I are soon to be wed? DROOD Yes, a tedious ceremony in your creaking cathedral, John, then off with my wonderfully pretty child-bride to dusty Egypt, where I intend to shake things up a bit! Egypt seems a desperate great distance. In heavens name, why?

And of the happiness I wish you and Rosa. Why the devil couldnt they have left us alone? Yes, its all very well for you, Jack. You have the freedom to love whomsoever you choose. Theres a strange film come over your eyes! Ive been forced of late to seek treatment in London. Fear not, the effects will soon be gone.

My dear Uncle! And Ned Both hands, Jack! THEY clasp crossed hands 2. Clive Paget, ladies and gentlemen! Thank you, thank you indeed for that splendid duo!

But to continue our story: Music: underscoring starts Young Edwin Drood is visiting Cloisterham to offer his regards to his bride-to-be, the fair Miss Rosa Bud, who, like Drood, is an orphan.

Rosa resides at Cloisterhams most respectable seminary for young ladies, aptly if not correctly named, The Nuns House. Later than morning. Curtain opens to reveal the conservatory of The Nuns House, a charming room with a piano to one side near French windows, beyond which are trellises and a hint of foliage CHAIRMAN Ladies and gentleman, in the part of Rosa Bud this evening, that most delicate of English roses, that blossoming bud, Music out the unspeakably lovely Deirdre Peregrine!

Music: fanfare. I only pray I may be able to say these words on each of your birthdays. I have awaited your birthday with eagerness. Eagerness, Mr.

And in what condition is your voice today, my dear? Shall I sing the Mozart? A choirmasters pay being what it is, my Lifes Blood is the most I can afford to offer.

Jasper, I cannot sing these words. It would not appear proper. Why, whatever do you mean? From the beginning, please. Thank you, sir. When you sing the words, you must make me feel you mean them! Once again, if you please. I cant bear this! Im frightened! Take me away! SHE collapses. Its all over.


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Sensing that Neville is threatened, however, Rosa immediately afterward informs—not her guardian, lawyer Grewgious, but Neville. Set in the seemingly innocuous cathedral town of Cloisterham, the story rapidly darkens with a sense of impending evil. And, as in the book, he is apprehended outside of time and interrogated about the events of the previous night. Soon a village choirmaster, a chaste orphan betrothed to Drood, and a young stranger in love with the beautiful orphan are ensnared in a web of passion, lust and intrigue. Also by Charles Dickens. Oct 06, Pages Buy.



Summary[ edit ] The novel begins as John Jasper leaves a London opium den. Edwin confides that he has misgivings about his betrothal to Rosa Bud. They quarrel good-naturedly, which they apparently do frequently during his visits. Meanwhile, Jasper, having an interest in the cathedral crypt, seeks the company of Durdles, a man who knows more about the crypt than anyone else.

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