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Full Length Play, Comedy
6m, 4f, 3m or f
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Minimum Fee: $75 per performance
Full Length Play
Theatre for Young Audiences, Fables/Folktales
Time Period - Greek; Roman & Biblical
Animal spot, Play w/ Music
No Special Cautions
Adult, Senior, Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13), Teen (Age 14 - 18)
College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre
Following the success of their collaboration on Robin Hood, David Wood and Dave and Toni Arthur wrote Jack the Lad, a musical celebration of Jack, the ubiquitous hero or everyman of English legend, myth and folklore – from Little Jack Horner, through Jack and the Beanstalk to Spring Heeled Jack, the Terror of London.
The setting is a gypsy encampment, where a series of Jack tales and songs are performed by the gypsies to celebrate the 80th birthday of their senior member – affectionately known as Jack the Lad. The play, therefore, depicts contemporary gypsy life, as well as traditional gypsy customs and superstitions, and is a delightful amalgam of the traditional arts of story-telling, singing and dancing, with a mumming play, a shadow-mime and puppetry also employed within the main framework.
“…this marvellous show is a comic strip with music… for those who like the hand-clapping, foot-tapping, sing-a-long type of theatre it is a must… and that theatrical rarity these days – solid entertainment for ALL the family. … the whole mood is carried on outside the theatre and in the auditorium with fortune-tellers, hedgehog crisps, candy floss and fiddle players galore giving the whole theatre a showground feel… it is hard to imagine anyone not liking this vibrant and refreshing treat.” - Oldham Evening Chronicle
“…a highly unusual musical… with colourful music, lots of dancing and movement it all adds up to a very pleasant and unsophisticated entertainment which might well provide a first-class Christmas show.” - The Stage
Jack the Lad was commissioned by the Manchester Theatre Library Company, the play was first presented at the Library Theatre, Manchester in 1984.
Roles for Children
N/A (Not a musical)
JACK - 80 year old family elderNELSON - Jack's son, 50-ishMARIA - Jack's daughter-in-law, Nelson's wife, 40-ishZELDY - Jack's granddaughter, Nelson and Maria's daughter, 20-ishROSE - Jack's daughter, 40sTOM - Jack's son-in-law, Rose's husband, 40sYOUNG JACK - Jack's grandson, Rose and Tom's son, 20sFRANK - Jack's grandson, Rose and Tom's son, 20sREUBEN - Jack's sister Alice's son, mid-30sBETSY - Reuben's wife, mid-30sDARREN, CHARLOTTE, JASON - Reuben and Betsy's young childrenBESS - Nelson's lurcher dog
David Wood on Doing It Yourself
David Wood on Getting Started As a Playwright
David Wood on Challenges In His Plays
Interview with David Wood
David Wood has been called "the national children’s dramatist" (London Times). His plays are performed worldwide, and include The Gingerbread Man, The Plotters of Cabbage Patch Corner, Save the Human, Aladdin, Hijack Over Hygenia, Jack the Lad, Larry the Lamb in Toytown, Old Mother Hubbard and The Ideal Gnome Expedition. Among his adaptations are eight Roald Dahl stories (The BFG, The Twits, The ... view full profile
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