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     GRACE DARLING was born in the village of Bamburgh on 24th November 1815 and died of consumption (tuberculosis) in her father's arms at the early age of 27 years..

 

      In September 1838  with her lighthouse keeper father William  they rowed out in a North Sea gale to rescue 9 survivors from the paddle steamer 'The Forfarshire' For this heroic act, she became known as  'The heroine of the Farne Islands' thus becoming a Victorian celebrity, receiving many plaudits and honours as well as having many portraits painted  by well known artists plus one by an  'Artist Anon' and I've used this small fact as the root of my story.

MUSICAL NUMBERS

 * 1.  Overture

   2.   Be Fishermen

   3.   Keeper of the Light

   4.   Who'll Buy My Fish

   5.   Kittens & Kings

   6.   Springtime

   7.   Maypole Dance

   8.   Take One Girl

   9.    Melody

  10.  How Can I Tell

   11.  It's Over My Head

  12.  Reminiscing

* 13.  Only The Sea

  14.  For One Moment

  15.  I Care Nothing for Fame

* 16.  Man of my Dreams

* 17.  In Your Shadow

  16.   Finale (reprise)

THE PLAYERS

 

THE DARLING FAMILY:

WILLIAM   (Father)

THOMASI  (mother)

GRACE @ 11 yrs

GRACE  (adulthood)

ELIZABETH @ 14 yrs

ELIZABETH  (adulthood)

ROBIN - WILLIAM - JOB

THOMASIN - MARY ANN

GEORGE - WILLIAM (2)

THE OTHER MAIN CHARACTERS

JOSEPH SWAN @ 12yrs

JOSEPH SWAN (adult)

ANNIE SWAN (Joe.s mother)

The Forfarshire Survivors

The Bamburgh Fishermen

The  Women of Bamburgh

+ Members of the Chorus

 SYNOPSIS

    Even though Grace achieved world wide recognition, in actual fact she seemed to be a very introvert character and spent most of her short life working with the family on the Longstone'.


      In writing this musical on the life and times of this young woman,  I've taken some poetic license based on a newspaper cutting in the obituary of her death in 1842 stating, 'A young unknown man but thought to be called 'George' (a portrait painter), walked in the cortege.' 


   As little is known of Grace's private life,  I've used this scant information to write a fictitious love story as  I'm pretty sure she must have had friendly relationships with both sexes on the mainland and was thought to have corresponded with the mysterious 'George'?

   Of course my story is centred around the famous rescue and also  illustrates how the media of the times were just as  voracious in pursuit of a 'headline' as they are today.  William Darling wrote in his memoirs that "It was fame that eventually brought about her demise. 

“SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE!"

      It was during the writing of my 1st musical 'Platform Nine'  I was approached by Charlotte Gray & Donna Riley, the producers & directors of 'We Are Theatre' a small progresssive charity funded  amateur company. They were Looking for a new family musical for their group and this all-singing & dancing 50/60s story centred around a main-line station platform was an ideal project. As with all small amateur companies, financing is always the dominant factor but I was perfectly happy to offer it to entirely 'free of charge', on the proviso' they used my original score and added the band parts.

The rest is 'history' suffice to say Platform Nine was a resounding success!

Of course I was introduced to the excited and appreciative cast, all eager to know what my next project would be? Would I consider allowing them to 'Have a Go?' And what the title was?  Which leads nicely to the reason for this pre-amble.

The Grace Darling story was one of the subjects in the school corriculum that had always fascinated me. The roles of women in those times was confined to a strict regime of housework and 'womanly matters.'  Equality of the sexes was still a fair way off and deviation from protocol was met with a raised eyebrow. So when the story of this remarkable feat became 'global' it was to have profound repercussions affecting not only Grace & her father, but the loyalty of family and friends. 

The life and times of this Northumbrian Lass, living in cramped circumstances would have been harsh and unforgiving but these hardy folk would have known no other kind of life so there was always the good seasons to savour before the Winter storms arrived. Now I'm just a simple guy with no a classical training so my initial intention was to write a simple story based around the life and love of this teenager and her friends, however in my research I found very little mention of any boyfriends, except for a newspaper cutting referring to an "unknown young man walking in the cortege".  From this tiny snippet of information I'd like to think this story, as not purely fictitious, but containing a modicum of truth and a love interest that may well have blossomed except for the one cataclysmic event that was about to overtake this small village,

This is the only recording made of the 'World Premiere' of Grace as filming restrictions were not allowed in this theatre, so I'm afraid the visual and sound quality are sub-standard; However if you're interested in producing Grace Darling. it will give your technical staff  all of the necessary information regarding continuity, choreography etc.  The PDF shows details of dialogue, stage layout and samples of the score.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Whilst there was great excitement and enthusiasm to produce Grace, there was however one big drawback. The cost of paying for a full score arrangement was going to be beyond the meagre finances of this small community theatre and it looked as though they would have to cancel  !!!!! After 2 years in writing, refining, reviewing and reworking the score, I suggested to the Directors that I make an attempt at writing a full orchestral score. Naturally everyone was delighted and willing to wait it out! It actually took 18 months to finally have a complete musical ready for production. This is the orchestration as it appears on this video.

ALL OF THE ORCHESTRAL SCORE IS STILL AVAILABLE IN mp3 FORMAT FOR AN ADDITIONAL COST of $180.00 

Order Reference Numbers:

DAW 27O9367 & 8

Total Price: $70.00

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