Hello there, adventurous musical-theatre-goer!
Edward Lear here, author of ‘The Complete Works Of Edward Lear’. I am truly delighted that my nonsense writings are being given a fresh twist as a lively musical for all the family. Yes, even the dog might have a good ‘woof’ of delight, and I’d expect at least a gentle purr of approval from all the Old Fosses out there too!
‘Stuff And Nonsense – The Musical’ is inspired by some of my most-beloved characters, so let me introduce you to our singing and dancing Jumblies …
whose heads are green and hands are blue, Doctor Calico, the Dong with a luminous nose who fell in love with a Jumbly Girl, and the mysterious Akond of Swat. Come and say ‘Hello’, to the Pobble who has no toes and his Aunt Jobiska, the King and Queen of the Pelicans, their daughter Dell, her beau – King Crane (who .. ssshhh … has no webs between his toes). ‘Welcome’, says the Yonghy Bonghy Bo and his beau, the Lady Jingly, and the enigmatic Scroobious Pip, and the Owl and the Pussycat. Lend an ear to Mr Lear, the Quangle Wangle and a multitude of beasts, birds, fish, insects who are all full of Stuff and Nonsense.
Come and join them as they cavort and explore the fantastic Jumbly Lands of Bong Trees, Twangum Trees, Crumpetty Trees, the Western Seas, the Torrible Zone, the streams and hills of the Chankley Bore, the Great Gromboolian Plain, the shore of the Bristol Channel. Travel with us to the Nile, the wild and shingly coast of Coromandel, the slippery slopes of Myrtle, and, beyond the Bay of Gurtle, the sunset Isles of Boshen and the Land of Tute.
I hope you enjoy this creative, imaginative and joyfully fantastical extravaganza for all ages … filled with Stuff and Nonsense
Important decisions have been made to enable Lear’s collected writings – ‘The Complete Nonsense Of Edward Lear’ – to be performed as a stage musical.
All the characters are now brought to life under the collective term of ‘Jumblies’. As long as they’ve got some semblance of green hair and blue hands, they’re in the family! Some of the longer poems have been divided into more bite-size sections for modern audiences to appreciate, but also to emphasize important emotional changes within the narrative. Some previously briefly-mentioned characters have been elevated to larger roles, and new limericks to enhance the narrative – which are not published elsewhere – have been created for each of these characters to allow further development. In many places original words have been changed from third to first person to help personalise the songs. In short, several liberties with Lear’s original writings, and the show feels all the better for it!
John Mills, April 1st 2018
‘We went to sea in a sieve, we did, in a sieve we went to sea!’ The Jumblies