It is 1897 the year of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and two famous Music Hall song writers are to host a special jubilee celebration show in front of Queen Victoria herself. As they rehearse the opening number in what they thought was an empty theatre they also remember the hardship, cruelty and privilage of their very different childhoods and tell of the experiences they had together after they escaped unhappiness and became witness to some of the great social and technological changes that took place during the second half of the nineteenth century
As Tilly Nightingale and Sam Dickens tell their story we find out that Tilly had a privilaged childhood but was expected to have no ambition other than to marry and Sam was an orphan chimney sweep’s climbing boy in the employ of the evil Barnabus Smudge. We find out why they named themselves after famous people of the time, how Tilly started to write songs against her parent’s wishes and how Sam first escaped his cruel life with the help of friendly canal boat people and eventually became the other half of the famous song writing team.
There is an optional workshop session which is designed to follow on from the play and develop and reinforce some of the themes. Here the 2 performers work with class size groups.