The Sunshine Girl
is a musical comedy
in two acts with a book by Paul A. Rubens
and Cecil Raleigh, lyrics and music by Rubens and additional lyrics by Arthur Wimperis
. It was produced by George Edwardes
at the Gaiety Theatre
in London, opening on February 24 1912
and running for 336 performances. It starred George Grossmith, Jr.
as Lord Bicester, Edmund Payne
as Floot and Phyllis Dare
as Delia Dale. It also had a Broadway run in 1913.
Port Sunlight is the real life suburb on which the setting of the musical is based. The show introduced the tango to British audiences.
Delia Dale works in the "Sunshine" Soap Factory at Port Sunshine. She loves Vernon Blundell, another worker. But Vernon is really the heir to the whole place who, by terms of his inheritance, has to go five years without getting engaged or married. He wants to be loved for himself, not his position, so he gets his friend Lord Bicester to pose as head of the establishment. Bicester, however, is recognised by his finacée, Lady Rosabelle, and by ex-cabby Floot and his wife, Brenda. Amusing complications ensue, but all ends happily.
Roles and original cast
- Lord Bicester (known as "Bingo," a young Stockbroker) - George Grossmith, Jr.
- Vernon Blundell - Basil Foster
- Commodore Parker (known as "Nosey," of the Blundell Line of Boats) - George Barrett
- Hodson (Chief Manager of the Works) - Tom Walls
- Stepneyak (Manager of the Foreign Department) - Robert Nainby
- Dever, Whitley, Telfridge, Garing, Wears, Nelgrove} (Managers of the various Departments of the Works)
- Clarence (a Footman) - F. Raynham
- Floot (An ex-four-wheeler driver) - Edmund Payne
- Lady Rosabelle Merrydew (Lord Bicester's Fiancée) - Olive May
- Marie Silvaine (Head of the Packing Department at the Works) - Mabel Sealby
- Emmeline (A Workgirl) Essex
- Sybil, May, Lucy, Violet, Lily Kit (Heads of the various Departments)
- Miss Molyneux _ Gladys Wray
- Hon. Miss Grey - Pattie Wells
- Brenda Blacker (Floot's Wife, calling herself by her maiden name) - Connie Ediss
- Delia Dale (of the Perfume Department of the Works) - Phyllis Dare
Act I - Port Sunshine.
- No. 1 - Chorus - "When you want a cake of soap to finish off your toilet, we're the folks who boil it"
- No. 2 - Song - Marie & Chorus - "There's a little fable: When the cat's away, on the kitchen table, mice begin to play"
- No. 3 - Duet - Delia & Vernon - "There is a fever that few understand - you must take care when it is there!"
- No. 4 - Song - Lord Bicester - "Two young chaps may be sent, perhaps, to the same old Public School"
- No. 5 - Duet - Mrs. Blacker & Parker - "It was leg-o'-mutton day when I first met you"
- No. 6 - Chorus of Welcome - "Here comes our new proprietor! Here are we to greet him"
- No. 7 - Duet - Lord Bicester & Delia - "Ladies, you were born to rule us ever since the world began"
- No. 8 - Duet - Marie & Floot - "Man's no longer Lord of all Creation, as he used to be"
- No. 9 - Octet - "Men of Business" - "Each one of us has a special occupation"
- No. 10 - Song - Mrs. Blacker & Chorus - "Lots of people nowadays, they go abroad for a holiday"
- No. 11 - Song - Delia & Chorus - "You should always try to look your very best; men will be impressed"
- No. 12 - Finale - "Now, Mister Blundell, we wait for you instructions; we shall be pleased to do whatever you require" Act II - Mr. Blundell's Private House at Port Sunshine.
- No. 13 - Chorus - "Every kind of party we have read about"
- No. 14 - Song - Emmeline & Chorus - "Here's to love and laughter, never mind what comes after"
- No. 15 - Quartet - Marie, Mrs. Blacker, Floot & Lord Bicester - "When there's a party held upstairs"
- No. 16 - Song - Delia & Chorus of County Ladies - "There lived a little lady once, as dull as she could be"
- No. 17 - Song - Floot - "The art of being lazy is a science in its way; I reckon I've been pretty fairly lazy in my day"
- No. 18 - Song - Lord Bicester & Girls - "When a man sees a maid, and a maid sees a man"
- No. 19 - Duet - Lord Bicester & Floot - "We get some funny cases to attend to nowadays"
- No. 20 - Song - Lady Rosabelle & Chorus of Workgirls - "There lived a little lady just a hundred years ago"
- No. 21 - Duet - Delia & Lord Bicester - "Wouldn't it be jolly if we took a little holiday away from here?"
- No. 22 - Song - Mrs. Blacker & Chorus - "I've had a trip on board of a ship -- where do you think I've been?"
- No. 23 - Finale - "Little girl, little girl, little girl, little girl, you are a dear!"