A morning in late December. Later that morning. Dawn, the next day. Cloisterham High Street. The following afternoon.

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Rupert Holmes , the major creative contributor to the musical Drood, spent his early childhood in England. At age three, he would experience theater for the first time when he was taken to a modern "panto", complete with cross-dressing lead boy and audience sing-alongs.

Some years later, as an year-old boy fascinated by mystery books, Holmes first discovered the unfinished Dickens novel. Both of those seminal experiences would go on to have a major impact on Holmes when he was first approached to write a new musical by impresario Joseph Papp.

From the Dickens work, Holmes took the central plot and most of the featured characters. From music hall traditions, he created the lead character of "The Chairman", a sort of Master of Ceremonies and instigator of the action on stage. And from pantomime he retained the concept of the "Lead Boy" always portrayed by a young female in male drag and the most ground-breaking aspect of Drood, audience participation.

Though Holmes believed no Broadway creator had done this before, [6] and despite frequent mentions of this feat in articles and reviews of the show, the practice was not entirely uncommon in the early days of musical theatre.

Songwriters, including Adolf Philipp , were previously credited with the books to their musicals. In writing the book, Holmes did not let Dickens overshadow his own intentions. But I hope — I think — that Dickens would have enjoyed it. Most inventively, Holmes employed a novel method of determining the outcome of the play: having the audience vote for an ending. At a break in the show, the audience votes on who killed Drood if, indeed, he was killed at all , the identity of the mysterious Dick Datchery, and on which two characters will become romantically involved in the end, creating a happy ending.

Since every audience differs in temperament, the outcome is theoretically unpredictable even to the actors, who must quickly tally the votes and commence with the chosen ending although some smaller companies will "fix" the results to limit the number of possible endings.

This device required extra work from Holmes, who had to write numerous short endings which covered every possible voting outcome. Deviations from the novel[ edit ] There are several differences between the musical and its source material. Several minor characters are omitted, and the roles of others are expanded. October Act I[ edit ] Act One opens as the members of the Music Hall Royale circulate among the audience, introducing themselves to the patrons.

Neville is immediately attracted to Rosa, which makes him a rival to both Edwin and the secretive Jasper. Next the chairman brings the audience to London and the sinister opium den of the Princess Puffer who talks with the audience, and explains her life in "Wages of Sin".

A sinewy ballet dance follows. Puffer shows great interest in this fact, and stores it away in her memory. Back in Cloisterham, Neville and Drood meet and come to odds with each other almost immediately.

Next, The Chairman is called in to play another character as that actor is unable to come, but it turned out that the scenes of his character and the scenes of Mayor Sapsea coincide — and the characters have to disagree with each other. We are then introduced to the drunken stonemason Durdles, and his assistant Deputy. In the graveyard, they tell us that Edwin and Rosa, who have been promised to each other since they were children and so cannot tell if they truly love each other, have called off their engagement "Perfect Strangers".

As a parting gift, Rosa gives Drood her hair clasp, which once belonged to her mother. Soon the party disbands and the guests depart into a violent storm. There is a short halt here, where the actor playing Bazzard soliloquizes about how he never seems to be able to get a major part in a show in the song "Never The Luck". The next day Drood has vanished. Drood was last seen walking there with Neville the night before.

Nevile is almost lynched by the townsfolk before being rescued by Crisparkle. There is much speculation as to his fate. It turns out that this man played by the same actor who plays Drood, normally , Dick Datchery, is a private investigator.

They sing "Settling Up The Score". As the song climbs to a climax, the actors trail off, and the Chairman announces to the audience that it was at this place that Charles Dickens laid down his pen forever.

Once she lost her looks, she found a way to earn money — selling opium. The gist of each song is that the character followed Jasper to his house and found the clasp that Rosa gave Drood, which Jasper would have had only if he had taken it from Drood. Durdles the gravedigger, however, disagrees; he witnessed the crime and knows who truly killed Edwin Drood. However, because of the storm, Jasper had walked with Drood for a while and then given him his coat to wear for the journey home, so the murderer, because of the laudanum in the wine and the foul night weather, mistook Drood for Jasper.

Durdles lacks this motivation, however, so his confession is simply that, in his drunkenness, he mistook Drood for a ghost. If, although not likely, the audience chooses Jasper as the murderer, Durdles does not interrupt and a second confession is not performed Some theaters will not count Jasper votes, to make sure that there is a twist. Still, a happy ending is needed, and the Chairman asks the audience to choose two lovers from among the remaining cast members. The two chosen members declare their love, and then reprise "Perfect Strangers".

Just then, there comes a noise from the crypt, and a very-much-alive Edwin Drood appears, ready to tell all what really happened on the night of his disappearance "The Writing On The Wall". What happened was that when Drood was attacked, he was only stunned when he fell and not killed. Jasper dragged him to a crypt where he left him. When Drood woke, he escaped and fled from Cloisterham, only returning so that he could find out who wanted him dead.

Murderers[ edit ] John Jasper — Jasper was madly in love with Rosa Bud, and his violent split personality gladly killed Drood. He murdered Drood so that he could marry Rosa, thinking her to be the woman he loved. Bazzard — In an effort to boost his role in the show, murders Drood. This is definitely the most metatheatrical of the endings. Even Durdles admits the silliness of this motive within his solo, but laments that because he has been chosen he must have one.

This solo was not used in the original Broadway production and was added for the first national tour. His confession is a reprise of "Off to the Races" Characters[ edit ] As Drood is metatheatrical , the characters of the play The Mystery of Edwin Drood are played by actors of the "Music Hall Royale", within the production. The following are the dual roles each cast member plays. However, this is merely a "bit" within the context of The Music Hall Royale — that Miss Nutting only portrays Datchery due to a contractual obligation for her to appear in both acts of the play.


The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Summary[ edit ] The novel begins as John Jasper leaves a London opium den. Edwin confides that he has misgivings about his betrothal to Rosa Bud. They quarrel good-naturedly, which they apparently do frequently during his visits. Meanwhile, Jasper, having an interest in the cathedral crypt, seeks the company of Durdles, a man who knows more about the crypt than anyone else. Neville Landless and his twin sister Helena are sent to Cloisterham for their education. Neville will study with the minor canon , Rev. Neville confides to Rev.



Sensing that Neville is threatened, however, Rosa immediately afterward informs—not her guardian, lawyer Grewgious, but Neville. Set in the seemingly innocuous cathedral town of Cloisterham, the story rapidly darkens with a sense of impending evil. And, as in the book, he is apprehended outside of time and interrogated about the events of the previous night. Soon a village choirmaster, a chaste orphan betrothed to Drood, and a young stranger in love with the beautiful orphan are ensnared in a web of passion, lust and intrigue. Also by Charles Dickens. Oct 06, Pages Buy.


Drood Script

Het is een van de weinige Broadwaymusicals waarbij script , libretto en muziek door dezelfde persoon zijn geschreven. Bovendien was het de eerste Broadwaymusical waarbij het publiek bepaalt op welke manier hij eindigt. Holmes won met deze musical, zijn debuut, een Tony Award voor de liedteksten, de muziek en het script. Daarna draaide hij tot mei in het Broadwaytheater. In verschillende vertalingen is de musical populair onder professionele en amateurgezelschappen.


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A highly atmospheric tale of murder, The Mystery of Edwin Drood foreshadows both the detective stories of Conan Doyle and the nightmarish novels of Kafka. Several attempts have been made over the years to complete the novel and solve the mystery, but even in its unfinished state it is a gripping and haunting masterpiece. And, as in the book, he is apprehended outside of time and interrogated about the events of the previous night. Also by Charles Dickens. However, aside from his aborted solo and furious direction of Rosa in an after-dinner recital, the film provides us with scant evidence of such thwarted musical genius.

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