1944 - 1945
The Quaker Girl
The quiet of a humdrum English village with a considerable Quaker population is disturbed by the arrival of the Princess Mathilde, an exiled Bonapartist, whose purpose is to secretly marry captain Charteris, a King's Messenger, in spite of her family's decision that she shall wed a certain Prince Carlo, to whom they have engaged her. She stays at the "Chequers" Inn and engages as her maid Phoebe, a village girl in love with Jeremiah, a Quaker, somewhat slow to respond. There is, naturally, much curiosity and speculation among the villagers as to who the Princess is, but Mrs Lukyn, the landlady of the Chequers remains mum on the matter.
Prudence, a charming Quaker Girl, strikes up an intimate friendship with the Princess, visiting her daily at the Inn. Apart from Jeremiah, the Quakers sternly disapprove of this, but Prudence continues the friendship. Charteris duly arrives from Paris, accompanied by Tony Chute, an American naval attache in Paris, and Madame Blum, a Parisian Modiste. Arrangements are completed for the wedding, to which the Princess invites Prudence.
After the wedding the Princess desires Prudence to go to Paris with her, a desire which is earnestly shared by Madame Blum, who feels that the Quaker costume will create a new mode. And so the Princess, Charteris, Madame Blum and Tony return to Paris accompanied by Prudence, Phoebe and Jeremiah. The Quaker costume takes Paris by storm and the Maison Blum becomes a hive of bustling activity and confusion, into which, in various disguises, the Chief of Police penetrates, seeking information regarding the Princess whom Madame Blum is - rightly enough - suspected of hiding. Whilst the Princess is at Maison Blum, disguised as a shop girl, with Charteris always haunting the place in consequence, Prudence has become a model and incurred the wrath of Diane, a Parisian Actress, because of her association with Tony Chute. Meanwhile, the Prince visits the Maison Blum and is so captivated by Prudence that he decides to hold a Ball in her honour. Tony, much in love with Prudence, objects to her associating with the Prince and requests her not to attend the Ball, but she eventually goes in order to save the Princess from arrest. At the Ball, Duhamel, Minister of State, announces that the Princess' marriage in England to Charteris is quite legal, and that she has permission now to reside in Paris. As is only to be expected the play therefore ends happily for all; Tony marrying his Quaker girl and Phoebe finally succeeding in bringing Jeremiah to the point.
Producer: Mark Brooks
Musical Director: H. Bramwell Bailey