The Nuffield Theatreon
28th October to 1st November 1986
NOTE ON THE PLAY by Bernard Miles by Bernard Miles
I came upon Rape Upon Rape quite by accident, while in the midst of a music hall tour in 1952, I forget what was the actual town, but I was looking round a second-hand bookshop and on the spine of an ancient, calf-bound quarto was the word "Rape", This made an instant appeal and when, upon looking closer, I saw that the full title was “Rape upon Rape". I took the book down and opened it. Its author was the great Henry Fielding and it was first published in 1730. A quick glance showed its possibilities, and I bought it. From then until 1959, although many other suggestions were made, it remained my top choice for an opening play. But it was Julius Gellner who suggested it should be emtensively cut and turned into a musical. Having done some heavy pruning and emtensive rearranging, I offered it to three well-known lyric writers, but none of them cared for it sufficiently to collaborate. At last, with the time getting short, a mutual friend introduced me to Laurie Johnson, who introduced me to Lionel Bart. They were at the time working on The Tommy Steele Story, and had found they worked together very happily. I remember the now celebrated Lionel Bart paying his first visit to Puddle Dock - no fast sports car then, no silk shirts, cashmere jerseys or suede shoes - just a simple working lad keen as mustard to get his feet on the ladder to stardom, and little realising how near he was to planting them there.
They got to work, and within a fortnight produced the lyrics and music - with the single emception of the song The Gentle Art of Seduction, which was added later in order to make the play a little longer for its once-nightly Australian tour.
The title Lock Up Your Daughters came out of the blue. Obviously Rape Upon Rape was the most appealing, but this was considered a little too warm for the City. One day the composer Anthony Hopkins came down to the site to have a look around and I offered him a glass of wine. "No thanks," he said,"I don't drink.," I offered him a cigarette - "No thanks, I don't smoke .... but Lock, Up Your Daughters!" A title was found.
|Cast (in order of appearance)|
|Watchmen||Jim Oliver, John Carrington|
|Mrs Squeezum||Avril Woodward|
|Wenches||Julie Baker, Hilary Bowen, Hazel Burrows, Vicki Hobbs|
|Captain Constant||Chris Williams|
|For the Maskers:|
|Musical Director||Michael Patterson|
|2nd Keyboard||Belinda White|
|Stage Manager||Keith Hooper|
|Assistant Stage Manager||Imogen Hobbs|
|Lighting||Clive Weeks, Ivan White|
|Set Design||Ken Spencer, John Riggs, Roger Lockett|
|Properties||Hazel Burrows, Ella Lockett, Sonia Morris|