Alan Jones


Emma Jane is a musical I wrote in collaboration with my friend Peter Irvine and it had its first performance at the Warwick University Arts Centre in 1986.

Emma Jane opens in the present day when young Sarah is looking through the personal effects of her grandmother, who has recently died. She comes across her grandmother’s diary as a young girl. As Sarah reads it, the events come alive and we are drawn into the story of Emma Jane Garland and her brother Jem. Having fallen on bad times due to the crooked dealings of lawyer Jeremiah Grimstone, her broken father dies.

Emma Jane and Jem travel to London to seek out a long lost uncle in the hope that he can help to solve their problems. They meet a group of circus performers who promise to help in the search. A thug hired by Lawyer Grimstone makes an attempt on Emma’s life, but she is saved by Samuel a circus barker and Police Constable Pilbeam. Working together their new friends discover that their uncle is a famous actor and find him in the lodging house of Belle Bonnet and when their plight is revealed he promises to bring Grimstone to justice and restore their stolen properties.

I wrote “The Dodger”, with music by Andrew Fletcher, to be performed at  Manor Hall, North Leamington School.   Recreating the characters from Oliver Twist, we follow the fate of Dodger and Bet.

The pair have been languishing in Newgate Prison. Oliver Twist persuades his new-found Uncle Mr. Brownlow to seek their release on the understanding that they leave London. Before they do, they visit The Three Cripples pub, where they meet Charlie Bates, another of Fagin’s boys and they agree to travel together. The three set out for Portsmouth and arrive during the May Day celebrations where the Queen of The May is crowned. The first person they meet outside his shop is Joseph Levy, a money lender, who is urritated by Dodger’s chirpy approach. Dodger describes him as “Just like Fagin”.A group of Pressmen, looking for a victim, come across Moses Levy locking up his shop late at night. They attack him and put a sack over his head. Dodger, Bet and Charlie arrive on the scene and, by a well practiced move, free Levy and escape into the shop. Felicity Godber, whose mother is the May Queen, has spotted Dodger and is immediately smitten with him. He resists her approach and to put her off gives her a false name.  

Later Charlie reports that Bet has been abducted by the Pressmen and Levy volunteers to help them in the search for her. They hatch a plan and with the help of the May Day revellers free Bet. At the May Day gathering Dodger thanks everyone for their help.

In turn Mrs. Godber and Moses Levy promise to find them work and a settled future in Portsmouth. Felicity Godber is delighted when they accept, but Dodger isn’t sure!  

If you want to consider putting on a production of  “The Dodger” , a copy of the script and piano score is available from me.  

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