"Nothing to Lose"
Originally commissioned for the Broadstairs Dickens Festival in 2007
This piece tells the story (with Music Hall music and songs of the period) of the formation of a fictional "Concert Party" troupe around the turn of the century.
The action takes place in various theatres, Music Halls, Concert Party "pitches" and dressing rooms etc. in London, Bournemouth, and Broadstairs in the late spring into summer 1899. It begins in a small music hall in Catford, where Jack Gold and Harry Miles have been stranded without any work or money; they decide to go 'up West' to busk to the theatre queues; after all...they have "Nothing to Lose"!
There they meet Dora Maye, who is also working to to the queues. After a rather uncomfortable meeting, they decide to team up, and their act takes them to the Vauxhall Gardens, where they meet Conjurer Wal Burgiss, and as the story developes subsequently complete the team with soubrette Daisy Lindon, and soprano Blanche Kirkby; all of whom, for various reasons, have "Nothing to Lose".
They head off to Bournmouth to set up a concert party pitch on he beach, and things go well, until through various situations akin to the human condition, have to split up. Wal and Harry go their separate ways, while the ladies and Jack get a chance to work in the "Bohemia" in Broadstairs, where they eventually meet Harry who has been working solo on the sands at Margate; he rejoins the team, and one again they have "Nothing to Lose"!