These musicals have been written in collaboration with Anthea Parnell, who writes the music. Gregory writes the stories, scripts and lyrics. He makes up original stories, which aim to entertain audiences with what used to be known as ‘good clean fun’. There is deliberately no reference to particular places and times, or particular social problems. He prefers to deal with the perennial human issues that mean something to people from all cultures.

‘The Pirate Queen’ (2007)

This musical was premiered by the girls of St Cyprian’s Preparatory School, Cape Town, in May 2007. The director was Jacqueline Pienaar. Our original title was ‘The Pirate Queen’, but a month before our opening night we found out that someone else had just premiered a musical of the same name on Broadway. My story has nothing whatsoever to do with theirs, and was not influenced by theirs in any way. The story is purely fictional, set in the Indian Ocean, in the late 1700’s. A ruthless woman pirate by the name of Esmeralda Tark has set up something of a small empire, and is terrorising the shipping in the area around a group of islands. There is a huge reward for her capture. The British governor of the island group makes a pact with a captain of the Royal Navy to share this reward. Complications come when a rival pirate, Louis Leboyer, captures a trader right under the nose of Esmeralda. Swept up in the ensuing action are two teenage girls who escaped from Leboyer’s men, two pricelessly amateur spies, much gossip, and a voodoo priestess worth her weight in snake venom, who keeps a pet that you will never forget. The original cast numbered 96. Performers should be age 11 to adult. Audiences from age 5 to adult. For a preview of the script, contact the author.

Dancing Islander Governors residence
Lt Jellicoe and Sailor Bodyguard Executing Officer
Photos were courtesy of Imago Studios, Cape Town.

‘Jovano’s Question’ (2009)

This musical was also premiered by the girls of St Cyprian’s Preparatory School, Cape Town, this time in March, 2009. Once again, Jacqueline Pienaar was the director, and she did a fantastic job of it, resulting in standing ovations. The story is a fairy-tale of somewhat mixed historical time-periods. It is set in a distant land where there are three kingdoms, all ruled by Queens. Prince Jovano, the son of the poor Queen Notanuf, is kidnapped by Queen Izigo (an inveterate gambler) and taken to the court of the rich and powerful Queen Absoluta, who would like him to marry her daughter, the Princess Sulkina. Jovano is set the challenge of coming up with the most important question in the world. If he gets it right, he wins his freedom, and the kingdom that Queen Izigo has lost to Queen Absoluta at cards. If he gets it wrong, he has to stay a captive and marry Sulkina, a very unpleasant prospect for both of them. (He’s not, you know… ‘the type’.) Full of action, and thronging with interesting characters that respectively seek to help or hinder Jovano in his quest, it ends on a very (pleasantly) surprising note. Performers should be age 11 to adult, audiences aged 5 to adult (there are some scenes that could scare younger children.) The original cast numbered 123. For a preview of the script, contact the author.

Absoluta and Quizzicum Sophia Nellie Robert Chariot
Mafiosi pointing guns at Petruska Izigo on floor with Courtiers
Photos were courtesy of Imago Studios, Cape Town.

‘Amanago Man’ (not yet produced)

For audiences aged 12 to adult, and performers from 15 to adult. What would it do to one’s character to be marooned alone on a planet, away from Earth, for 28 years? Such was the fate of the central character, later given the name ‘Amanago Man’ by members of a space-ship crew who encountered him. Amanago Man was there to guard a highly strategic spoil of war, captured from aliens. This device was a life-force generator, said to be able to make one young again. His own ship exploded accidentally, and he was the only survivor. He learnt to hunt in the primeval forest, and hoped for the day when he would eventually be found and returned to his kind. When a scout ship did eventually arrive, bungling by some of the soldiers resulted in the accidental destruction of that ship. The only survivors of this tragedy were three young women, led by the beautiful and intelligent Ticina. Amanago Man fell in love with her, but did not ever let her see him, as he did not want her to see that he was old. He was always hoping to become rejuvenated, if only he could obtain star-ship fuel to drive the life-force generator that he was so zealously guarding. From a distance, he assists the three young women to survive and become skilful hunters. The action really begins when the third ship arrives to look for wreckage of the previous two ships. The ‘Raider Five’ is commanded by Commander Craik, a stern and despotic leader, assisted by his second in command, Lieutenant Lupinsky, who looks after his own interests very efficiently, to say the least. Among the crew are three young men, who all for different reasons, are not suited to the military, and who clash with Lupinsky. Their mission: to find traces of wreckage or survivors of the past two expeditions, on a planet which is otherwise uninhabited. (Or, is it?) The three surviving women entice the three misfits to jump ship and stay on the planet. Their ruse is discovered, and Craik comes down hard on the hapless would-be deserters. Non-stop action and intrigue ensues, and the main characters are stretched to the limits of their loyalties. The dramatic ending gives one much to reflect upon. The script is presently (2010) complete, and the music about half complete.

'A Whale in Paris'

The story is set in approximately the 1850's, with a Great Exhibition taking place in Paris. The director of publicity for the exhibition comes up with a claim that the exhibition is so interesting, that a whale has swum all the way up the Seine to come and see it. Most people think this is mere sensationalism when they read of it in their newspapers. But Sylvie, a young girl, thinks otherwise. She is determined to go to Paris and see for herself if there really is a whale. Her admirer, Emile, is embarrassed by her naivety, and declines to accompany her. So she tells him she no longer needs his friendship, and sets off alone. He is mortified at having her leave him, and seeks to redress the problem, with the help of an old sea-captain who suggests he can put a whale in the Seine, so Sylvie will be proved right and feel magnanimous about accepting Emile's apology, and might take him back. Many adventures await both of them along the way. Sylvie is pick-pocketed, put in jail overnight, and is held captive by a gang of ruffians who are planning to steal one of the priceless exhibits at the Great Exhibition. We meet Inspector Piquet, the stern policeman in charge of security, two comical detectives and a host of interesting characters whose lives intertwine in this adventure. Performers should be aged 11 to adult, and suited to audiences from age 5 to adult.

'The Sultan of T’an Tang' (Not yet complete)

Set on a mythical island in the east, in the age of exploration by westerners. Suitable for performers aged 15 and upwards, and audiences aged 15 and upwards. Script complete, lyrics and music being developed as of July 2011.

'The Fringe' (Also not yet complete)

This one will be suitable for performers aged 15 and upwards, and audiences aged 15 and upwards. Set in an empire on another planet, where the emperor, a complete dictator, has all dissidents and misfits banished to a colony called ‘The Fringe’, from which they never escape.

 
 
 

© Gregory Pastoll, 2010

All Rights Reserved. All Intellectual Property is the property of Gregory Pastoll.