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The Arcadians

composer
first performed on 28 April 1909 at the Shaftesbury Theatre
author of text
author of text

 
The work that most provided Monckton’s enduring fame was The Arcadians (Shaftesbury, 28 April 1909), a ‘fantastic musical play’ about James Smith, an aviator (a modern touch for that time) who arrives in mythical Arcadia, which time has passed by. Renamed Simplicitas by the Arcadians, Smith (played by comedian Dan Rolyat) returns to London with a group of Arcadians who seek to reform the locals’ wicked ways. Charming weather is sung in Act 2 at Askwood Racecourse by diffident Jack Meadows (Harry Welchman) and his Irish sweetheart Eileen Cavanagh (Phyllis Dare), while All down Piccadilly conveys Simplicitas’s excitement at becoming all the rage in London. The show was seen not just around the English-speaking world but elsewhere—in Vienna as Die Arkadier (1911) and in Paris as Les arcadiens (1913).

from notes by Andrew Lamb © 2008

Recordings

Monckton: Songs from the shows
CDA67654Archive Service

Details

No 16: Charming weather  You're taking such good care of me
Track 1 on CDA67654 [2'35] Archive Service
No 20: All down Piccadilly  You've heard of me, of course
Track 2 on CDA67654 [2'49] Archive Service

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