Boys and Girls Come Out to Play (1991-95)Duration: 90 minutes
Opera Buffa in two acts
Libretto by Gavin Ewart (E)
M,BBar,lyrS,lyrT,robustT,Bar,A,heavyB 2(I,II=picc).2(II=corA).2(II=bcl).2(II=dbn)-184.108.40.206-perc(2):timp/SD/TD/ BD/rattle/maracas/tgl/susp.cym/cyms/tam-t/xyl/glsp/vib/t.bells-harp- pft(=cel)-strings(minimum 220.127.116.11.2).
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Time and Place
The early 1970s
Variously frustrated individuals arrive at a house of many functions wherein their troubles can be resolved – the disgruntled husband seeks divorce, his neglected wife needs a touch of glamour, the tormented gay man seeks psychotherapy, the straightforward young man needs relief for a raging toothache. Meanwhile a saturnine workman attends to the plumbing. A confidence-trickster couple share the various in-house roles (dentist, lawyer, couturier, etc), with a nice young girl acting as assistant to them all. Just when everyone thinks he or she is going to get whatever it was they came for (together with some promising new prospects) they are upstaged by sinister power emanating from the mysterious workman.
Individual fantasies within the house alternate with sexual pursuit and conquest in its garden. What began in high-spirited satumalia ends up bitter, violent, coarse, orgiastic. Disgusted by what he has unleashed, the workman/anarchist/lord of misrule blows it to bits. As "the morning after" dawns every character creeps back in disillusion and despair, turning to accusation of the pair who seem to have been the cause. Both sing a set-piece of vindication and the general mood is now re-invigorated, with a Vaudeville building to a heartfelt hymn to the power and pleasure of sex. All eight characters pair off happily and leave the house, to the accompaniment of the familiar nursery-rhyme:
Boys and girls come out to play
The moon doth shine as bright as day;
Come with a whoop and come with a call,
Come with a will or not at all.
Contemporary, Relationships, Society