A Health to John Patch (1954)Duration: 80 minutes
A ballad operetta based on traditional melodies of the British Isles arranged by the composer
Libretto by James Reeves based on a comedy by Molière (E)
6 major roles; chorus (singing minor roles) pft or pft and strings (with optional perc)
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.
Speedwell Secondary School, Kingswood
Company: Speedwell Secondary School
|JOHN PATCH, a farmer|
|MRS PATCH, his wife|
|MARY, their daughter|
|SUSAN, their servant|
|TOM LINTON, the Squire's son|
|MISS TWIST, MRS COBB, MR COBB, OLD GEORGE and other neighbours||Chorus|
Time and Place
John Patch's farmhouse, in the good old days
John Patch, a farmer, has been confined to bed for some time with a mysterious illness which his doctor, Dr Poultice, is treating without success. Patch's wife, his daughter Mary, servant Susan and various neighbours all occupy much of their time ministering to his needs. Also very much on Mary's mind is the Squire's son, Tom Linton, of whom she is particularly fond but of whom her father violently disapproves. Tom comes up with a stratagem to cure her father and win him over. He puts it about that a wonderful new doctor has arrived in the locale, then turns up himself disguised as the great Dr Maximum with an Oxbridge background. He appears at the farmhouse spouting Latin, is admitted to the patient and proceeds to throw all Dr Poultice's pills out of the window. Having administered his own medicine, and frightened Patch by getting the neighbours to construct a coffin within earshot, he is pleased to see a quick recovery. When the ruse is revealed Patch accepts Tom as Mary's suitor.