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Musical

Silver Donkey, The

Genre Fantasy/Adventure
Collection Australasian
Catalogue
 
Composer Mathew Frank
Lyricist Dean Bryant
Book By Dean Bryant
 
Other Credits Based on the novel by Sonya Harnett
Format Book Musical
Type One Act
Status Restricted
Version

Short Synopsis

The piece opens with a man telling his brother a story; “Once, in a village by the sea, there was a blind soldier, three brave children who found him in the woods, and a silver donkey that brought him luck”. The village comes alive, there is a war being fought just down the road, but village life continues on as normal.

Marcelle, ten, and her little sister Coco find a blind soldier in the forest. He is trying to get home to his sick brother across the sea. He has a charm in the shape of a silver donkey, and tells them a story. Stories and songs include "Road to Bethlehem", "Waiting for the Rain" and "Cliffs of a Foreign Land".

Rehearsal Materials

Rehearsal Materials on Hire

SILVER DONKEY REHEARSAL SET

  • 20 × SILVER DONKEY LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOKS
  • 2 × SILVER DONKEY PIANO/VOCAL SCORE

Casting Information

Dance Requirement: Minimal/None

Character Breakdown

Please contact us for information.

Detailed Synopsis

The piece opens with a man telling his brother a story; “Once, in a village by the sea, there was a blind soldier, three brave children who found him in the woods, and a silver donkey that brought him luck”. The village comes alive (NO HEROES HERE), there is a war being fought just down the road, but village life continues on as normal.

Marcelle, ten, and her little sister Coco find a blind soldier in the forest. He is trying to get home to his sick brother across the sea. He has a charm in the shape of a silver donkey, and tells them a story;

The Road to Bethlehem: The first story is about Joseph and Mary, and their journey to Bethlehem with Hazel, an old donkey. Their child is born in a stable, and Hazel kisses the boy, which means he is blessed.

Marcelle vows to help the Lieutenant get across the sea and home. Lieutenant makes them promise not to tell anyone he is there. The girls leave, and the ghost of Ernie, the youngest soldier in the Lieutenant’s company, appears, mocking Lieutenant for running away from the war.

At school the next day Marcelle tries to figure out a way to get the blind soldier home. She discovers the Channel is thirty-two kilometres across at their village.

On their way to visit Lieutenant they run into their older brother, Pascal and Marcelle decides to invite him along, to Coco’s horror. The secret is theirs! In the woods, the soldier tells them another story;

Waiting for the Rain: This story is about a great drought, when the sky refused to send the monsoon, because the people and animals of the land were so vain and cruel. A poor donkey wins the sky over, by persuading him to be merciful especially because the people are not.

Pascal has a plan to save the soldier, and tells Lieutenant he will need to include one more person.

The next day, at breakfast, the children decide they must put the plan into action. Marcelle tells Pascal he must miss school in order to get the plan started, and they will make an excuse for him.

Pascal runs to the pier, and asks Fabrice, a young lame man, to help them in their plan to save the soldier.

That evening, the children visit Lieutenant with Fabrice. Pascal asks Lieutenant to tell them a story, about the war. Lieutenant says he will tell them one his men told him, the night before their last battle;

The Cliffs of a Foreign Land: Jack is sent to Gallipoli as a stretcher-bearer. He soon realises that he can save more men if he uses a donkey to carry them. The donkey reminds the wounded soldiers of home, and cheers everyone. One day Jack is caught by a sniper’s bullet, but his donkey comes to him, and his last thoughts are of home.

Pascal reveals his plan. Fabrice will take the Lieutenant from the woods on his motorcycle, when it is dark. He will borrow a boat from the pier and take the soldier across the Channel to England, and return before the dawn. This will happen tomorrow night.

When they have gone, the Lieutenant tells Ernie that his sight has started to return, because he can see the moon.

After school the next day, Marcelle and Coco visit the Lieutenant. He tells them how the silver donkey was found by his brother John, when he most needed it, and that John gave it to him to remind him to do his best. He tells the girls of the last day of the war, when his men were sent into a battle and all shot. Ernie was near him, but the enemy was approaching so Lieutenant pretended he was dead, and Ernie was killed. He ran away then.

Marcelle says he mustn’t worry – she knows he would have done everything he could for his men.

After dinner, Papa arrives home – Madame Hugo wondered why Pascal missed school yesterday. They are forbidden to leave the house. However they persuade their parents they are helping someone, without giving away the soldier.

In the woods, Lieutenant says goodbye to Ernie, and his men, and asks for their forgiveness for surviving. Before he leaves the clearing, he begins digging a hole.

The children race down to the pier, where Lieutenant says goodbye to them, and thanks them for saving his life. He tells them that they will be in a story, the most important one of all. Coco says there is no donkey in his story, but he tells her to go back to the woods and search, if she really is an explorer.

The three children watch the little boat head off on its journey. Coco is sad, but Marcelle says that as long as they remember the stories the Lieutenant told them, he will be with them. What will happen to the soldier, Coco wonders? Pascal tells her, until they know for sure, they must make up their own story.

Rates and Fees

Education and Community Theatre Rates.

Rehearsal Materials

Rehearsal Material on Hire
Minimum Hire fee: A$575.00 – 3 month(s) prior to final performance
Additional Hire fee: A$144.00 – per month

Royalty Fees

12% of your ticket sales
Minimum: A$193.00 per performance

Other Fees

Booking and Handling Fee: A$69.00
Materials Security Deposit: from A$200.00 - A$500.00

Billing and Advertising Requirements

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