The Canterville Ghost (Quilter)

Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy  /  2w, 2m, 6any gender (adult), 2any gender (youth)

A magical musical comedy
Adapted from the original story by Oscar Wilde
Book and Lyrics by Peter Quilter
Music by Charles Miller

A musical adaptation of the story by Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost is a charming, funny and tuneful family show for all ages.

The Canterville Ghost (Quilter)

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    2w, 2m, 6any gender (adult), 2any gender (youth)
  • Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Adaptations (Literature), Theatre for Young Audiences, Christmas/Holiday, Fables/Folktales
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Adult, Children (Age 6 - 10), Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13), Teen (Age 14 - 18)


A musical adaptation of the story by Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost is a charming, funny and tuneful family show for all ages.
The Canterville Ghost premiered in a hit run at the 1995 London Fringe. Shortly thereafter, the musical embarked on a national tour of the UK. Directed by Brian Salvo, the production starring Ron Moody.

THE GHOST – The dead Simon de Canterville, 1525-1585
HIRAM OTIS – American millionaire
LUCRETIA OTIS – Hiram’s wife
VIRGINIA OTIS – Their daughter, aged 16
JUNIOR OTIS – Their son, aged 13
WASHINGTON OTIS – Junior’s twin brother, aged 31
MRS UMNEY – The housekeeper of Canterville Chase


Note: The roles of JUNIOR and WASHINGTON can be made female, by altering the word “boys” to “girls” on the few occasions it comes up. The girl characters would be very tomboyish (offering a complete contrast to Virginia) so there is no reason to alter the basic characterization in any way. If female, the names of the Twins would be BROOKLYN and ORLANDO. The lyrics on page 15, Song No. 4 Terrible Twins should be changed from:

JUNIOR. Will be Junior Mess
WASHINGTON. Or Washington State!


BROOKLYN. Will be Brooklyn the Best
ORLANDO. And Orlando the Great!

M4, F3 plus Chorus. Or M2 F5 (the roles of Junior and Washington can be played by females) plus Chorus

  • Time Period Contemporary, Present Day
  • Setting

    Canterville Chase, a large gothic residence in England.

  • Features Period Costumes
  • Additional Features Play w/ Music, Special Effects
  • Duration 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Cautions
    • No Special Cautions


“Contagious fun... a perfectly formed piece of genuine family entertainment.” – Time Out London

“Great humour and tuneful music that consistently hits the spot.” – The Stage

“Miller has written fine, superbly rousing feel-good songs and Quilter’s lyrics are pacy and crisp... sure to raise your spirits... a perfectly formed piece of genuine family entertainment.” – Time Out London


  • A song from the show youtube thumbnail

    A song from the show


Аct І

1. “The Tale of the Canterville Ghost” – Chorus
2. “Welcome to England – Moving In” – Twins, Virginia, Hiram Lucretia, Mrs Umney
3. “Otis Cleaning” – Twins, Virginia, Hiram
4. “Terrible Twins” – Twins
5. “No Ghost in History” – Ghost, Chorus
6. “In Diff’rent Ways” – Lucretia, Virginia
7. “An American Abroad” – Hiram, Lucretia, Twins
8. “Lessons Must Be Learnt” – Mrs Umney
9. “Poor Ghost” – Virginia
10. “Poor Ghost (Reprise)” – Virginia

Act II

11. “The Tale of the Canterville Ghost (Reprise)” – Chorus
12. “A Ray of Light” – Ghost, Virginia
13. “Going Back to America” – Lucretia, Twins, Hiram
14. “The Happy Prince” – Ghost with Chorus
15. “Taking a Stand” – Virginia, Lucretia, with Hiram and Twins
16. “The Spell” – Mrs Umney, Chorus
17. “The Tale of The Canterville Ghost (Reprise)” – Company

  • Musical Style Classic Broadway
  • Vocal DemandsModerate
  • Orchestra Size Small/Combo
  • Chorus Size Small

Licensing & Materials

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Music Rentals

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10 Piano-Vocal

This title is orchestrated for Piano Only.


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Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was born in Dublin to Sir William Wilde and his wife Jane. While studying at Oxford, he was fascinated by the aesthetic movement and eventually became a proponent for L'art pour l'art ("Art for Art's Sake") and wrote the award-winning poem "Ravenna." U ...

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Peter Quilter

Peter Quilter’s plays have been produced in 40 countries around the world and translated into 30 languages. He has had three successful shows in London’s West End and a hit run on Broadway, and has twice been nominated for the Olivier Award, for Best New Play and Best New Com ...

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