Stop the World —  I Want to Get Off


Stop the World — I Want to Get Off

Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy  /  3w, 2m

Leslie Bricusse, Anthony Newley

Book, Music and Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley / Produced for the Broadway stage by David Merrick in association with Bernard Delfont

In this thought-provoking tale about the fleeting nature of worldly success, an Everyman character named Littlechap is born, grows up, faces life's many challenges, and ultimately makes a choice celebrating the perpetual cycle of life.

Image: Sam Norkin

Stop the World — I Want to Get Off

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    3w, 2m
  • Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
  • NOMINEE: Five 1963 Tony Awards, including Best Musical
    WINNER! 1963 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Anna Quayle)
Stop the World —  I Want to Get Off


Stop The World - I Want To Get Off is a thought-provoking tale about the fleeting nature of worldly success. In a circus-like world, the hero - an Everyman character named Littlechap - is born, grows up, faces life's many challenges, and ultimately makes a choice celebrating the perpetual cycle of life. The tuneful score by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse includes the hit songs "What Kind of Fool Am I?," "Once In A Lifetime," and "Gonna Build A Mountain."
Stop The World - I Want To Get Off opened at the Queen's Theatre in London on July 20, 1961, where it played for 485 performances. The Broadway production opened at the Shubert Theatre on October 3, 1962, starring Anthony Newley and Anna Quayle. That New York production later transferred to the Ambassador Theatre, playing a total of 555 performances.
In a kaleidoscopic, circus-like world, tiny clownish Littlechap is born. He goes through school, finds work as a tea-boy, and struggles to make his way in life. One day, while traveling on the bus, he falls in love with Evie, his boss’s daughter. When they discover Evie is pregnant, Littlechap and Evie get married. Saddled with the responsibilities of a family, Littlechap manages to get a job in his father-in-law's factory.

Littlechap moves up the business ladder, becoming the manager of his office, and he and his wife have another daughter. Still, Littlechap longs for a son. Despite his career success, he grows increasingly dissatisfied with his life, and he pursues several different women in his business travels—Russian official Anya, German domestic Ilse, and American cabaret singer Ginnie—in a futile quest for satisfaction.

Over time, Littlechap becomes rich and successful, and is elected to public office. But life still seems to have moved too quickly for him, and he remains unsatisfied. In his old age, Littlechap looks back on his life in a fleeting parade of memories, and he realizes that what he always had—the love of his wife— was more than enough to sustain him. Sadly, Evie dies before Littlechap can make amends.

Littlechap begins writing his memoirs, and finally comes to terms with his own selfishness. At the moment of his death, he watches his daughter Jane give birth to a son. When the boy nearly dies, Littlechap intervenes, and allows Death to take him instead. Littlechap mimes his own birth, and the life cycle begins once again.

Evie (Also Anya, Ilse and Ginnie)

Chorus of Seven Girls

  • Time Period Contemporary
  • Features Fantasy Costumes
  • Duration More than 120 minutes (2 hours)



  • Stop the World —  I Want to Get Off

    Image: Sam Norkin


Music Samples

Act I

1. “The ABC Song” – Chorus
2. “I Wanna Be Rich” – Littlechap
3. “Typically English” – Evie
3a. Machine Music – Orchestra
3b. Wedding March – Orchestra   
4. “Lumbered” – Littlechap
4a. “Susan’s Birth” – Chorus  
4b. “Lumbered” (Reprise) – Littlechap & Evie
4c. Machine Music/Interview 2 – Orchestra
5. “Welcome to Sludgepool” – Chorus
5a. Sludgepool/Machine Music – Orchestra
6. “Gonna Build a Mountain” – Littlechap & Chorus
6a. “Jane’s Birth” – Chorus  
6b. “Gonna Build a Mountain” (Reprise) – Littlechap & Chorus
6c. Interview 3 – Orchestra  
6d. “Gonna Build A Mountain” (2nd Reprise) – Littlechap & Chorus
6e. Moscow Music – Orchestra
7. “Glorious Russian” – Anya & Chorus
8. “Meilinki Meilchik” – Littlechap, Anya & Chorus
9. “Family Fugue” – Littlechap, Evie, Susan & Jane
9a. Interview 4 – Orchestra
10. “Typische Deutsche” – Ilse
10a. Factory Mime – Orchestra
10b. “Family Fugue” (Reprise) – Littlechap & Evie
11. “Nag Nag Nag” – Littlechap, Evie, Susan, Jane & Chorus
11a. “Typische Deutsche” (Reprise) – Ilse
11b. “Nag Nag Nag” (Reprise) – Littlechap, Evie, Susan, Jane & Chorus
11c. End Act I – Orchestra

Act II

11d. Entr’acte – Orchestra
11e. Interview 5 – Orchestra
11f. New York Music – Orchestra
12. “All American” – Ginnie
12a. “All American” (Reprise) – Ginnie
12b. Susan’s Wedding – Orchestra
12c. Interview 6 – Orchestra
12d. Bari Sax/Tbn Cues – Orchestra
13. “Once in a Lifetime” – Littlechap & Girl
14. “Mumbo Jumbo” – Littlechap & Chorus
14a. “Once in a Lifetime” (Reprise) – Littlechap & Chorus
14b. Chimes – Orchestra
15. “Welcome to Sunvale” – Chorus
16. “Someone Nice Like You” – Evie & Littlechap
16a. Fanfares / “Someone Nice” (Reprise) – Littlechap
17. “What Kind of Fool Am I?” – Littlechap & Chorus  
17a. Closing Music – Orchestra
17b. March Out Music – Orchestra

Full Orchestration


Reed 1: Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
Reed 2: Flute , Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
Reed 3: Clarinet , Bass Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
Reed 4: Clarinet, Alto Saxophone & Baritone Saxophone
Reed 5: Bassoon

Trumpet I & II
Trombone I
Trombone II
Percussion I & II

Snare Drum (Brushes & Sticks)
Bass Drum
Cymbals (Suspended & Hi-Hat)
Tom Toms (3 Pitches)
Cow Bell
Wood Block
Slide Whistle
Finger Cymbals
Gong (Tam Tam)
Temple Blocks

Timpani (3 Drums)
Finger Cymbals
Auto Horn
Wood Block
Hand Cymbals

Piano (doubles as Piano-Conductor’s Score)

  • Musical Style Classic Broadway
  • Dance Requirements Easy
  • Vocal DemandsDifficult
  • Orchestra Size Medium
  • Chorus Size Small

Licensing & Materials

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
14 Libretto-Vocal Book
1 Piano-Conductor
1 Reed 1
1 Reed 2
1 Reed 3
1 Reed 4
1 Reed 5
1 Horn
2 Trumpet 1&2
1 Trombone 1
1 Trombone 2
2 Percussion 1&2
1 Bass
14 Libretto-Vocal Book
1 Piano-Conductor


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Leslie Bricusse

Leslie Bricusse (1931-2021) was a writer/composer/lyricist who contributed to many musical films and plays during his long, award-winning career.

He was born in London and educated at University College School and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. At Cambridge, he was pre ...

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Anthony Newley

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