A SAMUEL FRENCH, LTD. TITLE

Full Length Musical, Comedy  /  1f, 20m

Book & Lyrics by Julian More, David Heneker & Monty Norman

Music by Marguerite Monnot

Based on the original book and lyrics by Alexander Breffort

Irma is one of Paris' most successful poules (tarts). She falls in love with Nestor, a penniless law student. She decides for the first time in her life she will have a mec (pimp). Nestor is jealous of Irma's customers and decides he must become her only buyer, so he disguises himself as Monsieur Oscar, a rich old fossil who asks only companionship, yet provides enough grisbi (money) to become her exclusive patron.
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OVERVIEW

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    1f, 20m
  • Duration
    Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Period, Romantic Comedy
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)
Description

Irma is one of Paris' most successful poules (tarts). She falls in love with Nestor, a penniless law student. She decides for the first time in her life she will have a mec (pimp). Nestor is jealous of Irma's customers and decides he must become her only buyer, so he disguises himself as Monsieur Oscar, a rich old fossil who asks only companionship, yet provides enough grisbi (money) to become her exclusive patron.

Nestor soon becomes exhausted from his numerous jobs, studies, and lovemaking. Irma decides that Oscar is not getting his money's worth and seduces him more passionately than she ever has Nestor. This makes him more jealous than ever and he decides that Oscar must die. However, in killing-off his alias, Nestor is convicted of murder and sentenced to Devil's Island. When he learns Irma is with child he escapes on a raft and finally proves (by paying off the judge) that he and Oscar are one and the same - all this in time to witness the birth of his child on Christmas Eve.

History
Théâtre Gramont, Paris - 12 November, 1956
Saville Theatre, London - 17 July, 1958
Plymouth Theatre. Broadway 29 September, 1960 (527 perfs)

Considerations

Performing Groups
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Tours
Cautions
  • Mild Adult Themes

Licence details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

    Please submit a license request to determine availability.

Specifics

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting:

    Paris, France

    Devil's Island

    At Sea

  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Casting

1f, 20m
Cast Attributes
  • Ensemble cast
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

21 roles, 9 principals.

  • Irma, a dancer who sings and acts (the only female part in the show).
  • Bob-le-Hotu, singing storyteller, character man.
  • Nestor, romantic lead, good voice, little dancing, double role as older man with different voice and character.

Other "mecs", gendarmes, prisoners, admirers; bar patrons are the all male chorus roles.

They usually perform as a group, should include several good solo voices and a couple of lead dancers.

Total cast - 21

Materials

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package:

23 Libretti

23 vocal scores

2 Piano/Conductor scores

Bass

Accordian

Flute/Picollo

Cornet

Clarinet/Sax

Percussion

More

Authors

Author

David Heneker

Monty Norman

MONTY NORMAN was born in London in 1928, the only child of Jewish immigrants from Latvia. From an early age, Norman showed an interest in music; he wrote songs, performed and appeared in radio, television and stage variety shows. Compositions for the West End theatres include Expresso Bongo and Irma La Douce in coll ...

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Julian More

JULIAN MORE made his theatrical debut in 1954 while attending Trinity College in Puss in Red Riding Breeches, a pantomime for adults. After moving to London, More wrote the book and lyrics for three of the biggest musical comedy successes of the 1950s – Grab Me a Gondola, Expresso Bongo and Irma La Douce. He l ...

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Alexander Breffort

ALEXANDRE BREFFORT was born in Nièvre, France in 1901. After working a series of odd-jobs, Breffort was hired as the editor at Le Canard Enchaîné (The Chained Duck) in 1934. A pacifist, Breffort traveled throughout Europe during World War II before returning to Paris. Breffort wrote the screenpla ...

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Marguerite Monnot

MARGUERITE MONNOT was a French songwriter and composer, best known for having written many of the songs performed by Édith Piaf (“Milord,” “Hymne à l'amour”) and for the music in the stage musical Irma La Douce. As a female composer of popular music in the first half of the twen ...

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