The Legend of Dick Whittington (1934)

Information



Synopsis:

(An interlude in T.S. Eliot's The Rock)

The Legend of Dick Whittington is based upon an historical personage who lived during the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. It is the instructive tale of a poor young man who rose to become Lord Mayor of London. He was also a generous benefactor of the city who gave gold to the deprived and neglected. According to the old story, well known to London children, Whittington went to London to work as a kitchen scullion in the house of a merchant, Mr. Fitzwarren. He was so badly beaten by the cook’s maid that he ran away, but as he escaped, he heard the bells of London tolling, "Turn again Whittington … Lord Mayor of London.” With renewed courage, the brave boy returned to the merchant’s home, where his master’s daughter, Alice Fitzwarren, befriended him. Whittington owned a cat, which he sent as a venture on a ship, and he became a rich man when the cat received enormous sums of money from the King of Barbary for ridding the ships of rats and mice. Despite the fairy tale quality of this legend, it may not all be fable. This is the period of the plague in Europe when cats were a valuable defense against the rodents that spread the dread disease that killed one-third of Europe’s population. And so, because of his wonderful cat, Whittington succeeded in becoming Lord Mayor of London. Of course, he married Alice.

Choreography
Antony Tudor
Music / Composer
Martin Shaw
First Performance
London
Sadler’s Wells Theatre
May 28, 1934
Scenery
Eric Newton
Costumes
Stella Mary Pearce
Cast First Performance
Patricia Shaw Page, Joan Birdwood-Taylor, Reymonde Seton, Gladys Scott, Eileen Harris, Phyllis Bull, Betty Percheron
Notated
NA
Number of Dancers
NA
Average Length
NA
Costumes
NA
Scenery
Eric Newton
Licensing Information
NA

Ballet Synopsis excerpted with permission from
The Ballets of Antony Tudor by Judith Chazin-Bennahum.

 

 

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