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L'événement culturel de l'été à Bruxelles!    

Earl and the Girl (The)


Musique: Ivan Caryll
Paroles: Percy Greenbank
Livret: Seymour Hicks

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Act I
The Hon. Crewe Boodel believes himself to be the heir to the earldom of Hole. He and a party of his friends are on their way to a fancy dress ball at Hole Hall, but their vehicle breaks down, and they take refuge in a country inn, the Fallowfield Arms. Jim Cheese, the owner of a troupe of performing dogs, and his coster sweetheart, Liza Shoddam, have walked from London to attend the local fair. They are at first mistaken by Boodel's party for two more guests for the fancy dress party. Jim and Liza are in debt to the landlord of the inn, who threatens to turn them out or have them arrested.

The real heir to the Hole property is Dick Wargrave, a friend of Boodel's. He has eloped from Paris with a schoolgirl, Elphin Haye, who is an American heiress masquerading as a penniless orphan. They arrive at the inn, preceded by four people who are in pursuit of them. A. Bunker Bliss is after Dick for eloping with his niece, and, being a good republican, Bliss is not impressed by Dick's earldom. Mrs. Shimmering Black is after Dick because the Earl of Hole has jilted her daughter (in fact it is Boodel who has done so). Mr. Talk and Mr. Downham are both lawyers; the first is English and the second American. They are both in search of the missing heir and after the reward for finding him. Dick is unaware that these two are bearing him good news, and when he learns from the landlord that some strangers have been asking about him, he concludes that there is trouble brewing.

Dick persuades Jim Cheese to exchange identity with him, taking his name and even his girfriend, and entrusting Elphin to Jim's care. The American lawyer finds Jim and tells him that he is an earl, and advances him money on the strength of his title. Elphir runs across a friend, Daisy Fallowfield, at the inn, and the whole party go off to the ball, where Elphir has to introduce Jim to her aunt, Miss Virginia Bliss, as her fiancé.

Act II
All the characters turn up at the ball at Hole Hall. Boodel brings Dick and passes him off as another guest. Liza slips in after Jim, who is announced as the Earl of Hole. The four pursuers gatecrash the party. Jim has a rough time with Bunker Bliss and Mrs. Black when they find him – the former is intent on shooting him, and the latter, a circus strongwoman, is a terrifying prospect – but when he tells them the truth about who is who, everyone is satisfied. Mrs Black's wrath subsides when she realises that the man who jilted her daughter is not, in fact, an earl, Bunker Bliss is appeased, and all ends happily.

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