'Jack' Musical - Phil Dixon Composer

Phil Dixon
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A Musical based on the life of famous London thief and Gaol-breaker Jack Sheppard in 1724

What's it all about?:

Jack was a carpenter's apprentice when he first took to thieving in 1724. He refused to work for London gangster Jonathon Wild (known as The Thief-Taker General) and as such was arrested. In fact he was arrested 5 separate times because he kept escaping! But Jack's trouble was that every time he escaped, he couldn't resist hitting the London pubs and consequently would just be re-arrested!
He was the first ever 'celebrity' - his name selling thousands of newspapers to eager Londoners who wanted to learn about his latest escape.
He is the original "Jack the lad"!

Jack Sheppard. Thief and Gaol-breaker
'Edgeworth' Bess. Jack's mistress and prostitue.
Jonathon Wild, Thief-Taker General. London gangster, Jack's nemesis.
Thom 'Hell and Fury' Durie. Wild's main muscle.
'Blueskin' Blake. Jack's partner-in-crime.
Poll and Rose: Bess' prostitute friends.
Haynes: Landlord of The Black Lion pub on Drury Lane; Jack's favourite haunt!

Various other characters including Prison Guard, Newspaper Reporters, a Preacher, 2 Posh Ladies and 2 Posh Gentlemen, a Street Drinks Vendor, a Doctor and various Wild's Thugs.

The show is completely sung-through. There are moments of spoken dialogue, but the Music doesn't stop for both acts, totalling c.130 minutes.

I'm currently re-working some of the lyrics with the wonderful Elizabeth Major.
Audio clips:

(BESS is cleaning tables and begins to daydream)
In this scene we're introduced to one of our main characters - Edgeworth Bess. She works in the Black Lion pub, but feels trapped there. She begins to daydream of a better life. She is then interupted by the landlord of the pub - Haynes. The pub comes to life with people drinking and merry-making. Their enjoyment is interupted by the appearance of Jonathon Wild, Thief-Taker General.
(WILD is sat at his desk. His THUGS are hanging around.
Enter BLUESKIN sheepishly)
In this scene Blueskin Blake has been summoned to Wild to explain why he's been thieving in London without his permission. Wild and his Thugs threaten Blueskin until he hands over his loot. As a price, Wild demands he undertake a job for him.
(Massive thanks to Sam Burns for his excellent portrayal of Wild!)
(More audio clips coming soon!)

Jack - Libretto
(Coming Soon)
Currently re-working some of the lyrics with the fabulous Elizabeth Major.
Below: Video of workshop Music performance. 1st October 2023
This was a Music-only performance to get feedback.

A few comments:
"An absolute triumph. Loved it. Loved the returning motifs...."
"...magnificent last night...your thematic development through the show was so good. Would now love to see it fully staged"

A massive thank you to everybody who made this performance possible. Liz and I are now working on ammendments that we'll hopefully have complete in early 2024.

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