Zeitgeist - the spirit of the moment - all but completed, is set in London and southern Ireland. The original book uses exciting up to date issues, true to life events, conflict of loyalties, history and the fallout from the World’s financial boom and bust on three individuals, JOHNNY, a young City copper trader, CATRIONA, an Irish gourmet chef and VLADIMIR, a Russian Oligarch and mine owner. The story is of rags to riches, storm disaster at sea, big business versus the little man, a developing love affair, clashes of culture, conflicting ethics regarding the exploitation of world resources / environmental damage, all threaded through with tragedy and passion…
Total of 20 or could be reduced to 16 with doubling.
JOHNNY 25 - 40
1st Russian henchman 20+
Optional M/F 2nd Russian henchman 50+
Bar/betting shop owner 30+
DYSON 20+ dance crew leader
CATRIONA 20 - 40
Female ENGINEER 25+
11- 20 Mixed ages & sexes dance/crew/drinkers/congregation/locals.
Note on staging
Yacht and sea scenes occur during dusk on gangways or decked areas next to water. Other scenes are bars, inside a darkened yacht cabin and a back drop view of The Thames/Tower Bridge/ St Katherine’s Dock/ Shard and Jubilee areas at night. A couple of sea and landscape are daylight back drops projections. One song scene happens in a lift.
Opens with JOHNNY next to the Tower of London and the Thames where he is at the point of suicide, we meet ZEITGEIST the dance crew, then through a chance encounter JOHNNY becomes a last minute replacement crewman helping on board a Russian oligarch’s yacht (also named Zeitgeist), where he is introduced to CATRIONA the Irish love interest. “ZEITGEIST” the yacht is caught in a storm, two essential sailors, the helmsmen and female engineer, lie accidentally drugged (by mishaps involving CATRIONA), no use to anyone. JOHNNY becomes a hero but life is lost and now suffering severe damage, the yacht limps broken to a picturesque port in Southern Ireland where there happen to be interested parties - relatives and an old Copper mine with secret, massive potential. Discoveries come about and choices need to be made which could reverse everyone’s fortunes.
Humour is provided through the ditsy CATRIONA, her mishaps, superstitious minds plus the Russian’s extraordinary activities.
All age ranges of domestic & tourist audience. Calculated to appeal also to wider special interest groups outside usual theatre reach; young modern dance enthusiasts, yachties, the Irish diaspora, City traders and Industrialists. The story is realistic, bang up to date, romantic and is an exciting portrayal of contemporary life and topical global issues told through colourful modern stereotypes. There is a crucial ethical dilemma then a twist at the end. The yacht crew characters are from various ethnic groups / countries so playing to international taste and being reflective of London.
Based on separate true, researched unrelated incidents and mining history.
Musical content and style
Modern Irish folk song, modern ballads, show songs, duets, choral work and jazz funk. The songs of contemporary jazz funk style provide for the Street Dance Crew also called “ZEITGEIST”. This hunky, young lot are otherwise occupied as locals/drinkers/yacht crew. Dance-offs occur between the three rival crew cultures of Irish River Dance, Russian Cossack dancers and Urban Street. Recurring themes & songs are used with sung through dialogue in places. N.B “Through the darkest night” is a big love duet, this is formed from two different and separate stand alone, solo songs, one; female song, one male song later these two combine to form the big love duet.
NUMBER 1: “Johnny-no-mate”: JOHNNY plus chorus edgy, jazz inspired song of anger debts and misfortune in love? JOHNNY’s song reoccurs with sequenced lyrics/dialogue. JOHNNY, sacked, shocked and in despair… will he end his life because of his redundancy, massive gambling debts and recent romantic rejection?
NUMBER 2 “Through the darkest night” female song solo CATRIONA
NUMBER 3: “It’s a lovely day”: CATRIONA’s theme the song which appears several times with sung through lyric in place of dialogue. This song celebrates the simple things in life money can save but not buy….. Untouched beautiful landscape, seals, otters, the Kerry slug!
NUMBER 4: “You gotta take what comes” CATRIONA plus backing
The gourmet chef female lead is delightfully honest and accident prone, she describes her mishaps to an interested JOHNNY in this quirky, jazz inspired humorous number.
NUMBER 5: “My Ireland”: DYSON, CATRIONA, JOHNNY, LOTTIE, Betting man plus chorus
The first appearance of a new nostalgic Irish Folk song style ballad. (The song will reoccur with different lyrics.)
NUMBER 6: “Drink up hoi!”: VLADIMIR leads with full cast
A Russian traditional folk style number for the belligerent, dangerously unpredictable Russian oligarch Vladimir and henchmen to perform at night with knives and flaming torches. To be used again for rival dance occasions.
NUMBER 7: “Temporary”:JOHNNY & CATRIONA
Contemporary rock/funk song expressing uncertainty and contempt for the modern consumer society.
NUMBER 8: “Through the darkest night” male song solo JOHNNY
NUMBER 8: “Appetite - Happy tight”: Cast sing a modern stomping dance, feed me now, I’m hungry song.
NUMBER 9: “All aboard lullaby”: a lullaby for today. Females sing
NUMBER 10: “The ghost of love”: CATRIONA &“ghost character” Pulsing and obsessively driven, atmospheric, modern funky ballad about a missing partner.
NUMBER 11: a traditionally styled, new ballad “Hungry Hill”, “ My Ireland” and “Come what may” are each the same song and reoccur throughout the story. Nostalgic standard structure with up-lifting chorus to end which audience may be tempted to join….
NUMBER 12: “Through the darkest night” songs combo:
JOHNNY & CATRIONA duet
Classic, modern yearning love song, Johnny and Catriona are separated in the yacht disaster, drifting in the night, lives are lost.
NUMBER 13: “Singing is the golden key”: M & F share plus cast as congregation
Is a reflective, dignified ballad sung by a local choir in support of Irish fishing families who mourn 3 young men drowned in a tragic accident. The song is sung in a service which binds the fishing community together and is heard floating across the seas in the atmospheric dark.
NUMBER 13: “Serendipity”: JOHNNY & CATRIONA, A modern Latin bossa nova take on an upmarket seaside holiday developing romance.
NUMBER 14: “When the mist rolls back”: Lottie Powerful & atmospheric song emoting experience of living with devastating illness. Also set as a duet.
NUMBER 15: “Soar like an eagle”: CATRIONA, JOHNNY & chorus
At crucial decision point the wonders of unspoilt Irish west coast wildlife is celebrated. Uplifting, upbeat (It has an eagle in it!)
NUMBER 16: “Come what may”: Cast sing 3rd manifestation of the new Irish nostalgic and up-lifting ballad to close with.
Elements from these songs will be used for various dance off occasions throughout the story.
OPTIONAL: small child (could be on video as if by PC SKYPE).
(could be “ethnic surprise” as this is Irish Catriona’s child)
Group should include obvious regional and multi national ethnic cross section including Black Afro Caribbean - English dancers,
Lizzie Freeborn c 2013 “ZEITGEIST” the musical