Opera Scotland

Cox and Box or The Long-lost Brothers

Music

Arthur Sullivan (born London, 13 May 1842; died London, 22 November 1900)

Text

Francis Cowley Burnand

Source

Farce Box and Cox (1847) by John Maddison Morton

 

Premieres

First Performance: London (private), 26 May 1866).

First public performance: London (Adelphi Theatre), 11 May 1867.

First performance in Scotland: tbc.

 

Background

Cox and Box is a charming little farce in a cheerfully melodic vein. In a shortened form, lasting only half an hour, it was revived and brought into the D'Oyly Carte repertoire in 1921 as a curtain-raiser. Thus it was used, like Trial By Jury, to start the evening's programme, generally to be followed by Pirates of Penzance or H M S Pinafore.

It works perfectly well as an intimate piece played with simple piano accompaniment, and on that basis is an ideal chamber-scale entertainment.

 

Characters

Mr Cox, a hatter (baritone)

Mr Box, a printer (tenor)

Sergeant Bouncer, keeper of a boarding house (bass)

 

Plot Summary

Sergeant Bouncer, retired from the army, is now the keeper of a boarding house. One of his lodgers, Cox, works by day as a hatter. Box, a printer, is employed at night. Bouncer, to double his income, rents the same room out to them both, as they are never at home simultaneously. Until.....

The Cast

Bouncer
 a retired army Sergeant, now keeper of a boarding house
Box
 a journeyman printer
Cox
 a journeyman hatter

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