Register Albums Musicals Photos News Interact Competition Download Information

Mp3 download

A life in the daze of
Stanley Bishop

by Collinson ~ Jacobs ~ Walsh

Stanley B was to be (or not to be) our second attempt at writing a musical.   This time we took heed from Jonathon Simon, a judge from the '96 Vivien Ellis awards, Although he liked our previous show 'Tomorrow Never Knows' he felt it was 'pointless in this day and age to even bother writing anything that hadn't already been written'.   Half agreeing, we decided to write a musical parody based in the swinging sixties. We set scene in the middle of Soho gangland, based  our  two crime bosses  on the infamous Krays, and our protagonist on Derrick Bentley. Then locked ourselves in a studio in Bedfordshire and wrote 'A life in the daze of Stanley B!'


SYNOPSIS   A Life in the daze of Stanley Bishop!

It is the day of the 1966 World Cup Final between England and West Germany. It is also the day of Stanley Bishops execution for murdering crime boss Frankie Briggs. Stanley's last minute appeal has been turned down, but his request, for a wireless has been granted so he can listen to the World cup final. As Stanley is illiterate, he asks the prison guard to write a final note to his mother and father.
Innocent Man. Through the song Stanley insists he is innocent and explains to the prison guard how he came to be in this terrible predicament.

The Prison set flies away to reveal Trafalgar Square, New Years Eve 1964/65. Ready Steady Go. Stanley meets Pauline, Penny and Red celebrating the New Year. Stanley tells them he's come down to London to locate a friend of his. Pauline invites him to a Party at 'The Ace of Clubs' owned by the Briggs brothers. Once at the club crime boss Frank Briggs appears on stage to make his thank you speeches. Two masked gunmen burst in and attempt to assassinate him. They are thwarted by Stanley who over powers them. The two Hitmen flee threatening revenge on Stanley. . Frank, impressed by the accidental hero offers him a job. 
Better than working. With nowhere to sleep, Stanley accepts Pauline's offer of a sofa. Pauline discovers that Stanley cannot read or write and, through the songs Wonderful Place, and a reprise of Innocent man, she learns that Stanley was a professional Boxer who refused to take a dive at an organised fight. Consequently the Northern Mafia are after him.
Stanley turns up for work and meets Spike and Belinda. Belinda is an ex- prostitute who manages the club for her bloke Kenny Briggs. She explains to Stanley the ' ground rules' for working for the Briggs brothers. Belinda sings about her seedy past, and her philosophy on life. It's a Good Life.  Pauline and Stanley venture onto Carnaby Street en-route to find Stanley's friend (his former trainer) as they do they bump into Penny and Red who tag along. Carnaby Street On arrival at a West End flat, they discover Stanley's friend has been stabbed and left for dead. With his dying breath, he warns
Stanley that the Northern Mafia are after him.  On hearing this, Kenny is furious with his brother for employing him. Frank says that they owe Stanley for saving his life, but Kenny, still unhappy, concocts a plan to eradicate both Frank and Stanley and seize control of the 'empire'. Words to that effect. Kenny then instructs Spike to track down the Northern Mafia and make them a proposal. He orders Belinda to get close to Stanley and gain his confidence.    Under Belinda's influence Stanley moves out of Pauline's Bedsit and into the 
spare room above the club. How can I tell Him?  The last scene of the first act is set back at the 'Ace of Clubs'. Spike introduces Kenny to The Northern Hitmen, and a mutually beneficial deal is struck to carry out Kenny's plan. Nocturnal Lament.  Stanley has a bad trip on mescaline and starts to hallucinate.  Stanley panics, Frank tries to calm him down, but Stanley threatens to kill him. The opening of Act 2 returns to Stanley's prison cell on the day of his execution. The Final between England and West Germany is about to begin on the TV. Stanley continues to tell his story via a reprise of Innocent man.
The opening of Act 2 is set in a business meeting with the Briggs' and all their cronies.  Partners in Crime! Stanley is sent for the books. Kenny goes ballistic cos Stanley cant read and insists Frank gets the books. There are two gun shots and a scuffle and when the gangsters run to see what has happened. Stanley is stood over a dying Frank holding a gun.   On the afternoon of Frank's funeral Kenny and Belinda celebrate killing 'Two birds with one stone'  Every little thingFrank is dead leaving Kenny in charge, and Stanley will be hung for his murder. The perfect crime. Kenny uses his 
power to buy the Judge and the Jury for Stanley's trial. Belinda is asked by Pauline to testify on Stanley's behalf,  but declines.   Pauline now realising that Stanley has been framed sings Rain, a lament for her doomed love.  Innocent man 3  Pauline visits Stanley in Jail and tries to convince him that Kenny and Belinda are not the friends they seem, Stanley won't listen as he believes they will testify on his behalf.  Freedom Thang!
The day of Stanley's trial arrives. Despite the Defence's valiant attempts to clear Stanley's name it becomes obvious that he is fighting a losing battle as the Jury and Judge have all been paid off. Stanley is sentenced to death by hanging. Stanley's final words are directed to Pauline as he now realises, too late, that she is the only person that really cared.. Babe, I was a Rich man.
For the final scene we are back in Stanley's Prison cell. Through the last reprise of Innocent Man Stanley concludes his letter with the Warden. Germany equalize with less than one minute to go so the game goes into extra time.  Stanley will never know who wins the World cup.  Believe Me. In silhouette the audience see the shadow of Stanley as the noose is placed around his neck.  The famous commentary from the 1966 World cup is heard as Stanley walks to the gallows. 'Charlton, forward to Hurst. There are some people on the pitch ... they think it's all over ...' The trap door opens with a deathly thud and Stanley falls to his death. '... It is now!'

There is a saying that 'If you remember the 60's then you weren't really there.' If you weren't, here's a taste of  what you missed ... ... ... ...

Stanley B! made its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe festival 2001.
Directed by Kate Marlow. Choreographed and staged by Letisha 'Wharley' Szabo