alphabetical author index

Mrs Beeton Says...

A new musical based on the life and times of Isabella Beeton.

  • Full Length Musical
  • Drama, Biography

  • Time Period: 19th Century
  • Target Audience: Senior, Adult
  • Set Requirements: Unit Set/Multiple Settings

  • Performance Group:
  • Community Theatre, Professional Theatre
"As with the commander of an army, so is it with the mistress of a house."

Isabella Beeton was only 23 years old when she penned these words in "Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management", first published in 1861. She could not have predicted how they would resonate with the women of England, nor could she have imagined how her name would become synonymous with culinary expertise and domestic bliss for generations to come.

Mrs Beeton Says... is a charming and vibrant musical examining the life and legacy of this extraordinary woman: a spirited journalist, a tireless entrepreneur, and if not a perfect homemaker, then certainly a queen of organization. In a world where a woman could not vote, own a house, nor even ride a bicycle, Mrs Beeton’s book gave the women of England something they desperately wanted: a bit of control.

Premiere Production: First performed at the Redgrave Theatre, Bristol, 6 December 2018, by Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
  • Casting: 3M, 5F
  • Casting Attributes: Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
  • Casting Notes: Other characters, spoken letters and voice-overs may be distributed among the company at the discretion of the Director. In the original production the actors playing Bella and Sam did not play any other roles, but the remaining four women and two men multi-roled all the other ensemble parts. Accents should represent the full variety and breadth of the British Isles.

  • ISABELLA (BELLA) BEETON - (f, 20s) A bright and ambitious young woman
    SAM BEETON - (m, 20-30s) Her husband, an entrepreneurial publisher
    BESSIE - Isabella's sister (20)
    ESTHER - Isabella's sister (18)
    COMMENTATOR - (m, any age)
    MYRA BROWNE - (f, 20s) A middle-class Clapham housewife
    ALICE - (f, 18) A West Country maid
    SARAH - (f, 20-40s) A northern mother of eight
    AMABEL - (f, 20-40s) A wealthy London society lady
    FRED GREENWOOD - (m, 20-30s) Sam Beeton's assistant
    FABRIC WOMAN - (f, 30-60s)
    ENTERTAINING WOMAN - (f, 20-30s)
    CORSET MAN - (m, any age)
    CUPID'S LETTER BAG WOMAN - (f, 20-40s)
    BARKER - (m, 20-60s) A side-show performance & social commentator
    PEGGY JONES - (f, any age)
    SALLY VINE - (f, 20s)
    GEORGE FREEMAN - (m, 30-50s) A chauvinistic engraver
    PROSTITUTE - (f, any age)
    CALF'S FEET WOMAN - (f, any age)
    TRIPE WOMAN - (f, any age)
    SNIPES WOMAN - (f, any age)
    HORSERADISH SAUCE WOMAN - (f, any age)
    RABBIT STEW MAN - (m, any age)
    SYLLABUB WOMAN (f, any age)
    ENGLISH TOURISTS - (any ages)
    FRENCH SHOP ASSISTANT - (f, any age)
    GERMAN WOMAN - (f, any age)
    DOCTOR - (m, any age)
    BUTCHER - (m, any age)
    JUDGE - (m, 30-60s)