Jeeves: The Songs

Jeeves: The Songs and By Jeeves: The Songs looks at how the musicals developed and changed through their songs. For the development of By Jeeves, click here.

As the
Background page makes clear, the journey of Jeeves from page to stage was a long and torturous one. In 2009, the four manuscripts of the musical and the Second Draft Synopsis held in the Ayckbourn Archive were brought together for comparison and to place them within a historical context. As a result it is possible to see how the musical and the songs developed. This page offers a guide to the songs of Jeeves through the various manuscripts and productions; although it is entirely possible further variations of the manuscript also exist.

The Original hand-written draft

Alan's first hand-written draft still exists, although it is not in sequential order and comprises largely of handwritten notes, dialogue and various drafts of songs for the musical. Largely incomprehensible as a manuscript, it forms the basis for:

The Second draft

A second distinct draft of Jeeves was evidently written, but has not survived. In its place, there is a surviving typed document entitled Jeeves-Musical Synopsis. (Second Draft). This is extremely detailed and the synopsis alone runs to 20 pages, which includes the song titles and their place in the script offering the first true idea of the original form of the musical.

Act 1
1) Banjo Boy
2) The Code Of The Woosters
3) Jeeves Is Past His Best
[1]
4) Limerick Song
5) Aunt Dahlia (menu song)
[2]
6) Don't Tie Me Down, I'm A Travelling Man
[3]
7) Won't You Do This For Me, Bertie?
8) Spode Theme
9) Love Duet - Madeleine & Bertie
10) Code Of The Woosters reprise
11) Girls' Trio: Waltz
Notes
[1] The structure of the Second draft generally concurs with later drafts with the exception of
Jeeves Is Past His Best, which moves to Act II
[2] Many of the Second Draft songs have place-holder titles but which are the same songs found in later drafts
[3] This seems to be unique to the Second Draft and is not the
Motoring Song (see below)
[4] The opening song of Act II is listed and then scribbled out
[5] This song is unique to the second draft
[6] This song is unique to the second draft
Act 2
-) Valet's Lament (cut) [4]
1) What Is An Idiot?
[5]
2) What Shall We Do About Spode?
3) Duet - Stiffy & Pinker
4)
SPODE
5) Tennis Song
6)
Eulalie
7) Madrigal
8) I Have A Plan
[6]
9) Limerick Song reprise
10) Waltz reprise
11) Big Banjo Finish

The First typed draft (An Evening With Bertram Wooster)

The first typed draft (probably the third actual draft) has a handwritten frontispiece with the title An Evening With Bertram Wooster and runs to 202 pages(!) - despite four songs being cut since the Second Draft. It includes separate pages for the songs inserted into the manuscript at the appropriate place. The songs have been typed onto pink paper and are clearly differentiated from the dialogue pages. The first clear structure of the musical is found here.

Act 1
1) Banjo Boy
2) The Code Of The Woosters
3) Limerick Song
4)
Food’s Old Sweet Song [7]
5)
Motoring Song (Crow Flies) [8]
6) Female Of The Species
[9]
7) Tales Of Spode
8) When Love Arrives
[10]
9)
Today (Waltz) [11]
Notes
[7]
Aunt Dahlia song retitled
[8] Replaces
Don't Tie Me Down...
[9]
Won't You Do This For Me, Bertie? retitled
[10]
Love Duet retitled
[11]
Girls' Trio: Waltz retitled
[12]
Jeeves Is Past His Best retitled
[13]
What Shall We Do About Spode? retitled
[14]
Duet retitled
Act 2
1) Jeeves Is Past His Peak [12]
2) Tales Of Spode
[13]
3) Half A Moment
[14]
4) SPODE
5) Tennis Song
6) Eulalie
7) Madrigal
8) Limerick Song reprise
9) Banjo Boy reprise

The Original Rehearsal Draft

The original rehearsal draft exists in a two-sided typed manuscript with 158 pages. The script still includes the character of Aunt Dahlia and her songs and several songs still have working titles which will be altered by the time the try-out at the Bristol Hippodrome opens.

Act 1
1) Banjo Boy
2) The Code Of The Woosters
3) Limerick Song
4) Food’s Old Sweet Song
5) Motoring Song (Crow Flies)
6) Female Of The Species
7) Today
[15]
8) Spode (new song)
[16]
9) When Love Arrives
10) Today reprise
Notes
[15]
Today (a waltz) is introduced earlier in this draft and then reprised at the end
[16] This draft only mentions
Spode (new song) but does not include any lyrics for it
[17] This is the only draft to specifically name
SPODE as the SPODE Anthem.
Act 2
1) Jeeves Is Past His Peak
2) Tales Of Spode
3) Half A Moment
4) SPODE Anthem
[17]
5) Tennis Song
6) Eulalie
7) Madrigal
8) Limerick Song reprise
9) Banjo Boy reprise

Jeeves: Bristol Hippodrome production

This running list is taken from the original programme / playbill for the Bristol Hippodrome production. Aunt Dahlia is still present in the script at this point (although she will be removed during the course of the Bristol run) and many of the songs have been renamed. The running order of the songs altered during the course of the Bristol run (see Interim below).

Act 1
1) Banjo Boy
2) The Code Of The Woosters
3) Literary Men
[18]
4) Food Of Love
[19]
5) Travelling Hopefully
[20]
6) Code Of The Woosters reprise
7) Female Of The Species
8) Today
9) Song of Spode
[21]
10) When Love Arrives
11) Today reprise
Notes
[18]
Limerick Song retitled
[19]
Food's Old Sweet Song retitled
[20] This replaced the
Motoring Song after the production had opened
[21]
Tales Of Spode retitled
[22]
Tennis Song retitled
[23]
Madrigal retitled
Act 2
1) Jeeves Is Past His Peak
2) Song Of Spode reprise
3) Half A Moment
4) SPODE
5) Summer Day
[22]
6) Eulalie
7) ‘Tis Nature’s Plan
[23]
8) Literary Men reprise
9) Banjo Boy reprise

Jeeves: Bristol Hippodrome production - Interim

Between the opening night and the 'revised draft' (see below), the running order of the songs was altered to allow for the fact that the character of Aunt Dahlia had been completely axed. This led to all her songs being removed as well as a couple of other alterations to presumably cut the running time even more. This running order was never officially recorded, but was found by Mike Linham in an annotated programme for the Bristol programme, who kindly provided details to the website.

Act 1
1) Banjo Boy
2) The Code Of The Woosters
3) Travelling Hopefully
[24]
4) Code Of The Woosters reprise
5) Female Of The Species
6) Today
7) When Love Arrives
Notes
[24] Interestingly,
Literary Men was apparently cut briefly, before being restored for the West End transfer
[25]
Jeeves Is Past His Peak was also apparently cut, which seems a strange decision given how integral it is to the musical; it was later restored for the West End transfer
Act 2
1) Half A Moment [25]
2) SPODE
3) Summer Day
4) Eulalie
5) ‘Tis Nature’s Plan
6) Literary Men reprise
7) Banjo Boy reprise

The Revised draft

The revised draft is a single sided type manuscript consisting of 125 pages. Aunt Dahlia's character and songs (Food Of Love and Song Of Spode) have now been totally excised and one new song My Sort Of Man introduced, replacing the equivalent spoken dialogue between Honoria and Bertie during their tennis match. This, presumably, either became the running order for the final performances at Bristol Hippodrome or was a proposal for how the musical would be changed for its West End transfer.

Act 1 [26]
1) Banjo Boy
2) The Code Of The Woosters
3) Literary Men
4) Travel Hopefully
5) When Love Arrives
[27]
6) Code Of The Woosters reprise
7) Female Of The Species
8) Today
9) When Love Arrives reprise
10) Today reprise
Notes
[26] Both Aunt Dahlia's songs have now been excised from the manuscript
[27]
When Love Arrives is introduced earlier and Song Of Spode is removed from Act 1
[28] Although the
Entr'acte was present in previous drafts and productions, this is the first time it is specifically referred to in a manuscript
[29]
My Sort Of Man, sung by Honoria, is introduced within Summer Day
Act 2
1) Entr’acte [28]
2) When Love Arrives reprise
3) Jeeves Is Past His Peak
4) Half A Moment
5) SPODE
6) Summer Day
7) My Sort Of Man
[29]
8) Eulalie
9) ‘Tis Nature’s Plan
10) Literary Men reprise
11) Banjo Boy reprise

Jeeves: Her Majesty's production

This running list is taken from the original programme / playbill for the Her Majesty's Theatre production. Song-wise there appears to be only minor alterations between this and the rehearsal draft.

Act 1
1) Banjo Boy
2) The Code Of The Woosters
3) Literary Men
4) Travel Hopefully
[30]
5) The Code Of The Woosters reprise
6) Female Of The Species
7) Today
8) When Love Arrives
9) Today reprise
Notes
[30] The early introduction of When Love Arrives has been removed
[31] The Act 2 reprise of
When Love Arrives has also been removed
Act 2
1) Entr’acte [31]
2) Jeeves Is Past His Peak
3) Half A Moment
4) SPODE
5) Summer Day
6) My Sort Of Man
7) Eulalie
8) ‘Tis Nature’s Plan
9) Literary Men reprise
10) Banjo Boy reprise

Jeeves: Original cast recording

An original cast recording was released on LP (vinyl only) by MCA. It has a substantially shortened playlist, presumably due to time limitations of the format. No reference to the plot is made within the record and there are no sleeve notes to put the songs in context, hence the omission of several notable songs including the opening Banjo Boy.

Act 1
1) Overture
2) The Code Of The Woosters
3) Travelling Hopefully
4) Female Of The Species
5) Today
6) When Love Arrives
7) Today (reprise)
Notes
[32] The order of the songs was altered by Andrew Lloyd-Webber to make the album flow better and sound more cohesive. Given there are no synopsis notes, this presumably did not matter to most listeners.
Act 2
1) Entr’acte
2) Jeeves Is Past His Peak
3) Half A Moment
4) SPODE
5) Eulalie
[32]
6) Summer Day
7) Banjo Boy

All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd.