The Roar of the Greasepaint — The Smell of the Crowd


A rousing music-hall allegory, THE ROAR OF THE GREASEPAINT – THE SMELL OF THE CROWD explores British class structure through the antics of two comic figures: Sir, who has everything, and Cocky, who has nothing. The two clowns fiercely compete in a “Game of Life,” in which Sir holds every advantage. Cocky struggles to overcome the obstacles Sir lays in his path, and soon grows as judgmental and bellicose as Sir himself. In time, Cocky and Sir reconcile and develop a mutual, if cautious, understanding.

Photos by Jake Pett, courtesy of Manhattanville College, Purchase NY

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Materials
  • Cast
  • History
  • Musical Numbers
  • Upcoming
  • Act I

    Sir (one of the “haves”) and his foil, Cocky (one of the “have-nots”), meet to play “The Game.” Sir insists that the “haves” must retain their position, even if the rules of The Game must constantly change to accommodate them. Poor Cocky contends with Sir’s new rules at every turn.

    Cocky tries again and again, unsuccessfully, to play The Game. With every victory, Sir further restricts the rules. Finally, Cocky tires of Sir’s authority and declares that only in dreams do hopes come true. Sir, however, claims that the courage, wisdom and foresight of the “haves” can only improve the lot of the “have-nots.”

    Crowned “King” in a mock ceremony, Cocky appears to be winning The Game of Life, but Sir steps in to remind him that wealth always wins out. Desperate as Act One ends, Cocky mournfully sings “Who Can I Turn To?”

    Act II

    A new character enters– someone even more downtrodden than Cocky. Cocky, seizing a chance at superiority, grows as overbearing as Sir. He asserts himself and – with new confidence – plays Sir’s game and wins. Triumphant, he challenges Sir’s mastery and proposes new rules. But neither Cocky nor Sir can survive alone. They decide to set off together, but disagree about how to get there, and wind up locked in a perpetual state of antagonism.

    Book, Music and Lyrics by
    Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley
    Produced for the Broadway Stage by David Merrick

    Such credits to the authors for all purposes shall be in type size equal to or greater than that of any other credits except for that of the star(s) above the title. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.

    The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:

    is presented by arrangement with
    Tams-Witmark, A Concord Theatricals Company

    Additionally, you agree to include the above language hyperlinked to on all websites on which you promote the play.

  • Full Orchestration:

    2 Violin A
    1 Violin B
    1 Cello I & II
    1 Bass

    1 Reed I: Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet & Alto Flute (or Clarinet)
    1 Reed II: Flute (or Clarinet) & Clarinet
    1 Reed III: Oboe, English Horn (or Clarinet), Clarinet, Bass Clarinet (or Tenor Sax.) & Tenor Saxophone
    1 Reed IV: Clarinet, Bassoon (or Baritone Sax.) & Baritone Saxophone

    2 Horn I & II
    2 Trumpet I & II
    1 Trombone (optionally doubling Euphonium)

    2 Percussion I & II:

    Timpani (2 drums)
    Snare Drum
    Bass Drum
    Tom Toms (2)
    Toy Drums (3)
    Bongo Drums
    Cymbals (large & small suspended)
    Hi-Hat Cymbals
    Tam Tam
    Temple Blocks (4)
    Wood Blocks (2)
    Sistrum (small metal Rattle)
    Train Whistle
    Slide Whistle
    Glass Tree

    1 Harp
    1 Guitar & Banjo

    (Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material. There is no Piano in the orchestration.)

  • Rehearsal Materials

    2       Piano/Conductor Scores
    20     Libretto/Vocal Books

  • Sir
    The Kid
    The Girl
    The Negro
    The Bully
    The Urchins

  • THE ROAR OF THE GREASEPAINT—THE SMELL OF THE CROWD played for 231 performances on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre Theatre starring Anthony Newley, Cyril Ritchard, Sally Smith and Joyce Jillson.

    AWARDS (1964-65)

    The Theatre World Award for debut performance by Joyce Jillson.

  • Act I

    1. Overture – Orchestra
    2. Opening – Orchestra
    3. “The Beautiful Land” – Urchins
    3a. Scene – Orchestra
    4. “A Wonderful Day Like Today” – Sir, Cocky, Urchins
    4a. Scene – Orchestra
    5. “It Isn’t Enough” – Cocky, Urchins
    5a. The Game Scene – Orchestra
    6. “Things To Remember” – Sir, Kid, Urchins
    6a. Things to Remember Tag – Orchestra
    7. “Put It In The Book” – Kid, Urchins
    7a. Scene – Orchestra
    8. “This Dream” – Cocky
    8a. Scene – Orchestra
    9. “Where Would You Be Without Me?” – Sir, Cocky
    9a. Without Me Tag – Orchestra
    9b. Scene – Orchestra
    10. “Look At That Face” – Sir, Kid, Urchins
    10a. Scene – Orchestra
    11. “My First Love Song” – Cocky, Girl
    11a. Scene – Orchestra
    12. “The Joker” – Cocky
    12a. Scene – Orchestra
    13. The Funeral – Orchestral
    14. “Who Can I Turn To?” – Cocky

    Act II

    15. Entr’acte – Orchestra
    16. “A Funny Funeral” / “That’s What It Is To Be Young” – Urchins
    16a. Funny Funeral Tag – Orchestra
    17. “What A Man!” – Cocky, Sir, Urchins
    17a. Scene – Orchestra
    18. “Feeling Good” – Negro, Urchins
    18a. Scene – Orchestra
    19. “Nothing Can Stop Me Now!” – Cocky, Urchins
    19a. Scene – Orchestra
    20. Reprise: “Things To Remember” – Sir
    20a. Scene – Orchestra
    21. “My Way” – Cocky, Sir
    22. Reprise: “Who Can I Turn To?” – Sir
    22a. Scene – Orchestra
    23. “Sweet Beginning” – Cocky, Sir, Kid, Urchins
    24. Exit Music – Orchestra

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