By Dale Wasserman

Music by Mitch Leigh

Lyrics by Joe Darion

 

Don Quixote / Cervantes Neil Davies
Sancho Panza Paul Buckle
Aldonza Rhiannon Rose
Captain of the Inquisition / Padre Nigel Holloway
Governor /
Innkeeper
Mike Gaccon
Duke / Dr Carrasco Chris Chedzey
Pedro Kevin Morgan
Antonia Caroline Thurlow
Maria Fiona Thomas
Fermina Angie Dymott
Housekeeper Janet Holloway
Mad Prisoner / Anna Cheryl Payne
Mercedes Leigh Tomala
Lucia Bev Pearce
Barber / Jose John Tomala
Horse / Tenorio James Osborne
Juan Ruairidh MacLeod-Lyon
Anselmo Roger Thomas
   

 

Synopsis

The play is set in the latter half of the sixteenth century, when the whole of Europe lay in dread of the terror of the Spanish Inquisition. Cervantes is thrown into jail to appear before the dreaded Inquisitors, only to find himself the defendant in a mock trial before his cynical fellow prisoners, with the forfeit of all his possessions as the ultimate and inevitable outcome. To defend himself, and try to save a tattered unnamed manuscript, which he prizes above all other possessions, Cervantes acts out the story of the noble knight, Don Quixote. As Don Quixote careers through his mad adventures, fighting windmills, mistaking rough roadside inns for castles, discovering his lady Dulcinea in the form of a kitchen slut, and seeing good in everything, Cervantes encourages the prisoners to join in his charade. The ‘play within a play’ continues to entertain and divert the prisoners, until Cervantes is forced to admit that he does not know the ending of the story. The immediate threat of the inquisition forces Cervantes to desperately improvise an ending to the story, one which so moves the prisoners that they return his precious manuscript – the story of Don Quixote, them Man of La Mancha.