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Authors: Jenny Pattrick

Skylark

BOOK: Skylark
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THE LITTLE FRENCH GIRL, LILY ALOUETTE, WAS SINGING AND DANCING ALMOST AS SOON AS SHE COULD WALK, AND PERFORMING BECAME AS MUCH A PART OF HER AS BREATHING.

 

When she is left an orphan in an unfamiliar country after her parents have emigrated to the goldfields, it is performing in a circus that offers survival. Later she takes to the stage in New Zealand and Australia, which is where she attracts the attention of two men. One is the faithful Jack Lacey; the other is the renowned pirate Bully Hayes. While Jack has to compete with both Bully and the theatre to win Lily’s attention, Lily finds she must share Jack, too.

 

This lively, unconventional love story is set amid real figures from nineteenth-century theatre, giving a vivid and entertaining picture of the life of actors and circus performers, of gold miners, of horse breeders, of colonial settlers. Filtered through a unique and intriguing narrative, it is page-turning, heart-warming and full of surprises.

JENNY PATTRICK

SKYLARK

In memory of my parents, Don and Tim Priestley, and for the many performers among my friends and family members.

 

SKYLARK

 

An Entertainment

Almost all the performers, performing groups and theatres mentioned in these pages were real. The places and times of their performances, the names of the plays and songs are accurate. Naturally, since this novel is an entertainment in itself, a little dramatic licence has been employed. Almost all of the events described really happened; the rest certainly could have.

Contents

Title Page

Dedication

Epigraph

 

P
ROGRAMME

PROLOGUE

Eleanor de Mountfort
(archivist)

INTRODUCTION

Madame Lily Alouette!

     
A MELODRAMA!
A M
AID PURSUED
!
or The Blackguard and the Stranger on Horseback

 

NARRATED BY
Madame Lily Alouette!
AND
Mr Samuel Lacey

ACT ONE:
My Early Life

A talented young child is trained in the performing arts

A disaster, and an opportunity

I make a new friend

Tragedy on the goldfields

 

ACT TWO:
Foley’s Victoria Circus

A new family is found; a new talent is born

Enter the horseman

An interesting aside

Recollections of Jack Lacey (1) A proposal spurned!

 

ACT THREE:
Theatrical Life

I am introduced to the dramatic arts

Enter the blackguard

Recollections of Jack Lacey (2) A shocking night!

Lily’s aside

I pursue my trade as an artiste

 

ACT FOUR:
One Door Opens; Another Closes

Enter the Buckinghams

Recollections of Jack Lacey (3) The horsebreeder

 

ACT FIVE: Finale
Bully Hayes!

I hit rock bottom

Winter in the goldfields

Revenge!

Adelaida

Recollections of Jack Lacey (4) In search of Lily

Doctor Shadrach Jones

Jack hears unwelcome news

Return to New Zealand

The final straw

All is lost!

Back on the boards!

MUSICAL INTERLUDE:

‘ADELAIDA’
— composed and performed
by
Madame Lily Alouette!

 

‘THE BLACKGUARD BULLY HAYES’

comic song and clog-dance composed and performed
by
Lydia
and
Lysander Lacey

Mattie’s Journal

       
A FARCE
The Horseman, The Actress and The Wench at the Gate
or Who is the Wife?

 

NARRATED BY
Mrs Mathilda Lacey
WITH
Others

Scenes:

The horseman is comforted

Return of the prodigal

An amusing ‘coincidence’!

A letter from Lily to Jack and Mattie

Recollection of Jack Lacey (5) War in the Waitotara!

First days at school

The circus arrives!

The Tragic Tale of Theodore Valentin Lacey
INCLUDING CONTRIBUTIONS BY JUVENILE AMATEURS

 

Scenes:

The Lacey tribe visits Wellington

Lily oversteps the mark

Teddy the Lilliputian

Mattie in trouble

Teddy plays the lead

A letter from Maria

THE LITTLE BOOKLET

EPILOGUE:
Madame Lily Alouette!
 

 

WITH

archivist’s annotations throughout

 

About the Author

Copyright

Dear thoughts are in my mind And my soul soars enchanted, As I hear the sweet lark sing In the clear air of the day

 

traditional Irish ballad,
The Lark in the Clear Air
, lyrics by Samuel Ferguson

BOOK: Skylark
6.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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