Archie, a musical based on the early life of Cary Grant.
A remastered recording of the show is now available on all streaming sites.
Below is a synopsis of act one of the musical, "Archie" which follows the early life of Archie Leach from his humble Bristol beginnings to the heights of fame and fortune in Hollywood.
After a bright, glamorous 1970’s award ceremony (Kings of Hollywood) the birth of a baby in Bristol in 1899 begins this musical about the early life of a Hollywood legend (Nadim’s introduction). Elsie and Elias Leach have a son, John. The hardworking parents are delighted and devoted to their new arrival.
Tragedy strikes, however, as John, a sickly baby, dies eleven months later (What Did I Do?). Suddenly life is harder (I Will Be Right Here for You).
Five years on, they have another child, Archibald Alexander Leach, born January 1904 (Second Chance).
Elsie wants the best for her son, enrolling him in school early and saving hard for piano lessons. She invests all her time and energy in Archie, if at the expense of her marriage. She never forgets John and still blames herself for his untimely death. Money is tight, so Elias takes a job in Southampton in an effort to bring in more money. The strain of being away from home proves too much for him so he returns to Bristol.
Archie's early childhood continues with visits to the cinema - smart Clare Street with his mother and the not so smart Metropole with his father. He also enjoys magic lantern shows with his friends. One day he comes home to find his mother gone, with no explanation. She was neverto return and her disappearance remained a mystery.
The neighbourhood children tease Archie because he has no mother. As a result he becomes a loner and spends much of his time at the docks, watching the boats and sailors. All the while withdrawing more and more into himself (Sail Away).
School is not Archie's favourite place. He dislikes all the lessons save chemistry and has a good relationship with his chemistry teacher.
It is this teacher who introduces Archie to the Bristol Hippodrome and once there, he never looks back (Hippodrome Song).
He becomes a regular face in both the Hippodrome and the Empire, where he runs errands for the stage crew. Before long, he is call boy at the Hippodrome and school takes second place. No one at home is worried - his mother gone, his father working hard and his grandmother not bothered about him.
Left to his own devices, he spends more and more time at the theatre. The Pendertons - a group of young men, working as acrobats and knock-about comedians arrive at the Hippodrome.
Archie overhears a conversation where Robert Pender tells how his troupe is depleted because of the war raging in Europe.
Archie sees his opportunity and writes to Mr Pender asking to join the group. He is accepted and so begins his journey in show business. However, in order to join the group, he lies about his age, pretending to be 16 although he is only 13. He also wrote to Pender in his father's name, forging his signature. Elias, of course, soon finds out and brings his son back to Bristol, and back to the school he now hates.
Within months Archie is expelled and back with the Pendertons, eagerly learning his new trade and performing on the stage he has come to love (Timing).
With their success in England growing, Robert Pender decides to take a small troupe of eight boys to America (Olympic). Archie is amongst those chosen and writes to his father to tell him so. Elias arrives at Southampton docks too late to say goodbye to his son (Should We Ever Meet Again?).
The Remastered Duluxe Version is now available on all major streaming sites, just click on a link below.
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