Matilda & The Climbing Boy

Two survivors in an extraordinary age

From poverty & cruelty to fame and fortune

From The Great Exhibition to the Diamond Jubilee

It is 1897 the year of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and two famous Music Hall song writers are to host a special jubilee celebration show in front of Queen Victoria herself. As they rehearse the opening number in what they thought  was an empty theatre they also remember the hardship, cruelty and privilage of their very different childhoods and tell of the experiences they had together after they escaped unhappiness and became witness to some of the great social and technological changes that took place during the second half of the nineteenth century

As Tilly Nightingale and Sam Dickens tell their story we find out that Tilly had a privileged childhood but was expected to have no ambition other than to marry and Sam was an orphan chimney sweep’s climbing boy in the employ of the evil Barnabus Smudge. We find out why they named themselves after famous people of the time, how Tilly started to write songs against her parent’s wishes and how Sam first escaped his cruel life with the help of friendly canal boat people and eventually became the other half of the famous song writing team.

Barnabus Smudge

Drama Workshop

There is also an optional workshop session which is designed to follow on from the performance and develop and reinforce some of the themes of the play. Here the 2 performers work with smaller groups of children (usually no more than a class at a time) and, if the play is performed in the morning, the afternoon can be divided up into 2 or possibly 3 workshop sessions.


The play      1 performance      £220

                     2 on same day     £325

play & workshops                     £325

To book      01270 811330


Tilly Nightingale (Matilda)
Sam Dickens