The Rat-Catcher

The Rat-Catcher

The idea for The Rat-Catcher came many years ago when a close friend of mine, Rupert Rushbrooke, showed me a delightful poem he had written called The Music Teacher, which was based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and we toyed with the idea of my setting the poem to music. In the end, that idea never came to fruition, but the idea of setting the Pied Piper story to music stuck with me, and The Rat-Catcher is the result.

Written specifically for performance by children, The Rat-Catcher takes great liberties with the original story: a greedy, scheming Mayor conspires with the evil Rat-Catcher to hold the children of the town to ransom, and their plot is only foiled at the last moment by the magical powers of Johann, the children's music teacher.

The musical has a lively mixture of humour, drama and pathos, and a pot-pourri of musical styles from G&S to Grease and jazz to music-hall. There are numerous catchy numbers that you'll be singing along in your head for weeks!

The show is entirely sung-through: there is no dialogue. I think this makes for much more convincing theatre, and also makes it easier for the children to learn. But that doesn't mean it's just a string of songs - far from it: the show is full of opportunities for character acting, drama and choreography.

The show has its own website — www.rat-catcher.com — which has lots more information, including video clips from the first performance, and various downloads.

You can also order a full score from the website, or alternatively you can purchase it from Amazon or from Chamberlain Music.