Hans Christian Andersen
All the classic fairytales from one of the most adored storytellers of all time - in one show.
Show Essentials
5
Roles
+ Ensemble
U
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Act One

In Odense, Denmark, cobbler Hans Christian Andersen is at his shop as children gather around him for a story ("I'm Hans Christian Andersen"). Hans tells the children a tale of a girl smaller than them ("Thumbelina").

Peter, Hans's apprentice, interrupts the story to warn them that the Schoolmaster is upset. The Schoolmaster and Burgomaster enter, furious that the children are not at school. When Hans suggests that there are different ways to learn, the Schoolmaster insists he knows nothing about teaching and demands that Hans be banished from the town. Hans and Peter are left alone to think about what their future will be ("Inchworm"). They decide to try their luck in Copenhagen ("I'm Hans Christian Andersen (Reprise)").

In Copenhagen, Hans sees Madam Doro, a prima ballerina, passing on the street and is smitten. Truls, a captain, tells him he can find her at the Royal Ballet. Hans and Peter set up shop in front of a statue of the King. Hans charms the city's children with his imagination ("Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen").

Niels, lead dancer and director of the Royal Ballet, and his colleague Otto desperately need to find a new shoemaker for Madam Doro. Otto comes across Hans's shop and asks if he is up to the job. When Hans realizes he'll be making ballet slippers for Doro, he is overjoyed.

Niels and Doro are rehearsing at the Royal Ballet when Otto brings in Hans. Doro asks Hans if he can make her the slippers she needs, and he promises her he can. Later, Doro and Niels embrace and share a moment together ("No Two People"). The moment is ruined when Niels and Doro argue over her ability to do new choreography. Hans and Otto catch them at the end of the argument. Otto reveals to Hans that Doro and Niels are married. After handing Doro's new shoes to Otto, Hans laments that Doro is married to someone like Niels but nevertheless pines for her ("Anywhere I Wander").

At the marketplace, Peter finds Hans writing. At first, Hans refuses to tell Peter what he's working on. But then he reveals that he has written a story called "The Little Mermaid" for Madam Doro out of determination to help her. Niels and Doro enter the marketplace to thank Hans for the shoes. Niels playfully takes Hans's story and gives it to her. Doro is touched and says she will read it while on tour. Hans is heartbroken to hear she will be away.

Act Two

Lars, a young boy, is teased and picked on by a group of children. Hans takes pity on him and tells him a story to lift his spirits ("The Ugly Duckling").

Hans and Peter talk about the tour coming back to Copenhagen soon. Hans fantasizes about seeing Doro again ("No Two People (Reprise)"). Editor Holm of The Morning News comes to see Hans. Lars, his son, has been changed by Hans's story of the Ugly Duckling. He asks Hans to write down the story to be published in The Morning News. Hans agrees.

Shortly after "The Ugly Duckling" is published, Doro and Niels come to Hans with a request (despite Niels being jealous and wary of Hans's affection for his wife). They have decided to turn "The Little Mermaid" into a ballet and want Hans to be part of the show as the narrator. Although intimidated, Hans says he will do it.

Hans and Doro take a walk together. When Doro asks him why he wrote the story for her, Hans explains to her how he wanted to help her after seeing her and Niels fight. Doro tell Hans that what he saw wasn't the whole picture of their marriage and that she loves Niels very much. Doro encourages Hans to keep writing stories. She thanks him for writing "The Little Mermaid" and leaves ("Anywhere I Wander (Reprise)").

The ballet is performed as Hans narrates the tale of "The Little Mermaid" ("Mermaid Ballet"). The ballet is a huge success!

Hans returns to Odense and enchants the children with more stories. Just as he finishes telling them the story of the "Little Match Girl," the children beg Hans for another story. He tells them the story of a king and his new "clothes" ("The King's New Clothes"). The children and townspeople of Odense love the story. Niels and Doro arrive from Copenhagen with a special order from the King of Denmark: to bestow Hans with a medal and the title "King of Stories". ("Finale Ultimo")

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Large 21 And Up
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Hans Christian Andersen

Also plays the Narrator in the Mermaid Ballet

Gender: male
Peter

A young apprentice

Gender: male
Age: 12 to 13
Madam Doro
Array
Gender: female
Niels
Array
Gender: male
Otto
Array
Gender: male
Children Ensemble

Roles include Ingrid, Laura, Karl, Finn, Gudrun, George, Arne, Karen, Anna, Newsboys, Match Girl, Elsa, Chimneysweep, Ludwig, Lars

Gender: any
Ensemble

Roles include Schoolmaster, Burgomaster, Mr. Olsen, Dr. Foss, Prof. Pfeiffer, Villagers, Truls, Fishmonger, Meat Vendor, Milkman (Heinrich), Mrs. Arboe, Vegetable Vendor (Gustave), Celine, Policeman, Rik, Mrs. Olsen, Mrs. Holm, Mrs. Hofgaard, Editor Holm, Other Townspeople, Sea Witch, Dowager Queen of the Sea, Prince, Foreign Princess, Dancers

Gender: any
Full Song List
Hans Christian Andersen : I'm Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen : Thumbelina
Hans Christian Andersen : Inchworm
Hans Christian Andersen : I'm Hans Christian Andersen (Reprise)
Hans Christian Andersen : Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen
Hans Christian Andersen : No Two People
Hans Christian Andersen : Anywhere I Wander
Hans Christian Andersen : The Ugly Duckling
Hans Christian Andersen : No Two People (Reprise)
Hans Christian Andersen : Anywhere I Wander (Reprise)
Hans Christian Andersen : Mermaid Ballet
Hans Christian Andersen : The King's New Clothes
Hans Christian Andersen : Finale Ultimo

Billing

Based upon the Samuel Goldwyn Productions Motion Picture Hans Christian Andersen

Requirements

Under the terms and conditions of your organisation’s Performance Agreement, the following credits must appear on all advertising (including websites) relating to the production. Credits must be reproduced faithfully in accordance with the following layout. No alterations or deletions can be permitted unless stated below.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN
(150%)
 
Music and Lyrics by FRANK LOESSER
(100%)
 
New Book by JOHN FEARNLEY, BEVERLEY CROSS and TOMMY STEELE
(75%)
 
Based on the SAMUEL GOLDWYN PRODUCTIONS
(100%)
Motion Picture "Hans Christian Andersen"
(50%)
Orchestrated and arranged by Don Walker
50%
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited.

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK25
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE2

Production Resources

Resource

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
BASS
CELLO
GUITARACOUSTIC GUITAR , BANJO , ELECTRIC GUITAR
HORN
KEYBOARD 1
PERCUSSION
REED 1FLUTE , PICCOLO
REED 2
REED 3
REED 4ENGLISH HORN , OBOE
REED 5
TROMBONE
TROMBONE 2
TROMBONE 3
TRUMPET
TRUMPET 3
VIOLA
VIOLIN