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ACT THREE

A year on, and Harry is struggling to adjust to his new life of luxury on the fancier side of town. The vulnerable newlywed is taken under the wing of Michelle's Brother Joe and Cousin Charlie. But all is not what it seems as they lay a Harry-shaped trap amongst the jam and the jelly of London's swinging underbelly...

The curtain isn’t up yet, but the lights go down and as the audience take their seats, on comes Ponsonby, alone on the stage, just a spotlight lighting his pomp as he sings a jazzy number...

Song 17: Ponsonby's Plan 

1967

The spotlight vanishes and we’re in darkness again. The intense collage of iconic images is back with the date 1967 ticking up to 1968… the movies, stars, hits and wars of the age rage on  ... all in glorious technicolour.

Once the mayhem of the moving image finishes,  it's Curtain up…

1968

Song 18: My Part Of Town (1968 reprise) 

[Harry’s sweeping the flat, putting flowers in vases, dusting, all while whistling a mournful version of My Part of Town]

MICHELLE:
Hello my darling. Oh – what are you doing the cleaning for? Sally can do that for us.

HARRY:
Just something to do I suppose. Not really sure what else I can do round here.

MICHELLE:
What do you mean my love? We have plenty to do. We can go shopping. We can eat at Claridges. We can go to the opera. Now, what do you want to do?

HARRY:
Not really a fan of shopping. 

MICHELLE:
What about lunch then?

HARRY:
There’s not much on the menu at Claridges that’s for me. I mean – why smoke a salmon? Poor devil. 

MICHELLE:
Well, how about the opera then? 

HARRY:
I don’t speak Italian.

MICHELLE:
It’s in German.

HARRY:
That neither. I guess this just ain’t my part of town, my love. It’s taking me a bit of time to work it all out.

MICHELLE:
But you’ll get there my Harry boy. We’ll get there.

HARRY:
You’re right my love. Let me take a wander and a wonder. I’ll have a walk of these streets and find my way.

The scene cuts to a Mayfair street, with Harry walking, looking resplendent in his fine clothes and shiny shoes. But his rags to riches rollercoaster is leaving him feeling out of sorts. A monocled and top-hatted ensemble spot him and pipe-up.

Song 19: All The Mayfair Boys

The Mayfair boys fade away into the background, and we see Harry walking down the Mayfair street, looking resplendent in his fine clothes and shiny shoes. But his rags to riches rollercoaster is leaving him feeling out of sorts. Just as the Toffs aren’t happy to have him in their part of town, so he too is struggling with life among the hoi polloi.

HARRY:
In some ways, this is all I ever wanted – a roof over me ‘ead, a lovely lady who loves me back. But it’s all so different. These people – they’ve got a lot of money, but it all feels so empty … so fake. I’ve never been richer, but I’ve never felt poorer.

Song 20: Millionaire's Row

The scene cuts to the inside of the Ponsonby house, Arthur in his office attending a tenant, Mrs Poppingjay who sits opposite the fierce landlord, cradling her baby.

ARTHUR:
Mrs Poppinjay, Mrs Poppinjay. I sympathise, I really do…
[As an aside to the audience]  
I don’t.

But surely you understand that if I make an exception for you, I have to make an exception for half of London’s slummers. Now, you must pay your rent today, by five o’clock, or you’ll need to leave MY flat. And remember it is MY flat – you are merely sailing through, me but a charitable custodian of your welfare for but a few weeks, months, years – however long you can afford it for. And if you can’t afford it, you must LEAVE … 

[Ponsonby’s clock chimes five] 

Oh dear, Mrs Poppinjay. Five o’clock, and you haven’t paid your rent. Get out! Get out! Get out! And take that sniveling little attempt at a guilt trip with you!

[Mrs Poppinjay exits the room in tears, as Michelle, Charlie and Joe enter]

MICHELLE:
Father? Is she okay?

ARTHUR:
She’s absolutely fine my dear. I was just helping her find her way in life. And how are you my dear? You look troubled.

MICHELLE:

I’m fine father. It’s just Harry...

PONSONBY:

Harry? What’s that boy done now?

MICHELLE:

Oh nothing daddy. He’s just feeling a little out of sorts.

PONSONBY:

[beaming smile]

Oh I am sorry to hear that. Maybe it’s something Cousin Charlie and Brother Joe can help with?

CHARLIE:

Of course -

we’re happy to help.

JOE:

Any time Michelle.

PONSONBY:

He’s probably feeling a little home sick. Charlie, Joe, why not take him to back to his part of town, give him a taste of what he’s missing...

[aside to Charlie and Joe]

... show him the jam and the jelly of the Soho underbelly. Get him snapped. Get him out. Get this done. Build the trap, and he will come … right into the heart of the Harry trap [he peels off some a wad of cash for Charlie and Joe, then facing back to Michelle, ushering her out of the room]. Don’t worry my darling. We’ll help. The boys will make him feel right at home.

Song 21: The Harry Trap

[Arthur laughs a hearty, evil laugh, delighted by the plan and excited by the potential for Harry’s downfall. Harry enters the room].

HARRY:
Oh, hello Charlie, hello Joe. Hello Mr Ponsonby.

PONSONBY:
Call me Arthur, Harry, call me Arthur.

HARRY:

Oh! Very well ... Arthur.

PONSONBY:
Our dear Michelle tells us you’re feeling a little out of sorts young man. Well, fear not, Charlie and Joe have kindly offered to cheer you up, show you the sites and get you back on your feet. Isn’t that right boys?

JOE:
Certainly is father.

CHARLIE:
It would be a pleasure, Harry.

HARRY:

Well that’s a very kind offer lads, but...

PONSONBY:
No, no, no. I won’t hear a word of it. The deal’s done, the die is cast, the plan’s laid, and we’re going to ensure you have an enriching, enlightening, and an especially special, and memorable time under the bright lights of So ... Ho.

 [The scene cuts to a Soho night] 

HARRY:
Listen lads, I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but this really isn’t my part of town.

CHARLIE:
Well, of course it is, old chap!

JOE:

We’re squarely in your part of town!

HARRY:
Well, it’s my part of town, but not my part of my part of town, if you know what I mean.

CHARLIE:
Joe – did you get any of that?

JOE:
Not really Charlie.

HARRY:
Look, lads. I think I’m done for the night. 

[Harry hails a black taxi to take him back home] 

HARRY:
Thank you boys. 

[The cab pulls up and opens its door. To the left of the cab is another door – the door to The Pussycat Club]

CHARLIE:
Come on. We’ve only just begun. Time to make a decision. Are you one of us? The right door? [He motions to the cab] Or the left? [He motions to the club}

Well young man – I think its time we took you for a little ride…

BROTHER JOE cut out_edited.png
Song 22: Town Of Temptation
Depositphotos_13270560_XL_edited.jpg

CHARLIE:
Well? Which is it to be Harry? Left, or right?

 

[The three men turn left into the dancer’s club. It’s a cornucopia of London’s wicked, wild and weird. More like a circus of the unusual than a London club, some dancers ride horses with wings, dwarves are shot through the air from cannons, the club owner with a purple sequinned jacket and slicked back greying black hair. A cabaret of chaos, this cavalcade of curiosity unfolds...]

 

HARRY:
Bloody hell! What is this place?

CHARLIE:
Welcome to the real Soho, Harry.

HARRY:
This ain’t the real Soho mate – it’s a circus!

JOE:
This isn’t a circus Harry. There’s no candy floss here, Harry.

But there is Candy...

[A dancer sidles over to Harry and sits on his knee]

CHARLIE:
... and Sandy.

JOE:
... and Ebony.

CHARLIE:
... and ... Kitty!

[Attentions focus on a big-feathered dancer in a gold headdress and peacock wings – Kitty Velour. She takes to the stage...]

CLUB OWNER:

Ladies and gentlemen, the act you’ve been waiting for all evening ...the one, the only ... fresh from ten starry nights at the Beverly Hills Hilton ... Kitty Velour!

Song 23: The Moral Of The Alleycat

[The crowd goes wild with applause and Kitty steps aside to see Charlie and the Club Owner in a part of the club opposite Joe and Harry who are busy having a drink]

CHARLIE:
It’s simple – sit on his knee. Make him your friend. Pretend that you like him. You’re good at that, aren’t you, little Kitty cat.

KITTY:
I’m a dancer, not a ...

CLUB OWNER:
Now, now Kitty. Let’s not cause a scene. You know who Charlie is and how he can help you and me if we do as he asks.

KITTY:
I’m not for sale.

CHARLIE:
I’m not looking to sell you, my sweet Kitty litter. Just lease you out for a little bit of harmless fun. The boy’s an innocent street rat. A cat like you could eat him for breakfast. I’ll bet he doesn’t even try and tease your pretty little whiskers.

KITTY:
I’m not for ...

[Charlie pulls out a wad of notes]

CHARLIE:
... sale?

KITTY:
Sold.

[The lights of the club go down, and turn deep red, all else disappearing apart from Kitty, Charlie and the Club Owner]

 

[Kitty sidles over to Harry at the booth. Joe gets up and moves over to where Charlie and the Club Owner are sitting]

KITTY:
Well hello there, pretty boy.

HARRY:

[flustered]
Er, hello there, Mrs Cat girl, woman, lady.

[There’s an awkward pause]

Nice dancing just then.

KITTY:
Why thank you handsome Harry 

[She strokes his face ... he looks startled, not knowing what to do].
I could do a dance just for you if you’d like?

HARRY:
Oh no, no, no. I’m more of a dog man myself.

KITTY:

[fake laughing]
Oh Harry you are a funny little man.

HARRY:
‘ere, how do you know my name?

KITTY:
Call it a Kitty’s intuition. We cats are more than just a pretty face. 

HARRY:
Yeah, well I thank you for the entertainment tonight, but I think I’m done here.

KITTY:
Was it something I said? Something I did? Is this little kitty cat not pretty enough for you?
[She looks mournfully into his eyes]

HARRY:
No, no. Not at all. You’re, you’re... You’re beautiful.

KITTY:
Quite right too. So what’s a little bit of harmless fun between a rat and his kitty cat.

[She launches on him and starts dancing. Charlie beckons a photographer over and he takes an incriminating-looking photo. The photo lands on the front page of tomorrow’s newspapers with the headline “SOCIALITE'S CATFIGHT TO SAVE HUBBY FROM KITTY”]

KITTY VELOUR cut out_edited.png
Song 24: All The Mayfair Boys (1968 reprise)

[The scene cuts from the club to Harry and Michelle’s Mayfair flat, with Michelle brandishing the scandalous newspaper]

MICHELLE:

[brandishing the newspaper]
How could you Harry? How could you.

HARRY:
But Michelle... 

[She storms out as Arthur Ponsonby, Charlie and Joe storm in]

PONSONBY:
Bright. What have you done? Making a mockery of my poor Michelle. Making a fool out of me and my family. You are shameful.

A disgrace. I knew this would never work out.

HARRY:
But Arthur...

PONSONBY:
It’s Mr Ponsonby to you.

HARRY:

Mr Ponsonby. It wasn’t like that. Charlie, Joe – tell him. 

[Charlie and Joe turn their backs]

PONSONBY:

You disgust me. Come on boys. We’re going.

 

 

 

 

They leave. Harry is now alone, in the Mayfair mansion, darkness all around
apart from a deep red light]

Song 25: The Voodoo

[Michelle returns to the room, alone with Harry]

HARRY:
Michelle, it wasn’t me. I was set up.

MICHELLE:
Harry, don’t.

HARRY:
Michell, you must believe me. I’d never betray you. I love you.

MICHELLE:
It’s too late Harry. I want to believe you. But it’s too late.

The damage is done. Whatever happened, it’s made me a laughing stock. 

HARRY:
But...

MICHELLE:
It’s over Harry. There’s no way back. It’s over.

Song 26: Harry's Town
(1968 reprise)

[Harry heads out onto the street looking back at the Mayfair mansion with Michelle in the window. He walks on by a woman sitting on the curb. It’s Gypsy Rosa]

GYPSY ROSA:
I said don’t turn left, Harry. Don’t turn left.

The band play a forlorn instrumental version of Arriverderci as Harry slowly walks off stage

Song 27: Arrivederci
(1968 reprise)

END OF ACT THREE

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