Woolly Wolstenholme and Maestoso
Grimroyd Gas Mask Company are proud to sponsor this visitors' guide
Welcome to Grimroyd
Population - Northern; all suffering from mankinholes
The town, nestling as it does between the buttocks of The Pennines, is well supplied with 63 factories, 38 Public Houses, 11 chip shops and 2 fellmongers. (It used to have a Job Centre and a sex shop but these closed due to lack of interest).
Grimroyd! ... and it is here, dear friends, that our little play is set.
You will not find Grimroyd on any list of 'must see' tourist destinations, but once you've been here - you'll never come back.
Coming Soon To A Cinema Near You
Just like in a Russ Meyer movie (Lorna!) - an announcer intones. Professor Emeritus Dr. Wadworth Heptonstall gives us his expert analysis. The bell tolls, the wind blows, the heavenly choir give us a snatch of "Abendrot" - and the grim reaper sharpens his scythe ... Brrr!
Through A Storm
"Yon dark cloud bodes no good", said the Weaver. "I've woven nowt so dark." "Aye", said the Blacksmith. "It's blacker than the roof of my forge." "I couldn't match it", said the Dyer, shaking his head. "There's black - and then there's black. Tha should go where I go", laughed the Collier as he coughed his way down the old pit lane.
Love Is ...
"Such misery" (Thom Yorke)
... but it's not all work. The factory clock says 12.30! (The church clock says 3.17 and has done for a century since some distant war took its winder). After a busy morning fettling and slivering our happy workers grab their snap tins and run to the hills for some well-earned R & R.
That's The Price You Pay
The man-hungry spinsters of Grimroyd were all of a dither when they heard Kim Turner was in town! Alas, they thought it was Ken Turnip, the well-known raconteur and womaniser. Kim sings of his disappointment (and theirs).
The IceMan Cometh
Dingle-Dingle-Ding! Ragged children pour out of the Ragged School for a cornet of the cold white stuff. ... but who are these ice cream men? What are their real names? Where do they live? Questions, questions - but never any answers.
A grand day out! It's the day of the town fire brigade annual trip. The charabanc's here and they're off to Hebden Bridge for a few bits of craft work (not Kraftwerk - Ed) and something delicious from Mrs. Waites' Pie Shoppe. "Everyone here?" Let's have a count. Hugh? Pugh? Barney McGrew? Cuthbert? Dibble? And, er ... Grubb!
1665 was, for the people of Grimroyd (or as it was then known, Glumrood), very much an 'Alice Horribleness'. Not only had there been an outbreak of the Great (but not that great) Plague, in which three of the townsfolk had been unable to sign on, but worse was to come when in that same year worrying evidence of intelligence had been found in the Scumsby Spado sink estate on the outskirts of town. Grim days indeed.
Steve B. penned this lutenish lament in memory of all those souls who "lost their way".
Harp And Carp
Thomas meets a girl.
Nice clothes, big horse.
They snog and go for a ride.
Then all hell breaks loose.
When he wakes up he seems to be wearing her clothes and he's seven years older. Weird or wot?!
In the Olden Days, during the dark winter nights in the north, families would gather around a roaring candle and, whilst Father pumped the old Pandemonium, they would sing simple shaker-esque songs about life and death - a bit like this one is.
Location, Location, Location
TV comes to Grimroyd (1973)
Sunday. Dressed in their best, a little band of believers attends the church of St. Grim-in-the-Midden to give thanks for their rich and fulfilling lives. To the strains of "Abendrot" they lift their eyes heavenward - above the factory roofs and mill chimneys and over the hills - to the stars ... and beyond.
Musical? The Musical has, in no time at all, earned its rightful place in the lexicon of Musical Theatre History by being the only show to close the day before it opened, when a dispute over coathangers prevented the curtain rising or falling at the celebrated Dibnah Theatre, Grimroyd.
Unfortunately, on the night after the night that wasn't the opening night, a mysterious fire broke out, which, thanks to the efforts of the local fire brigade, burned the theatre completely to the ground. A precious tape of only three pieces recorded in rehearsal was recovered from the smouldering rubble.
The stirring March/Overture is a veritable orchestral "tour de force" with lots of people playing different things all at once.
A tender duet follows and is notable for the appearance of tall, raven-haired chanteuse Susannah d'Arcy - taking a brief sabbatical from her usual rôle as Polly Bond, The Plasterer's Wife in Hawkenscrim's The Browning Version!
"A Scene From A London Flat" is the undoubted showstopper (literally). From the grumbling beginning to the sounds of breaking crockery and slamming doors it has become the example sans pareil of what not to do in a musical.
Those who hear (and grow to love) this wonderful music - from a show that ran for less than one performance - must be asking themselves, "Why?"! ... and indeed, who?