Composers and their stage works 

Ring Round the Moon

Jean Anouilh

Play (1950). Adapted by Christopher Fry

M8 (young, middle-age, old) F6 (young, 30, middle-age, elderly). A winter garden.

Christopher Fry calls this play 'A Charade with Music'. The same actor plays the twins Hugo and Frederic. Hugo, fascinating and heartless, sets the charade in motion. He has invited Isabelle, a ballet dancer, to the ball that evening, intending that she should make diffident Frederic love her and leave the beautiful Diana. The would-be puppet master is overruled by his aunt, who arranges for the four young people to be happy.

The Story:

Heiress Diana Messerschmann is making her lovesick fiancé Frederic suffer, so his heartless but kind twin brother Hugo (who Diana really loves) has hired beautiful young ballet dancer Isabelle to turn Frederic's head at the ball and wake him from his destructive infatuation. Everything goes wrong. Isabelle's mother arrives and recognises long-lost friend Capulet, companion to Mme Desmortes, aunt to Hugo and Frederic, and soon everyone knows about Hugo's scheme including Diana, her melancholy millionaire father Messerschmann, his mistress Lady India and her secret lover Patrice. Messerschmann's secretary. But it is Isabelle's innocence and guilessness that saves the day. She refuses money from Messerschmann who is so astonished by her incorruptibility he sells everything and becomes poor and, it is to be hoped, happy (although he learns later that this move has had the effect of making him even richer). Hugo falls in love with the new 'poor' Diana, and finally Mme Desmortes brings Isabelle and Frederic together.

ISBN: 0 573 11380 7