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Act Your Age

by Christopher Wortley (in association with TV writer Brian Clemens)

Musical Comedy: 'Act Your Age' by Christopher Wortley
Eric Smart from NODA
"... a really excellent piece, beautifully executed ... a wonderful evening's entertainment."
Eric Smart Past NODA Chairman & President
Gerry Branton from NODA
"A new show, how lovely! ... enjoyed by audience and cast alike."
Gerry Branton Past NODA Councillor (SW Region)

"What a great show it was to put together; it was tough, but our audiences absolutely loved it, as did all of the cast and crew involved in the production"

Danielle Mead, Shiphay ADS                 

Customers in Australia and New Zealand should order material and licences from David Spicer Productions



Although a professional composer, Christopher Wortley has had a long involvement with amateur musical societies and realised that there were very few musicals that satisfy all the casting needs of these groups; so he set about writing one.

In ‘Act Your Age’ there is work for a large chorus and there are 22 named parts, the majority of which are for women aged from 25 to 50 to over 70. The music is written to entertain, with satisfying tunes and harmonies (including a G&S-style ‘patter song’), and the book was written with the help and support of Brian Clemens which has resulted in a traditional heart-warming farce with people popping in and out of doors … astonished people, embarrassed people, and some older folk who are trying to look like super celebrities!

Celebrity Sanctuary is a clinic that offers rest, relaxation and therapy for celebrities. It has however, fallen on hard times and has amassed debts, but lost patients and staff, and now there are just two of each. Valerie, the owner, receives a call from “Victoria’s agent”, and naturally assumes that this is the A-list celebrity in need of some rest and recuperation. She will check in as ‘Mrs Smith’, and the agent stipulates no publicity and a professional, well-run establishment. Valerie, and Pat, her faithful aide-de-camp, are delighted of course, but this quickly turns to concern as they realise that they cannot now provide all the facilities that are expected. (Song : 'Sod's Law').

Musical Comedy: 'Act Your Age' by Christopher WortleyMeanwhile, at the old people’s home down the road, a bungling workman has dug up the road and left the home without power or water, and the toilets are backing up! Mrs Hewitt decides to take her ‘inmates’ to the clinic while she finds temporary accommodation and marches them all in, to Valerie’s astonishment. (Song : 'Sunny Seniors Are Us'). The old folk are a mixed bag in age and ability (mental and physical) but despite Mrs Hewitt's strict nature (Song : 'A Tight Ship'), all of them read ‘Hello’ magazine and are quite star-struck. Seizing her opportunity, Valerie easily persuades the old folk to masquerade as staff and patients, joining the two ‘proper’ patients, Melanie (a D-list celebrity) and Angela (a middle-aged nymphomaniac), in return for the possibility of meeting ‘Victoria’ and her friends. (Song : 'Count On Us'). ‘Mrs Smith’ duly arrives, heavily disguised, but the person underneath is Jenny, who ran away from home as a teenager. (Song : 'For Once In My Life'). She is soon to be married, and wants to observe her mother again before revealing herself. She has been tipped off that her mother (Valerie) now works at the clinic.

Then a succession of furtive people check in as patients and are assumed to be friends of ‘Victoria’ - a reporter with his photographer; Angela’s latest beau, Mario; and Jenny’s fiancé who suspects her of infidelity. (Song : 'Ever So Discreet'). The new ‘staff’ must take over the daily routines and administer the various designer therapies, resulting in the situation where amateurs are ministering to people they take to be celebrities, and ‘celebrities’ who are nothing of the kind and don’t want to be unmasked. despite the chaotic nature of the arrangment, Valerie is hopeful that her luck has turned for the better. (Song : 'This Could Be The Time'). The workman strikes again when he resumes digging leaving the therapy annexe uninhabitable, so some bizarre alternatives to the usual massage, sauna and other therapies are developed and these take place in make-shift rooms with make-shift equipment. As night falls, classic farce (but set to music as Song : 'You Haven't Seen Me'). descends in a room with three doors - Mrs Smith is creeping about looking for childhood memorabilia; Angela and Mario are creeping about looking for one another; John is looking for Jenny, and the reporter and the photographer are looking for a scoop (Song : 'You've Been Papped'). The first Act closes with Pat dreamily wishing for a star-studded future. (Song : 'I Want To Be A Celebrity').

In the morning, with the new 'therapies' in full swing, (Song : 'The Sing-a-long Therapy Thing'), there is a more traditional farce as patients and ‘therapists’ pop in and out of the make-shift therapy rooms in a succession of complicated manoeuvres, narrowly avoiding revealing their ‘naked’ forms to the audience (this is carefully scripted with helpful rehearsal diagrams).

Musical Comedy: 'Act Your Age' by Christopher Wortley
Musical Comedy: 'Act Your Age' by Christopher Wortley

While the old folks decide that cosmetic surgery is a 'must have' (Song : 'I Think I Need A Little Operation - Tango'), one of their number, Mrs Cousins, has broken ranks and told her son what has been happening. He duly arrives, ostensibly to visit ’dear old Mum’, but clearly desperate to touch the famous. Mindful of Victoria’s stipulations, Valerie quickly suggests to Mr Cousins that his mum is going senile, and that the clinic is in fact a boarding school able to house the old folk as the pupils are all at home for the holidays. “Of course this isn’t a clinic for celebrities, and so naturally, there are no celebrities here!” The chorus now take part in farcical goings-on as the old folk must revert to behaving like old folk to convince Mr Cousins, but as soon as Mrs Smith approaches, Mr Cousins must be distracted and the old folks must be staff and patients again! (Song : 'I Think I Need A Little Operation - Waltz'),

In the middle of all this, Mrs Hewitt re-appears and Valerie must stop her from thinking that her lovely old dears are being exploited and corrupted. As if all this wasn’t enough, a jewel thief then arrives with some stolen diamond-studded underwear (still being worn by a mannequin) to meet Iris, one of the old folks who has been using the home as a cover for her nefarious activities (mainly fencing stolen jewels). (Song : 'A Rotter Like Me'),

Everything comes to a head in the Finale : when happy endings and plot resolutions abound - all coming thick and fast.

Your mature members will love this marvellous musical as many of them can step back out of the chorus and become principals again.
See also the author's own 'Act Your Age' website.
Musical Comedy: 'Act Your Age' by Christopher Wortley


Principals (4m, 10f)
  Valerie - 50-60, the owner and manager of Celebrity Sanctuary
  Pat - 30-50, Valerie’s loyal retainer, optimistic, resourceful and practical, unsophisticated
  Melanie - 40+, a patient at the Sanctuary, D-list celebrity with pretensions of being A-list (**)
  Angela - 40-55, a patient at the Sanctuary, an ageing nymphomaniac (==)
  Mrs Hewitt - 30+ the Manager of Sunny Seniors Old People Home, likes discipline, a control freak
  Iris - 60+, pretends to be ga-ga, in reality is a clever jewel thief, the home is a cover for fencing
  Joan - 60+, reasonably compos mentis, friendly, helpful, a bit chaotic, has bladder problems
  Joanna - 60+ , also compos mentis, efficient, a natural leader, becomes the old folks spokesperson
  Josephine - 60+, another reasonably compos mentis person, slightly cynical and subversive
  Jenny - 20-30, estranged daughter of Valerie, wants to secretly meet before revealing herself
  Reporter - 20+ (male), incompetent but thinks otherwise (**)
  John - 20-40, Jenny’s jealous fiancée (==)
  Mario -25-40, a gigolo, Angela’s latest paramour (==)
  Photographer - 20-40, would much prefer to be a fashion photographer
    Notes :  
      (==) the person playing this role must be comfortable to appear on stage dressed only in a towel
      (**) the person playing this role must be comfortable to appear on stage apparently naked behind a towel
Support (5m, 3f) All are speaking roles only
  Betty - 60+, once a servant in stately homes, is mistaken for an ageing courtesan   Ellen McDonald - 60+, somewhat confused, thinks she is ‘Victoria’, cooks with inappropriate ingredients   Mrs Cousins - 92, an ‘inmate’ at Sunny Seniors   Joe - 60+, an ‘inmate’ at Sunny Seniors, somewhat lascivious   Gerry Jackal - male, 25+ (but should be ten years younger than Melanie), a jewel thief   The Workman - male, 25+   Adrian Cousins - 55-65, Mrs Cousins son, desperate to be associated with celebrities   Policeman - male, 30+
  Chorus of Old Folk, Police, etc.


  1) Overture Orchestra
  2) Prologue - Departure Pat, Angela & part-chorus
  3) Sod's Law Valerie & Pat
  4) Sunny Seniors Are Us Chorus
  5) A Tight Ship Mrs Hewitt, Josephine & Chorus
  6) Count On Us Joanna & Chorus
  7) For Once In My Life Jenny
  8) Ever So Discreet Valerie & Chorus
  9) This Could Be The Time Valerie
10) You've Been Papped Reporter & Photographer
11) You Haven't Seen Me John, Jenny, Angela, Mario, Photographer & Valerie
12) I Wanna Be A Celebrity Pat & Chorus
~~ Interval ~~
13) Prologue - Make Do And Mend Orchestra
14) The Sing-a-long Therapy Thing Josephine & Chorus
15) I Think I Need A Little Operation (Tango) Chorus
16) I Think I Need A Little Operation (Waltz) Chorus
17) A Rotter Like Me Iris
17a) A Rotter Like Me (Optional 'Rap' Encore) Iris
18) Finale (Part 1) Valerie, Pat, Joanna, Angela, Mario, John, Jenny, Iris, Jewel Thief, Chorus & Police
19) Finale (Part 2) Jenny & John
20) Finale (Part 3) Company

Information for Production Administrators

Here's a list of all the supporting material available and some other information you might need. Pricing for the production materials is supplied automatically with a Perusal Set. Royalty pricing can only be provided as a formal quotation.

Available now ...
Perusal Set
These are available for bona-fide producing organisations only to request free of charge. The set contains ...
  • Printed Libretto (Cast Version, see below)
  • Printed Piano/Vocal Score
  • Cast Recording Audio CD (from premiere production)
  • Video Trailer DVD
Available after Perusal ...
Rehearsal Master Set on a USB Stick

This contains the script and piano vocal score for your cast and crew provided as A4 pdf files. We also provide an expanded version of the script for your Director giving additional assistance on such topics as characterisation; auditions/casting; how to rehearse a farce  sets, costumes, props etc.

No problem about possible loss of deposit, as the scripts and vocal scores are yours to print out and mark up as required. The price includes a multiple copying licence allowing you to make multiple prints of the pdf's on the Data CD for your production company to organise and provide to your cast or crew. Alternatively you can give (or sell) the cast files to your cast and crew for them to print, bind and use.

Please note that we do not sell individual printed copies of libretti, nor do we hire sets of printed rehearsal libretti or vocal scores.

Available after Rights Obtained ...
Backing Tracks

A Double Audio CD (one for Principals, one for the Chorus and minor parts) contain rehearsal tracks only, with a piano part on one stereo channel and the part to be learnt (the melody) on the other. Altering the setting of the stereo balance control will adjust how much of a helping hand is provided whilst learning the part. 

These are available for a 3 piece band as below, for hire to production companies only, who hold a valid, unexpired, licence to perform.
  • Piano
  • Keyboard
  • Drums
  • MD's Full Score
The MD's Full Score and the Instrument Parts are available separately.
Royalty Type
Royalties for this title are 'Variable Fee, post paid', and will be calculated on a percentage of your box office income once your production has finished. See our pricing policy for details. We work on a quotation system for royalties, based on information you supply to us. Complete a printed application form or, create account with us, and use the online version.
Video Licence
We have secured the rights to video productions of this title from the Author, and we manage them on his behalf. Once a 'Licence To Perform' has been granted, and then on payment of a fee, we will be able to issue a 'Licence To Record'. There are some strings attached to this, but these are far outweighed by the benefits.
  • Record one or more live performances and mix down to a single video
  • Give or sell copies to your cast and crew
  • Sell copies to your audiences (take advance bookings on the night)

Order your free preview script or perusal material now ...


Customers in Australia and New Zealand should order material and licences from David Spicer Productions

  • Perusal Set ('Act Your Age')
    £0.00 Perusal Set ('Act Your Age')
    PLEASE NOTE : We operate a FREE Perusal Service, and for this title we supply a USB stick, or a Dropbox Link, with pdf/mp3/mp4 files of the perusal material. Customers requesting this MUST be a representative of a...
  • Royalty Quotation Form (FL)
    Royalty Quotation Form (FL)
    The rights to perform and record for all the titles in our catalogue are managed by Stagescripts Ltd. You should not assume that a licence to perform will always be granted. Please request a quotation at the earliest...
  • Rehearsal Master Set (Act Your Age)
    £104.99 Rehearsal Master Set (Act Your Age)
    Rehearsal Master Sets (RMS) are available to purchase, once your production has been licensed. You will need the 5 digit licence reference number (see above). They are available on a USB Stick or as a Dropbox...
  • Backing Tracks (Rehearsal)
    £0.00 Backing Tracks (Rehearsal)
    Sets of Backing Tracks on: USB Stick with mp3 files, or Dropbox, mp3 file download (e-mailed link), or Audio CD (or 2 x Audio CD for some titles), or CD with mp3 files to use during rehearsals. The price will be...
  • Backing Tracks (Performance)
    £0.00 Backing Tracks (Performance)
    Sets of Backing Tracks on: USB Stick with mp3 files, or Dropbox, mp3 file downloads (e-mailed link) to use during performances (or rehearsals). The price will be shown after you select the title required. In order to...
  • Orchestrations ('Act Your Age')
    £85.00 Orchestrations ('Act Your Age')
    A set of Orchestrations (aka Band Parts) for your MD and orchestra, or pit band provided as A4 size pdf files on a USB Stick. You are licensed to print a just sufficient quantity of scores (and replacement pages if...