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The Best Man

by Ian Cook & Ian Newton

"It is well worthy of being performed by any society and I would love to see it entertaining audiences throughout the UK"
Chris Ingram, NODA President 2015/16
Musical Comedy: 'The Best Man' by Cook & Newton


Musical Comedy: 'The Best Man' by Cook & NewtonThe show begins on the busy streets of London on July 29th 1981, as crowds expectantly await the wedding coach of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. Later at a street party Cathy, Sharon and Lisa are discussing their idea of the perfect husband.  Listening to their conversation is Cathy's mum Vi, her Auntie Pat and her Gran.  The ladies tell Cathy and her friends the awful truth about Men! Cathy thinks she has found a Prince in her new boyfriend Tony but he has stood her up... again! Danny, Cathy’s next door neighbour, offers to take her out instead. She declines and goes to wait by the phone. Danny has secretly been in love with Cathy for as long as he can remember. 

Tony's father Ron, owner of Majestic Piles, a carpet warehouse where Tony and Danny both work, has arranged to make a TV ad, on the cheap, with the help of his brother in law Charlie. Pat's husband Albert, the long suffering foreman, has been charged with the extra job of choreographer!  After the shoot Tony is left in charge. He is visited by Mr Temple and his henchmen Curly and Slim. Tony’s gambling habit has got him into serious trouble and Mr Temple gives him an ultimatum. After he has left Ron tells Tony that he refuses to bail him out any longer.  

Back at work in Vi's Salon Cathy isn't feeling too well. She makes her excuses and heads off to Boots to get something for her stomach. Secretly she believes she might be pregnant after her first night alone with Tony.

Musical Comedy: 'The Best Man' by Cook & NewtonCathy is hoping that her Auntie Pat, who is a beautician in Boots, isn't at work. Sadly she's out of luck. Whilst trying to decide what to do Danny appears. She confesses and he offers to go and get the kit for her. Pat is hard at work selling her wares to a shop full of ladies all hoping to hold back the ravages of time.  She spots Danny and unsuccessfully flirts with him. He tries to quietly buy the kit and, after much embarrassment and grilling by several shoppers, escapes.

Cathy is waiting for the pregnancy test to work, as she waits she imagines how her life might change depending on the result.

Tony takes Cathy out for a romantic meal so that he can ask her for money from her trust fund but before he can ask her she tells him she is pregnant. Tony decides to propose and suggests a quick marriage knowing that, once they are married, he will have access to her bank account. Cathy agrees and the whole restaurant celebrates.

Cathy tells Vi the news about the baby but swears her to secrecy.  Later, When she mentions that Tony wants them to be married within a month, Sharon and Lisa can't see how this can be done.  Gran announces that the women of the Price family have faced far greater challenges. 

Cathy and Tony have to meet the vicar for a talk about the birds and the bees.  After the talk Tony makes his excuses and exits leaving Danny to cover for him at the Wedding rehearsal. Danny asks Cathy if she is sure about the marriage.  The ladies all meet at Pat's house for a final fitting before heading out on the Hen night. They discuss Cathy's poor taste in men.  Afterwards they have a little surprise in store for Cathy.

Musical Comedy: 'The Best Man' by Cook & Newton

Tony, Danny and their workmates meet at Quaffers nightclub. Tony, always on the lookout for a new conquest, bets he can take home two 'posh birds' who are in the club.  Danny confronts Tony about his infidelity and learns the truth about his reasons for marrying Cathy. Danny says he cannot be Best Man but Tony blackmails him into going through with it. In the Ladies, Cathy overhears the 'posh birds' discussing Tony. Cathy and Danny are left alone to contemplate their fates. 

Danny tries to speak to Cathy to tell her what he has discovered but can’t get to see her. He confides in Gran, who tells him he has to speak out.

Everyone is assembled for the wedding. Danny finally finds the courage to speak and Cathy questions Tony about his true feelings. Tony, realising he has been found out, flees followed by Mr Temple's henchmen. Cathy thanks Danny for saving her from making a big mistake and admits that perhaps there is no Mr Darcy in Dagenham. Danny tells her that she just has to keep looking, but not very far.


Principals (5m, 6f)
  Cathy Price - 20s, bright intelligent girl sees the good in everyone, makes unwise choices in her boyfriends.
  Danny Tilney - 20s, a fair minded, caring, honest young man who lacks a little in self confidence.
  Tony Wickham - 20s, expensive tastes, lives beyond his means, gambles, has a large debt at the local casino.
  Pat Sharpe - late 30s to early 50s, in her day she was quite a beauty and hates the fact that she is getting old.
  Vi Price - late 30s to early 50s, Cathy’s mother, a strong resilient woman.
  Sharon - 20s, Cathy and Lisa’s best friend; a pretty, confident, rather materialistic girl who likes the finer things in life.
  Lisa - 20s, Cathy and Sharon’s best friend; lacks their confidence, an honest and faithful friend, loves food, a simple soul.
  Gran - 55+, Vi's mother, a tearaway when younger, now older she feels she has a license to speak her mind.
  Rev Collins - 55+, a trendy vicar, thinks he understands young people, but doesn't, kindly gentle, forgetful, disorganised.
  Ron Wickham - a decent self-made man. Tony's father, thinks his son has been spoilt by his mother.
  Mr Temple - 30-50, Casino owner, quiet, menacing, unnerving, bullied as a child, believes that debts must be paid.
Support (6m, 2f plus chorus)
  Maitre D - 30+, warm, welcoming, ingratiating, says he's from Sicily, but he's actually from Catford.
  Auntie Margaret - 30-50, Tony’s Auntie on his mothers side., larger than life, loud and rather eccentric.
  Albert Sharpe - late 30s to early 50s, married to Pat, foreman at Majestic Piles, has been in carpets all his life.
  Charlie Thomas - late 30s to early 50s, works at Majestic Piles, a bit of a geezer.
  Trevor Thompson - 30+, works at Majestic Piles.
  Sandra - 30+, a secretary at Majestic Piles, secretly adores Ron, well groomed, clever and extremely efficient.
  Curly  & Slim - 30+, two of Mr Temple's henchmen, one is bald, the other is heavyset.
  Chorus to suit the scenes, supplying cameo roles of: ABC News Reporter; Northern Woman, Northern Man; BBC Reporter; American Tourists 1&2; Fitter 1&2; Shop Assistants 1&2; Shoppers 1,2&3; Miss Coombs; Strippergram Policeman; Posh Girls 1&2 


  1) Right Royal Wedding ABC & BBC Reporter; Northern Woman & Man; American Tourists 1&2 & Chorus
  2) When I Get Married Cathy, Sharon & Lisa
  3) Men! Vi, Pat, Gran & Chorus
  4) Girls! Danny
  5) Majestic Piles Ron, Albert, Charlie, Fitters 1&2 & Chorus (with Danny & Tony)
  6) Easy Street Mr Temple & Tony (with Curly & Slim)
  7) Keeping Up Appearances Pat & Shop Assistants
  8) The Thin Blue Line Cathy
  9) Vitto Dell Amore Tony, Cathy, Maitre D, Mr Temple, Auntie Margaret & Chorus
~~ Interval ~~  
10) Lots To Do Sharon, Lisa, Pat, Gran & Chorus (with Cathy)
11) The Facts Of Life Rev Collins & Chorus (with Tony and Cathy)
12) When Love Comes Calling Cathy & Danny
13) Down Memory Lane Lisa, Sharon, Vi, Gran & Pat
13A) Strippergram Music Orchestra
14) One More Night Of Freedom Tony & Chorus
15) When I Get Married (Duet) Cathy & Danny
16) The Ceremony Principals & Chorus
17) When Love Comes Calling (Reprise) Principals (except Tony, Mr Temple, Curly & Slim) & Chorus
18) Curtain Calls Company
19) Playout Orchestra

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 (see below) ...
Perusal Set
These are available to bona-fide producing organisations only to requestfree of charge. The set contains ...
  • Printed Libretto
  • Printed Piano/Vocal Score
  • Cast Recording
  • Performance Video
Available after Perusal ...
Libretti/Vocal Scores

Available to purchase in this form ...

  • Rehearsal Master Set on a Data CD (Cast). This contains the script and piano vocal score for your cast and crew provided as A4 pdf files. No problem about possible loss of deposit on sets of rented books, as they are yours to print out and mark up as required. The price includes a multiple copying licence allowing you to copy the Data CD itself (enabling you to give or sell copies to your cast for them to make up their own rehearsal books) or 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.

To order this, create an account with us, then go to the 'Order Rehearsal Material' page

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

Available after Rights Obtained ...
Backing Tracks
For use during performances. Not entirely suitable for rehearsals as the melody lines are missing.
These are available for an 8 piece orchestra as below, for hire to production companies only, who hold a valid, unexpired, licence to perform.
  • MD / Keyboard 1
  • Keyboard 2
  • Piano /Keyboard 3
  • Bass
  • Tenor Sax
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • Drums
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 ...

  • Perusal Set ('The Best Man')
    £0.00 Perusal Set ('The Best Man')
    PLEASE NOTE : We operate a FREE Perusal Service, and for this title we supply a USB stick with pdf/mp3/mp4 files of the perusal material. Customers requesting this MUST be a representative of a production company, school,...
  • 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 (The Best Man)
    £104.99 Rehearsal Master Set (The Best Man)
    Rehearsal Master Sets (RMS) are available to purchase, once your production has been licensed. You will need the five digit licence reference number (see above). They are available as Dropbox Download (e-mailed...
  • Backing Tracks (Performance, The Best Man)
    £95.00 Backing Tracks (Performance, The Best Man)
    Sets of Backing Tracks either on: USB Stick with mp3 files, or Dropbox, mp3 file download (e-mailed link) to use during performances (or rehearsals).  In order to purchase this item, you must be in...
  • Orchestrations ('The Best Man')
    £120.00 Orchestrations ('The Best Man')
    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 or as an e-mailed Dropbox Link. You are licensed to print a just sufficient quantity of...