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by Steve Humfress and Andy Rapps

Now playing : 'Pay!'  

Musical Theatre: 'Quasimodo' by Steve Humfress and Andy Rapps
"... a thought-provoking musical
possessed of depth, drama, emotion
and memorable melodies"

Jan Wyles, East Anglian Daily Times

 'Quasimodo' is an exciting musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s tragic tale of
the unfortunate hunchback and his love for the beautiful gypsy girl, Esmeralda.

Synopsis (Short)

Musical Theatre: 'Quasimodo' by Steve Humfress and Andy RappsAlthough the emotional heart of this epic show is the hunchbacked Quasimodo’s unrequited and hopeless love for Esmeralda, his brave efforts to save her, and his alienation from the world, there is another achingly tragic tale unfolding beneath the surface. That of the mad old crone known as Sister Godule who haunts the streets of Paris pouring hatred and bile on the heads of all gypsies, especially that of the beautiful Esmeralda.

Her obsessive, blind fury, fuelled by the gypsies’ theft of her baby daughter, leads her to destroy not only herself but, unwittingly, the only thing she has ever loved. Her accomplice, the upright and deeply devout, Archdeacon Frollo, is, in his own way, an equally doomed figure as he struggles with his religious beliefs against his baser nature.

A clear role in this show is taken by the chorus/ensemble who, as the various colourful inhabitants of 15th century Paris, enact their own tragedy as they look for answers to the causes of their poverty, pain and fear. Set amidst the rigid religious orthodoxy of the time the show unfolds against the magnificent edifice of Notre Dame Cathedral, a symbol of solid certainty in a very uncertain world

Synopsis (Long)

Paquette, a young, single mother, has a beautiful baby daughter. The child is the result of Paquette’s desperate descent into prostitution, but with the birth of her child she has vowed to leave her old life behind. However, a passing band of gypsies, much taken with the child, steal her and leave a deformed baby boy in her place. The local women are horrified by the child’s deformities and, believing this to be the work of the devil, and fearing for the sanctity of their own souls, are about to burn him. The local priest, Father Frollo, stops them and vows to bring up the child as his own. A distraught Paquette clings pathetically to one remaining tiny slipper as the only tangible memento of her lost child.

Twenty years later, the people of Paris are about to celebrate The Feast of Fools Day by electing the King of Fools. This is pretty much a gurning competition. However, on this occasion, a surprise entrant is the badly deformed Quasimodo, the much feared, reclusive bell ringer of Notre Dame Cathedral. In the intervening years, Father Frollo has climbed the ladder and is now Archdeacon of the Cathedral bringing his adopted child with him. Naturally, Quasimodo wins the competition hands down and, as part of the celebration, Esmeralda; a young gypsy dancer is persuaded to perform for Quasimodo. Frollo intervenes in this spectacle but he becomes suddenly consumed by an overpowering, and for him, frightening, lust for the beautiful gypsy girl. As he drags Quasimodo away, a mad old nun known as Sister Godule abuses Esmeralda but the crowd chase her off. Sister Godule is in fact Paquette now twenty years older and driven to an insane hatred of gypsies by the loss of her daughter. As night falls Esmeralda dreams of the glamorous hero she hopes to meet one day. Her reverie is interrupted when Frollo attempts to abduct her with the help of Quasimodo. Her cries summon help in the shape of the Paris guard led by Captain Pheobus de Chateaus who superficially embodies everything that Esmeralda has dreamed of. In the confusion, Frollo escapes but Quasimodo is taken prisoner. Esmeralda flees but has caught the eye of Phoebus who finds a small slipper that she has dropped.

Musical Theatre: 'Quasimodo' by Steve Humfress and Andy RappsThe next day Quasimodo appears in court before a deaf judge. As neither the defendant nor judge can hear each other a series of comic misunderstandings ensue resulting in Quasimodo being sentenced to a whipping in the town square. The crowd seize the opportunity to abuse the much-feared bell-ringer but are admonished for their cruelty by Esmeralda and she gives Quasimodo a drink of water. Goaded on by Paquette, the crowd turn on Esmeralda. Phoebus drives the crowd away and arranges to meet Esmeralda later at the Inn where he lodges, under the pretext of returning her lost slipper. Unfortunately, this conversation is overheard by Frollo and consumed by jealousy he vows to kill her. Meanwhile, Quasimodo is overwhelmed by Esmeralda’s kindness to him but at the same time, realises that his physical deformities put her way beyond his reach.

Emeralda meets Phoebus in his lodgings and she explains that she keeps the slipper in the hope that her long lost mother might see it. Phoebus is an experienced seducer and takes full advantage of Esmeralda’s vulnerability. But Frollo has followed Esmerlda to the Inn and he bursts into the room, confronts Pheobus and stabs him. Esmeralda grabs Phoebus’ sword to ward off Frollo. The noise attracts a crowd and Frollo flees leaving Esmeralda standing over the dead Phoebus with sword in hand looking as if she has murdered the soldier. Sister Godule seizes the opportunity to show the crowd that she was right all along and Esmeralda is dragged off to prison.

On a sunny morning an enthusiastic crowd gather to watch as Esmeralda is to be hanged as a witch. Sister Godule is much in evidence as she waits to enjoy the fruits of her labours. She explains to the people gathered around that she hates gypsies because they stole her daughter, shows them the baby’s slipper which she still carries, and that she has vowed revenge upon all gypsies. Esmeralda arrives escorted by guards and the hangman. She is thrown onto the steps of the Cathedral to make her last confession to Frollo. Although she recognises him as the murderer she knows that nobody would believe her. He tells her he can still save her if she agrees to become his mistress but she angrily refuses. As she is about to be hanged, Quasimodo, who has been watching from the Cathedral, drags her from the scaffold and into the sanctuary of the Church. Sister Godule pleads with the guards to retrieve her but they tell her there is nothing they can do.

Quasimodo carries her into a small cell in the bell tower and tries to reassure a distraught Esmeralda. Having prepared herself for death she finds it hard to come to terms with her unexpected survival and the prospect of being virtually imprisoned in the Cathedral. He watches over her when she sleeps, as he only feels comfortable in her presence when she can’t see him and he dreams of a relationship he knows he can never have. Eventually, he falls asleep outside her room. Frollo has found a different route to her cell and accuses the girl of deliberately setting out to destroy his soul and he attempts to rape her. Awakened by the noise, Quasimodo drives Frollo away. Frollo, determined that the girl should either be his or die, seeks out Sister Godule and hatches a plot with her to persuade the poverty stricken inhabitant of Paris to attack the Cathedral and distract Quasimodo so that they can seize Esmeralda back.

Musical Theatre: 'Quasimodo' by Steve Humfress and Andy RappsSister Godule descends into the Parisian underworld and persuades the poverty stricken inhabitants that their misfortunes are the consequence of allowing a witch to stay alive. She whips the crowd into a superstitious frenzy and they set off to storm the Cathedral.

Esmeralda contemplates her feelings about her rescuer. Whilst on the one hand, she is repulsed by his ugliness she also recognises that he is a true and faithful friend and in many ways epitomises the man she has always dreamed of. Her reverie is interrupted by the arrival of the mob below. Quasimodo tells her to stay hidden whilst he fights off the attackers. Frollo takes Sister Godule to Esmeralda’s hiding place. She suddenly spots the slipper hanging at Esmeralda’s throat and eventually realises that the object of her hatred is in fact her own beloved daughter. She turns a knife on Frollo and attempts to force an escape. Although she wounds him, he manages to disarm her and is going to kill Esmeralda but the mother throws herself in the way of the fatal blow and is mortally injured. Whilst Esmeralda cradles her dying mother, Frollo takes some of the attackers to her hiding place and they drag her into the street to be hanged. Quasimodo has had to kill Frollo to attempt a rescue but arrives in time to see her dead body hanging. Heartbroken, he holds the dead girl in his arms. The mob, seeing his raw grief, are quelled into shamed silence.


Principals (3m, 2f)
  Paquette : Ages from a young woman in her mid 20’s to a haggard middle-aged Nun (Sister Godule)
  Frollo : A kindly priest who falls from grace
  Esmeralda : A beautiful young gypsy girl
  Quasimodo : A man with a horribly deformed face and a hunchback
  Phoebus : a strong, handsome soldier
Support (2m, 1f, 1m/f)
  Fortune Teller (f)
  Paquette's Friend (f)
  Judge (m)
  Soldier (m)
  Landlord : Could be played as a Landlady with minor adjustments to dialogue
  Chorus/Ensemble : Gypsy's and Parisiens (including small cameo roles of : Monks, Gypsy King, Woman (several), Man (several), Barker (m), Clerk (m), Hangman & Guard)


  1) Overture Orchestra
  2) Lullaby Paquette
  3) Gypsy Dance Chorus & Dancers
  4) From The Day You Are Born Paquette & Chorus
  5) When I Was Young Paquette
  6) Fortune Telling Paquette & Women
  7) The Devil's Child Paquette & Women
  8) Just This Shoe Paquette
  9) Ugly Faces Chorus
10) Praise The King Quasimodo & Chorus
10A) We’re All Of Us Dancers (Prelude) Orchestra (Underscore)
11) We’re All Of Us Dancers Esmeralda, Frollo, Paquette & Chorus
12) I Dream Of My Hero Esmeralda
13) Assault Frollo & Esmeralda
14) The Judge’s Song Judge, Quasimodo & Chorus
15) Whip Him Chorus with Quasimodo & Esmeralda
16) Entrance of Paquette Paquette, Phoebus, Esmeralda & Chorus
17) She Must Die / She Gave Me Water Frollo & Quasimodo
18) This Pretty Shoe Esmeralda (with Phoebus)
19) Understand Esmeralda & Phoebus
20) Accused Paquette & Chorus
  ~~ Interval ~~  
21) Entr’acte Orchestra & Chorus
22) Send Them All Back To Hell Paquette & Man
23) Here Comes The Gypsy Girl Paquette, Frollo, Esmeralda & Chorus
24) I’m Still Alive / When She Lies Sleeping Esmeralda & Quasimodo
25) One More Day Frollo, Paquette, Esmeralda & Quasimodo
26) Tonight All Our Sorrows We’ll Drown Chorus & Paquette
27) Pay! Paquette & Chorus
28) See The Man Esmeralda
29) The Attack Paquette, Esmeralda, Frollo, Quasimodo & Chorus
30) Curtain Calls Company
31) Playout Orchestra

Information for Production Administrators

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Available now (see below) ...
Preview Script/Libretto
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These are available for customers in European Union countries only to borrow free of charge (but you have to pay the postage to return the set to us). The set contains ...
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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, 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.

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Available after Rights Obtained ...
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  • Cello
  • Clarinet
  • Flute
  • Horn
  • Keyboard
  • Oboe
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  • Violin 1
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  • MD's Full Score
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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.
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Order your free preview script or perusal material now ...

  • Preview E-Script (Quasimodo) A4
    £0.00 Preview E-Script (Quasimodo) A4
    A free preview script containing a significant part of the full script and provided as a pdf file sized for A4 paper.
  • Perusal Set
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    PLEASE NOTE : We operate a FREE Perusal Service, but our Perusal Sets are ONLY available to customers who are representatives of a production company, school, church, or amateur group. If you qualify, the set will be...
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  • Rehearsal Master Set ('Quasimodo')
    £109.99 Rehearsal Master Set ('Quasimodo')
    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...