Act I - A
Squire Challenor spent much of his family fortune to reopen the tin mines near
his village in
Devonshire in an effort to give
employment to the poor people of the region. On the Squire's death, The
Squire's son, Geoffrey, in need of funds, leased his family manor to the
wealthy Sir Joseph Verity. Geoffrey then went to sea to seek his fortune.
Geoffrey's childhood sweetheart, Marjorie, also left the village, but
Nan stayed at home, spending time
with Sir Joseph, his son Douglas and a number of other gentlemen.
Five years after Geoffrey left the village, Sir Joseph has plans for
Douglas to be elected to Parliament representing the
borough. He also has an interest in the influential society lady, Mrs. Quinton
Raikes, recently legally decreed a widow following the disappearance of her
husband in the
Himalayas. Mrs. Raikes resists
his advances, but she is short of money. She agrees that Madam Sophie should
stay at the manor as a friend to compensate for not being able to pay her bill.
Sophie is in seventh heaven, for this is the village where she grew up, and she
is delighted to be able to show her old friends how she has risen in the world.
Geoffrey Challoner and his faithful friend and assistant,
Barry, return to town from the orient. Barry realizes that the villagers would
much prefer to elect Geoffrey to Parliament than the unenthusiastic Douglas,
who is more interested in
Nan than the
election. Marjorie joy has also come back from
London where she has become a singing star
under an assumed name. She wants Geoffrey to find her as he left her and,
hiding her fine clothes, she dons her old blue dress and sunbonnet for their
Geoffrey's ship has brought some Eastern passengers, the
Rajah of Bhong and his fiancee, Princess Mehelaneh. However, the Rajah is an
Englishman, and the Princess is a modern young lady. She has insisted on being
to be presented at the local Emperor's court before her marriage to the Rajah,
and he is strangely anxious to get their business over and leave the country
again. The Rajah, it turns out, was once the husband of Mrs. Raikes. It was to
escape his wife that he went off to the
so he prefers to remain "dead" according to British law. The
Princess, on the other hand, is not so anxious to be on her way. She has
learned from Barry that in
one may choose (within reason) one's preferred spouse, and she is soon busy
sizing up alternatives to her nervous Rajah.
Barry attempts to raise money for Geoffrey by selling off the worthless old tin
mine to Sir Joseph on the pretext that providing work for the locals will earn
his son the votes he needs to win the election. He also discovers that Madam
Sophie, now living at the manor, is his old sweetheart. The Princess, who has
also installed herself at the manor, has decided that her choice of husband
shall be Geoffrey, whom she will bring to her native land. Geoffrey, politely
kissing the Princess's hand, declines the oriental match. Marjorie, who has
seen only the kiss, tearfully goes back to
London and the stage.
Act II - Interior of the
Ministry of Fine Arts.
house of Lord Anchester, an old friend of the Rajah, a ball is being held.
Attending is Nan, the Rajah, accompanied by the Princess (desperately avoiding
his widowed wife and longing for the happy land of Bhong), Sophie, still under
the social protection of Mrs. Raikes who clearly hasn't yet paid her
dressmaker's bill, and Marjorie Joy in her London persona as Miss Montague.
Geoffrey is fascinated by her, as he finds in her an amazing resemblance to his
lost sweetheart. Barry is disguised as an old lady to get in past the doorman.
Amusing complications ensue, including Sir Joseph's attempts to flirt with the
disguised Barry, who seeks refuge in the arms of the surprised Rajah.
In the hearing of Miss Montague, Geoffrey squarely refuses
the Princess's renewed offer in favour of the love of his 'little country
girl'. When Lord Anchester requests the actress to favour the company with a
song, she reveals her double identity to a grateful Geoffrey. All pair off
Synopsis from Wikipedia