Call Me Dusty (play with music)

6m, 6f (with doubling) large cast version.  Also 1m, 2f professional version. running Time 1 hr 45 mins 
The multi-talented, multi-faceted Dusty

Without doubt the finest white soul singer of her era, Dusty Springfield is for millions the definitive pop diva. Her lifestyle was the stuff of legend – and great drama. Misunderstood and often misquoted, with her relentless quest for perfection and refusal to compromise, Dusty Springfield led a tormented life.

Her stage persona – extravagant black mascara and backcombed hair – was at odds with the quiet, shy convent girl Mary O'Brien and her sexuality.

The result was a downward spiral of drugs, alcohol abuse and self-harm – but, despite all that, she produced tremendous music which still ranks as some of the finest of its kind.result was a downward spiral of drugs, alcohol abuse and self-harm– but, despite all that, she produced tremendous music, which still ranks as some of the finest of its kind.

For a free downloadable evaluation script and details of performing rights, click here: Stagescripts.com

'Call Me Dusty' celebrates the music, while exploring the dichotomy of the private person and her alter ego. It is not a musical, but a play with music. The actress playing Dusty does not have to be a singer because all the music used in the show is commercially available recorded music, of Dusty Springfield and others, and therefore covered by PRS. In addition, specially edited versions of the music are available as mp3 downloads for companies wishing to perform the show. 

The play received excellent reviews when originally produced by Ignition Theatre to celebrate the anniversary of the release of her first solo single 'I Only Want To Be With You' which was released in November 1963, selling a million copies and earning a gold disc.

“While the play itself will be of immense interest to the icon’s loyal fanbase… the true success of the piece lay in the universal appeal of its writing. Because ultimately Derek Webb has written a heartfelt play of a young girl who succumbs to the lure of stardom which will appeal to fans of good drama regardless of any prior knowledge of the star at its heart.” South Wales Evening Post

There are two versions of the play... the small cast version is designed to be performed by three actors: one playing Dusty Springfield with 1m, 1f playing all the other parts, and the other is a large cast version comprising 6m, 6f (with doubling) or 13m, 10f (without doubling).

Characters 

Large Cast Version 
Cast in order of appearance
Announcer: (m or f) any age – voice only
Researcher 1: (m) any age
Researcher 2: (f) any age
Kay O’Brien: Dusty’s mother – Irish, 30s – kind hearted, warm
OB: Dusty’s father – opinionated, perhaps a bit of a bully
Dusty: plays from schoolgirl age to 30+
Tom O’Brien: Dusty’s elder brother – soon to be Tom Springfield
Riss Chantelle: lead singer in the Lana Sisters
Producer: (f) 20s-40s – Smartly dressed, posh BBC producer
Floor Manager: (m) 20s-40s – Manchester accent – definitely not posh
Reporter: (f) 20s-40s – pleasant, enthusiastic
Vic Billings: (m) 30s – smartly dressed, slightly affected accent
Pat Rhodes: (f) 30s – Dusty’s secretary – mumsy, very pleasant
Recording Engineer: (m) 20s-50s – slightly nerdy, irascible
Male Teenager – non-speaking part
Female Teenager – non-speaking part
Reporter: (m) 20s-40s – insistent Vicki Wickham: (f) 30s – pleasant but tough producer of Ready Steady Go!
Priest: (m) 30s-50s – warm, considerate, thoughtful
Polly Perkins: (f) 30s – singer with The Academy – very camp, very likeable
Jerry Wexler: (m) 30s-40s – American boss of Atlantic Records. Southern, dry
Ray Connolly: (m) 30s-40s – columnist for the Evening Standard
Chairman: (m) 40s-60s – Yorkshire nightclub owner – very brash
Eric Plant: (m) 30s-40s – gay dress designer 
 
Suggested Casting (6m, 6f) 

Male – 40s-50s: Announcer/OB/Chairman/Recording Engineer/Priest Male – any age: Researcher 1
Female – any age: Researcher 2
Female – 30s-40s: Kay O’Brien/Producer/Female reporter
Female – 20s-30s: Dusty
Male – 20s: Tom O’Brien/Floor Manager/Male Teenager
Female – 20s-30s: Riss Chantelle/Female Teenager/Polly Perkins
Male –30s-40s: Vic Billings
Female – 30s: Pat Rhodes
Male – 30s-40s: Reporter/Jerry Wexler
Female – 30s: Vicki Wickham
Male – 30s-40s: Ray Connolly/ Eric Plant

For a free downloadable evaluation script and details of performing rights, click here: Stagescripts.com

This article was updated on 2 October 2018