KIPPS - The Characters

Arthur Kipps

A simple soul who knows that there was something mysterious about his birth. Reared by an aunt and uncle, he spends a bleak childhood. After seven years of apprenticeship to a draper, he is given a position in the firm at twenty pounds a year. As a boy, he falls in love with Ann Pornick, a poor girl who goes into domestic service; later, he is enamoured of a lady who teaches woodcarving in a class he attends for self-improvement. His life is radically changed when he is left a legacy of a handsome house and twelve hundred pounds a year by his paternal grandfather, who relented before his death, though he had forbidden his son to marry Kipps’ mother. At once, the bewildered Kipps is petitioned by everyone for money. He buys an interest in a friend’s play and is manoeuvred into becoming engaged to the woodcarving teacher, who tries to change him completely and gets him to give her brother control of his money. Kipps meets his childhood sweetheart again and begins to yearn for a simpler life. They marry, and his wife is at first made unhappy by their pretentions to grandeur. His former fiancée’s brother loses most of his money, however, and Kipps’ now comfortable but necessarily simple life is thoroughly happy. Even after he becomes almost as rich as before with the success of his friend’s play, he continues to live simply and happily.     Age range ….under thirty playing age.

Ann Pornick
Kipps’ first love and later his wife. Seeing her as a servant in a house where he is a guest, Kipps proposes; in spite of her apprehension over the difference in their social positions, she accepts.     Age range…..comparable with Kipps. Lower class which should reflect in her speech.

Helen Walsingham
A lady of whom Kipps becomes enamoured. Engaged to him after his acquisition of wealth, she attempts to change his speech, dress, manners, and attitudes. Grateful at first, he becomes gloomy. Her solicitor brother speculates with Kipps’ money and loses most of it.     Age range…..comparable with Kipps. Upper class but fallen on hard times.

 

Mr. Chitterlow
Kipps’ friend, a would-be playwright. Because of Chitterlow’s influence, Kipps gets drunk and stays out all night, for which he loses his job; shortly afterward, however, Kipps gets his fortune. He buys a quarter interest in Chitterlow’s play, which later restores his fortune almost to its original amount.     Age range…..over forty and larger than life character.

 

Sid Pornick
Ann’s brother. A socialist, he is both contemptuous and jealous of Kipps’ new wealth, and so he does not tell Ann of Kipps’ fortune. Therefore, when Ann first sees Kipps again, her naturalness and simplicity make him yearn for the old, uncomplicated life.     Age range…..a little older than both Kipps and Ann.

Young Arthur and Young Ann
Self explanatory really.     8-11 age.

Mr Shalford
Portly middle aged proprietor of Shalford's Bazaar. Disciplinarian and bombastic. Has some dialogue at the beginning and sings solo in the Look alive song.

Carshot
The floor walker. (Could be female?) A little bit of dialogue and a line in beginning of Look alive song.

Apprentices - Sid (as above) Pierce and Buggins
All different characters and voice parts. Come in and out of the whole show. Age could vary but not older than 40 as they apprentices!

 

Flo Evans
Part of the apprentices clan and should be comparable age wise with Buggins. Has lovely duet with Ann. Plus solo lines and a little dialogue.

Mrs. Walsingham
Age comparable to being Helen’s mother. A selfish tiresome fussy woman who wants to use Kipps money to buy herself back into the manner that she would like to be when she was a wife not a widow. Dialogue and  a song with her son and entourage.

James Walsingham
Age comparable with Helen. A trickster and man about town. Loses Kipps’ money for him. Sings with the family and has some dialogue.

 

Lady Punnet, LadyDacre and Mrs Bindo-Botting
Friends of Mrs Walsingham with dialogue and lines in song.

Mr Maxwell
Architect with a couple of lines of dialogue and ensemble in a song.

Aunt Susan Kipps and Uncle Bert Kipps
Open the show with a little dialogue and appear for a minute midway through.