Show History



Drake, a musical comedy with book and lyrics by Jeremy James Taylor (founding artistic director of the National Youth Music Theatre) and music by David Nield, utilizes characters from Europe in the late sixteenth century.  The action primarily brings together real-life explorer, Sir Francis Drake, Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Walter Raleigh.  Several characters, like the antagonists of Don Bernardo and Sir John Killigrew, along with the entire comic plot line of the Widecombe bowling team, were created for dramatic effect.


Drake premiered with The Children's Music Theatre at Whitgift School Croydon on May 25, 1983, featuring performances from about 40 children ages 11-14.  It subsequently moved to the George Square Theatre in Edinburgh that August as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  The CMT also mounted productions of the musical in 1984 and 1988.


  • Nicky Searle (made famous for, among other things, performing in Matilda The Musical) performed in the original 1983 production of Drake.
  • Although the show was originally written for, and performed with, younger actors, according to the Production Notes in the script, "there is absolutely no reason, however, why the piece should not be done with older children, adults or a combination of all three."