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. 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.
About Call Me Dusty
‘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. Note: This is a large cast version of the original stage play, which toured to 13 venues in South Wales and the South West in 2013, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the release of Dusty Springfield’s first solo single.
The original play was performed by three actors, playing all the parts, and a script is available for companies wishing to perform it in this form.
Picture shows James Scannell as Ray Connelly and Jess Sandry as Dusty Springfield in the original production
Scripts of both versions of Call Me Dusty - large cast and three-hander are due to be published by Stagescripts.com who will also be handling the performing rights. If you would like to receive an evaluation script before formal publication, click here: stagescripts.com
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
6m, 6f (with doubling) 13m, 10f characters in total: Characters 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 including possible doubling up of parts:
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