A stage musical for the  family set in a rundown theater. The cast are a dozen kids abandoned to a life as street performers.  Bella enters as the new owner intent on opening her Bella's Club Nashville.  Deals are done and the street kids decide to work with Bella in creating the club from found materials in the theater's back stage.  A dozen new songs are being recorded with five already in demo form.


                         BELLA'S CLUB PHOENIX


Our stage musical illustrates the trials and tribulations of Bella, an elegant extrovert, intent on creating a club restaurant in an abandoned theatre deep in a city ghetto. 

For Bella this is her dream come true, this will be her own establishment.  All she has to do now is build it.  Full of ideas but short of funds, she is aware of the difficult times to come.

Her first problem is the twenty street kids who are squatting there. They confront her; they insist that they own the place.  As semi-pro street entertainers they have created a close knit community and will not be moved.

These homeless street kids are teenagers: they perform anywhere there is a crowd with song, tap, mime, comedy, acrobatics and conjuring tricks. Their locations are theatre queues, shopping malls, city parks and squares.  The few takings are shared.

Their multiple problems range from drugs to sexual abuse.  However, they are great survivors...with a little bit of help.  Bella can do nothing else but help them…if they help her build the club.

With an agreement struck for them to stay, Bella sets the kids to work clearing the debris and erecting the club from abandoned materials found in the theatre wings.  Panels and rolls of cloth create the interior of the club.  An ancient kitchen is cleaned and fired up.

From song and dance their personal stories flow of how their desperate family lives drove them onto the streets. The beatings and abuse break Bella's heart.

A cast of supporting characters appear, played by the street kids or adult members of the cast. All will contribute in creating Bella's Club Nashville.

Mr Midnight is a debonair and a gentle man with a history of sadness.  Once rich now poor, he was contemplating suicide prior to meeting with the street kids. They made him one of them with his adoption in mind.  A man of many talents, including sterling work on the beat-up piano.

Pierre, Bella's colourful interior decorator sashes in and takes command.  A camp outrageous character that the Kids are wary of but whom they soon come to love. 

Alvaro the Chef is an ex-opera singer of Italian descent.   A true salt of the earth and a previous lover of Bella.        A father figure to the street kids, now our Chorus Kids.

Adolph the Maître 'de is hired by Bella sight unseen.      He has the villain's moustache and the maximum of attitude.  Also a little light fingered when it comes to Bella's Big Black Book of VIP's. Fired, he is chased off vowing revenge.

During the build the Chorus Kids, Adolph and Pierre are also the various secondary characters, all parody and obvious type casting.  They are the Landlord, the Financier, the various Inspectors of Health and Safety plus the Cops, Gangsters and their Tarts.

Guest artists drop in and perform, direct from televisions Got Talent and other TV shows.

With the club built and the VIP invitations ready to post for the Gala Opening, Bella takes the cast out for a celebration.  Adolph, the villainous Maître' de breaks in seeking Bella's precious Big Black Book of the rich and famous.  He inadvertently causes a fire.                                                                                                                                                                                         INTERVAL

During the interval smoke curls from under the closed safety curtain.  Clouds of dry ice float across the floors of the theatre bars.  We hear the Fire Brigade sirens and their muffed shouts and directions.  We hear the conflagration and the mayhem.

Chorus Kids dressed as fireman visit all parts of the theatre and convince the audience the fire is out..."the show will go on".


Bella is in tears, convinced her dream is shattered.  The cast creates a new look with fire and resurrection as the theme.  The panels are cleaned of smoke damage and Ross becomes the hero as he reveals a talent for spray painting graffiti on the panels.  The images he creates re brilliant caricatures of famous artiste's masterpieces.

The Kids with their smoke smudged faces and clothes reflect this new décor.

Health and Safety officials are the next problem so the cast set to and right all the wrongs as pointed out by the stuffy officials.

Gangsters arrive and demand protection monies, badly.  Ross convinces them that one of the Kids could be theirs and that they should adopt and be Big Brothers to them.

A burglar, masked and with a crowbar, appears out of the audience and chased by a helicopters searchlight, crawls across the front of the stage and quietly steals Bella's Big Black Book. Nobody notices.

Bella, Ross and Pierre with the club makeover completed, ask the Kids to perform what they take to their street patrons.  Shop doorways drop down, tube station logos appear and a park bench becomes another mini setting. The kids go into their various routines.

Chopper leads the "You Know Jack Shit Family" rant.   Queenie plays a mean violin in a shop doorway.  All the Kids chant witty one liners and insults.  Bella, Russ, Pierre and Alvaro prove to be brilliant air guitarists as they rant. Psycho presents his outrageous over the top series of death by guns, knives, poison, and strangulation…some self-applied.  Pony proves that one's underwear can be taken off over one's head and Little Lill attempts a striptease before being swept away by Oby.

Bella explains how her child was stolen the day it was born.  She reveals they share the same unique appendage blip.  Both have an extra little toe. The Kids kick off their shoes but only one teenager has the extra little toe.  Bella and her child are reunited.  The Britain's Got Talent guest artists join in the celebrations

It is show time…and they all await the arrival of the Rich and Famous for the opening night party but nobody appears.  The VIP invitations are found burnt and charred.

Adolph returns with the stolen Big Black Book, he is a changed man and is soon forgiven. A series of weddings and commitments take place.  Bella and Alvaro are married by Ross, now a ship's captain of his dilapidated row boat and sporting a priests white collar.

Audience members who invested into the show are invited by the Kids onstage for a taste of Alvaro's finger food and wine.  They sing the final song from the menu card.

 © PETER SHILLINGFORD      ufindshill@btinternet.com