Nicholas and the new young arrivals from London are introduced to the boys. (Author's
note: in a mixed cast the boys’ parts are also played by girls) They look more
like sewer rats than human beings and are clearly scared of Mr. Squeers.
Song 8: Dotheboys Hall
After this introduction to the school which shows how it works to the obvious advantage
of the Squeers Family, it is time for the pupils to be fed – on milk and water. They
have a brief moment of opportunity to drink from the milk jug as it is passed round.
Squeers calls out their number as each boy comes to his turn.
Song: Reprise of Doing Things By Numbers
After supper, Mrs. Squeers tells the boys that it is time for bed and reminds them
that if she so much as hears a sound, they will each get a beating like they have
ACT ONE scene 6 The Squeers’ Parlour. Dotheboys Hall.
(Author’s note: as suggested earlier, a quick lighting change and possibly overhead
screen or placard announcing The Squeer’s Parlour is preferable to a lengthy scene
With the boys in bed, the Squeers family and Nicholas sit down to dinner. It is evident
that Fanny is quite attracted to Nicholas and she makes eyes at him all through the
meal. Smike serves them the meal and continues to be treated horribly by the whole
family. Smike asks Squeers "Has nothing been heard about me?" but is dismissed with
When Nicholas asks him about Smike, Squeers simply says that no one knows, including
the boy, where he comes from or where he belongs. Smike lives as a slave to the Squeers
family. As the Squeers eat a delicious dinner, Nicholas comments how badly he feels
eating a meal that so many, including the boys at Dotheboys, go without. Squeers
tries to reason that they prepare the boys for a life in the real world. Smike belatedly
returns with a cask of ale and is beaten by Squeers until he is left in a heap on
the floor. Nicholas watches this with mounting anger.
After finishing dinner, the Squeers family retires for the night and tells Nicholas
to sleep in their living room until more permanent arrangements can be made. Once
they are upstairs, Nicholas hears Smike huddled at the bottom of the stairs reflecting
on his situation.
Song 9: Parents/Better Off The Way I Am
(Author’s note: in the original Music Sales lyrics the last line of the chorus is
“Ooh by golly I’m better off the way I am”. On the current Smike CD however the
line has been replaced by “Don’t need you, I’m better off the way I am” which works
Nicholas approaches the boy and tries to console him. While talking with Nicholas,
Smike speaks of the boy who died not that long ago at the school. Smike was with
him at his death and remembers how the boy saw faces from home floating all around
him. What troubles Smike most is that there will be no faces to smile on him when
he dies. Nicholas reassures Smike and tells him that there always is hope.
Song 10: Don’t Let Life Get You Down
ACT TWO scene 1 Dotheboys Hall. Classroom (also used as Dormitory in opening sequence)
Song 11: Instrumental Dawn Music / In The Warm Light Of A Brand New Day.
The next morning, as dawn breaks, Smike awakes with a newfound feeling of optimism.
He and the boys rise to prepare for school.
Suddenly a voice is heard asking, "What's all this noise going on here?" and the
boys scatter, terrified that it is Squeers. Instead, it is Bolder (one of the boys)
who enters mimicking Squeers. Once the boys see this, they join in the laughter as
he continues to poke fun at Squeers.
Song 12: Dotheboys Rock
Once again, a voice calls out "What's all this noise going on here?" However, this
time it really is Squeers. One of the boys, Graymarsh, still thinking it is another
boy mimicking Squeers yells out "Oh shut up!" Hearing this Squeers approaches Graymarsh
and slaps him across the face. The boys fall into lines. Mrs. Squeers and Fanny now
triumphantly enter with a bottle of brimstone and molasses, which they prepare to
spoon to the boys to help purify their blood. Mrs. Squeers confesses that the brimstone
helps spoil the boys’ appetites, making it cheaper to feed them.