SMIKE a pop musical adaptation of part of Charles Dickens’ 1839 novel Nicholas Nickleby

Smike is a musical about courage and self-belief, adapted from Charles Dickens’ book ‘Nicholas Nickleby’. A passionate English teacher, Mr Nicholls, brings Dickens’ book to life by turning it into a musical for his disinterested class. Smike, a pupil, is inspired by the lessons he learns through this fascinating tale and finds the courage to stand up to his bullies. Since its production on BBC TV, Smike has enjoyed tremendous popularity and been performed thousands of times in the UK and overseas. Suitable for secondary and primary schools and youth groups.

“I first did Smike when i was 12 years old and took the title role, now some 30 years on I am directing and musical directing my own show. The music is still wonderful and has definitely moved with the times.I know i will get a lot of pleasure once again from this fantastic musical.” Neil Mogridge is simply the best school musical ever written..” David Knight, former Headteacher, Tatworth Primary School

“All of our pupils loved both script and music instantly.” John Wright, Director of Music


Song 1: Overture / The Daily Test

Song 2: Doing Things By Numbers

Song 3: Here I Am (Looking For My Name)

Song 4: Stop and Just Think Who You Could Be

Song 5: Instrumental Transition Music

Song 6: We've Got the Youngsters' Interests At Heart

Song 7: Wackford, Fanny, Squeersy and Me

Song 8: Dotheboys Hall

Song 9: Doing Things By Numbers (Reprise A)

Song 10: Parents/Better Off The Way I Am

Song 11: Don’t Let Life Get You Down

Song 12 Instrumental Dawn Music into In The Warm Light Of A Brand New Day.

Song 13: Dotheboys Rock

Song 14: Brimstone and Treacle

Song 15: Your Kind Of Woman

Song 16: We’ll Find Our Day

Song 17: Here I Am (And Nickleby’s My Name)

Song 18: Don’t Let Life Get You Down/In The Warm Light Of A Brand New Day (Reprise)

Song 19: Believe


‘Smike was created by EastEnders composer Simon May in collaboration with Roger Holman and Clive Barnett, when Simon and Roger were writing partners and when Simon and Clive were teachers at Kingston Grammar School. The musical was written as a school project and premiered at Surbiton Assembly Rooms in the summer of 1973. It was then mounted as a major BBC TV production in the Christmas of 1973 starring Beryl Reid, Ian Sharrock and Leonard Whiting and has since become a mini classic, licensed by Josef Weinberger Ltd to thousands of schools and amateur drama societies in the UK and overseas. It seems that the musical has never dated and has enjoyed a wide range of different productions with casts of young boys and girls who have all embraced the show to suit their own needs. The main theme of ‘Smike’ is the issue of bullying and the raising of children’s self esteem, and this, combined with a lively and memorable score, is why the show still finds relevance and resonates in today’s world. Please contact us if you are thinking of producing your own version of ‘Smike’ and we will be happy to give you back up and help with your new production of Smike the Musical.

Notes for Producers

Freely adapted from Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby, this musical opens in a contemporary school where a new English teacher finds it difficult to gain the interest of his class. He overcomes this problem when he hits on the idea of turning the book they are studying, Nicholas Nickleby, into a musical. We are swept back in time to the misery of Dotheboys Hall, where life is a matter of survival; avoiding the heavy hand of Mr Squeers and the daily dose of brimstone and treacle! The story ends happily with the children overpowering their captors: we return to the present day and find the class has learnt many lessons from the exercise.

For Licence to perform Smike, hire orchestral parts and backing tracks, please contact Josef Weinberger Ltd, 12-14 Mortimer St. London W1T 3JJ Tel: 0207 580 2827 Email: [email protected]

The backing tracks (CD/download) are also matched with a second complimentary CD/download (with vocals) which is available by contacting the Simon May website CONTACT address, after you have obtained a licence to perform ‘Smike’.

The vocal recordings correlate with the backing tracks, and can be used for early rehearsals.

The score and libretto of ‘Smike’ is available from Music Sales Ltd., Distribution Centre, Newmarket Rd., Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 3YB
or online from

If you decide to have your production filmed and made available on DVD we highly recommend that you get in touch with Wizard Video Productions at:
Petworth Rd., Wheelerstreet, Witley, Godalming GU8 5LX

email: [email protected]
T: 01428 682896

Contact us on the Simon May website contact page if you would like help and back up with your production.

We can send you a full synopsis with author’s production notes, and from time to time, schedules permitting, Simon could attend one of your rehearsals and work with your cast in a Smike workshop session in collaboration with your producer and musical director.