• Peter Maxwell Davies
  • Dangerous Errand (1990)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by Longman

Complete performers' pack on sale

  • melody instrumentstuned & untuned percpf.gtr
  • 15 min

Programme Note

Dangerous Errand is a short music-theatre work (duration about 15 minutes) designed to be performed by six- to eight-year-olds. The piece is specially written to provide a valuable learning experience as well as an attractive and lively entertainment suitable for a school concert. There are nine solo roles (six singing and three speaking), a chorus (which can include as many or as few children as are available) and an orchestra of tuned percussion, unpitched percussion, and recorders.

The first performance of Dangerous Errand was given by two classes of six- and seven- year-olds, with a cast of 27, and an orchestra of 18.

Sent on an errand by Mum and Dad to buy some tea, Pat is warned to beware of the Bully-Boy, and Mrs Stickleback the Witch, and to be home before dark. On the way to the grocer's shop, Pat shares crisps with the Dog, the Sparrow and the Cat. When Pat eventually encounters the dreadful Bully-Boy and the wicked Mrs Stickleback, in order to repay Pat's kindness, all the local dogs, sparrows, and cats rescue Pat and lead the way home safely through the dark. Mum and Dad, both very worried, welcome Pat home, and Mum makes a cup of tea.