Opening Scene: London
Curtain opens with a brightly coloured tableaux of the Court of Charles II being crowned. [SALVATORE MUNDI] The scene begins with congratulations all round and general gaiety. Charles is congratulated by Daniel, one of his trusted friends. The King rewards Daniel with land and a new position [FINALLY FREE]. Now he has the throne back in England, time to bring Scotland in line, after all Scotland is the back door to England and he needs that shut to all enemies so he is secure. Daniel is not keen on going to Scotland but the King insists and he gives in.
The scene merges with the Scots in the streets of Edinburgh. Suddenly Daniel pushes through the scene and comes to the front, singing of his dislike of having to be in Scotland, of how he will do his duty to the King and get back to England as soon as he can. [A SOLDIER AT HEART] The scene moves into
Scene 1: Edinburgh Street
John Brown and his sister Meg are setting up their market stall. Their friend James Renwick, a young fiery preacher comes in. The King has issued a law that everyone in the land will worship the way he decrees and the Scots will have none of it! People are talking of an Agreement between the Scots and God, reaffirming their faith, upholding the King but saying they will never bow down to a man. Rumours abound and a signing is to be held in Greyfriars Kirk that afternoon. There is great excitement. The men run off to Greyfriars. Isabel meets Meg and together they discuss the troubled times. They are two women who have very clear ideas as to their beliefs and what they want to happen. [THE DREAM THAT MIGHT COME TRUE] They are annoyed that women are not encouraged to sign but determine that they will play their part.
Scene 2: Greyfriars Kirkyard
The signing of the Covenant [A NEW WORLD PART 1/WHISPERS IN THE DAWN]
Scene 3: Edinburgh Street
John returns. He has signed the Covenant and describes the scene to her. [A SOLDIER AT HEART REPRISE] She longs to be part of it all but he warns her off. Because he signed and was seen at the meeting, he is now a wanted man and has to flee. He and some others have found a hiding place amongst the hills and crags, he packs his belongings to go. Meg promises to bring him provisions. He leaves and Meg is left alone wondering where it will all lead. [WHISPERS IN THE DAWN REPRISE]
Scene 4: Daniel’s Quarters
Daniel and Maitland, the Kings representative in Scotland are having dinner and discussing the Covenanters and what is happening in the country. Maitland tells Daniel of the fun happening at Court which makes Daniel long to be back.. Maitland tells Daniel that there are some wanted men now on the run and hiding out in the hills. He even knows where some are…
Scene 5: The hills
Meg and Isabel are bringing food to John and the other men. [ONE LIFE TO LEAD] Isabel and John meet and realise that they love each other.[THIS IS OUR TIME] Whilst Meg is pleased for them, she longs for a romance of her own…
The group is broken up suddenly by the appearance of soldiers on the hill. The men flee and the women try to cover for them by meeting the soldiers and feigning innocence. The leader of the soldiers is Daniel who is confronted by Meg. She stands up to him and it is obvious there is a spark between them. Meg fakes an injury to distract the soldiers from finding John. Isabel warns Meg not to get involved with Daniel but that infuriates her. Why should Isabel find love and not Meg?
Scene 6: London
The Court. Great hilarity all round. Maitland is there and tells the King of what has been happening in Scotland, the King is furious and makes it a treasonable offence to attend any meetings. He increases the punishment – burn their houses, imprison them etc. He has devised a masque with a group of people acting out the Scots problem and how he will deal with it.[SOMETHING’S ALWAYS HAPPENING INSTRUMENTAL].
We see the Scots and Soldiers in battle in a montage of how the persecution is affecting the Scots.
Scene 8: Edinburgh Street/The Hills
Daniel and Meg meet in secret in the street. They have been dating some time. He gives her a red ribbon as a sign of his love for her.
We also see John and Isabel meeting in the hills, they too have begun dating. He proposes. There is not much time together, so they plan to marry at the next meeting. The two couples sing of their love [YOU ARE THE ONE]
Scene 9: Greyfriars Church/the hills
The people go to church one Sunday only to find it barred and closed. Isabel declares that they don’t need a building to worship in, so she takes them to the hills where they hold a Christening of a woman’s child [LOVE OF A CHILD]
Scene 10: Edinburgh/the hills
Meg is in the street and reading a pamphlet published by the Covenanters as they are now called. Daniel sees her and tears it up declaring that he knows best. She argues that she is her own person and he has no right over her and leaves. Daniel wonders if their relationship can ever be. [IS IT ONLY IN A DREAM] Meg goes to Isabel’s wedding. At the wedding, John warns Isabel about the fate that may befall them. She is adamant about standing with him. Daniel arrives and takes Meg away. They all make promises to each other as the curtain falls… [I WON’T TURN MY BACK]