Discover the story of our 2010 youth opera, based on the book by Nicky Singer
The Knight Crew excitedly retell the latest occurrence in their gang war with the Saxons. Meanwhile, Art’s mother worries that he will be drawn into the warfare. The mystical Myrtle predicts Art’s future by the river and Quin defends her against Art’s aloof responses.
Scene III demonstrates the Crew member’s ambitions and desires, however Art, Quin and Myrtle’s differ significantly from the rest. Art is initiated into the Knight Crew and as a result kills Danny – a Saxon. Art’s mother laments but the Crew show no remorse and prepare to defend themselves from the vengeance-seeking Saxons. Art does not partake as he is taunted by Danny’s ghostly remains.
Myrtle reprimands Mordec for leading the violence, however this serves to provoke more violence and fatality. Art realises that the knife that stabbed Myrtle is clean, thus fulfilling Myrtle’s prophesy: ‘When the Buck Knife kills without spilling blood, Art becomes King.’ Subsequently Art swears an oath to stop the violence and comforts Quin. The duet ends on a hopeful note as they dream of creating a better world.
Scene X begins with the break away Crew led by Garvey. They challenge Art but he remains steadfast in his mission of non-violence. As Art initiates members into his new Crew, Lance appears and is coerced into joining. Lance informs that the Saxons have taken Elayne and shaved her head.
The Saxons enter bloodthirsty and angry. Art attempts in vain to make peace and the Saxons agree to a one-on-one fight with no weapons. Lance volunteers to fight against HellRazor and mercifully relieves him from possible death.
Mordec has returned only to be exiled as he disagrees with the Crew’s new game of mercy and non-violence. He is even more angered by Art’s rise as new leader. Art, Quin, Lance and Elayne discuss and experiment with Lance’s philosophies. As the group falls asleep, Lance and Quin’s affections becomes more obvious.
Meanwhile Mordec has been observing this from the shadows. Lance disappears quickly as Mordec makes his presence known. He knows that Mordec will expose his relationship with Quin. Art refuses to believe Mordec’s observations yet secretly doubts Quin and Lance. He searches for Lance but is accosted by illusions of the Danny chorus.
Mordec announces that he has found Lance and Quin together and stresses that Art must follow the law of the Knights: ‘If any man betrays the oath, Let the knife fall’.
Elayne and the girls beg for mercy but to no avail as Art resolves to cut Quin’s face. Quin accepts her fate with a dignified stance but is saved by Lance at the last moment.
Scene II opens on Lance and Quin, they lament their actions and emotions. Art has been watching from the shadows and angrily flies at Lance. Proclaiming his loyalty to Art, Lance resolves to leave. Quin distraught asks Art to embrace her but he refuses and is accosted by the Crew. They now want Mordec to retake his place as King.
The climax ensues as Mordec and Art fight over the kingship; both are stabbed in a clutching dramatic embrace. Lance arrives to throw the killer-knife into the river, putting an end to the fighting.