The Vagabond King


Writers: Brian Hooker William H. Post Rudolf Friml


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Cast Size
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes late teen, young adult, adult characters


Filled with romance, swordplay, high aspirations and low comedy, ‘The Vagabond King’ recreates the world of medieval Paris saved from the Burgundians by a "king for a day"--the poet-thief François Villon. Paris is under siege by the forces of the Duke of Burgundy and popular support of King Louis XI is at a low point. Poet, braggart, thief Villon, the darling of the Paris rabble, has sent anonymous love poems to the beautiful Katherine de Vaucelles, causing her to reject proposals from King Louis. She goes to seek the mysterious poet at an inn, but King Louis shadows her in diguise. Louis is incensed to hear Villon mocking the failures of his reign and saying what he would do instead "if I were king." The infuriated monarch reveals himself. As punishment for his treasonous speech, he gives Villon a hard choice: he must either shut up and give up courting Katherine or accept the position of Grand Marshal -- with all the powers of King -- for 24 hours during which time he must make good on his boasts and free Paris. If he chooses the second but fails, Villon will hang.

Lead Characters

The Vagabond King guide sections