Half A Sixpence is a musical adaptation of H.G. Wells’s autobiographical novel Kipps: The Story Of A Simple Soul.
The musical tells the tale of the changing fortunes of Arthur Kipps, an orphan and draper's assistant at Shalford’s Bazaar in Folkestone, Kent at the turn of the twentieth century. Kipps is an easy-going working class lad, who is happiest with his banjo. However, when he unexpectedly inherits a fortune from an estranged grandfather, he is suddenly propelled him into high society. He catches the eye of Helen Walsingham and her money-grabbing family, who are desperate to restore their family fortune. His childhood sweetheart, Ann Pornick, is forced to watch helplessly as Helen attempts to transform Kipps into perfect husband material. Both young women undoubtedly love Kipps in their own ways but by the time he makes up his mind which one he wants, it may be too late. When he loses his money (thanks to the fraudulent behavior of Helen’s brother, James), Kipps is reminded of his roots and where his heart truly lies.
Half A Sixpence guide sections