Stop the World - I Want to Get Off


Writers: Leslie Bricusse Anthony Newley


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Comedy, Parody
Time & Place
england, 1960s
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Some Dance
Ideal for
Small Cast, Star Vehicle Male
Casting Notes
Mostly female cast
Includes adult, young adult, mature adult characters


This innovative, symbolic musical examines the birth, life, and death of the clownish Littlechap. He is born into a circus-like world and struggles to make his way in life working as a tea-boy. One day, he falls in love with Evie, his boss’s daughter. When Evie becomes pregnant, the couple get married and Littlechap must take a job in his father-in-law’s factory to support his family. As he advances professionally, Littlechap’s family expands but he does not have the son he longs for. Dissatisfied by the events in his life, he meets and seduces several different women in his business travels--Russian official Anya, German domestic Ilse, and American cabaret singer Ginnie. As Littlechap’s fortunes increase, he still finds himself unable to find any personal satisfaction. Every time life gets too much, Littlechap breaks the fourth wall by declaring to the audience: “Stop the World--I Want to Get Off!” Eventually the truth appears before him as he realizes that what he always had—the love of his wife— was all he really wanted from his life. However, this realization comes too late and Evie dies before Littlechap can make rectify his mistakes. Through writing his memoirs, Littlechap finally comes to terms with his own failings. He watches his daughter, Jane, give birth to a son but when the boy nearly dies, Littlechap asks Death to take him instead of the child. To conclude his symbolic journey through life, Littlechap mimes his own birth, and the cycle begins once again

Lead Characters

Stop the World - I Want to Get Off guide sections