Bobby Lockwood is the presumed heir to the Earldom of Lockwood, but to prove his claim he must produce his birth certificate. Since Bobby’s father was a gangster in Cuba, that is where the birth certificate will be - hence Bobby and his valet, Pettick, together with his Aunt Prunella, journey to Havana to retrieve this vital document. Once in Cuba Bobby meets Lupe, the gangster’s moll, a cabaret performer who leads them all in the Conga dance, and Bobby falls in love with Rita, the wine waitress at the Santa Margherita Inn (who inevitably by the end of the show will become the new Countess of Lockwood!). However, the birth certificate has already been stolen by the gangster Flash Tomkins, in pursuit of whom Bobby and Pettick end up on board the lie de Martinique, where to escape detection they pretend to be penguins and frighten off a gunman by pretending to be ghosts. With the birth certificate finally in his possession, Bobby is back in his new stately home where he gives “an inimitable representation of a mad peer mounting an invisible horse” before the whole show ends with a grand wedding scene.
It was possible that by now the tried-and-tested formula of the Howes-Watson-Belmore partnership was beginning to run out of steam. Although the performers themselves were welcomed back into the West End, the material itself came in for criticism, and the show came off on New Year’s Eve, less than three months.
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