Pieces of After Eight
Ye be here: Summary

Plot summary!

The Seaview Hotel is an establishment with a boozy, cigarette-loving, long-stay clientele. The hotel is run by a hard man who has adopted his lovely, but slightly dippy niece, Samantha. His marriage is falling apart. He is James Riddell, a not very pleasant man. His wife is Pru. We also learn that James Riddell barely keeps his hotel afloat by buying his cigarettes and alcohol from Nick Christie, the smuggler.

Pirates arrive at the hotel from isolation in the Caribbean after 300 years to claim treasure buried in the hotel. Daniel Lightfoot, the captain and young Samantha are smitten with each other. As her marriage falls to pieces, Pru is worried that if she divorces, she will have no one if Samantha sails off to the Caribbean.

When James realises that the pirates want to dig up the hotel grounds he vetoes it. The pirates try to argue, but James is resolute and the pirates decide to return. Captain Daniel Lightfoot flirts outrageously with Samantha telling a clearly fabricated tale of derring-do of combat with Ramon the Demon of Spain. When she learns that he spared him his life, she points out to the crew how good he is and they agree, pointing out that a captain should be ruthless. This gives rise to one of the songs: Far Too Good to Be Bad.

Later that night, Nick Christie makes a delivery into the hotel of alcohol and cigarettes. Whilst he’s hiding, the hotel maid, Edwina, reveals herself (in song – what else?), to be an excise agent. She sees and then challenges Nick Christie and they perform a to and fro Tango-based song where she attacks him and he defends his reputation with lies about being too Christian to be a smuggler. Despite everything it becomes evident that she, nevertheless, finds him attractive. With her cover blown she has to leaves the job as hotel maid with Nick taunting her that with cuts in the Customs and Excise dept., she might want to stay on!
After she leaves the hotel and fearing that she is waiting outside to arrest him, Nick hides his contact book in the reception area. This is seen by one of the pirates – Simeon – who reads the notebook and realises the explosive nature of its content.

Daniel asks Samantha to marry him and she agrees.

Later when Simeon takes Pru aside and says he can ensure that the captain doesn’t take her niece off to the Caribbean, he offers to incriminate Daniel using the notebook hidden in his coat, if she will call in the authorities. She agrees to this.

Here’s the dramatic irony: Daniel is convinced that Samantha will return with him to the Caribbean as she is certain that he will want to stay in the super dooper modern age.

During a song, My World, they learn the truth that neither want to live in the other’s world and they split.

Frantically, Pru tries to convince Simeon to back out the plan, but Simeon’s eye is on being captain and wants his arrested. Afraid that her niece will discover that she’s plotted against Daniel, she realises she can say nothing.

With no other option she confesses to James what’s happened.

The final scene: in a mock showdown, James forces Daniel to admit that he’s not captain material and Simeon would be better. Daniel agrees and the coat of authority is passed to him. An announcement is made that the excise agents have arrived and Simeon, realising he’s wearing the incriminating coat, makes a dash for it but is caught by James who grabbing a cutlass, threatens to cut Simeon’s throat is he doesn’t apologise to Pru for inveigling her into his plan. James is immediately voted in as the new captain. Feeling his worth again, feeling a man once again, James takes Pru in his arms and they are reconciled.
Unable to leave Samantha to run the hotel on her own, Daniel opts to stay in England and they too are reconciled.

Nick Christie enters and is relieved to find his notebook although at the same time, Edwina the excise agent, catches him bang to rights. As she is cuffing him she learns that she has lost her job in Customs and Excise. In a fit of pique, she becomes gamekeeper turned poacher and offers to help Nick with his smuggling using her inside knowledge. They too are reconciled.

One of the clientele at the hotel has been arranging a quiz night and in her research has found that the Seaview Hotel ; that 300 years ago was named The Buried Treasure and belonged to Daniel’s ancestors.

They all sing happy birthday to the Bosun who grudgingly joins in. He can only play the Shanty and the cast and audience have to adapt the words.