The Devil and Mr Stone

Music by Stephen Keeling

Book and lyrics by Dennis Pickford

THE DEVIL AND MR STONE was based on Stephen Vincent Benet's short story "The Devil and Daniel Webster" and was Stephen's first full-length musical.



Jabez - Andrew Murray

Mary - Nikki Ankara

Jereboam - Anthony O’Driscoll

Scratch - Nigel Garton

Daniel Webster - Van Hinman.

Hanging Judge - Robin Polley.

Salem Girl - Carrie Ellis,

Charles Shirvell, Yvonne Riley,

Alan Vicary, Chris Colby, Pippa Lay.


Directed by Ramin Gray

Choreography by Ian Poitier

Designed by Nigel Prabhavalkar

Lighting Design by Alan Pope

Producer Aidan Bell for Pink Hippo Productions.


Recorded live at the Donmar Warehouse, 1989.

COPYRIGHT © 1989 Pickford/Keeling


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Anthony O'Driscoll and Nigel Garton rehearsing.

UPDATE March 2016.


I am delighted to announce the recording from the Donmar Warehouse has recently been digitally restored by Tim Hutton at Stage Door Records! Selected highlights are now available to hear on my SoundCloud Channel.


It was a great pleasure to return to 'The Devil and Mr Stone' and hear the terrific Donmar Warehouse cast again in clear digital tones. With thanks to Tim Hutton.


Recently I listened to the very original demo recorded for the show with Charlotte Page as Mary, Chris Harley as Jabez and Dennis Pickford, who wrote the book and lyrics, as Daniel. This was the very first demo ever recorded for a musical of mine and there's been a fair number since then! For lots of reasons this one remains very special and I will hopfully upload some of the songs from it onto SoundCloud.

"The Devil and Mr Stone" was performed at the Donmar Warehouse as a late night show on three consecutive evenings in July 1989, directed by Ramin Gray and produced by Aidan Bell for Pink Hippo Productions. The book and lyrics were by Dennis Pickford. Stephen was later asked to arrange some of the music as a short choral piece for male voice choir which has been performed at the International Eisteddfod in Wales.


It’s the wedding day of Jabez Stone in Cross Corners, New Hampshire and the whole of the county have come to pay their respects including the great American Senator, Daniel Webster. Jabez was once a poor farmer but now has become one of the wealthiest men in the county. But this is going to be no ordinary wedding day. First Stevens the money-lender flees town and then the mysterious Jereboam arrives selling “Doctor Scratch’s Universal Remedy”. This turns out to be a prelude to the arrival of the devil in the guise of Doctor Scratch. He has come for the soul of Jabez Stone who sold his soul seven years ago in return for wealth. (In the meantime Jereboam has captured the soul of Stevens, also a customer). Daniel Webster vows to fight for Jabez’s soul. He insists every man has the right to a trial in front of a jury. Scratch agrees but summons a jury of the damned. Daniel Webster needs all his great powers of persuasion to save Jabez from his fate...

In the end Daniel prevails and sends old Scratch back below as the cock crows. The show closes with everyone cheerfully preparing for a good breakfast.

Listen to songs on SoundCloud!