Nick Planas

Composer and musician

Home All completed works Theatrical Intermediate Best Served Cold (Dance Musical – 2008)

Best Served Cold (Dance Musical – 2008)

This 55 minute Dance Musical was composed for the Starlight Dance Academy, and performed by them in 2008. The choreography was by the academy principal, Charlotte Boardman and the Director was Tom Boardman. As well as composing the music and writing the story and libretto, I also conducted the Starlight Dance Orchestra in all 4 performances. The SDO consisted mainly of advanced music students with an average age of 15 years. The orchestration included 2 keyboards, one of which played vocal sounds - this was instead of using live voices as the notes were intended to be lower than the human voice can go!

The story starts onboard a Spanish Ship and ends up being played out on the sea bed! The music has a distinctly Spanish feel to it throughout. A full synopsis of the story appears on the next page, but here are some clips from the score:

1: Overture

2: Danza Habladas & 3: Fandango & Tap

6: The Mermaid & her capture

9: Pirates' Dance

10: Battle Dance

15: Siren Chorus & 16: Mermaid Escapes - Ship On The Rocks

21: Shoal Dance

22: Oddities of the Deep

For enquiries, or to hire the Score, Parts and Scripts please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The drama begins on board a Spanish merchant ship, bound for Valparaiso in Chile. We see the crew working the rigging for the sails (Riggers Dance). They are joined by the passengers and their families (Family’s Dance). Captain Masadas and his chief passenger Don Antonio Galindo, who has financed the voyage and is emigrating from Spain, sing about how Don Antonio will find success in his new life In Chile, before the crew haul up the heavy nets (Fishing Net Dance). The crew are alarmed to find a Mermaid entangled in their net and call for the Captain and the merchant to investigate, while imprisoning her in a cage. Don Antonio realises that the Mermaid can understand him, but he finds himself under her spell and sings a love song (My Beautiful Mermaid Girl) before his wife Francesca appears and snaps him back to reality!

Left alone in the cage, the Mermaid hears the Siren Chorus – it is her people singing for her. Entranced by the voices, Masadas calls for the ship to be turned towards them, but suddenly another sound is heard and a pirate ship is seen. We are surrounded by the pirates (Pirates’ Dance) who attack the Merchant Ship (Battle Dance), killing the men and throwing the women and children overboard. During The Kidnap they take the Mermaid as a trophy for their slimy captain, Fangoso.

Now onboard the pirate’s ship, they sing their Pirate’s Shanty to celebrate another success. Captain Fangoso tries unsuccessfully to seduce the Mermaid, who is frightened for her life (Dance with a Fantasy Lover), after which we once again hear the Siren Chorus, and this time the Mermaid replies. Hearing the sirens, Fangoso orders the pirates to follow their song. Mesmerised by the beauty of the voices they steer blindly towards the rocks, while the sirens slip aboard and release the Mermaid (Ship On The Rocks). The scene ends with the ship hitting the rocks and floating to the ocean floor (The Sinking). The pirates souls begin to awaken on the seabed (The Awakening). They are greeted by the Sea Anemones who see everything that goes on, and warn them of the merfolk. Suddenly we see The Octopus, a Shoal Dance of fish, and some Oddities of the Deep. The pirates find the Mermaid sitting in her throne and ask her why they are slowly changing into sea creatures.

Finally, we discover the Undersea World of the Mer-Folk and hear that the Mermaid, vulnerable above the sea, is the immortal Queen of the Ocean with total power over the souls who drown at sea. She turns Francesca and the children into mer-folk, as their souls are pure. But as Don Antonio fell in love with her whilst already married to Francesca, he has to spend time serving her as a small octopus before he can join her as a mer-man. The pirates, being very impure in soul, are transformed into Sea Anemones, suffering the fate of being rooted to the spot, whilst the ultimate revenge is dished out to Fangoso; for trying to seduce the Mermaid, she turns him into a Sea Slug; her slave, destined to spend the rest of his life vacuuming the seabed around her.