John Paul Jones Onstage!|
PHOTOS BY RALPH MORANG
It was a smashing success. Over
2000 people saw John Paul Jones live
onstage at the Portsmouth Music Hall in a dramatic recreation of
Jones famous battle scenes about the RANGER and the BONHOMME
RICHARD. The hour-long drama, written by James Patrick Kelly,
fleshes out the often told, but rarely understood connection between
Scotsman Jones and his adopted town of Portsmouth, New Hampshires.
Performed largely before NH school children, the theatrical
retelling was the latest living history performance by the cityís NH Theater Project
Veteran photographer and student
of maritime history Ralph Morang went behind the scenes to document
the making of "I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight" for this
SeacoastNH.com archive. The following pictures give just a taste of the independent project. Itís
haunting to think that the real Jones walked this very lawn at the
Purcell House (now known at the John Paul Jones
House Museum) in 1777 and again in 1782. Here Capt. JPJ
(Jim Burkholder) strikes a pose with French ambassadors John Adams (Mike Walsh) and
Ben Franklin (Joe Domingguez) during a publicity shot as Jones French mistress (Lyndsay
Becker) looks on. This version of the Jones story is narrated by folksinger Jeff
Warner who played the Captain's arch rival -- John Langdon, NH
politician, whose mansion is still open to the public just down
the street in Portsmouth. -- JDR
"Itís for you, Captain!" Actor Burkholder, alias JPJ, takes a cell phone
call at the Paul Jones Museum while actor Walsh, author James Patrick
Kelly and Garet Warner a documentary cameraman look on.
Dress rehearsal in the green
room of the hisotrical Music Hall of portsmouth where vaudeville
performers once prepared for shows.
A mirror for a vain man.
Captain Jones gets one last look at himself before stepping
Director Blair Hundermark
checks details at dress rehearsal. All four showings of "I have Not
Yet Begun to Fight" were filled
to near capacity.
Poor John Langdon (played by Jeff
Warner at right) gets no respect. It was Langdon who built the ship
RANGER and selected Jones for Captain when his own man was
unacceptable to Congress. Here Langdon instructs his cousin Lieut.
Simpson (Mike Walsh), who sailed with Jones and the crew made up
mostly of Piscataqua men who went into "harm's way" in the
The riflemen of the Ranger try out the new
stage design as Captain Jones comes on deck inthe background.
Theresa and an aged Ben Franklin play a game of chess
while waiting for Jones at the court of Louis XVI in France.
What's This? A
Singing Paul Jones?
the photo for much more on a recent Scottish musical production of
the life of Jones. The production was staged with full cast and
16-piece orchestra in Edinburgh. A compact-disk of the musical by
Julian Wagstaff is available from the web site which has a large
detailed photo gallery of the performance. See Scottish versions of
Ben Franklin, Jones French lover, the sailors of the New Hampshire
ship Ranger, and Jones mother and sister who also appear as
characters. Click below for the Freedom Company
All Portsmouth images copyright (c) Ralph
courtesy of Julian Wagstaff.
Page copyright © 2002
Tours / John Paul Jones; / History