the story of John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones was the son of a Scottish gardener who ran away to sea at the age of 13. Before long he became a Captain in the fledgling American Navy and fought on the American side (against the British) in the American War of Independence.
The musical tells the fascinating, compelling and contradictory story of Jones' life. It is a story of triumph and tragedy, love and loss, and the effect of one man's consuming ambition on those closest to him.
We meet Jones as a young, idealistic yet ambitious freedom fighter - a friend of Benjamin Franklin, the American ambassador in Paris. Sailing from France, Jones attacks the English port of Whitehaven in an audacious raid, burning the ships in the harbour and spreading fear and alarm throughout the British population.
Then, he engages the far superior British ship, the Serapis at the Battle of Flamborough Head, during which Jones utters his famous cry: "I have not yet begun to fight!". Despite terrible odds, Jones is victorious.
In recognition of his triumph, Jones is knighted by the King of France (America's staunch ally) at the Palace of Versailles. Jones finds himself torn between the shouts of the common people outside, and the pomp of the royal court - in particular a beautiful aristocrat known as Delia, into whose arms he falls as the evening ends.
Soon, with the war over and America free, Jones seeks new challenges in America, Russia, and finally in France, where a new Revolution is being born...