Ben Stratford, a young man from the seemingly beautiful and perfect (yet extremely oppressive) state of Rhydian, is alone and reading from an old book: “The History of Eshánda.” Ben begins to tell the story of the mystical elder of Eshánda, a man called Ezekiel Zeke, who’s fiancé left him to be with another man, called Rhydian Wintermyer. This caused a huge rift and the land of Eshánda, once united, became divided. (‘History’) However, Ben’s story is interrupted by memories of himself as a young boy, playing with his best friend, Katherine. Ben is chastised by his antagonistic father, Giles Stratford, who then informs the children that they will one day be married, as they are Matched to one another. This memory is then replaced by another, when Ben and Katherine were teenagers. Ben shows Katherine a book he found and explains that someone from Zeke wrote it. Ben asks Katherine to read it, as it tells a very different version of Eshánda’s history to the one they have been told. A new memory then appears, as a teenage Katherine is trapped by a fire whilst reading the book Ben gave her. She is saved by Adam and the two are immediately smitten with one another, although they try to hide it. Suddenly, present day Ben and Katherine find themselves in a whimsical whirlwind of emotions and at the end of the song, both wake suddenly in their beds, having been dreaming.
Act One: Scene One
Charlie enters in a flurry of excitement and the stage springs to life, as everyone prepares for Ben and Katherine’s wedding, which is due to take place in four days time. (‘Wedding of the year’) Adam arrives late which annoys Stratford. Stratford doesn’t understand why Ben would choose a lower class ‘Goon’ like Adam to be his best man (even though they have been friends since Adam saved Katherine from the fire) Everyone in Rhydian seems to be excited about the wedding, except the bride and groom. Both are having reservations, but they know they don’t have a choice, so they decide to just keep their heads up and smile. But Adam can see that Ben and Katherine are getting cold feet. Adam hates living in Rhydian and being confined to the strict rules they have to live by. Charlie (who is a closeted homosexual) laments that it’s just the way things are and that he will soon have to plan his own wedding, to a woman. Adam tries to persuade his friends to leave Rhydian and go with him to Zeke – a conversation which is overheard by Stratford’s assistant, O’Riley – but they’re interrupted by Ava, Ben’s older sister. When she senses that they are up to something, Ava tells Ben not to do anything stupid and not to let Adam get him into trouble. Once Ava leaves, Adam continues to try and persuade his friends that it’s better to be a rogue than a puppet. (‘I’ve got to get out of here’) However, he’s interrupted by Stratford and makes a swift exit. Stratford then speaks to Ben alone and they argue, when Stratford finds out that Ben has the Zeke book. (‘Don’t you dare!’) Stratford warns Ben to do his duty, obey the Rhydian law and stay away from the ‘Zeke Freaks.’ He will not allow anyone, especially his own son, to ruin his reputation, as the Head of State.
Act One: Scene Two
Ben finds Adam and they pluck up the courage to leave Rhydian. (‘We’ve got to get out of here’) But Adam won’t go without Katherine and he makes a last ditch attempt to persuade her to go with them. She finally agrees and the three of them begin their journey to ‘the other side’ followed by Charlie, who isn’t sure what’s going on, but doesn’t want to be left out. However, they are unaware that O’Riley has been spying on them once again.
Act One: Scene Three
Time has passed and the four friends finally arrive at the Eshánda Bridge – which is now the only connection between Rhydian and Zeke – when they meet Warwick. Warwick is a Rhydian, who escaped to Zeke six years ago, after Ava lied about their secret and forbidden relationship. So when Ben sees Warwick on the bridge, there is an icy reception between the two of them.
Warwick teases them as they pass the bridge to go over to ‘the other side’ and he warns them of the so-called ‘Zeke Freaks’ living in a decaying wasteland. This frightens Charlie and Katherine, but Ben and Adam ignore Warwick and the four friends continue their journey. Meanwhile, Skylar and Kip – two members of the Zeke community – watch from above as the newcomers arrive. Skylar is immediately smitten with Ben. (‘Am I mad, or am I dreaming (A)’) She is so engrossed in watching Ben that she clumsily trips and falls out of sight, with a crash. Kip goes to help her, in a panic.
Act One: Scene Four
Meanwhile, back in Rhydian, Ava has been summoned by Stratford. He informs his daughter that Ben, Adam, Katherine and Charlie have left Rhydian. Ava, as the Head of Justice, offers to go and bring them back, but Stratford will not allow it, due to her history with Warwick. Stratford tells Ava to send her best officers to accompany O’Riley and bring the four of them back – with force, if necessary. However, when she is alone, Ava contemplates going against her father’s wishes and helping her brother, even if it means seeing Warwick again. (‘After all this time’)
Act One: Scene Five
Ben, Adam, Katherine and Charlie meet Kip, who is still in a panic. They find it difficult to communicate with Kip, as Kip cannot speak and uses sign language, which they don’t understand. However, Ben can sense that Kip is worried about something and so they follow Kip to where Skylar had fallen earlier. Ben and Katherine help an unconscious Skylar and try to check to see if she hit her head, but Kip won’t let them take off a mask which covers part of Skylar’s face. When she wakes up, Skylar is taken aback to see the four Rhydians and when Ben helps Skylar to her feet, they both share a moment which neither of them expected – and neither can explain. (‘What is this?’)
Act One: Scene Six
Ava and O’Riley eventually find the Eshánda Bridge and she orders O’Riley to stay on the Rhydian side and wait for her to return. As she starts to cross the bridge, Warwick appears and it is clear that the two ex-lovers still have feelings for each other. However, their reunion is clouded in anger and Warwick won’t let her leave until they talk, or at least have a drink. He offers Ava water from the river, which she refuses to drink, due to the myth:
“The River Eshánda: created by the tears of Ezekiel Zeke; tears that contained the magic of love. And if you drink the water, you’ll fall in love with the first person you see upon waking.”
Warwick teases Ava and they continue to bicker. (‘I love to hate you’) Ava seduces Warwick, so that she can pass him and get to the other side of the bridge, into Zeke. Frustrated with himself, Warwick wonders if the water really is enchanted and decides to find out by getting his revenge on Ava. He happily contemplates what Stratford would say if Ava was to lust after a ‘Zeke Freak’ – and so Warwick follows her into Zeke to put his plan into action.
Act One: Scene Seven
Skylar and Kip have taken Ben, Adam, Katherine and Charlie into Zeke, which is a thriving, loving, colourful and unique community – not the fearful, decaying wasteland they had been led to believe it was. In fact, it is the Zekes who are afraid of the newcomers. But the Zeke elders – Flynn and Genysis, who are a very passionate couple; and sarcastic single mother, Rosalie – welcome the Rhydians and people start to introduce themselves. Faith flutters over and introduces herself and her wife, Yvie; Jack knocks Charlie off his feet, both physically and emotionally; Skylar’s younger sister, Salena (Lena) enters and immediately starts to flirt with Adam and Ben, which makes both Katherine and Skylar jealous. (‘Green eyed monster’) Katherine feels they should return to Rhydian, but agrees to stay the night, as it is getting late. They are invited to stay at Rosalie’s guesthouse, much to her immature son, Nathan’s irritation. However, Lena has other ideas for Adam and Ben – and invites them to stay with her, which makes Skylar very uneasy.
As they bicker, Nathan takes off Skylar’s mask, which reveals her facial deformity. Skylar runs off in embarrassment. Ben is stopped from going after Skylar to see if she is okay and Lena continues to flirt with the two men. When Adam insensitively uses the term ‘Zeke Freak’ to describe the unusual and quirky appearances of the Zeke community, he almost ends up in a fight with Nathan. Flynn calms the situation, as the Zekes explain that being unique and embracing your individuality is a good thing. (‘Unique, like me’) Kip goes to comfort Skylar and persuades her, using sign language, to come back and join everyone else. Meanwhile, Ava arrives to take Ben and the others home, but Ben and Adam don’t want to go back. Adam and Ben explain why they left and the Zekes are in disbelief over the oppressive way people are forced to live in Rhydian. (‘I couldn’t imagine’) Skylar and Kip return and are introduced to Ava, who is confused when Nathan tells her that they’ve heard all about her. And when Warwick arrives, once again the ex-lovers argue. Ava tells Ben that she’s taking them all back to Rhydian the next morning, after being persuaded to stay the night with the others in Rosalie’s guest house. Later that evening, Warwick persuades Kip to place water from the Eshánda River on Ava’s lips while she is sleeping – then, using sleep dust from the Rhydian Rose, Warwick renders Nathan unconscious and places him next to Ava. (‘The enchantment’) Afterwards, Warwick notices an unhappy Skylar pining for Ben. Warwick uses sleep dust on Lena, so that he can get her ‘out the way’ and tells Kip to give the water to ‘the idiot in the blue jacket’ – however, Adam has accidentally put on Ben’s blue jacket and so the enchantment is placed on Adam instead. Kip drags a sleeping Adam to Skylar’s room and then returns. And when Kip realises the mistake, Kip gives the water to Ben as well, dragging a sleeping Ben to Skylar’s room also.
Act One: Scene Eight
The next morning, Ben wakes in Skylar’s room and when he sees her sleeping, he falls madly in love with her, much to her confusion. (‘Am I mad, or am I dreaming? (B)’). And when Adam wakes up and falls in love with Skylar too, both men clumsily vie for her affection. Meanwhile, an equally confused Nathan wakes up in bed with Ava. When Ava wakes up, she lustfully tries to seduce him. Act One ends in chaos, with Ben and Adam arguing over Skylar – which causes both Katherine and Lena to become jealous – and Ava desperately chases after Nathan, which amuses Warwick, as his plan has worked. However, the noise and chaos upsets Kip and as things come to a climax, a wave of magical energy bursts from Kip, knocking everyone off their feet.
Act Two: Scene One
Act Two begins at the exact moment Act One finished, as a wave of magical energy bursts from Kip, knocking everyone off their feet. This shocks Kip – and Warwick, who has been watching all the chaos from a safe distance. Warwick starts to feel guilty, as he realises the joke may have gone too far. However, Faith and Rosalie realise that the situation has enabled Kip to tap into his ancestral magic abilities, which everyone believed to be dormant. (‘Magic’) And when Warwick takes his guilt-driven anger out on Kip, everyone turns against Warwick.
To celebrate Kip’s new found abilities, Flynn and Genysis invite everyone to a moonlight ball that evening. Ben and Adam once again vie for the attention of Skylar, as they ask her to be their date. A jealous Katherine wants to go home, but is once again persuaded to stay one more night, this time by Kip.
Act Two: Scene Two
Back in Rhydian, O’Riley – who once again had been spying on Ben and Ava – has returned and informs Stratford that his children are lusting over ‘Zeke Freaks.’ Stratford is furious that his own flesh and blood could ruin his reputation, reminiscing about how he came to be the Head of State. (‘Where I am today’)
*It is revealed that Stratford set the fire all those years ago, which killed Katherine’s parents – who were the Heads of State – and brother. However, Stratford didn’t plan on Adam saving Katherine and she became the rightful heir to being the new Head of State, as the last living member of the Wintermyer family. And so, Stratford manipulated a young and naive Katherine, which enables him to take the responsibility, the title, the power and the authority.
Stratford tells O’Riley that Ben and Ava will pay for their disobedience.
Act Two: Scene Three
In Zeke, Rosalie confronts Warwick about the morning’s chaos. Warwick admits he that persuaded Kip to use water from the Eshánda River to place the enchantment on Ava and Ben, explaining that Kip got confused and enchanted Adam as well, by mistake. But Warwick’s amusement at watching Ava desperately chase after Nathan is short lived, when Ava keeps ignoring Warwick, as he tries to talk to her. (‘The joke won’t be on me’)
Lena gives Ava advice on how to impress Nathan and decides to give Ava, Katherine and Skylar a makeover. (‘He loves me, he loves me not’) As they get ready, Lena helps Skylar ‘look nice for Ben’ – however, Lena’s intentions are self-centred, as she plans on seducing Adam at the moonlight ball that evening. Meanwhile Charlie, who is wandering around in a daze thinking about Jack (‘He loves me, he loves me not’ continued) is interrupted by Jack. Charlie is embarrassed and makes a swift exit, leaving Jack to secretly reveal that the feeling is mutual.
Act Two: Scene Four
At the moonlight ball, Lena (disguised as Skylar) leads a smitten Adam away from the dance and to Skylar’s bedroom, which provokes Katherine to drown her sorrows; a nervous Skylar tries to flirt with Ben and the two of them go for a walk; Flynn and Genysis find out about the enchantment; Charlie talks to Yvie and Faith about their relationship and Yvie’s later-in-life transition. A summer storm ends the celebrations, but it doesn’t hinder the various romantic rendezvous that continue into the night. (‘Dance in the rain with you’) Budding new relationships begin to surface between Charlie and Jack and Ben and Skylar; long standing relationships are still going strong between loving couple, Yvie and Faith and extremely passionate couple, Flynn and Genysis; Kip comforts a tipsy Katherine, who decides to go back to Rhydian on her own. However, Kip follows her, feeling guilty about the mistake with the enchantment; Lena flirts with Adam, who runs away when he realises that she isn’t Skylar; Ava continues her pursuit of Nathan, much to the amusement of Rosalie and Warwick. As everyone dances in the rain, Katherine and Kip arrive at the Eshánda Bridge, where they are cornered by Stratford and O’Riley.
Act Two: Scene Five
The next morning, Ben and Skylar wake up in her bed, having fallen asleep together after being out in the rain most of the night. They are both very coy and share an awkward first kiss, when they are interrupted by Flynn and Genysis, who are looking for Kip. They worry that Kip may have followed Katherine to Rhydian and the truth about the enchantment is revealed. Devastated, Skylar goes to find Kip by herself. Meanwhile, in Rhydian, Katherine helps Kip to escape, before Stratford has her locked up in a prison cell. Both Katherine and Skylar try to overcome their worries and anxieties: Skylar being afraid to love herself and be loved, due to her low self-image; Katherine running away from her feelings for Adam and facing up to her responsibilities as the last Wintermyer. (‘Prison of my mind’)
Time has passed and Skylar has been apprehended in Rhydian. She is thrown in the prison cell with Katherine. Skylar tells Katherine about the enchantment and explains that Adam wasn’t in control of his actions over the past couple of days. Katherine manages to escape, however, Skylar can’t get away from the guards, so she tells Katherine to find Kip and return to Zeke – as Kip is the only one who can reverse the effects of the enchantment.
Act Two: Scene Six
In Zeke, everyone has been informed about the enchantment. Kip returns and when Kip accidentally sneezes in Adam’s face, the spell is reversed, due to DNA – as it is revealed that Kip is the last living descendent of Ezekiel Zeke. And so Kip reverses the spell for Ben and Ava, to Nathan’s relief. Ava and Warwick argue and Ben feels confused about his feelings for Skylar. When Katherine returns, she and Adam finally admit their feelings for one another. Charlie reveals – to nobody’s surprise – that he is gay and that he and Jack are an item. Warwick and Ava apologise to one another and rekindle their romance. (‘Stumble through life’) Katherine leads the group to Rhydian, where Stratford is about to make a public display of Skylar. Katherine stands up to Stratford and decrees with Kip – as the last of the Wintermyers and the last of the Zekes – to end the hostility and reunite the land of Eshánda. Ben helps Skylar and when he looks at her, he realises that he genuinely loves her. (‘Through my eyes’) This disgusts Stratford and when Ava finally stands up to her father, more truths about her past with Warwick – and Stratford’s manipulating antics – are revealed. When Stratford attempts a confrontation, Kip uses magical energy to knock him off his feet. Stratford and O’Riley run away in fear.
Act Two: Scene Seven
With everyone united, Lena is left alone and extremely put out by the fact she’s no longer the centre of attention. (‘Lena’s lament’)
Act Two: Finale
A year later, the land of Eshánda are celebrating not one, but four weddings: Ben and Skylar; Katherine and Adam; Warwick and Ava; Jack and Charlie. (‘From within’)
“The world is now a better place since we opened our eyes to see that everything in life – love, beauty, acceptance, magic, courage, happiness – comes from within…and from within, I can be me!”
“Be happy. Be free. Be you.”