Clap Hands Here Comes Charlie is a riotous, Rabelaisian stew of a comedy concerning the demonic Charlie who is always trying to jump, with both feet, into his left trouser leg.
While making a television programme about buskers, Michael Aylmer finds Charlie Ketchum in a lodging house, clutching a trumpet and stinking to high heaven. Intending to do a special programme on this uniquely virulent and garrulous character, Michael invites him to stay at his house. But when Charlie tries to resume his wandering life accompanied by a few household movables, Michael’s wife Joan discovers to her cost that even after a bath and new trousers he is dangerous. The first act ends with his trial; the second act begins with his release from a psychiatric hospital.
Clap Hands Here Comes Charlie was written in 1966 and rewritten in 1991. It is the latter text which is presented here.