Prince of the Deep Water - Synopsis


In the 1800’s, the international slave trade is slowly creeping to an end, and William, an English sailor who is passionate about sailing the deep, open ocean, is conflicted by the knowledge that his job also involves capturing innocent Africans, and delivering them as slaves halfway across the world.

At the docks, his beloved Susan comes to see him off before the ship sails and his excitement at seeing her is only dampened by the ever present thought that this very long journey to America may end in tragedy and he will never see her again. Their farewell is filled with longing.

In a humble Moroccan home, Marzuq yearns for adventure. He finds himself getting far more than he bargained for as he is captured and thrown on board. He and William become friends, and form a friendship that will last a lifetime. As fugitives in New Orleans, they turn to piracy, joined later by the lovely Susan.

The three friends are highly successful as a team, and William and Susan’s love is stronger than ever. The day comes when Susan announces she is with child.  They are overjoyed at the news that their family will be complete, but that soon takes a tragic turn. In William's devastation, he leaves Marzuq to manage alone.

One night, he spots a beautiful woman. She seems to glow bright in the gloomy dark of the Tavern.  As she dances, flitting like a hummingbird between her boyfriend and her father, Marzuq is enraptured. And then, their eyes meet.  And nothing will ever be the same again.

Delphine and Marzuq’s passion makes them inseparable – and oblivious to the plotting by her boyfriend and father. They prevail, and as they return to the city, William arrives, emerging from his mourning.

William is overjoyed to be reunited with his unusual family. He breaks the news that slavery has ended and they can now replace the pirate flag for one of legitimate traders, plying the sugar and tobacco routes along the southern coasts of America, and the Caribbean.

Duration: 115 minutes


William Topley, a British baritone and former lead singer of ‘The Blessing’, is a solo artist with an extensive catalogue of songs that are vignettes drawn from personal experiences and literary influences. Topley’s lyrics are filled with a depth that requires more than one listen to plumb, taking the listener into dark, rum-filled bars, where yarns are told with thigh-slapping vigor and bodice-ripping romance novels are born. Not content with sticking to one genre, Topley takes his listeners on a journey through Southern soul, deep New Orleans moody blues, and forays into gritty folk and country. And it’s a beautiful ride.

His songs come together in this narrative as a natural continuation of a career that has found loyal followers across Europe and America. Designed to showcase both the narrative and dancers, as well as the extensive catalogue of William Topley’s career to date, there are interludes where only the band is on stage and Mr. Topley plays the role of narrator. As a full showcase, this expands the audience beyond the regular dance fans, and encourages Mr. Topley’s loyal fans to explore a new musical experience.

NOTE: Mr. Topley has expressed interest in being directly involved in this production.