The story of Camelot is based on the retelling of the Arthurian tales in  T. H. White’s The Once and Future King, a novel originally published in in four books, and then issued with all four parts in 1958.: 

  1. The Sword in the Stone (1938) tells of Arthur’s childhood and youth (when he was known as Wart), being raised by his foster father, Sir Ector, and his foster brother, Sir Kay, and the magician Merlyn. Merlyn uses his magic to turn him into various animals as a means of teaching him some life lessons. Arthur then finds the sword Excalibur in a stone, with the legend that whoever can pull it from the stone shall be King of England.
  2. The Queen of Air and Darkness (originally titled The Witch in the Wood, 1939) tells of Arthur’s early years as king and his seduction by his half-sister Morgause, by whom he begets Mordred. Through Merlyn’s guidance, Arthur conceives of the idea of the Round Table.
  3. The Ill-Made Knight (1940) tells of the affair of Lancelot and Guinevere, and its effect on Arthur and Elaine (who loves Lancelot, but does not come into the musical).  About one quarter of this book deals with the quest for the Holy Grail.
  4. The Candle in the Wind (1958) tells of the fall of Camelot.
  5. The Book of Merlin, published separately (1971) after White’s death, tells of the final lessons Arthur learns before his death.  Merlin allows him to see the world as some animals, and he comes to the conclusion that the main problem with the world is boundaries, which are artificial.  Do away with boundaries, and all strife would disappear!

The title of White’s work is derived from the inscription that, according to Le Morte d’Arthur, was said to be written upon King Arthur’s tomb: Hic jacet Arthurus, rex quondam, rexque futurus — "Here lies Arthur, king once, and king to be". (After his fall in battle, Arthur was said to be taken to the Isle of Avalon, to be healed of his wounds. This Avalon is usually identified with Glastonbury.0 The legend arose that Arthur would return to England in her time of greatest peril. Probably the two times of England’s greatest peril were at the end of the 8th century, when King Alfred the Great saved his kingdom from the Danish invaders, and 1940, with the Battle of Britain.

The first known mention of Arthur in literature was in the Historia Brittonum, or The History of the Britons, a historical work first composed around 830. In it Arthur is not called king, but dux bellorum (Latin for "war leader"). Arthur is said to have been the victor in 12 battles, the last of which was the Battle of Mount Badon, in which Arthur is said to have killed 960 men single-handedly. The Annales Cambriae, or Annals of Wales, is a chronicle probably from the 10th century consisting of a series of years, from AD 445 to 977, some of which have events added. Two notable events are next to AD 516, which describes The Battle of Badon, and 537, which describes the Battle of Camlann, "in which Arthur and Mordred fell." The Annals also mention Merlin.

The story of King Arthur first became popular in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s 12th-century Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain), completed around 1138. This work included many familiar elements of the story, including Arthur’s father Uther Pendragon, the wizard Merlin, Arthur’s queen Guinevere, the sword Excalibur, his final battle against Mordred at Camlann, and his final rest in Avalon. The 12th-century French writer Chrétien de Troyes added Lancelot and the Holy Grail to the story, and began a tradition of Arthurian romance that was important in medieval literature. In these French stories, the narrative focus often shifts from King Arthur himself to other characters, such as various Knights of the Round Table. 

The development of the medieval Arthurian story culminated in Le Morte DArthur, Thomas Malory’s retelling of the entire legend in a single work in English in the late 15th century. Malory based his book—originally titled The Whole Book of King Arthur and of His Noble Knights of the Round Table—on various previous versions. Le Morte DArthur was one of the earliest printed books in England, published by William Caxton in 1485. Most later Arthurian works are derivative of Malory’s. Arthurian literature waned after the middle ages, but was revived in the 19th century, particularly with Tennyson’s Idylls of the King.

See also list of characters.

Act I, Scene 1

Act I, Scene 2

Act I, Scene 3

Act I, Scene 4

Act I, Scene 5

Then you may take me to the fair (song not included in our production)

Act I, Scene 6

Act I, Scene 7

Act II, Scene 1

Act II, Scene 2

Act II, Scene 3

Act II, Scene 4

Act II, Scene 6

Act II, Scene 7

Act II, Scene 8