The work has only been seen twice, in a private performance at Lloyd Webber's own Sydmonton Festival at his stately home in Berkshire on July 9, 2005, and subsequently for one night only at the Mermaid Theatre three nights later, where it was recorded for an album release. The cast on that occasion included Adam Brazier, Alex Bird, Andrew Spillett, E.J Boyle, Ella May Stainer, Hannah Waddingham, Ian Sharp, Isabel Worewright, Jennie Dale, Jimmy Johnston, Joe Cooper, Lucy Delaiche, Michael Simpkins, Nancy Sullivan, Nathan Sykes, Nick Searle and Norma Atallah. The musical is based on the true-life story of Dr. Thomas Barnardo, whose 19th-century crusade to rescue abandoned or orphaned children living on the streets of London led him to set up homes to house them. The first "Home for Destitute Boys" opened in 1870, with a sign on the door saying, "No destitute child ever refused admission – Open All Night." For the amateur productions, the Really Useful Group will licence the performance rights at 11 percent of the gross box-office receipts, and will donate a portion of its own share of receipts to Barnardos until the end of 2010.
Speaking at a launch at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane to mark the availability of the show for amateur groups, Lloyd Webber said, "I am absolutely thrilled that NODA is working with the Really Useful Group on The Likes of Us. It's the first show that Tim Rice and I wrote together over 450 years ago. It never made the West End stage and received its world premiere just three years ago at the Sydmonton Festival where Tim himself played the Auctioneer."
Eric Smart, Chairman of the Trustees for NODA, commented, "Andrew Lloyd Webber is our Patron, and we are most grateful to him and Tim Rice for agreeing to release The Likes of Us to the amateur sector before a professional release. That in itself is truly unique and this innovation deserves to be widely recognized."