Outside Twankey’s Laundrette In Peking Square
Music cue 1: Citizens. After song ends…All exit (SR) Wishee enters (DSL) dragging on a laundry basket.
Wishee (to audience) Hiya boys and girls. My name’s Wishee Washee and I work here, at Twankey’s Laundrette. Usually on my own. My brother Aladdin is more interested in chasing girls, than profits. And mum spends more time seeking suitors, than pressing suits. So, I’ve bought myself a computerised, time and motion machine off Amazon. That will record everybody’s movements throughout the show and prove who does the most work around here. I’ll just go and fetch it in. (exits and returns with the machine) Now, this is a very expensive piece of kit, and I don’t want anybody messing with it. I could do with someone looking after it for me. Would you all keep an eye on it for me? (response) Thanks! (places machine DSR in front of main curtains) If anybody goes near it, just shout red-alert! And watch what happens.
Foo Yung (enters USL) Hello, Wishee!
Wishee Hiya, Foo Yung.
Foo Yung Is Aladdin around?
Wishee He’s probably lazing around. But he’s not here.
Aladdin (runs on DSL) Quick Wishee! Hide me!
Wishee Who’s after you this time Aladdin? A furious father? A mortified mother? Or some girl you promised the earth, and gave the elbow?
Aladdin It’s the police!
Foo Yung What on earth have you been up to, Aladdin?
Aladdin I haven’t got time to explain Foo Yung, they’ll be here any minute!
SFX: Police whistle.
Wishee Quick, Aladdin! Hide inside the laundry basket! (holds open the basket lid)
Aladdin Thanks, Wishee. (climbs inside and shuts the lid)
Tai and Chi run on (DSL) blowing their whistles.
Wishee Eh-up! It’s Tai and Chi, the wrong arm of the law.
Chi Have you seen your brother, Aladdin?
Wishee Of course, I’ve seen him. We live in the same house?
Chi I meant, in the past five minutes.
Wishee No, I haven’t. What do you want him for anyway?
Tai For insulting a police officer.
Foo Yung You ought to be used to that by now.
Wishee How exactly did he insult you?
Tai He asked me the time. And when I suggested he buy a watch, he suggested I go boil my head.
Wishee I see you took his advice then.
Foo Yung I thought that you could ask a police officer anything.
Chi You can.
Foo Yung Then perhaps you can tell me how to stop some man, canoodling with his girlfriend underneath my window every night.
Chi Just go up to him and say. Excuse me sir, but isn’t that your wife coming up the road?
Foo Yung And that’ll make him stop, will it?
Chi Well it certainly stopped me. (laughs)
Wishee I didn’t realise the police had a sense of humour.
Chi Oh, yes. Constable Tai here, is hilarious! (to Tai) Give him a sample, Constable.
Tai She was only a constable’s daughter, but she let the chief inspector. (laughs)
Foo Yung Repeating old jokes like that, ought to be a criminal offence.
Chi Maybe Aladdin is hiding in that laundry basket.
Tai I’d better check it out. (goes to lift basket lid)
Wishee (holding lid down) You don’t want to look in there, officer.
Tai (suspicious) And why not?
Wishee Because it’s full of stinky old laundry.
Chi It sounds like you have something to hide.
Wishee Not me officer. I’m as honest as the day is long.
Tai Well the nights have just drawn in. Open the basket, Constable Chi.
Wishee You’ll be sorry.
Chi (lifts basket lid) Phwoar! (slams lid shut) What a pong! It smells like a student’s bedsit. Anybody hiding in there, would be dead within seconds.
Tai (to Wishee) We’re going now. And when you see Aladdin, tell him we’re on his trail.
Chi And we always get our man.
Tai Let’s go Constable Chi. Or we’ll be late for escorting the Princess Jasmine.
Chi (spots Wishee’s machine) Hello! What’s this ‘ere then? (touches machine and audience shout)
Machine Warning! Unauthorised handling! This unit will self-destruct in ten seconds! Nine…eight…seven…
Chi (turns to Tai) Run Tai!
Tai and Chi turn and run off (SL)
Foo Yung (panicking) We’d best run too, Wishee!
Wishee Relax, Foo Yung. It’s just a safety device, to stop anybody messing with it. It’ll reset in a minute.
Machine Unit resetting!
Wishee What did I tell you? (lifts the basket lid) You can come out now, Aladdin.
Aladdin (climbs out wearing a large clothes-peg on his nose) Phew! What a stink! It’s lucky I found this clothes peg. (removes peg)
Wishee Where were you earlier, Aladdin? I had to drag this laundry from Peking Monastery all the way here, on my own.
Aladdin I sometimes wish mother didn’t have a contract with those monks.
Foo Yung Why not?
Aladdin They have some very dirty habits.
Wishee Well if it’s not done by the mum gets home, she’ll blow her top.
Foo Yung You worry too much, Wishee.
Wishee Well not anymore.
Aladdin (slaps him on the back) That’s the spirit, Wishee!
Wishee (slumps shoulders) I’m far too tired to worry.
Aladdin Foo Yung will help you get the washing done. Won’t you Foo Yung?
Foo Yung Of course I will, Wishee.
Wishee Thanks Foo Yung. I’ll just have a little rest, first. (slouches back against basket)
Foo Yung I’ll take this basket inside. (moves basket and Wishee falls back on the floor)
Aladdin (helping him up) Are you all right, Wishee?
Wishee (feeling his head) I’ve bashed me bonce.
Foo Yung I’d better check that he’s not concussed. What’s three times three, Wishee?
Aladdin He’s fine. (pointing) What’s that strange contraption, Wishee?
Wishee It’s my automatic monitoring machine.
Aladdin What’s it monitoring?
Wishee You for a start. I just wish could win the lottery, then I could pack this job in.
Foo Yung Cheer up Wishee. Things could be worse.
Foo Yung The washing machine could break down.
Wishee Don’t jinx it, Foo Yung. I don’t fancy washing people’s unmentionables by hand.
Twankey (off) Yoo-hoo! I’m hooome!
Aladdin Speaking of, unmentionables.
Twankey (enters USL with several boxes of soap-powder) Here we are again, another day up to washing in my dirty armpits. I mean, up to my armpits in dirty washing. (to audience) Oh, hello! I didn’t see you there, sitting on your fortune cookies. What a morning it’s been. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going. Me Feng Shui’s shot to pieces, and me Yin and Yang has gone to pot. I’ve had a very trying day you know. The butcher tried, the baker tried, the milkman tried. I sometimes feel as though I’m living in a soap opera.
Wishee You mean you’re all washed up?
Twankey Watch it, or I’ll give you a good lathering. All I want is a man to pick me up, whirl me round and drain me dry.
Aladdin You don’t want a man. You want a spin drier.
Abanazar enters (DSL)
Foo Yung Ey-up, it’s Darth Vader!
Wishee (to Abanazar) If you’re searching for the dark side, you’re way off course.
Abanazar I’m looking for Widow Twankey’s establishment.
Twankey This is Twankey’s, world famous, textile rejuvenating and cleansing emporium.
Abanazar You mean, it’s a laundrette?
Twankey Yes, and I’m the proprietor. What can I do for you Mr…?
Twankey What can I do for you Mr Ebeneezer?
Abanazar I’m looking for a boy called, Aladdin.
Aladdin goes to speak, but Twankey quickly clamps her hand over his mouth.
Twankey He’s not in trouble, is he? Only I warned him against climbing the palace walls, to try and cop a look at Princess Jasmine.
Abanazar Doesn’t he know that its certain death, for commoners to look upon the Princess?
Twankey Me and my big gob. (pleading) Oh, please don’t drag him off to prison, Mr Bonanza!
Abanazar It’s Abanazar!
Twankey Please give him another chance, Mr Ave a banana!
Abanazar I’m not …
Twankey…You must! My sons are all I have left, ever since my late husband was dragged off by the Kurds. And it didn’t half make his eyes water I can tell you.
Abanazar Silence you old fool!
Aladdin How dare you speak to our mother like that!
Abanazar Who are you boy?
Aladdin I’m Aladdin. Now apologise, or I will deal with you myself.
Abanazar Careful boy. I am a master of the black arts.
Twankey How interesting. I’m a medium myself.
Wishee Says who?
Twankey Says the label, on my knickers. I’ve even had an out of the body experience.
Abanazar (aside to audience) If I had a body like hers. I’d be glad to get out of it.
Aladdin (to Abanazar) You don’t scare me.
Abanazar Then what I have heard is true.
Wishee What have you heard?
Abanazar That Aladdin is the bravest amongst the Emperor’s subjects.
Aladdin Flattery will get you nowhere.
Abanazar What about money?
Twankey Keep talking.
Abanazar I am about to offer Aladdin, the chance to obtain riches beyond your imagination.
Wishee Nothing is beyond mum’s imagination.
Aladdin And what would I have to do, in order to obtain all these riches?
Abanazar Nothing much. Just fetch me an old lamp.
Foo Yung Is that all?
Twankey There’s one under the kitchen sink, Aladdin. Fetch it out here, quick!
Aladdin Yes, mum. (turns to leave)
Abanazar Wait! The lamp I speak of lies hidden in a cave, deep within the forbidden mountains.
Aladdin (turns back) Why do you want this old lamp?
Abanazar Old things hold a fascination for me.
Twankey Really? (grabs him by the arm) Tell me more, Mr Alabama.
Abanazar (brushing her off) I’m into antiques! Not antiquities!
Twankey You’re not exactly shiny new yourself, pal.
Wishee How come you need Aladdin to fetch the lamp for you?
Abanazar The cave opening is too small for me to enter. But for a young boy, it will be easy.
Twankey But isn’t caving dangerous?
Abanazar I guarantee the boy will come to no harm. Music cue 2: What was that?
Foo Yung (looking off SR) It’s Princess Jasmine’s entourage, returning to the palace.
Abanazar In that case. I think I will take my leave.
Aladdin But what about the lamp?
Abanazar We shall meet again, Aladdin. (exits SL)
Twankey We’d best leave too, boys. Before the royal party arrives.
Aladdin I’m not leaving. I’m going to right stay here and see Princess Jasmine.
Wishee Don’t talk daft Aladdin. It’s certain death for anyone to clap eyes on the Princess.
Foo Yung She can’t be that ugly, surely.
Aladdin I hear that she’s the most beautiful girl, in all of China.
Wishee Why can’t we look at the Princess, anyway?
Twankey Ours is not to reason why. Ours is but to scarper or die.
Aladdin You both scarper if you like, But I’m staying put.
Foo Yung You’re willing to risk death, just to see the Princess?
Aladdin I like living dangerously. Music cue 3:
Twankey Don’t even think about it, Aladdin.
Tiger Lily (off) Clear the streets on pain of death!
Wishee, Twankey and Foo Yung all look (SR) Aladdin climbs into the basket unseen and closes the lid.
Wishee The Princess’s litter is almost here!
Twankey Let’s get out of here, quick!
Foo Yung (looks around) Where is Aladdin?
Wishee He must’ve scarpered after all.
Twankey Then let’s do likewise.
Foo Yung What about the laundry basket?
Twankey Leave it! We’ll fetch it later.
All exit (DSL) Tai and Chi enter (DSR) sweeping the floor. Shortly followed by Tiger Lily.
Tiger Lily Clear the streets on pain of…! (spots Tai & Chi sweeping) What are you both doing?
Tai Clearing the streets like you asked.
Tiger Lily I meant, cleared of people! Not rubbish!
Chi In that case we’ll need bigger brushes.
Tiger Lily Let me explain. (acts like poking a finger in Chi’s eye)
Chi (reacts) Owah!
Tiger Lily Now do you see?
Chi (covering one eye) Yes, but only half as good as I used to.
Bearers carry Princess Jasmine’s litter enter (DSR)
The litter stops (DSC) Princess Jasmine draws the curtain aside and steps out.
Tiger Lily We can’t stop here your highness!
Jasmine Why can’t we?
Tiger Lily This side of town is decidedly…(pulls a face)…seedy.
Jasmine It looks all right to me.
Tiger Lily But it’s full of…(pulls a face)…common people, your highness.
Jasmine Oh, don’t be such a snob, Tiger Lily.
Tai and Chi move around stage checking for danger.
Tiger Lily Your highness must conceal herself in the litter, at all times.
Chi You can’t expect the Princess to hide in a pile of rubbish!
Tiger Lily Not rubbish you, idiot! Litter!
Tai I thought litter was, rubbish?
Tiger Lily Let me explain.
Tai (moves away) No fear! It always hurts when you explain things.
Tiger Lily (looking around auditorium) I don’t like the look of this place your highness
Jasmine I know it’s not the London Palladium, but it’s still quite nice. (realises) Oh, I see what you mean. Don’t worry, we have PC’s Tai and Chi to look after us.
Tiger Lily I wouldn’t trust them to look after a hole in the ground.
Jasmine Nonsense. They’re highly trained professionals.
Tiger Lily Give over. They make Mr Bean, seem intelligent.
Jasmine (pleads) Please, Tiger Lily. I only want to have a quick look around.
Tiger Lily The Emperor will have my head, if he discovers that I allowed you to stop here.
Jasmine But he won’t find out, will he?
Tiger Lily Don’t be too sure your highness. Your father has many spies.
Chi Oh, I love mince pies.
Tai Me too. With lots of lovely custard.
Tiger Lily Many spies! Not, mince pies! Now go ahead and make sure the streets are cleared.
Tai and Chi exit (SL)
Jasmine I’m thirsty, Tiger Lily. Fetch me a bottle of water from that corner shop we just passed.
Tiger Lily Yes, your highness. Stay here and don’t move, until I get back. (exits SR)
Jasmine (to Bearers) Go with her. I want to be alone for a bit.
Bearers follow Tiger Lily off. Aladdin raises the basket lid slightly and peers out.
Jasmine I’ll just sit here until they return. (sits on basket)
Aladdin (shouts) Owah! My head!
Jasmine (jumps off the basket) Who’s there?
Aladdin (from inside the basket) Aladdin!
Jasmine Aladdin who?
Aladdin A lad in a basket!
Jasmine Show yourself at once!
Aladdin (throws back the basket lid and jumps up) Greetings, your highness!
Jasmine (moves back startled) Oh, my!
Aladdin (climbing out) I’m sorry, Princess! I didn’t mean to startle you!
Jasmine Why were you hiding in there?
Aladdin I was hoping to see you.
Jasmine From inside a laundry basket?
Aladdin Everybody knows its death, for commoners to look upon your highness. So, I hid in there to try and catch a glimpse of you as you passed by.
Jasmine And was it worth risking your life to see me, Aladdin?
Aladdin Definitely. For you are even more beautiful than they say.
Jasmine Flatterer. You may call me, Jasmine.
Aladdin Why did you stop here today your high…I mean, Jasmine?
Jasmine Whenever I’m out and about. All I ever get to see, is the inside of my litter. And when I’m not cooped up in that, I’m cooped up in the palace. I couldn’t stand it any longer. So today, I decided to get out and have a look around.
Aladdin I’ve always dreamed of living in a palace. What’s it like?
Jasmine It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. I’d give anything to be like you, Aladdin.
Aladdin You mean, poor?
Jasmine You might be poor, but at least you’re free to come and go as you please. Unlike me.
Tiger Lily enters carrying a bottle of water and followed by the Bearers.
Tiger Lily Here we are your highness. (sees Aladdin) Who’s he?
Jasmine His name’s, Aladdin.
Tiger Lily And what’s he doing here?
Jasmine Talking to me?
Tiger Lily (to Aladdin) Don’t you know its death for commoners to look upon the Princess, let alone talk to her?
Aladdin Then at least I shall die happy, for having seen her.
Tiger Lily Make the most of your happiness. For you’re a dead man when the Emperor finds out.
Jasmine Then we must make sure that he doesn’t find out, Tiger Lily. Now take the litter and return to the palace without me.
Tiger Lily Not blooming likely! Your father will go berserk if the litter returns without you.
Jasmine Just keep the curtains closed, and he’ll be none the wiser.
Tiger Lily But it’s far too dangerous for your highness to stay here, alone.
Jasmine Aladdin will protect me. Won’t you Aladdin?
Aladdin With my life, your highness.
Jasmine Please, Tiger Lily.
Tiger Lily (reluctant) All right. But if your father chops my head off. Then I’m handing my notice in. (to Bearers) Move it you lot.
Bearers pick up the litter and exit (SL) followed by Tiger Lily.
Jasmine It feels wonderful to have some freedom at last.
Aladdin Would you like me to show around Peking, Jasmine? (offers his arm)
Jasmine (taking his arm) I’d like that very much, Aladdin.
They exit arm-in-arm (SR) Twankey, Wishee and Foo Yung enter (USL)
Twankey That was a close call.
Wishee I wonder where Aladdin has got to?
Twankey Who knows? He’s always disappearing. Just like your father did.
Foo Yung I never met Mr Twankey. What was he like?
Twankey He was tall dark and handsome, with a body like a Greek god. But soon after we married, he let himself go. How he undid those chains, I’ll never know. I begged him to stay, but he was too far gone. Mexico as a matter of fact. I pleaded with him to come home. But he said I was a miserable pleader, and he was happy staying in Mexico playing with his maracas. His sons didn’t inherit their father’s physique, but they certainly inherited his intellect. That’s why they’re both juvenile detergents. I partly blame myself, for them having a disrupted upbringing. I’ve had eight husbands you see. (to audience) Altogether now! Four richer, four poorer! But in the end, marriage was the undoing of me. I used to do, and my husband’s kept undoing, until eventually I was all undone. Listen to me reminiscing, when I’ve got all this washing to do. (spots Wishee’s machine) Hello! It looks like someone’s left an expensive hi-fi outside. (touches machine and audience shout)
Machine Warning! Your weight is fourteen stone, ten. You will self-destruct in…
Machine Unit resetting!
Twankey Your weighing machine’s faulty, Wishee. I only weigh eight stone, wet through.
Wishee It’s not a weighing machine, mum. It’s my automatic monitoring machine.
Twankey What does it monitor?
Wishee Everything and everybody.
Twankey Like, I’m A Celebrity?
Twankey How exciting! Do we get to vote people off then?
Wishee Sort of. You check it at the end of the show and decide which lazy employee to sack. (to audience) And we all know who that is, don’t we?
Twankey Oh, I can’t wait. Now, help me get this laundry basket inside.
They exit with the basket (USR) Aladdin and Jasmine enter (DSR)
Jasmine I really enjoyed our walk, Aladdin.
Aladdin Me too, Jasmine. Shall we go all the way
Jasmine (shocked) I beg your pardon, Aladdin!?
Aladdin To the palace, I mean!
Jasmine No, I’m afraid this is as far as we go.
Aladdin Have you gone off me already?
Jasmine No, silly. But it would be suicide for you to approach the palace.
Aladdin I’ve scaled its walls many times, to try and catch a glimpse of you.
Jasmine I can’t believe you risk your life, just to see me.
Aladdin I’d risk anything for you Jasmine. Music cue 4: Aladdin & Jasmine.
After song ends…Tiger Lily runs on (SL) gasping for breath.
Tiger Lily Your highness! You must return to the palace, immediately!
Jasmine Whatever’s the matter Tiger Lily?
Tiger Lily Your father discovered that your litter was empty.
Jasmine Oh, no!
Tiger Lily He flew into a right royal rage and threatened to have us all beheaded on the spot!
Jasmine And what stopped him?
Tiger Lily Tai and Chi blubbed like babies and blamed it all on me. Your father ordered me to return with you immediately, or face certain death.
Aladdin Surely not?
Tiger Lily Surely yes! (grabbing hold of her arm) Now let’s hurry, before he decides to cut off something even closer to my heart.
Aladdin And what’s that?
Tiger Lily My royal pension. (starts dragging Jasmine away)
Aladdin When will I see you again, Jasmine?
Jasmine I’ll message you Aladdin!
Jasmine and Tiger Lily exit (SL) Wishee and Foo Yung enter (DSR) with the laundry basket.
Wishee There you are Aladdin. Mum’s been looking all over for you.
Aladdin Wishee. What would you say, if I told you that I’d just seen Princess Jasmine?
Wishee I’d say you’ve been sniffing too much washing powder and gone clean round the bend.
Aladdin But it’s true! I was hiding in the laundry basket when she passed by earlier.
Foo Yung You saw the Princess?
Aladdin Not only saw her, Wishee. But talked to her, and…(dreamily)…we fell in love.
Wishee That was quick – even for a panto!
Aladdin Love doesn’t have a time limit, Wishee.
Foo Yung No, but we do. We must get this laundry to the palace by lunchtime.
Aladdin (exclaims) Of course! That’s how I can see Jasmine again!
Wishee What are you on about, now?
Aladdin I’ll hide in that laundry basket you’re taking to the palace. And once inside the palace, I’ll sneak out and see Jasmine
Foo Yung But If you’re found inside the palace, the Emperor will have you beheaded.
Aladdin I’ve already lost my head, Foo Yung. Not to mention my heart.
Wishee If you think I’m going to risk my life smuggling you inside the palace, you can forget it.
Aladdin Do this for me, Wishee. And I’ll never ask you for a favour, ever again.
Foo Yung You couldn’t very well, could you? Not having a head an’ all.
Aladdin Please Wishee!
Wishee All right Aladdin, but on your own head be it.
Aladdin Thanks, bruv. (climbs inside the laundry basket)
Twankey enters (DSR)
Twankey Have either of you seen Aladdin?
Wis & Foo (shaking heads) Noooo.
Twankey Typical. When there’s work to be done, he’s nowhere to be found. You’ll have help me carry that laundry basket to the palace instead, Wishee.
Wishee It’s all right mum, me and Foo Yung will carry it. You might strain something.
Twankey I’m stronger than you look. Mind the shop until we get back, Foo Yung.
Foo Yung Yes, Mrs. T. (exits into laundrette)
Twankey Okay Wishee, grab a hold of your end. (they take hold) Now, lift. (struggle to lift the basket) Cor blimey! This washing weighs a ton!
Wishee It’s probably all that gold thread they use in the royal clothes.
Twankey Yes, that must be it. Right then, you pull and I’ll push. (pushes) To you!
Wishee (pulls) To me!
Twankey (pushes) To you!
Wishee (pulls) To me!
They exit (SL)