Town Square In Peking
Twankey’s Laundrette is (USR) a large laundry basket stands outside. Music cue 4: Chorus. After song ends…Exit Chorus (USL)
Enter Widow Twankey (SL) carrying a shopping bag and singing.
TWANKEY: ‘Keep young and beautiful, it’s my duty to be beautiful…’ (to audience) Oh, hello! If I’d known we had visitors, I’d have worn my best frock. What am I saying? This is my best frock. I’m that poor, I get clothes parcels from Oxfam. I tried supplementing my income by taking a job as a contortionist, but I still couldn’t make ends meet. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Widow Twankey, and I run this laundrette with my two sons, Aladdin and Wishee Washee. One’s supposed to be helping me fetch the shopping this morning. I won’t tell you who, but I wish he, would hurry up! (laughs) Can you guess?
Enter Wishee (SR)
WISHEE: Hiya boys and girls! I’m Wishee Washee! Do you wanna be in my gang? Whenever I enter; I’ll shout wotcha gang! And you all shout back wotcha Wishee! Will you do that? Let’s have a practice then. (exits and re-enters) Wotcha gang! (looking out) Have they all gone home, mum?
TWANKEY: No, but they might as well, because it doesn’t get any better.
WISHEE: Let’s try it again. (repeats business) Wotcha, gang! That was much better!
TWANKEY: What time do you call this, Wishee?
WISHEE: Breakfast time?
TWANKEY: Try lunchtime.
WISHEE: Sorry mum, I overslept.
TWANKEY: You sleep more than a catatonic cat on tranquilisers. Anyway, now you’re here you can come food shopping with me.
WISHEE: We’re that poor, all you ever buy is baked beans and sprouts. If it weren’t for the musical evenings our diet provided, life could get quite boring. According to Jamie Oliver, I should be eating a balanced diet.
TWANKEY: You do eat a balanced diet.
WISHEE: How do you make that out?
TWANKEY: The sprouts on your plate weigh the same as the beans.
WISHEE: But I haven’t had breakfast yet!
TWANKEY: We’ll pop into that new Chinese-Italian place – Gino’s Hot Wok Pasta Bar.
WISHEE: Forget it, mum. I tried it once and came out hungrier than when I went in.
TWANKEY: How come?
WISHEE: Have you ever tried eating spaghetti with chopsticks? I ended up knitting myself a scarf.
Enter Aladdin at a run (SL)
ALADDIN: Help! I’m being chased by a lunatic!
WISHEE: Quick Aladdin, hide in the laundry basket!
ALADDIN: Thanks, Wishee! (climbs inside laundry basket)
Enter Merchant at a run (SL)
MERCHANT: (to Twankey) Where is Aladdin?
TWANKEY: What do you want with him?
MERCHANT: I asked him to look after my stall. And when I returned, the stall was empty and there was only fifty pence in the till!
TWANKEY: Well, he isn’t here.
MERCHANT: I’ll catch him if it’s the last thing I do. (exits SR)
WISHEE: (lifts basket lid) You can come out now, Aladdin.
ALADDIN: (climbing out) That was a close call.
TWANKEY: What have you been up to now, Aladdin?
TWANKEY: I only asked!
ALADDIN: Bogof, means buy one get one free. Only I got a bit confused and put up a sign saying, BUY ONE AND GET THE REST FREE.
TWANKEY: If only you had the brains, you were born with Aladdin.
Enter Chorus (SL) chattering excitedly.
WISHEE: What’s all the excitement?
CHORUS 1: Princess Lychee is coming to Peking for a spot of royal shopping.
CHORUS 2: Apparently, she’s looking for a wedding dress.
ALADDIN: (aghast) The Princess is getting married!
WISHEE: Bad luck, Aladdin. We all know you fancied her.
TWANKEY: He never stood a chance there. (to Chorus) So, who’s she marrying then?
CHORUS 3: Won Hung Lo!
TWANKEY: I know. (adjusts bosom) I could do with those that lift and separate.
CHORUS 4: He’s the son of the Grand Khazi.
ALADDIN: Lychee can’t marry him!
CHORUS 5: She has no choice – her parents are arranging everything.
WISHEE: I’m glad I’m not royalty – I’d rather decide for myself who I marry.
TWANKEY: You’re never awake long enough to get married.
ALADDIN: I was hoping to marry Princess Lychee myself.
WISHEE: But you’ve never even seen her, Aladdin.
ALADDIN: No, but I’ve heard she’s the most beautiful girl in China. I’d risk anything to see her.
TWANKEY: Everybody knows its death for commoners to look upon the Princess.
WISHEE: Royal walkabouts must be quiet affairs then. Music cue 5:
KUNG & FU: (shouts off) Clear the streets on pain of death!
ALADDIN: It sounds like the royal party are on their way!
TWANKEY: Then we’d better scarper, quick!
Exit all (SR) Aladdin hangs behind and climbs into the laundry basket.
Enter Kung and Fu (SL) brandishing truncheons.
FU: Look out – look out!
KUNG: Mind what you do!
FU: Or the Peking police will come for you!
KUNG: We’re the toughest coppers you’ll ever meet!
FU: Now, hurry up and clear the street!
KUNG: Our duties are conducted with rigorous pride!
FU: And if you misbehave, you’ll be quick stir-fried!
KUNG: My name’s Kung!
FU: And my name’s Fu!
KUNG & FU: And we’ll give you a taste of the old one two! Music cue 6: (mock fighting)
Enter Man at a run (SL)
MAN: Please help me, officers!
KUNG: What seems to be the trouble, sir?
MAN: I need to find a chemist, quick!
FU: What for?
MAN: A bee’s just stung me on the finger!
FU: Which one?
MAN: I don’t know – they all look the same to me!
FU: Buzz off! (hits him with truncheon)
Exit Man (SR)
Enter Woman 1 (SL)
WOMAN 1: Pardon me, officers.
KUNG: Yes, madam?
WOMAN 1: Could you tell me the name of the road where Poundland is?
FU: (thinking) Don’t tell me, the name’s on the tip of my tongue.
WOMAN 1: Stick your tongue out then.
FU: What for?
WOMAN 1: So I can see the name of the road.
KUNG: (prods her with truncheon) On your way, missus.
Woman 1 exits (SR)
Enter Woman 2 (SL)
FU: Excuse me madam, but would you mind accompanying us to the station?
WOMAN 2: Whatever for officer?
KUNG: It’s in a rough area and we’re scared to go on our own.
WOMAN 2: Get lost – wusses! (exits SR)
Enter Young Boy (SL) wearing shorts.
BOY: (to Fu) Please sir, can you tell me where I can buy some long pants?
FU: How long do you want them?
BOY: From October to March. (laughs)
KUNG: Who taught you to be cheeky?
BOY: Nobody – I’m self-taught.
FU: Here’s another lesson for you. (hits Boy with truncheon)
BOY: Owah! (wails) I’ll tell mum on you!
FU: While you’re at it, tell her I’ll be late home for tea.
BOY: Okay, dad. (exits SL)
Enter Khazi (SR)
KHAZI: Make way for their Imperial Majesties!
Music cue 7: Enter Emperor and Empress (SR)
EMPRESS: Where are all our subjects?
KHAZI: I had them cleared them from the streets as usual, your majesty.
EMPEROR: Well, bring them back – we have an important announcement to announce!
KHAZI: Yes, sire. Citizens of Peking! Draw near and listen to your beloved Emperor!
Enter Chorus (SL)
EMPEROR: Loyal objects! We wish to announce the forthcoming marriage of the Princess Lychee.
EMPRESS: Her wedding day, will be a public holiday!
KHAZI: But it will be unpaid.
EMPEROR: There will be a big party in the palace grounds!
KHAZI: But none of you are invited.
EMPRESS: The pubs will stay open all day!
KHAZI: But we’ve doubled prices to pay for the royal wedding.
EMPEROR: Princess Lychee will be visiting Peking shortly.
KHAZI: But nobody can look at her.
General murmuring amongst Chorus.
EMPRESS: The crowd are getting restless, dear. Let’s leave before they turn ugly.
KHAZI: Some looked ugly to start with, your majesty.
EMPEROR: Princess Lychee’s entourage will be arriving shortly, Khazi. Make sure the streets are cleared of commoners.
KHAZI: Yes, your majesty.
EMPRESS: Come along, dear.
Exit Emperor and Empress (SL)
KHAZI: Kung and Fu! Clear this rabble from the streets, immediately!
KUNG & FU: (herding Chorus off SR) Clear the streets! Clear the streets!
CHORUS 1: Make your minds up then!CHORUS 2:Talk about police harassment!
Exit Chorus (SL) Followed by Kung and Fu and the Khazi.
LYCHEE: (shouts off) Hurry Peekaboo!
Enter Princess Lychee at a run (SL) followed by Peekaboo.
PEEKABOO: What’s the rush your highness?
LYCHEE: I wanted to get here before they cleared the streets, but it’s too late.
PEEKABOO: Why do you want to mix with lots of strange people?
LYCHEE: I don’t want to mix with strange people, Peekaboo – just normal ones.
PEEKABOO: You can mix with normal people at the palace.
LYCHEE: Nothing at the palace is normal, Peekaboo. I’m a virtual prisoner there – and now I’m being forced to marry someone I don’t love.
PEEKABOO: You mean, Won Hung Lo?
LYCHEE: Yes, and he doesn’t love me either.
PEEKABOO: He said as much, did he?
LYCHEE: Come, Peekaboo. It’s obvious that you and Won Hung love one another.
PEEKABOO: It’s true your highness – but I fear we can never be together. (cries)
LYCHEE: Don’t cry, Peekaboo. There must be a way out of this predicament.
PEEKABOO: But what, your highness?
LYCHEE: I don’t know, but I’m sure I’ll think of something. Now run along and touch up your makeup, your mascara’s running.
PEEKABOO: Yes, your highness. (exits SL)
ALADDIN: (throws open basket and stands) Hello Princess!
LYCHEE: (startled – steps back) Oh!
ALADDIN: (climbing out) I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.
LYCHEE: Who are you – and what are you doing hiding in that basket?
ALADDIN: My name’s Aladdin. And I hid in there, to see if you really are as beautiful as everybody says.
LYCHEE: I see – and?
ALADDIN: You’re not.
LYCHEE: (taken aback) Oh!
ALADDIN: You’re much more beautiful.
LYCHEE: You flatter me Aladdin. But you have taken a great risk. If you’re caught, my father will have you executed.
ALADDIN: It was worth the risk.
LYCHEE: Aren’t you afraid of death?
ALADDIN: (boldly) I’m afraid of nothing, Princess!
LYCHEE: Oh, Aladdin. It’s so nice to meet an ordinary person for a change.
ALADDIN: I’m not sure I like being called ordinary, your highness.
LYCHEE: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean – it’s just that most people at the palace are the opposite of ordinary – especially my parents.
ALADDIN: Is it true that you’re about to be married, your highness?
LYCHEE: It’s true that my parents are trying to force me to marry someone I don’t love.
ALADDIN: Nobody should be forced to marry against their will.
LYCHEE: I’m sure you’re free to fall in love and marry whoever you chose, Aladdin.
ALADDIN: The falling in love bit’s easy – it’s the marrying bit that’s hard.
LYCHEE: It sounds like you’ve already fallen in love with someone, Aladdin.
ALADDIN: Indeed I have, your highness.
LYCHEE: (disappointed) I see.
ALADDIN: Do you believe in love at first sight, Princess?
LYCHEE: Why do you ask?
ALADDIN: What would you say, if I told you that I’d fallen madly in love with you?
LYCHEE: I’d say, I’ve never believed in love at first sight – until now.
ALADDIN: All my life I’ve dreamed of this moment, Lychee.
LYCHEE: Then we’ve both had the same dream, Aladdin. Music cue 8: Lychee and Aladdin. After song ends…
SFX: Police whistles.
ALADDIN: It sounds like they’re playing my tune.
LYCHEE: You must leave, Aladdin – you risk your life being here.
ALADDIN: I’d risk anything to be with you Lychee.
LYCHEE: And I’d give up everything to be with you, Aladdin.
ALADDIN: Would you even consider marrying me?
LYCHEE: Yes, but father won’t allow me to marry anyone who isn’t rich.
ALADDIN: Then I will go and make my fortune and return for you.
SFX: Police whistles.
LYCHEE: Hurry Aladdin they’re almost here!
Aladdin moves closer to wing (SR)
Enter Kung and Fu (SL) blowing whistles.
KUNG: Aladdin Twankey! You’re under arrest for gazing upon the Princess’s face!
ALADDIN: And very nice it was too. Goodbye Lychee – I shall return! (exits SR)
FU: Stop in the name of the law!
Exit Kung and Fu at a run (SR)
LYCHEE: (shouts) Run Aladdin!
Enter Peekaboo (SL)
PEEKABOO: I’m back, Princess! Anything interesting happen while I was gone?
LYCHEE: Yes! I met a handsome boy called Aladdin – we instantly fell in love, and now he’s being chased by the police.
PEEKABOO: You’re kidding me – right?
LYCHEE: No, Peekaboo!
PEEKABOO: Then let’s hurry to the place and you can tell me all about it!
Exit Lychee and Peekaboo (SL)