Kasim Baba/Mustafa Leak
Inspector Dusty Corner
Constable Sandy Bottom
Sopwith (a camel)
Tourists; Sand People; Skeletons; Citizens; etc.
Plenty of scope for doubling or even trebling up.
The Old Bazaar In Cairo
Baba’s Barber Shop is (DSR) a chair is outside, with a barber’s cape draped over the back. Music cue 1: Chorus. After song ends…
Enter Donna Baba (SL)
CHORUS 1: Hello Donna, is that a new dress you’re wearing?
DONNA: Well, it’s new to me. I got it from Oxfam. I’m that poor I can’t even afford to shop at Primark. (spots audience) Oh, hello! Are you all here for the camel racing? I tried it once, but never again.
CHORUS 2: Why – what happened?
DONNA: I fell off at the start and got trampled underfoot.
CHORUS 3: That would explain the state of your face.
CHORUS 4: Not to mention your body.
DONNA: Cheek! Most women would die for a body like mine. It’s that perfect I’m considering leaving it to medical science.
CHORUS 5: You ought to leave it to science fiction.
DONNA: Clear off, before I kick you all up the casbah!
Exit Chorus (SL) laughing.
(to audience) Allow me to introduce myself properly. I’m Donna Baba, a poor young widow. My husband died after he backed into a lathe and gave himself a nasty turn. I sank the insurance money into a barber’s shop, and it’s been a disaster due to my two sons, Rhum and Ali. Rhum can’t tell the difference between a crew cut and a full perm. And Ali disappeared two years ago, and I haven’t heard from him since. I don’t even know if he’s alive or dead. If he ever turns up again, I’ll flaming well kill him! I’d better go and find Rhum – he should have opened the shop an hour ago. See you later folks. (exits SR)
Enter Rhum (SL)
RHUM: Hello boys and girls! Welcome to old Cairo! I’m Rhum Baba and I’m a barber. Now, you all look a cut above, and I’m wondering if you’d like to be my friends? Well, would you? Now what greeting shall we have? I know – every time I come on, I’ll shout Rhum-tiddly-om-pom! And you can all shout back, pom-pom! Let’s try it then. (exits and re-enters) Rhum-tiddly-om-pom! Let’s do it again, and this time I want you to open your mouths that wide, I can look past your tonsils and see what you had for breakfast. (repeats business – pointing at audience) Cornflakes, scrambled egg, chicken Vindaloo!?
Enter Customer (SR) wearing a black curly wig under his turban.
RHUM: A customer! Good morning sir, and what can I do for you today?
MAN: I’d like a short back and sides please.
RHUM: Certainly, sir. (shows him to the chair) Please take a seat.
MAN: Shouldn’t we go inside the shop?
RHUM: No – our electric’s been cut off, so we’re doing customers outside instead.
MAN: Then it’s a good job it’s nice and sunny. (sits)
RHUM: (places a cape around Man, removes his turban and lots of tiny dots of white paper fall out) I see you have a touch of dandruff, sir.
MAN: You’re telling me. I’ve tried everything to clear it, but nothing seems to work.
RHUM: I’ve got just the thing for you, sir. (produces a small bottle) This will get rid of your dandruff, in five seconds flat.
MAN: Five seconds!?
RHUM: If not sooner.
MAN: That sounds marvellous! I’ll have some.
RHUM: Now I must warn you, it’s very strong and might sting a bit.
MAN: I think I can cope with a little bit of stinging – carry on. (Rhum sprinkles contents onto his hair and massages it in) Aaaah! (jumps up) My head’s on fire! (dashes around stage in a panic) Help!
RHUM: Hold on! (wraps a towel around Man’s head)
MAN: (soothed) Ooooh! That’s better. (sits again)
RHUM: I did warn you it might sting a bit.
MAN: It certainly did. But it’ll be worth it if it gets rid of my dandruff.
RHUM: I’ll just count to five before I remove the towel, and it will all have gone.
(gets audience to count along) One-two-three-four-five! (removes the towel along with
Man’s wig, revealing a bald head) Woah!
MAN: Has it all gone then?
RHUM: It sure has.
MAN: (feeling his scalp) Aaaah! (jumps up) I’m completely bald!
RHUM: Maybe I put a bit too much on.
MAN: All my beautiful locks have gone!
RHUM: Yes, but look on the bright side – you won’t be bothered by dandruff again.
MAN: (draws a dagger) And neither will you, once I’ve removed your head!
RHUM: Now, now, sir. Keep your hair on – what am I saying!? It’s time to throw the towel in! (throws towel containing wig at Man) Bye! (exits at a run SL)
MAN: Come back here, you moron! (exits after him)
Enter Donna (SR)
DONNA: I can’t find Rhum anywhere – but when I do, he won’t know what’s hit him.
Enter Rhum at a run (SL) looking behind him and crashes into Donna.
SFX: Comedy crashing sound.
DONNA: Aaaah! (falls on floor and flails legs about revealing comedy bloomers)
DONNA: (standing) You clumsy great oaf, Rhum!
RHUM: Sorry mum, but a deranged bald-headed customer is chasing me.
DONNA: Why is a bald-headed customer chasing you?
RHUM: Because he wasn’t bald when he came in.
DONNA: What on earth did you do to him!?
RHUM: I used that new anti-dandruff lotion, and it wasn’t only the dandruff that disappeared.
DONNA: You useless great twit! Can’t you do anything right?
RHUM: You’re the one who bought it off eBay!
DONNA: That’s right, blame me for everything.
Enter Fatima (SR)
FATIMA: Cooeee Rhum!
DONNA: Oh look, it’s Fatima from Fatima’s Pizza Parlour.
RHUM: Every day she visits the bazaar hoping to attract a man, but all she attracts are funny looks.
FATIMA: Hello Rhum. Do you fancy taking me up the casbah tonight?
RHUM: I’d love to Fatima, but I’m afraid I can’t.
FATIMA: Why not?
RHUM: I’m just off to join the Foreign Legion. (turns to go)
DONNA: (pulling him back) You can’t join the foreign legion, Rhum!
RHUM: Why can’t I?
DONNA: You’re not foreign!
RHUM: I’m half foreign.
DONNA: No, you’re not.
RHUM: But you said that dad was from abroad.
DONNA: Yes – in Norfolk!
RHUM: So, how’s the pizza business Fatima?
FATIMA: Terrible. I haven’t sold a single pizza all week.
DONNA: Maybe that’s because they taste like dried camel pats?
FATIMA: Rubbish! It’s because people are skint, after constantly being robbed by Mustafa Leke and his band of thieves.
RHUM: (pointing SL) Isn’t that Daniel Craig filming the latest James Bond movie?
FATIMA: Ooooh! He can bond with me anytime. Yoo-hoo Danny! (rushes off SL)
DONNA: That wasn’t Daniel Craig! It was just a flea-bitten old camel wandering by.
RHUM: They’ll both be well-suited then.
Enter Vizier (SR)
VIZIER: Their royal majesties the Sultan and Sultana of Arabia!
Music cue 2: Enter Chorus (DSL) ready to greet them.
Enter Sultan and Sultana (SR) and all defer to them.
SULTANA: I wish I didn’t have a title that makes me sound like dried fruit.
SULTAN: It could have been worse, dear.
SULTAN: You might have married the Emperor Ming and become a Minger.
VIZIER: Do your majesties wish me to clear the streets?
SULTAN: I thought we had road sweepers for that sort of thing, Vizier.
VIZIER: I meant, cleared of commoners your majesty.
SULTANA: Certainly not! We need their votes.
VIZIER: Since when do monarchs need anybody’s vote?
SULTAN: Since we decided to enter Egypt’s Got Talent.
DONNA: But surely your majesties are already rich and famous.
SULTANA: Yes, but our popularity has plummeted since we introduced that turban tax.
SULTAN: So, we’re entering EGT to win over the common folk.
SULTANA: Now, can we count on your tele-votes?
DONNA: Of course, your imperial mintiness.
DONNA: Providing you pay for them.
SULTANA: But that’s bribery?
RHUM: I wouldn’t call it bribery.
SULTAN: Then what would you call it?
DONNA: Supply and demand.
SULTANA: But then everybody will want paying to vote for us!
SULTAN: And we can’t afford to buy millions of votes.
VIZIER: Why don’t your majesties do what politicians do when they want votes?
SULTANA: And what’s that?
VIZIER: Cut taxes before the voting starts, then raise them again afterwards.
SULTANA: What a good idea.
RHUM: That’s a bit cynical isn’t it?
SULTAN: That’s democracy for you. (to Sultana) Come along dear.
Exit Sultan and Sultana (SR) followed by Vizier and Chorus.
KASIM: (off) Mush! Mush!
RHUM: That sounds like Uncle Kasim.
Music cue 3: Enter Kasim Baba (SL) riding on the back of a Servant.
KASIM: Woah! (Kasim dismounts and feeds servant a cube of sugar) Servants aren’t what they used to be. I barely get five MPW these days.
DONNA: What’s MPW?
KASIM: Miles per whiplash! (cracks a short whip)
SFX: Whiplash sound.
RHUM: Why don’t you ride on a camel like everybody else, uncle?
KASIM: I can never decide whether to have one hump or two. Anyway, peace be upon you.
DONNA: And peace on you too!
KASIM: May blessings pour down upon your head and light up your life.
DONNA: And up yours!
RHUM: To what do we owe the pleasure, uncle?
DONNA: Before you answer that – you’re wasting your time.
KASIM: You don’t yet know why I’m here yet.
DONNA: Oh yes, I do. I’m physic and I believe in the hereafter.
KASIM: Then you’ll know what I’m here after.
DONNA: Yes, and you can’t have it.
KASIM: I want my rent!
DONNA: And I haven’t got it.
KASIM: Then I shall have to repossess your home.
DONNA: You’d evict your own sister?
KASIM: You’re not my sister.
DONNA: Of course, I am! Although I often wish I wasn’t.
KASIM: I’d always wondered why we looked so different. One of us being incredibly handsome, and the other downright ugly.
DONNA: I wouldn’t say you were ugly Kasim – greedy, yes.
KASIM: I looked up our family tree on Ancestry.com. and discovered that you’d been adopted by my parents, who found you abandoned outside a kebab shop.
RHUM: That would explain why they named you Donna, mum.
DONNA: I don’t believe you, Kasim.
KASIM: (producing papers) Then perhaps these adoption papers will convince you.
DONNA: (checks papers) It’s true! I’m an abandoned child!
RHUM: You must be gutted, mum.
DONNA: I’ll admit it’s a bit of a shock. But at least I have the consolation of knowing, that I’m no longer related to this ratbag!
KASIM: You owe more money than all my other tenants – what do you say to that?
DONNA: (sings) ‘I’ve got bills they’re multiplying, and I’m losing control…’
KASIM: You’ll be losing your home if you don’t pay up.
DONNA: But I’m too poor to pay! We can barely afford to eat!
RHUM: It’s true. All I’ve eaten today are a few flakes.
RHUM: No – soapflakes.
KASIM: Soapflakes? You must be mad!
DONNA: Mad? He was foaming at the mouth!
KASIM: Pay up by tomorrow, or out you go! (exits SL riding on Servant)
DONNA: Well son, it looks like we’re about to be thrown out of our lovely home.
RHUM: You called it in a rat-infested hovel earlier.
DONNA: Even a rat-infested hovel is better than walking the streets. And I should know.
Enter a Postie (SL)
POSTIE: Here’s your post, Donna. (hands her several brown envelopes and exits)
RHUM: Hurry and open it mum. Who knows, we might’ve won some foreign lottery we’ve never heard of.
DONNA: Don’t talk daft – brown envelopes mean only one thing.
RHUM: And what’s that?
DONNA: I’ve got more bills than a gaggle of geese.
Enter Ali Baba and Sopwith (SL)
RHUM: It’s Ali, mum! He’s come home!
DONNA: Ali! Where on earth have you been for the past two years?
ALI BABA: I’ve been in the Foreign Legion, mum.
RHUM: How come they let you in?
ALI BABA: (foreign accent) I put on ze foreign accent.
DONNA: Why didn’t you write and tell me Ali, and save me worrying all these years?
ALI BABA: I sent you a letter by carrier pigeon as soon as I arrived at barracks, mum.
SFX: Pigeon drops from above with a note attached to its leg.
RHUM: I see you sent it second class.
DONNA: (takes note) Dear mum, don’t wait up.
ALI BABA: I’m not one for writing long letters, mum.
RHUM: Why did you join the Foreign Legion anyway, Ali?
ALI BABA: To forget.
RHUM: To forget what?
ALI BABA: I’ve forgotten – which is why I’ve returned home.
DONNA: Just in time to leave it again.
ALI BABA: What do you mean, mum?
RHUM: Uncle Kasim’s threatened to evict us unless mum pays her rent by tomorrow.
DONNA: And I’m skint.
ALI BABA: I can’t believe he’d evict his own sister!
DONNA: It turns out mum was adopted, so they’re not related.
ALI BABA: Don’t worry mum, we’re all going to be rich soon.
DONNA: How so?
ALI BABA: While I was in the Legion. I heard of a lost pyramid, said to be filled with priceless treasures. All I need do, is find it and we’ll all be rich.
RHUM: How are we going to find a lost pyramid?
ALI BABA: Sopwith here is an ex-police sniffer camel, trained to sniff out dead bodies.
RHUM: How does that help us find the lost pyramid?
ALI BABA: All pyramids contain the bodies of dead mummies?
DONNA: You’re relying on that flea-bitten camel, to find a pyramid that’s been buried under the sand for yonks, to save us from being evicted?
ALI BABA: Yes, mum.
DONNA: I’ll start packing. (turns to go)
ALI BABA: But he really can do it, mum!
DONNA: (turns back) Prove it.
ALI BABA: All right, I will. (Sopwith whispers) Good point, Sopwith.
RHUM: What did he say?
ALI BABA: He said he’ll need a dead body to be buried under the sand, for him to find.
DONNA: Will Rhum do?
RHUM: But I’m not dead!
DONNA: You are from the neck up, son. (to Ali) Will half dead do?
ALI BABA: I don’t think so mum.
DONNA: Wait there – I have an idea. (exits SR)
ALI BABA: What’s she up to now?
RHUM: I hope she’s not about to drag in a dead body.
Enter Donna (SR) wearing a mask and holding a sock that’s full of holes and covered in stains, at arms-length with a litter-picker.
DONNA: Rhum’s sock smells like a rotting corpse. I’ll bury it in the sand over there. (exits SL and then re-enters without the sock) There, it’s done.
ALI BABA: Okay Sopwith, go find it boy. (Sopwith whispers) You don’t feel suicidal? (Sopwith shakes head) Then lead me to it and I’ll dig it up. (Sopwith nods)
Exit Sopwith (SL) followed by Ali.
DONNA: Do you think he’ll find your sock, Rhum?
RHUM: I hope so, mum – it belongs to my best pair.
SFX: Loud thud.
Enter Ali at a run (SL)
ALI BABA: (panicking) Somebody call a vet, quick!
RHUM: What’s the matter Ali?
ALI BABA: Mum didn’t bury your sock deep enough! I think Sopwith’s in a coma!
RHUM: Does anybody know how to give a camel the kiss of life?
DONNA: I’ll do it!
ALI BABA: Have you ever given a camel the kiss of life, mum?
DONNA: No, but kissing your father must come close.
Enter Sopwith at a run (SL)
ALI BABA: Sopwith! You’re alive!
RHUM: He must have heard mum volunteering to give him the kiss of life.
DONNA: You cheeky camel! Anyway, I don’t believe he can sniff out a real mummy.
ALI BABA: Oh yes, he can!
DONNA: Oh no, he can’t!
ALI BABA: Then I’ll prove it, by finding the lost pyramid. Let’s go Sopwith. (exits SL with Sopwith)
RHUM: I’d better fetch my sock. (exits and returns sniffing the sock) There’s a funny smell on it now.
DONNA: It’s called fresh air, son.
Music cue 4: Enter Dusty and Sandy (SR)
DUSTY: Greetings. I’m Inspector Dusty Corner of the Yard, and this is Constable Sandy Bottom. And we’re searching for the nastiest villain in all Egypt.
RHUM: Who’s that then?
SANDY: Mustafa Leke!
DONNA: The loo’s out back.
DUSTY: No! Mustafa Leke and his band of thieves!
SANDY: We’re trying to flush them out.
RHUM: Hiding in the drains, are they?
DONNA: I’d try Mr Muscle. It always clears my blockages.
DUSTY: We plan to lure them out using this. (produces a small gold pyramid)
RHUM: I doubt a toy pyramid will lure them out.
DUSTY: It’s solid gold, and we’re going to leave it here…(places it front of curtains SL)…as bait. Mustafa will obviously try and steal it, and then we’ll nab him.
DONNA: But how will you know if he tries pinching it?
SANDY: That’s a very good point.
DUSTY: I know! (to audience) Boys and girls! If you see anybody about to pick up this pyramid, will you shout out and warn us? Thanks!
SANDY: What are they going to shout?
DUSTY: Seeing as it’s a pyramid, and all pyramids contain mummies. They can shout the name of the most famous mummy of all.
SANDY: Joan Collins? (or current mutton dressed as lamb celeb)
DUSTY: No! King Tut! (to audience) If anybody goes to pick up this pyramid, just shout out, Tutankhamen! Okay?
SANDY: Let’s have a practice then.
Business of Dusty and Sandy walking away and sneaking up on the pyramid and audience shouting.
DUSTY: That’s enough practice now. Let’s get back undercover, Constable Bottom.
Exit Dusty and Sandy (SR)
DONNA: I need some dates, Rhum.
RHUM: Would you like me to buy you a calendar?
DONNA: No! I meant the kind that grow on trees! I’m making a fruit cake later.
RHUM: I know just the place mum – follow me.
Exit Donna and Rhum (SL)