Music cue 2: Wonderlanders. After song ends…Wally the Joker enters (SR)
Wally Hiya folks!
Wonderlanders Hiya Wally!
Wally I say, I say! What’s red and wobbly and flies in the air? A jellycopter! (laughs)
Wonderlander 1 Give it a rest Wally.
Wally But it’s my job to get everybody in a happy mood, ready to cheer the Queen of Hearts when she arrives. If she doesn’t get the welcome she expects, she’ll have my head. Couldn’t you at least force a titter?
Wonderlander 2 Sorry Wally, but we’ve heard all your jokes before.
Wonderlander 3 (indicating audience) But this lot won’t have.
Wonderlander 4 I wouldn’t bet on it.
Wally (to audience) Hiya folks! I’m Wally, the royal Joker. Every time I come on and shout, hiya folks! I want you all to shout back, tell us a joke you funny bloke, and I’ll tell you one of my brilliant jokes. Okay? Let’s have a practice then. (exits and re-enters) Hiya folks! Now listen boys and girls. This is a panto, so you can be as loud as you like and nobody will tell you off, okay. Let’s have another go. (exits and re-enters) Hiya folks! I don’t think the mums and dads were joining in, were they boys and girls? We’ll have another go, and this time make sure they all join in. (exits and re-enters) Hiya folks! (response) I say, I say! My mother-in-law has just gone to Moscow.
Wonderlander 5 Is she Russian?
Wally No, she’s taking her time! (laughs)
Wonderlander 6 If that’s the best you can do Wally, you’re definitely gonna lose your head.
Wonderlander’s exit (SL)
Wally They wouldn’t know a good joke, if it bit them on the bum. I’m off to warm up some more crowds with my brilliant jokes. See you later folks. (exits SL)
Alice crawls on (SR)
Alice Mr Rabbit! Where are you? (stands) Thank goodness I can stand again. That rabbit hole was ever so cramped. (looking around) What a strange-looking place.
Dame Milly enters (SL)
Dame Milly There you are Alice!
Alice Mum! What are you doing here?
Dame Milly Looking for you. You’re late for tea again.
SFX: Cartoon style running whizzing sound.
White Rabbit runs on (USL)
Dame Milly Oh look, it’s the Easter Bunny.
W. Rabbit Gangway! I’m late for the royal wedding!
Dame Milly Another Royal wedding! Who’s getting married this time?
Alice The Princess of Hearts and the Prince of Diamonds.
Dame Milly The Princess of Hearts and the Prince of Diamonds! (laughs) Oh Alice, you are a card.
W. Rabbit (stops and checks watch again) I’m so late! Goodbye! (exits SR)
Alice Mr Rabbit! Wait! (exits after the White Rabbit)
Dame Milly I’m not chasing after her again. Who wants to go to a stuffy old royal wedding anyway?
Music cue 3: Lights dim and Knave of Spades enters (SL)
Knave Did I hear somebody mention, a royal wedding?
Dame Milly With ears like that, you could hardly have missed it.
Knave Who is getting married then?
Dame Milly If you believe the rumours, the Princess of Hearts and the Prince of Diamonds.
Dame Milly Don’t tell me you’re late, too.
Knave I should be marrying the Princess!
Dame Milly Are you the vicar, then?
Knave No! I should be the royal groom!
Dame Milly Never mind. I’m sure there are plenty of other stables you can work at.
Knave With a face like that, it’s you who ought to be in stables.
Dame Milly How dare you! Who are you anyway?
Knave I’m the Knave of Spades. The King of Hearts promised that his daughter would marry me. But it seems he’s gone back on his word.
Alice enters (SR)
Dame Milly (to Alice) Did you catch the White Rabbit, Alice?
Alice No mum, he was too fast for me.
Knave I too, am after the White Rabbit. And will pay a handsome reward, to anyone who helps me catch him.
Dame Milly He went that-a-way. (points SR)
Knave Thanks! (runs off SR)
Dame Milly (shouts) Just make the cheque out to Milly! I wonder why he wants the white rabbit?
Alice I don’t know mum, but I didn’t like the look of him.
Dame Milly Never judge people by appearances, Alice. I thought he was an ugly ner-do-well at first, until I noticed his better qualities.
Alice And when was that?
Dame Milly The moment he mentioned, ‘handsome reward.’
Music cue 4: Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee enter (SL)
Dame Milly Eh-up, it’s the Chuckle Brothers.
Dee (to Milly) Hello to you.
Dum (to Alice) Hello to you.
Dee (to Milly) Hello to you again.
Dum We’ll introduce ourselves if we may.
Dee Or if you like, we’ll go away.
Dum I’m Tweedle Dum.
Dee I’m Tweedle Dee.
Dum &Dee And Tweedly twins are what we be.
Dum (to Milly) Now who are you?
Dee (to Alice) And who are you?
Dum (to Milly) And who are you again?
Dame Milly (points to herself and Alice in turn) I’m me, that’s her. That’s her, I’m me. But I’m not her and she’s not me. I can be silly too you see.
Dee And very well you do it too.
Dum A little recitation entitled, Father William.
You are old father William the young man said, (an Old Man enters SR)
And your hair it has grown very white.
And yet you incessantly stand on your head, (Old Man tries standing on his head)
Do you think at your age it is right?
Dame Milly (to Old Man) I think aerobics for octogenarians is next door, dear.
The Old Man finally gives up exits (SR) shaking his head.
Dee Another recitation entitled, The Sea.
I must go down to the sea again,
To the lonely sea and the sky.
I left my vest and pants on the beach,
And I want to see if they’re dry.
Alice (to Dum & Dee) Excuse me, but you haven’t seen a White Rabbit, have you?
Dum That is correct. We haven’t.
Alice Only I was chasing him just now.
Dee Are you hunting him?
Dum With a spear?
Dee With a gun?
Dum Or perhaps, a sticky bun?
Alice No, he’s going to the royal wedding and I’d like to go too. But I don’t know the way.
Dee There’s only one way in Wonderland.
Dame Milly And which way’s that?
Dum The Queen’s way of course.
Dee She makes the law and sets the rules.
Dum And we obey ‘cos we’re no fools.
Queen (shouts off) Out of my way!
Alice Who is that?
Dee It’s the Queen of Hearts!
Alice She sounds angry.
Dum She’s always angry.
Dee Not at all like the Queen of Diamonds.
Dum Or the Queen of Clubs.
Dee Or the Queen of Spades.
Dame Milly Blimey! This place has more Queens than Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
Queen (off) Out of my way!
Dum (to Dee) Shall we depart, brother?
Dee That would seem prudent.
Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee turn to Alice and Milly.
Dum (to Alice) Goodbye to you.
Dee (to Milly) Goodbye to you.
Dum (to Alice) Goodbye to you again.
Dum and Dee exit (SR) Wally enters (SL)
Wally Hiya folks! (response) I say, I say! What do you get if you cross a snowman with a vampire? Frostbite! (laughs)
Dame Milly And that was about as funny as frostbite.
Wally Who are you?
Dame Milly I’m Milly. And this is my beautiful daughter, Alice.
Wally Pleased to meet you Alice.
Alice Likewise, Mr…?
Wally Pratt. Wally M. Pratt.
Alice What’s the M for?
Wally It’s a motorway from London to Bristol. (laughs) I’ve got a million of ‘em.
Dame Milly If they’re anything like that, you can keep ‘em.
Wally I’m the royal joker. And it’s my job to get everybody in a happy mood, before their majesties arrive.
Dame Milly You’ll have your work cut out with this lot. (indicates audience) They all look as though they’ve lost a tenner and found 10p.
Wally I’ll soon have them rolling in the aisles, watch. (to audience) I say, I say! What kind of bees live in a graveyard? Zom-bees! (laughs)
Dame Milly Speaking of the undead. (indicating audience) Where did they dig up this lot?
SFX: Royal fanfare.
The Queen of Hearts sweeps on (SL) tamely followed by the King of Hearts.
Wally Three cheers for their majesties! Hip-hip-hooray! Hip-hip-hooray! Hip-hip-hooray!
Queen That wasn’t much of a welcome!
King (weakly) I thought it was all right dear.
Queen (snaps) When I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you!
King (cowers) Yes dear. Thank you dear.
Wally (to Queen) I’m sorry your majesty, but the audience appear to have left their sense of humour at home.
Dame Milly I’ll bet they wish they’d stayed home with it.
Queen (bellows) Send for the army!
King Send for the army! Send for the Army! The Queen has spoken, yes indeed. (to Alice & Milly) Isn’t she loud? Mmmm?
Wally Oh, no!
Alice Relax Wally. I can’t see them being any funnier than you.
All move upstage as Soldiers dressed and playing cards enter (SL) followed by the Sergeant. Music cue 5: Music ends and the Soldiers line up fidgeting about and pushing and shoving each other – one faces wrong way, etc.
Sergeant No shuffling in the ranks! (bawls) Atteeeeeenshun!
Soldiers snap to attention and Soldier 1 falls over.
Dame Milly (to Alice) Not exactly the Coldstream Guards, are they?
Sergeant (to Soldier 1) Who told you to fall out soldier?
Soldier 1 Nobody sarge.
Sergeant On your feet you ‘orrible little card!
Soldier 1 scrambles to his feet.
Sergeant (salutes) Card division reporting for duty, your majesties!
Queen The Joker has failed in his royal task, and one is not amused.
King Oh, dear. That can mean only one thing.
Queen (pointing at Wally) Off with his head!
Sergeant (to Soldiers) Take him away!
Soldiers take hold of Wally.
Wally Please give me another chance your majesty! I’m sure I can make them laugh.
Dame Milly I wouldn’t bet on it. I’ve seen your lines.
Alice (to Queen) You can’t chop somebody’s head off, for not making people laugh.
Queen Who, are you?
Alice I’m Alice your majesty. And this is my mum, Millicent.
Dame Milly (curtsey) Charmed I’m sure.
Queen You’re newcomers to Wonderland?
Alice Yes, your majesty.
King Visitors! How nice! (shaking hands) Welcome to our kingdom! Isn’t it lovely? Mmmm?
Alice (hesitant) Well…I…
Queen And now that the pleasantries are out of the way. (pointing at Alice and Milly) Off with their heads!
Dame Milly Some welcome!
Alice But what have we done wrong?
King You uttered the two words that must never be directed at the queen.
Dame Milly I don’t recall either of us calling her, big bum.
King Those aren’t the forbidden words.
Dame Milly You mean we can call her, big bum?
Wally Sssssh! You’ll only make things worse.
Alice What could be worse than having your head chopped off?
King The forbidden words are, you can’t.
Queen Take them all to the chopping block!
Sergeant Yes, your majesty. (to Soldiers) Grab them.
Soldiers take hold of Alice and Milly.
Dame Milly Take your hands off me, or I shall be forced to deal with you! (to audience) Deal? Cards? Never mind.
King (nervously to Queen) Do we have to chop their heads off, dear? Mmmm? It’s so messy. Can’t we just throw them in the palace dungeons instead? Mmmm? Pretty please. Mmmm?
Dame Milly (pleading) Please don’t put me in the dungeons! I suffer from ogitrev!
King What’s ogitrev?
Dame Milly You’ve heard of vertigo?
Queen Yes, it’s the fear of heights.
Dame Milly Well, ogitrev is just the reverse. (to audience) Think about it. (to Queen) I can’t bear the thought of being underground.
King But you’ll end up underground eventually.
Dame Milly Over my dead body!
Wally That’s the usual way.
Queen (laughs) How delightfully droll! I love dark humour. Just for that, I won’t chop your heads off after all. You may return to barracks, sergeant.
Sergeant Yes, your majesty. (to Soldiers) All right you ‘orrible lot! At the double! Quick march! Left, right, left, right…!
Soldiers march off (SL) in a hopelessly inept manner.
Queen (to Alice & Milly) How would you both like to come to the palace for tea and tarts? I made them all on a summer’s day you know.
Alice We’d love too, your majesty.
Queen (to Alice & Milly) Do you play croquet?
Dame Milly What’s croquet?
Wally It’s a game that involves hitting balls with a large wooden mallet.
King (covers his vulnerables) Oooohh! Can’t we play tiddlywinks instead dear? Mmmm? Croquet is such a violent game.
Queen Only if you get in my way! Now shut up and come along!
King and Queen begin to exit (SR) followed by Alice, Milly and Wally.
Queen (turns to Alice & Milly) Where do you think you’re going?
Alice To the palace with you, your majesty.
Dame Milly You invited us for tea, remember?
Queen Yes, but one is not going to the palace. One is going to open a new supermarket.
King Can I cut the ribbon, dear? Can I? Mmmm? Pretty please? Mmmm? (using fingers as scissors) Snip-snip.
Queen There’s only one snip you’ll be getting, if you interrupt me again! (to Alice & Milly) You must make your own way to the palace.
King and Queen exit quickly (SR)
Alice (calls after them) But we don’t know the way!
Wally I’ll take you there. Follow me. (leads them off SL)