The Village Of Wheyside
(USR) is Trott’s dairy and adjoining the dairy is a cowshed with a practical stable door. Music cue 1: Villagers. After song ends…Villagers exit (USL) Simon enters (DSL)
Simon Hello everybody! I’m Simple Simon! Are you all ready to have some fun? (response) Who wants to be on my team? (response) Fantastic! Now as team leader, you must do everything I say. For instance, if I say, Simon says all stand up, you must all stand up. Okay? Let’s give it a go then. (exits and returns) Simon says wave your hands in the air! Some of you weren’t doing it just then, were you? Let’s try it again. (exits and returns) Simon says, wave your hands in the air! (response) Brilliant!
Simon (looking up) You’re a big, pain in the bum! (to audience) That’s Blunderbore the Giant. Every day he bellows down from his castle above the clouds. Beats me how it stays up there, seeing as clouds are just condensed water droplets. But this is a fairy-tale after all. The Giant’s favourite food is jelly babies. Not the sweets. I mean, real babies set in jelly. Whenever he’s hungry, his slave Fleshcreep comes down and picks up something tasty for him to eat. And that usually means people.
Jack enters (DSR)
Jack Hiya boys and girls! I’m Jack! (response) They seem a lovely lot, Simon.
Simon They are, Jack. I’ve just been telling them about the Giant.
Jack I hope you haven’t been frightening them.
Simon Of course not. The Giant will do that himself.
Jack Anyway, enough about the Giant. Let’s talk about nice things for change.
Simon Like what for instance?
Jack (hand on heart) Like me, being in love. (sighs)
Simon What’s her name this time, Jack?
Jack Her name’s, Jill.
Simon Jack and Jill? You don’t feel the urge to go up a hill to collect water, do you?
Jack No. Why do you ask?
Simon No reason.
Jack She’s the daughter of Squire Moneybags, and I’ve already asked her to marry me
Simon That was quick. Even for somebody who’s been engaged, more times than a public convenience.
Jack It’s the real thing this time, Simon. The only problem, is her father wants her to marry somebody rich.
Simon That lets you out then.
Jack But I love her terribly.
Simon Maybe you ought to practice a bit more then.
Jack I’d like to, believe me.
Simon When will I get to meet her?
Jack Shortly. She’s calling here after she’s been to the Post Office. (looking off SR) Here she comes now.
Jill enters (SR)
Jill (fawning) Hello, Jack!
Jack (fawning) Hello, Jill! (to Simon) Isn’t she lovely?
Jill I’ve missed you terribly, Jack.
Jack And I’ve missed you too, Jill.
Simon When was the last time you saw each other?
Jack Five minutes ago.
Simon Five minutes ago!
Jill We hate being apart for even a minute.
Jack (holding her hands) I love you Jill.
Jill And I love you Jack. (they hug)
Simon If you two are going to get all mushy, I’m off. (to audience) Bye team! (exits inside)
Jack Have you told your father about us getting married yet, Jill?
Jill Yes, Jack.
Jack And what did he say?
Jill He said, ‘over my dead body.’
Jack So, he’s not totally against the idea then?
Jill Yes he is, Jack! He insists that I marry somebody rich.
Jack Don’t worry Jill. I’ve a feeling I’m about to make my fortune soon.
Jill I hope you’re right, Jack. Not marrying you, would break my heart. Music cue 2: Jack and Jill. After song ends…
Jack Oh, Jill!
Jill Oh, Jack! (they hug)
Squire Moneybags enters (SL) and Jack and Jill quickly separate.
Squire There you are Jill! I’ve been looking all over for you.
Jill Hello father. We were just talking about you.
Squire I wondered why my ears were burning.JackListen, Squire. I know you only want the best for your daughter…
Squire …Yes, and that isn’t you.
Jill But I love Jack, father.
Squire Well you can just unlove him. I can’t let you marry a poor farm-boy.
Jack I might be poor now, but I have very good prospects.
Squire Rubbish! Trott’s Dairy is on its knees, just like your mother was this morning.
Jack I beg your pardon?
Squire I saw her in the bank earlier, begging the manager for a loan.
Jill And did he give her one?
Squire You must be joking. (to Jack) Where is your mother, anyway?
Jack What do you want with her?
Squire She’s behind with her rent, and I’ve come to collect.
Jack And what if she can’t pay?
Jill You’re not going to evict her, are you father?
Squire Of course not.
Jill That’s good.
Squire My two bailiff’s Snatch and Grab, will do that.
Jack I’m afraid she’s out right now.
Squire In that case, I’ll leave. But my bailiff’s will be round later to collect the rent or evict her. Come along Jill. I don’t want you having anything to do with poor people. (drags Jill off SL)
Jack I must think of a way to make my fortune and win her father round. I could buy a lottery ticket and cross all my fingers and toes. But I don’t have even money to buy a ticket.
Bring me beef for my tum!
SFX: Loud hiccup followed by a moo, followed by another hiccup.
Jack It sounds like the Giant has given Buttercup the hiccups again. It always happens when she’s frightened, I’m afraid.
Music cue 3: Fairy Beanie enters (SR)
Fairy If you’re frightened, or living in fear,
Never worry, Beanie is here.
Jack Who are you?
Fairy I’m Fairy Beanie and I’m here to help anyone in danger.
Jack What makes you think anyone’s in danger?
Fairy I heard you say the words, ‘I’m afraid’ and assumed you needed saving.
Jack That’s very thoughtful of you, but I’m not in any danger right now.
Fairy Are you sure?
Jack Quite sure, thank you.
Fairy No demons or scary monsters?
Jack No really, everything’s fine.
Fairy And you don’t need rescuing from anything?
Jack The only thing I need rescuing from, is poverty.
Fairy Social welfare’s not my field, I’m afraid. I need to find somebody in mortal danger.
Jack Why’s that then?
Fairy So that I can rescue them and earn my fairy licence.
Jack Fairies need a licence?
Fairy Oh, yes. It takes years of studying to become a fully-fledged fairy. I’m currently on probation, and if I don’t pass, I won’t get my licence.
Jack I’d like to help, but I really don’t see how.
Fairy (downbeat) Then I’ll just return to Fairyland and hope that somebody in dire danger, needs rescuing soon. (hangs her head and exits SR)
Jack (to audience) That’s not something you come across every day, is it?
Fleshcreep, fill my hungry tum!
SFX: Loud hiccup followed by a moo, followed by more hiccupping.
Jack That rotten Giant has done it again. I’d better go and calm Buttercup down. (waves to audience) See you later boys and girls! (exits into cowshed)
Music cue 4: Lights dim briefly as Fleshcreep enters (SL)
Fleshcreep Greetings, peasants! My name’s Fleshcreep. (response) Call that booing? I’m much eviller than that. Try it again, and this time pretend I’m Donald Trump. (response) That’s better. I love my boos. Yes, Fleshcreep’s the name and making flesh creep is my game. (pointing at a Woman) Is your flesh creeping, madam. Or are just have old and wrinkly? (laughs) Blunderbore the Giant is hungry, and I’ve come to find him something to eat. Now, which of you will be his dinner?
Giant Capture Buttercup the cow,
I want her for my dinner, now!
Fleshcreep Yes, your hungriness. And what would you like for dessert?
Giant Mice pudding!
Fleshcreep I’ve heard there are plenty of mice in this theatre, master. (pointing) There’s one scurrying through the audience right now. I’ll just go and catch it for you. (leaves the stage and pretends to chase a mouse around the auditorium)
SFX: Loud squeaking.
Fleshcreep exits the hall. Dame Trott enters from the cottage.
Dame Trott What’s going on out here? It sounds like Tom the Piper’s son is stealing another pig. (spots audience) Oh hello! If I’d know we had guests, I would’ve worn my best frock. Who am I kidding? This is my best frock. That’s because I’m so poor, you see. (response) The only thing I have coming in, is the draft under the door. My late husband passed away leaving me destitute. That’s because he was too lazy to work. He thought that manual labour was a Spanish footballer. It’s nearly breakfast time and Buttercup’s not even up yet. I’ll bet she’s forgotten to set her alarm clock again. (knocks on cowshed door) Wakey-wakey, rise and shine, Buttercup! I need milk for my cereal!
Jack enters from the cowshed.
Jack (hisses) Quiet, mum! You’ll wake Buttercup!
Dame Trott I want to wake her!
Jack The giant frightened her earlier and gave her hiccups, so I gave her something to calm her down and she fell asleep.
Simon enters from the cowshed with Buttercup.
Simon Simon says everybody go, moo-moo! (response) You’ve just said hello to Buttercup.
Dame Trott I see you’ve got Buttercup out of bed, Simon.
Simon Yes, she was tossing and turning and making all kinds of weird noises. I think she was having a nightmare.
Dame Trott (fussing over Buttercup) Did dat howible giant fwighten mumsy’s wickle baby? Has Buttercup had her breakfast yet, Simon?
Simon No mum.
Jack What does she usually have, mum?
Dame Trott Moosli. What else? And while you’re at it, I’ll have some of her milk for my cereal.
Simon Sorry mum, but you can’t have any milk.
Dame Trott Why not?
Simon Buttercup’s been hiccupping that much, all her milk’s turned to butter.
Dame Trott I’m sick of Blunderbore, turning Buttercup into a mobile milk-churn. (handing Jack a coin) Here Jack. Take my last quid and fetch some milk from Aldi.
Simon Why don’t you take the old cow with you, Jack? She could do with the exercise.
Jack Good idea Simon. (takes Dame’s arm) Let’s go mum.
Dame Trott Cheek! He meant Buttercup!
Jack I was only joking, mum. Come along Buttercup. (exits SR with Buttercup)
Dame Trott Right Simon. I’m off to cheer myself up by watching Jeremy Kyle on the telly.
Simon How can watching lots of people ranting at each other, cheer you up?
Dame Trott It’s comforting to know that some people’s lives, are even more miserable than mine. (exits inside)
Simon (to audience) If mum’s skiving off to watch the telly, then I’m skiving off to the pictures. Bye team! (waves and exits SR)
SFX: Bicycle bell ringing furiously.
Snatch (off) We’re going too fast! Slow down! Slow down!
SFX: Loud crash.
Snatch and Grab stagger on (SL) with Bicycle tyres around their necks.
Snatch What were you trying to do back there?
Grab I was trying to overtake you.
Snatch But we were on a tandem!
Snatch So, you can’t overtake the person in front on a tandem!
Grab Now, you tell me!
They remove the tyres and dispose of them in the wing.
Snatch Dame Trott’s months behind with the rent, and the Squire wants us to get it all.
Grab I’m a bit new to this bailiffing lark, bruv. What exactly do we do, then?
Snatch It’s quite simple, really. She either pays up or we evict her. Now go and knock on her door with authority.
Grab (looking around) Is she here too?
Grab Our Dorothy?
Snatch Not our sister, Dorothy! I meant, with the authority of the law behind you.
Grab Shall I bang hard, or what?
Snatch Just use your initiative.
Grab What does that mean?
Snatch It means, use your head!
Grab Use my head?
Snatch Yes! Use your head!
Grab If you say so. (bangs his head on the door and staggers back) Ooohh! I hope I don’t have to knock twice.
Snatch You idiot! What did you do that for?
Grab You told me to!
Snatch Oh no, I didn’t!
Grab Oh yes, you did! You told me to use my head!
Snatch I didn’t mean it literally!
Dame Trott enters from the cottage, looking flustered.
Dame Trott (adjusting her hair, attire, buttons, etc) Yes! What is it?
Grab Did we catch you unaware?
Dame Trott I’m not in my underwear! (flirting) But I am open to the idea.
Snatch What a horrible thought!
Grab (to audience) That picture’s going to be with me for the rest of the day now.
Dame Trott What do you want?
Snatch Where is the Squire’s money?
Dame Trott How should I know where he keeps his money?
Grab I meant, the money you owe the Squire.
Dame Trott Oh, that money.
Snatch (to Dame Trott) Where do you keep your money?
Dame Trott In my drawers.
Grab (to audience) That’s going to be with me all day now, too.
Snatch Well take it out of your drawers and give it to us.
Dame Trott I can’t.
Snatch Why not?
Dame Trott The Squire’s already had his hands on it.
Grab He must be desperate.
Snatch (to Dame Trott) Can’t you give us something in lieu?
Dame Trott Yes, of course! (produces an Andrex toilet roll) Here you are.
Snatch Andrex! That’s no good!
Dame Trott Yes, it is. It’s the only one my fingers don’t go through.
Snatch (to Dame Trott) If you can’t pay up, then you’ll have to go!
Dame Trott But I’ve only just been! Hence the toilet roll.
Grab He means, we’ll have to evict you.
Jack enters (SR) with Buttercup.
Jack Hello! What’s going on here, mum?
Dame Trott Squire Moneybags’ bailiffs are trying to evict me for not paying the rent, Jack.
Jack (to Bailiffs) Is this true?
Grab I’m afraid she’s got a little behind.
Dame Trott (flattered) Ooohh! A compliment at last.
Snatch (to Jack) Your mother owes the Squire rent, and we’re here to collect.
Jack (takes her aside) I have an idea, mum. Just go along with everything I say, right?
Dame Trott All right, Jack.
Jack (turns to Bailiffs) I appeal to you, take pity on the old cow.
Grab Why should we take pity, on your mother?
Dame Trott How very dare you!
Jack I didn’t mean my mother. I meant our old cow, Buttercup.
Snatch Why should we?
Jack ’Cos she’s not well and isn’t long for this world. (Buttercup is startled, and her legs shake) Look! She’s getting worse and probably won’t make it through the night.
Grab What’s wrong with her?
Dame Trott (catching on) Oh yes, that’s right. (to Bailiffs) Terrible it is.
Snatch What exactly is Bovineitis?
Jack It’s a rare and fatal contagious, disease.
Buttercups legs buckle, and she moos plaintively.
Grab (worried) Can people catch it, too?
Snatch and Grab quickly step back.
Snatch Then how come you two haven’t caught it?
Dame Trott We’ve been inoculated.
Grab (to Snatch) Maybe we should go and get inoculated, right away.
Snatch You’re right. (to Dame Trott) We’ll be back tomorrow to collect the money or evict you. (to Grab) Let’s go.
Snatch and Grab run off (SL)
Jack At least we’ve got another day to try and raise the rent, mum.
Dame Trott Yes, but at what cost.
Jack What do you mean?
Dame Trott Well we didn’t let poor Buttercup in on the act, and now look at her.
Buttercup stands head bowed and legs shaking.
Jack (stroking Buttercup) Sorry about that, Buttercup.
Dame Trott I know what’ll cheer her up. (to Buttercup) Come inside Buttercup, and we’ll have a nice cup of tea and watch your favourite TV programme.
Jack What’s your favourite programme, Buttercup? (leans in) Cowonation Street!?
Dame Trott Did you get me some milk from Aldi, Jack?
Jack No mum, they were all out of milk.
Dame Trott Didn’t you try the other shops?
Jack Yes, but nobody had any. It seems they’ve all had a run on milk, because we couldn’t supply any to the village.
Dame Trott In that case. (to Buttercup) How about a nice cup of Bovril instead, Buttercup? (Buttercup whispers) What’s it made from? Well it’s made from bee…on second thoughts, forget the Bovril. I think there’s some Fruit Shoot in the fridge. Come along. (exits inside with Buttercup)
Jack (to audience) I think I’ll go and find Jill. It’s been at least ten minutes since I’ve seen her and I’m missing her already. See you later boys and girls! (exits SL)