Old Mother Hubbard (Perusal)

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Description

Synopsis:

When Squire Gambit suddenly becomes the landlord of Old Mother Hubbard’s financially strapped orphanage, courtesy of Demon Evil. He threatens to evict her and all her orphans, unless she pays all her back rent, or allows her eldest orphan Megan, to marry him. Mother Hubbard refuses, and instead turns the orphanage into a French Bistro to bring in money. The venture fails, but just when all seems lost. Fairy Good rides to the rescue and saves the orphanage, and ensures that Megan marries not the Squire but the dashing Prince Harry.

Roles:

9 principals, plus 2 minor speaking roles, and many speaking lines for children. Plus adult chorus.

Runtime:

All of our scripts have a runtime of approx 120 minutes, assuming that you use the full number of suggested musical numbers and not including any interval. But this is very dependent on your own production and can be edited by yourselves to suit.

Music:

All of our pantomimes come with a full, suggested songs and music cues and SFX list.

Style:

Traditional British pantomime, incorporating visual comedy, slapstick and audience participation.

Free Sample

Characters

Old Mother Hubbard
Megan
Handy Andy
Squire Gambit
Bump
Grind
Demon Evil
Prince Harry
Fairy Good

Chorus/Minor roles

Orphans (many speaking lines)
King
Queen
Villagers
Google (a Dog)
A Banquet Pig

Scene One

Tumbledown Village

Music cue 1: Villagers. After song ends…

Enter Handy Andy (SL) carrying a tool-bag.

Andy Hiya kids! My name’s Handy Andy! I’m the local handyman for Tumbledown Village, and there’s nothing I can’t fix. So, every time I come on, I’ll shout. Can I fix it? And I want you all to shout back. Yes, you can! Will you do that for me? (response) Thanks. Let’s have a practice then. (exits and re-enters) Can I fix it? Some of you don’t seem too sure. Let’s try it again. (repeats business) Can I fix it? That’s much better.

Villager 1 Where are you off to today, Andy?

Andy I’m just on my way to Old Mother Hubbard’s orphanage.

Villager 2 You’ve been spending quite a lot of time there recently.

Andy Tell me about it. Old Mother Hubbard seems to like finding jobs for me to do.

Villager 3 What needs sorting out this time?

Andy She’s having a bit of trouble with her plumbing.

Villager 4 Then maybe she should see a doctor instead.

Andy Apparently, there’s nothing coming out.

Villager 5 She should definitely see a doctor, then.

Andy I meant, from her hot water pipes. So, I’m going to check the old boiler over.

Villager 1 Which one. Old Mother Hubbard or the hot water one?

Andy What do you think?

Villager 2 We think you’ll be lucky to get out alive.

Exit Villagers laughing.

Andy They could be right, you know. The last time I went there, she locked the door and wouldn’t let me out until I’d given her a kiss. I told her to close her eyes and pucker up, and then used my sink plunger on her instead. Now she thinks I’m the best kisser in town and fancies me even more. See you later folks. (exits SR)

Music cue 2: Enter Demon (SL)

Demon I like nothing better than annoying humans. And that useless fairy won’t stop me. So, get ready for some pain and misery. And that’s only the script. (laughs)

Enter Squire Gambit (SR) wailing.

Squire Woe is me! I’ve gambled away all my money, and I’m now poor as a church mouse!

Demon Had a bit of bad luck, friend?

Squire I never have anything else.

Demon Well, your luck is about to change for the better.

Squire What makes you say that?

Demon What would you say, if I told you that I could grant you three wishes?

Squire I’d say you’re in the wrong panto. Genies only appear in Aladdin.

Demon You don’t want your three wishes, then?

Squire I didn’t say that, now did I?

Demon Then what would you like, for your first wish?

Squire That’s easy. I’d like an inexhaustible supply of money, to endlessly squander.

Demon No problem. (hands him a small purse) Here you are.

Squire It won’t take me long to spend whatever’s inside this little purse.

Demon That is no ordinary purse. It’s a magic purse that never empties.

Squire You’re having me on. There’s no such thing as a purse that never empties.

Demon Reach inside and see what’s there.

Squire (takes out a £10 note) A measly ten pounds! That won’t go very far. (turns the purse inside out) I thought you said it never empties.

Demon Look again.

Squire (takes out another £10) Another ten pounds! Maybe this purse is magic, after all.

Demon It certainly is. And for your second wish?

Squire I’d like to own a great big mansion.

Demon (clicks his fingers) Done. You are now the proud owner of Buckingham Palace.

Squire But isn’t that owned by the Queen?

Demon Not anymore. (produces title deeds) Here are the deeds to it.

Squire Fantastic!

Demon And for your third and final wish?

Squire Let me see now. I have an inexhaustible supply of cash, plus Buckingham Palace. All I need now, is a beautiful young wife to make my life complete.

Demon I can’t make anybody fall in love with you, but I can help things along a bit. You will meet your heart’s desire today. The rest is up to you.

Squire I can’t wait! But why are you doing all this for me?

Demon Let’s just say, I like people who share my own values.

Squire And what values might they be?

Demon (counting them off on his fingers) Greed, vanity, spite, nastiness and cruelty.

Squire I’m normally I’m a decent sort. (rubbing hands together) But the chance of money and power, does alter one’s morality somewhat.

Demon You’re not a politician, by any chance?

Squire No. Why do you ask?

Demon Just curious. And as an added bonus. (produces property deeds) Here are the deeds to Old Mother Hubbard’s orphanage, with your name on them.

Squire What do I want with run-down orphanage?

Demon It might help persuade the object of your desire, to marry you. Goodbye. And may your new-found wealth, bring you your just desserts. (exits SL)

Squire (to audience) This is better than winning the lottery. I think I’ll go and check out my new home, first. (hails a cab) Taxi!

SFX: Motor car sounds followed.

Enter Bump and Grind in a cut-out taxi (SR) as Megan enters (SL) She is daydreaming and wanders in front of the taxi. Causing them to suddenly stop.

SFX: Tyre screeching.

Grind Mind where you’re going, Miss!

Megan Sorry. I must have been daydreaming.

Squire (smitten) I saw everything my dear, and it was their fault entirely.

Bump & Gri (exiting the taxi) Oh no, it wasn’t!

Squire Oh yes, it was!

Bump & Gri Oh no, it wasn’t!

Squire (to Megan) Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Squire Gambit.

Megan Pleased to meet you, Squire. I’m Megan.

Squire (leering at her) Well, Megan. Can I offer you a lift somewhere…anywhere?

Megan No thanks. Mother Hubbard warned me never to accept lifts from strangers.

Squire You’re one of Mother Hubbard’s orphans?

Megan Yes. I lost my parents when I was only a baby.

Bump That’s sad. Isn’t it Grind?

Grind It certainly is. I lost my parents several times.

Bump How is that possible?

Grind They kept moving house and forgetting to tell me. But I always managed to find them again.

Squire (scheming) It must cost a fortune to run the orphanage.

Megan It does. Mother Hubbard’s always complaining about a lack of money.

Squire Good. I mean…how dreadful. I’ll drop in later and make her an offer she can’t refuse.

Bump Where to Squire?

Squire Take me to Buckingham Palace. And don’t spare the horses.

Grind What horses? This is a taxi, not a horse and cart.

Squire Never mind. How come there are two of you? Taxi’s usually have only one driver.

Bump We’re doing a job-share.

Squire Whatever. (puts his hand on the door to open it) Drive on immediately!

Bump Righto, Squire!

SFX: Motor car sounds.

Taxi drives off (SL) and the door handle comes off in Squire’s hand.

Squire Come back, you morons! (they circle back) You were too quick off the mark, just then!

Grind Sorry, Squire. I was trying to beat the rush hour traffic.

Bump I wonder why they call it the rush hour, when that’s the last thing you can do?

Squire (climbs inside taxi) Drive on!

SFX: Motor car sounds.

Exit taxi (SL) with Bump, Grind and Squire.

Megan (to audience) That Squire Gambit seems like a nice man. I wonder what he’s going to offer, Mother Hubbard. Maybe it’s a charitable donation. I can’t wait to tell her the good news. (waves to audience) Bye everybody! (exits USR)

Music cue 3: Enter Fairy (DSR)

Fairy The Demon is nastier than ever this year,

He’ll do anything to win and won’t shed a tear.

I can’t let Mother Hubbard be thrown out,

So I must defeat him, without a doubt. (exits)

Music cue 4: Enter Mother Hubbard and Orphans (SL) Google brings up the rear.

Mother. H Parade…halt! (parade halts) Atteeen…shun! (all snap to attention) Stand aaat…ease! (they do so – turns to audience) Well, hello there! How are you all? Keeping well? (response) Good! I’m Hilda Hubbard, but most people call me Mother Hubbard, because I run the local orphanage. Some people call me, Old Mother Hubbard. But they usually end up requiring medical attention. And these are all my little orphan charges. Speaking of charges, it costs a fortune to run the orphanage. And now we’ve had Brexit, it’ll be even harder to keep going without my Euro funding. But although we’re short of money, we’re always happy. Aren’t we children?

Children (downbeat) Yes, Mother Hubbard.

Mother. H Well you might try sounding it. I’m taking a delivery from Oxfam today, so just think of all the lovely stuff you’ll be getting.

Child 1 A load of old rubbish that nobody else wants, you mean.

Mother. H It’s the thought that counts.

Child 2 You can’t think much of us then.

Mother. H That’s like a dagger to my heart. Music cue 5: I work my fingers to the bone to provide you all with a roof over your heads, clothes on your back and food in your bellies. And this is all the thanks I get. Excuse me, but I think I’m going to cry. (dabs her eyes)

Child 3 Please don’t cry, Mother Hubbard. Or you’ll make us cry, too.

Mother. H I can’t help it! (wails into a hanky)

Orphans join in the wailing.

Enter Megan (SR)

Megan What’s the matter, kids? Why are you all crying?

Child 4 It’s all Mother Hubbard’s fault!

Megan She hasn’t been beating you, has she?

Mother. H You know I don’t believe in physical punishment, Megan. I find that mental cruelty is much more effective.

Megan We must think of a way to cheer them up again.

Mother. H Yes, but what?

Children calm down but continue sniffling and looking sad.

Megan Do you know how we can cheer them up boys and girls? (response) Buy them all ice-creams? Take them on holiday? Give them a X-box?

Mother. H I’m too skint. I can’t even afford to pay attention.

Megan (Google whispers) What’s that, Google? Give them all a nice juicy bone? I don’t think they’d appreciate that as much as you would, Google.

Mother. H And you can forget about bones too, Google. I checked earlier and the cupboard was bare. (elicit sympathy) It’s sadder than that. If anybody happens to have a large bone on them. I’d be grateful it you would let me have it. It seems you’re out of luck, Google. (Google hangs head and troops off – to audience) Heart-rending, isn’t it?

Children wail again.

Mother. H I think that’s set them off again.

Megan I know, kids. Why don’t we all sing a happy song to cheer ourselves up?

Mother. H That’s a great idea, Megan. (aside to audience) And also the cheapest.

Child 5 What are we going to sing, Megan?

Megan How about My Favourite Things, from The Sound Of Music?

Children (cheer) Yeah!

Mother. H Good choice. People say I sound just like Julie Andrews, you know.

Megan Here we go then. Music cue 6: Ensemble. After song ends…

Mother. H And now that you’re all happy again. I’m going to let you do something really nice later.

Child 1 Are we going to the park?

Mother. H No, you’re not going to the park.

Child 2 Are we going on a picnic?

Mother. H No, you’re not going on a picnic.

Child 3 Are we going for a happy meal?

Mother. H No, you’re not going for a happy meal.

Megan Then what is it?

Mother. H You’re going to do that big pile of washing that’s been building up all week.

Child 4 That’s not nice!

Mother. H Perhaps not. But I am going to offer you an incentive.

Child 5 Is it money?

Mother. H No, it’s isn’t money.

Child 1 Is it a prezzie?

Mother. H No, it’s isn’t a prezzie.

Child 2 Is it a trip to the seaside?

Mother. H No, it’s not a trip to the seaside.

Child 3 Then what is it?

Mother. H It’s no supper tonight if you don’t hurry up and get it done!

Children Hooray!

Mother. H Are you insinuating that my cooking is rubbish?

Child 4 No, Mother Hubbard!

Mother. H I should think not, too.

Child 5 We don’t rate it as highly as that.

Children laugh.

Mother. H Why you little…! (chases them off SR) Music cue 7: Just wait ‘til I catch you!

Megan Oh, dear. In all the kerfuffle, I forget to tell her about the Squire. (shouts) Mother Hubbard! Wait! I have something to tell you! (runs off after her)

SFX: Sound of car engine followed by a loud screech and a crashing sound.

Enter Bump and Grind (SL) with a car door hanging over their heads.

Bump Ooohh! What happened?

Grind You crashed the taxi, dumbo!

Enter Squire (SL) with a steering-wheel sticking out from the top of his pants.

Bump Do you know you’ve got a steering-wheel sticking out the front of your pants, Squire?

Squire Yes, and it’s driving me nuts.

Grind (jumping about) Ooooh! Aaaah! (reaches down the front of his pants and brings out a car cigarette-lighter, which has a red glowing end)

Bump At least the cigarette-lighter still works.

Grind Which is more than our taxi does, after you wrapped it around that big tree.

Bump It was the sat-nav’s fault.

Grind What are you talking about? The taxi doesn’t even have a sat-nav!

Bump Exactly. If it had, I wouldn’t have taken a wrong turn and run into that big tree.

Grind How are we going to earn money now?

Squire (scheming) Why don’t you both come and work for me.

Bump You want to employ us, even though we nearly killed you back there?

Squire I’m the forgiving sort. Now, what do you say?

Bump & Gri Yes please!

Squire Good! (handing Bump a letter) You can start by delivering this letter to Old Mother Hubbard at the orphanage. Will I go and make plans for my wedding.

Grind You’re getting married, Squire?

Squire If everything goes to plan. As I fully expect it to. I’ll catch you both later. (exits SR)

Bump That was a stroke of luck, wasn’t it?

Grind It certainly was. Let’s get this letter to Old Mother Hubbard, right away.

Exit both (SR)

Music cue 8: Enter Demon (SL)

Demon Everything is going my way so far,

And Fairy Good is well below par.

I will soon confirm, her deepest fears,

And this story will only end in tears. (laughs)

Enter Andy (SR)

Andy Can I fix it? (spots Demon) Hello. (to audience) He looks a bit evil, doesn’t he?

Demon I heard that! But don’t worry, I’m not offended.

Andy You’re not?

Demon No. I’m a demon and demons are supposed to look evil.

Andy (dismissive) Get away. I don’t believe in demons.

Demon And do you believe in fairies?

Andy Of, course not. Apart from the tooth fairy that is. She always leaves 50p under my pillow, whenever I lose a tooth.

Demon Then let’s hope she carries a chequebook on her. (casts a spell) Abracadabra!

Andy (pretends his teeth have disappeared) Aaaah! All me teef ‘ave gorn.

Demon Now do you believe in demons?

Andy Yeth! Now gif me back my teef!

Demon Only if you agree to perform a little task for me.

Andy Yeth! Anything!

Demon (casts a spell) Abracadee!

Andy (checks his teeth) Me gnashers are back!

Demon (produces a note) You will deliver this note to Fairy Good.

Andy What does this Fairy Good, look like?

Demon Like an overgrown Barbie, with wings.

Andy (taking the note) All right, I’ll do it. (to audience) I don’t fancy sucking on soup forever.

Demon A wise decision, my friend. Make sure you deliver it. (exits SL)

Andy I’m not running errands for a demon. I’ll throw this note away. (tries but can’t let go) I can’t let go of it. I’d better find this Fairy Good, or I’ll be stuck with this thing forever. Can I do it? Bye! (exits USR)

Enter Prince Harry (DSR)

Prince (to audience) Hello there, I’m Prince Harry. This year is my father the King’s, Silver Jubilee. And to celebrate twenty-five years on the throne, he’s sent me out to find a deserving person to reward, by giving them £25,000 and a title. But so far, I haven’t found anybody deserving enough. I don’t suppose you know anybody deserving of £25,000 and a title, do you? I’m sorry, but you can’t nominate yourself. My parents are also pressing me to get married soon. They insist that I marry a Princess, but I’d rather marry for love, not titles. I’d happily marry any girl I fell in love, with. Anyway, I’d better continue my search. Goodbye! (waves and exits SL)