Old Mother Hubbard (Perusal)

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Perusal Copy

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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 Polly Flinders, 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 once again, good triumphs over evil.

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
Handy Andy
Squire Gambit
Polly Flinders
Bump
Grind
Demon Evil
Prince Eric
Fairy Good

Chorus/Minor roles

Orphans (many speaking lines)
King (1 full scene plus 1 more entrance)
Queen full scene plus 1 more entrance)
Villagers
Biscuit (a Dog)
A Banquet Pig

Scene One

Tumbledown Village

Music cue 1: Villagers. After song ends…Andy enters (SL) with 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 very much. Let’s have a little practice then. (exits and re-enters) Can I fix it? (response) Some of you obviously have your doubts. Let’s try it again. (repeats business) Can I fix it? (response) 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.

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

Villager 3
And what job is it this time?

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

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, out of her 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.

Villagers exit 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 used my sink plunger on her instead. And now she thinks I’m the best kisser in town. Maybe if I chew on some raw garlic before I go, it’ll put her off trying to kiss me. See you later folks! (exits SR)

Music cue 2: Demon Evil enters (SL)

Demon
That stupid fairy will never stop me from creating mischief. There’s nothing I like better than making humans suffer.

Squire Gambit enters (DSR) wailing.

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

Demon
Had some bad luck, friend?

Squire
I never have anything else.

Demon
Then today, is your lucky day.

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 were 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? Right now, I’ll grasp at any straw.

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’s 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 far. (turns the purse inside out) I thought you said it never empties.

Demon
Look again.

Squire
(takes out another £10) Another ten-pound note! (to audience) 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, cruelty…

Squire
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. May your new-found wealth, bring you your just desserts. (exits SL)

Squire
I’m sure it will. (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.

Bump and Grind enter (SR) in a cut-out taxi, just as Polly enters (SL) She is daydreaming and wanders in front of the taxi. Causing Bump and Grind execute an emergency stop.

SFX: Tyre screeching.

Grind
Mind where you’re going, Miss!

Polly
Sorry, I must have been daydreaming.

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

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

Squire
Oh yes, it was!

Bump & Grind
Oh no, it wasn’t!

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

Polly
Pleased to meet you, Squire. I’m Polly Flinders.

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

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

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

Polly
Yes. I lost my parents when I was just a baby.

Squire
(false sympathy) How sad. (scheming) It must cost a fortune to run the orphanage.

Polly
I expect so. Mother Hubbard’s always complaining about a lack of money.

Squire
(rubbing hands) Good. I mean…how dreadful. Tell her I’ll be calling round later, to make her an offer she can’t refuse.

Polly
I’ll tell her the moment I get home.

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 pony and trap.

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) Now, drive on immediately!

Bump
Yes, Squire!

SFX: Motor car sounds.

Taxi drives off (SL) making the Squire fall onto the floor.

Squire
(stands and shouts) 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.

Squire
Why do they call it rush hour, when nothing moves?

Bump
Scientists say that in the future, cars could be powered by peanut oil.

Grind
That’s nuts.

Squire
By the way. What’s the weather forecast for tonight?

Bump
Dark.

Squire
(climbs inside the taxi) Drive on!

SFX: Motor car sounds.

The taxi exits (SL) with Bump, Grind and Squire.

Polly
(to audience) 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: Fairy enters (DSR)

Fairy
The Demon is nastier than ever this year,
He’ll do anything to win and won’t shed a tear.
The Squire will threaten to throw the orphans out,
So I must defeat him, without a doubt. (exits DSR)

Music cue 4: Orphans & Mother Hubbard. Mother Hubbard leads Orphans on (SL) Biscuit is with them and joins in with the following.

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? Are you well? (response) Good! I’m Hettie Hubbard, but most people call me Mother
Hubbard. Some people call me, Old Mother Hubbard. But they usually end up requiring medical attention. I run the local orphanage and these are my little orphan charges. Speaking of charges, it costs a fortune to run the orphanage. And after Brexit, it’ll be even harder to keep going without my Euro funding. But although we’re short of money, we’re always happy. (to Children) Aren’t we kids?

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
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)

The Orphans join in the wailing. Polly enters (SR) and sees them all crying.

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

Child 4
It’s Mother Hubbard’s fault!

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

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

Polly
We must think of something to cheer them up again.

Mother. H
Yes, but what?

Children calm down but continue sniffling and looking sad.

Polly
(to audience) 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
Forget it! I’m skint! (Biscuit whispers) What, Biscuit? Give them all a nice juicy bone?

Polly
I don’t think they’d appreciate that as much as you would, Biscuit. (Biscuit whispers) You’ll have all theirs, then?

Mother. H
I don’t have any bones left, Biscuit. I checked earlier, and the cupboard was bare. (elicit sympathy) It’s sadder than that. (Biscuit points at audience and whispers) He wants to know if anybody happens to have a large bone on them. If so, I’d be grateful it you would let me have it. It appears you’re out of luck, Biscuit. (Biscuit hangs head and troops off – to audience) It’s heart-breaking, isn’t it?

Children wail again.

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

Polly
Then why don’t we cheer them by all singing a happy song? That costs nothing

Mother. H
Now you’re talking.

Polly
(to Children) Listen kids, we’re going to sing a happy song to cheer us all up.

Child 5
What are we going to sing, Polly?

Polly
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.

Polly
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.

Polly
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
Ah, but I’m giving you all an incentive.

Child 5
Is it money?

Mother. H
No, it’s not money.

Child 1
Is it a prezzie?

Mother. H
No, it’s not 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
(cheer) Hooray!

Mother. H
(snaps) Are you insinuating that my cooking’s rubbish?

Child 4
Oh 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!

Polly
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.

Bump & Grind enter (SL) one has a tyre around his neck, the other a car door.

Bump
Ooohh! What happened?

Grind
You crashed the taxi, dumbo!

Squire enters (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) Aaahh! (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 lamp post.

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 lamp post.

Grind
How are we going to earn money now?

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

Bump
Eh!? We nearly killed you back there, and you want to give us a job?

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

Grind
We’re your men, Squire!

Squire
Excellent! (handing Bump a letter) You can start by delivering this letter to Old Mother Hubbard at the orphanage.

Bump
You can rely on us, Squire.

Squire
I’m just off to make plans for my wedding.

Grind
You’re getting married?

Squire
If everything goes to plan, as I expect it to. I’ll catch you both later, then. (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.

They exit (SR) Music cue 8: Demon enters (SL)

Demon
Everything’s going my way so far,
That Fairy Good is really below par.
I will soon confirm, her deepest fears,
And this story will only end in tears. (laughs)

Andy enters (SR)

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

Demon
That’s because, I am a demon.

Andy
(dismissive) 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 underneath 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) Aaahh! 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! Yeth! Anything!

Demon
(casts a spell) Abracadee!

Andy
(checks his teeth) Me gnashers are back again!

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

Andy
But I’ve never even seen a fairy. What does this Fairy Good, look like?

Demon
Like an overgrown Barbie, with wings.

Andy
(taking the note) All right, I’ll do it.

Demon
Just make sure that you do. (exits SL)

Andy
I’m not running errands for a Demon. I’ll throw this note away. (tries, but can’t let go) He must’ve put super-glue on it. I’d better find this Fairy Good, or I’ll be stuck with this thing forever. (to audience) Can I do it? (response) Thanks! (exits USR)

Prince Eric enters (DSR)

Prince
(to audience) Hello there, I’m Prince Eric. 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 with £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? (response) I’m sorry, but you can’t nominate yourself. My parents are also pressing me to get married soon. But they insist that I marry a Princess. But I’d rather marry for love, not titles. I’d happily marry a common girl if I fell in love, with her. Anyway, I’d better be off. See you all later! (waves and exits SR)