Old Mother Hubbard (Perusal)

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Perusal Copy

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Description

Synopsis:

When Squire Farquhar 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, 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 Duff rides to the rescue and once again, good triumphs over evil.

Roles:

10 principals, plus 2 minor speaking roles and many speaking lines for children and 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 Farquhar
Polly
Bump
Grind
Demon Evil
Mini Me
Prince Harry
Fairy Duff

Chorus/Minor roles

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

Scene One

Tumbledown Village


The stage is dressed to celebrate the King’s Silver Jubilee, with a banner and bunting etc. Music cue 1: Villagers. After song ends…

Andy enters (SL) carrying a large tool-bag.

Andy

Hiya kids! I’m Handy Andy and I’m the local handyman for Tumbledown Village. Every time I come on, I’ll shout ‘can I fix it’? And I want you all to reply, ‘yes you can’? All right? (audience respond) Let’s have a practice then. (exits and re-enters and shouts) ‘Can I fix it’? (audience respond – repeat twice and on the second repeat the Villagers respond)

Villagers

No, you can’t!

Andy

What are you talking about? (to Villager 1) I fixed your washer, didn’t I?

Villager 1

Yes, and now I can roast a chicken in it.

Andy

Well maybe if it wasn’t next to the gas-cooker. (to audience) Those pipes all look the same to me. (to Villager 2) And I fixed your satellite dish.

Villager 2

Yes, and now I can only watch Sky on my microwave.

Andy

Well you did say you liked TV dinners

Villager 3
(to Andy) I can’t get into my house, ever since you changed the locks.

Andy

You said you wanted your home made impregnable.

Villager 3
I meant for burglars, not me!

Villager 4

(indicating toolbag) So who’s the unfortunate person you’re ‘fixing’ for this time?

Andy

Old Mother Hubbard’s having a bit of trouble with her plumbing, and wants me to have a look at her pipes.

Villager 5

I hope you’re not going to take advantage of a poor old woman.

Andy

That’s a good one. The last time I worked there, she locked the door and wouldn’t let me out until I’d given her a kiss. So I told her to close her eyes and pucker up, and used my sink plunger on her instead. (wryly) Now she thinks I’m the best kisser in town and is after me even more. I only hope I get away in one piece. (waves to audience) Bye kids! (exits SR)

Mini Me enters (SL)

Villager 1

(pointing) Look! It’s Mini Me!

Villagers lead audience in booing him.

Mini Me

(to audience) Boo all you like. The more you boo me, the taller I’ll grow.

Villager 2

Get real Mini Me. You’ll never be any bigger than you are now.

Villager 3

And nobody will ever fear a titch, like you.

Mini Me

That’s ‘heightest’ that is.

Villager 4

Then why don’t you report us to the King…of Lilliput?

Villagers laugh.

Mini Me

Right, you’ve asked for it! (takes out a tiny whistle)

Villager 5

(laughs) Even his whistle’s tiny!

Villagers laugh and Mini Me blows the whistle.

Music cue 2: Demon Evil enters (SL)

Villagers

(variously) It’s Demon Evil! Run for your lives! Gangway!

The Villagers scream and run off (USR)

Demon

(to Mini Me) Why did you blow your whistle, Mini Me?

Mini Me

The villagers were mocking me, and I wanted you to teach them a lesson. They never take me seriously, because I’m little.

Demon

So was Napoleon, and people took him seriously. Now go back to finding somebody suitable for my plan.

Squire Farquhar enters (DSR) wailing.

Squire

Woe is me! I’ve gambled away all my money, and now I’m poor as a…a…poor person! (wails louder) Woe is me!

Demon

(to Mini Me) Never mind, I think I’ve found them. (to Squire) Had some bad luck, friend?

Squire

I never have anything else. I gamble constantly and I always lose.

Demon

What if I could fix it, so that you always win?

Squire

(cheers up) That would be wonderful! (downbeat again) But not very likely.

Demon
And what if I said, I could grant you three wishes?

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

Mini Me

So you don’t want your three wishes, then?

Squire

I didn’t say that, now did I? (aside to audience) He’s probably a harmless old loon, but it might be fun seeing what he comes up with. (to Demon) Very well. For my first wish, I would like an inexhaustible supply of money to endlessly squander.

Demon

(hands him a small purse with a secret double lining) Here you are.

Squire

(feels the purse) It won’t take me long to spend whatever’s inside this purse.

Demon

Ah! But it’s a magic purse that never empties.

Squire

(aside to audience) I was right, he is a looney.

Demon

Reach inside and see what’s there.

Squire

(does so and 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

(does so and takes out another note) Another ten-pound note! Fantastic!

Demon

And for your second wish?

Squire
That’s easy. I’d like to own a big mansion.

Demon

(clicks his fingers) Done! You are now the proud owner of Wonga Towers.

Mini Me

But isn’t Wonga Towers owned by Simon Cowell?

Demon

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

Squire

Wonderful!

Demon

And for your third and final wish?

Squire

Let’s see now. I have an inexhaustible supply of cash and a big mansion. 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
Wonderful! But why are you doing all this for me?

Demon

I like people who share my own values.

Squire

And what values might they be?

Mini Me

(counting them off on his fingers) Greed, vanity, spite, nastiness, cruelty…

Demon

…Correct. (to Squire) And you my friend, fit the bill perfectly.

Squire

Well normally I’m a decent sort. (rubbing his hands together Scrooge-like) But the chance of becoming filthy rich, does alter one’s morality somewhat.

Mini Me

(to Squire) You don’t work in banking by any chance?

Demon

(to Squire) And as an extra bonus. (produces property deeds) Here are the deeds to Mother Hubbard’s orphanage, and they have your name on them.

Squire

What do I want with deeds to an orphanage?

Demon

They might help ‘persuade’ the object of your desire, to marry you. (to Mini Me) Come Mini Me, it’s time we departed.

Mini Me

What does that mean?

Demon

It means, it’s time to go.

Mini Me

But I went before I came.

Demon

Shut up, Mini brain. (to Squire) May your new-found wealth, bring you your just desserts.

Mini Me

With sprinkles on the top.

Demon and Mini Me exit (SL)

Squire

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

SFX: Motor car sounds followed by tyre screeching.

Bump and Grind enter (SR) in a cut-out taxi and pull up next to the Squire.

Bump 
(to Squire) Where to Squire?

Squire

Wonga Towers. And don’t spare the horses.

Grind

What horses?

Squire

Never mind. Now drive on!

Bump

Yes, Squire!

SFX: Motor car sounds.

Taxi drives off (SL) leaving the Squire behind.

Squire

(shouts) Come back here!

They circle back as Polly enters (SL) in a day-dream and wanders in front of the taxi and Bump and Grind have to execute an emergency stop.

SFX: Tyre screeching.

Grind

Mind where you’re going, Miss!

Polly

(apologising) Sorry, I must’ve been day-dreaming.

Squire

(fancying her – intervenes) 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 Farquhar.

Polly

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

Squire

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

Polly

I’m sorry, but 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 only 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

Good! I mean…tell her I’ll be calling round later, to make her an offer she can’t refuse. (climbs into the taxi) Take me to Wonga Towers, immediately!

Bump & Grind 
Yes, Squire!

SFX: Motor car sounds.

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

Polly

(to herself) What 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.
I can’t let him throw those poor orphans out,
I must defeat him, without a doubt. (exits DSR)

Singing is heard offstage. Music cue 4: Orphans & Mother Hubbard. Orphans parade on (SL) with Mother Hubbard at their head. She blows her whistle and directs them to march in formation using her baton to keep control.

Mother. H

Parade…halt! (parade halts) Atteeen…shun! (Children snap to attention) Stand aaatt…ease! (they do so – turns to audience) Well, hello there! How are you? Are you well? (audience respond) Good! I’m Hettie Hubbard, but everybody calls 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…(indicates Children)…are my charges. Speaking of charges, it costs a fortune to run the place. 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. Oxfam are making a delivery to the orphanage 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

They don’t think much of us then.

Mother. H

Well that’s nice I must say. 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. Music cue 5: And this is the thanks I get. (sniffs) Excuse me, but I think I’m going to cry. (takes out a hanky and blows hard into it)

Child 3

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

Mother. H

I’m sorry, but I can’t help it! (wails into the hanky)

The Orphans join in the wailing.

Polly enters (SR) and sees them all crying.

Polly

What’s going on? Why are you all crying?

Child 4

It’s Mother Hubbard’s fault!

Polly

She hasn’t been beating you again has she?

Mother. H

(stops crying) How dare you, Polly! You know I don’t believe in physical punishment. (aside to audience) I find mental cruelty is much more effective.

The Children cry even harder.

Polly

(to Mother. H) We must think of something to cheer them up again

Mother. H

Yes, but what?

Polly

(to audience) Do you know how we can cheer them up boys and girls? (audience shout) ‘Give them money’? Take them on holiday? Buy them a X-box?

Mother. H

(to audience) Forget it, I’m skint.

Polly

Then why don’t we get them to sing a happy song? That costs nothing

Mother. H

Now you’re talking.

Polly

(to Children) Right kids, we’re all going to sing a happy song to cheer you up.

Child 5

(sniffling) What are we going to sing, Polly?

Polly

How about, ‘My Favourite Things’?

Mother. H

Oh, yes. People say I sound just like Julie Andrews.

Polly

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

Mother. H

(to Children) And now that you’re all happy again. I’ve decided to let you do something 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

What if I give you a little 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 at Children) 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

(fuming) Why you little…! (moves towards them)

Child 1

(to the others) Run!

The Children run off around the stage chased by Mother Hubbard. Music cue 7:

Mother. H
Just wait ‘til I catch you! (chases the Children around the stage and off SR)

Polly

(to audience) Gosh! In all the kerfuffle, I forget to tell her about the Squire. (shouts) Mother Hubbard! (runs off after her)

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

Bump & Grind enter (SL) Bump has a car door hanging around his neck and Grind has a tyre (see properties) around his neck.

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

‘Ere Squire. Do you know you’ve got a steering-wheel sticking out the front of your pants?

Squire

Yes, and it’s driving me nuts.

Grind

(jumping about) Aaahh! (reaches into a pocket stitched inside 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.

Bump

Exactly. If it had, I wouldn’t have taken a wrong turn and run into a lamp post.

Grind

How are we going to earn money now?

Squire

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

Bump

(amazed) 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! (produces a letter) You can start by delivering this letter to Old Mother Hubbard at the orphanage.

Bump

(taking the letter) You can rely on us, Squire.

Squire

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

Grind
You’re getting married?

Squire

Yes. (aside to audience) If everything goes to plan. (to Bump & Grind) I’ll catch you both later. (exits)

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 and Mini Me enter (SL)

Demon

Everything’s going my way at last,
Evil’s here to stay and goodness is past.
Soon I will confirm, everyone’s fears,
And this story will end in sadness and tears. (laughs)

Handy Andy enters (SR)

Andy 
(to audience) Can I fix it? (audience respond – spots Demons) Eh-up! It’s Big Cook Little Cook. (or current mismatched TV duo)

Mini Me
(threatening Andy) Are you trying to be funny?

Andy

(patting him on the head) Take it easy, titch.

Demon

(snaps) Don’t patronise him!

Andy

Who are you? His dad?

Demon

No! I’m a demon!

Mini Me

(to Andy) And so am I.

Andy

(dismissive) I don’t believe in demons.

Demon

(to Andy) 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. (casts a spell) Abracadental!

Andy
(clamps a hand over his mouth, then removes it and 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) Anticadental!

Andy

(checks his teeth) Me gnashers are back, thank goodness.

Demon

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

Andy

What does she look like?

Mini Me
Like an overgrown Barbie, with wings.

Andy

(to audience) I’d better do as he says. I didn’t fancy sucking on soup for the rest of my life. (taking the note) Okay, I’ll do it.

Demon

Good decision. (to Mini Me) Let’s go Mini Me. (leads off SL)

Mini Me kicks Andy on the shins and follows Demon Evil.

Andy

(yells) Aaahh!

Mini Me

(to audience as he follows Demon Evil) Go on then, boo me! (exits)

Andy

I’m not running errands for him. 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 Duff, or I’ll be stuck with this thing forever. (to audience) Can I do it? (audience respond) Thanks! (exits USR)

Music cue 9: Prince enters (DSL)

Prince

(to audience) Hello there. I’m Prince Harry and this year is 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? (audience respond) I’m sorry madam, but you can’t nominate yourself. My parents are also pressing me to marry soon, so that they can have grandkids to buy luxury yachts, palaces and ponies for. I’ve recently discovered that they’re secretly organising a royal ball and inviting Princesses from all over Europe to attend, hoping that I might pick one to marry. But I don’t want to be tied to marrying a Princess. I’d rather marry for love, not titles. Who knows, I might find a beautiful common girl on my travels and fall in love. See you all later! (waves and exits SR)