The Village Square
Curtains open and Villagers are discovered onstage. Music cue 1: Villagers. After song ends…Marion enters (SR) and moves to centre stage. Villagers move forward and split into two groups either side of her.
Marion Good morning everyone!
Villager 1 Good morning Lady Marion!
Marion It’s wonderful to see everybody enjoying themselves for once.
Villager 2 Yes, but it won’t last long. Once the Sheriff comes to collect our taxes, we’ll all be miserable again.
Villager 3 He barely leaves us enough to live on.
Villager 4 My kids have eaten nothing but porridge for months.
Villager 5 My kids are dressed in rags.
Villager 1 My kids haven’t any shoes.
Villager 2 My kids have eaten their shoes.
Marion Cheer up everyone, all is not doom and gloom.
Villager 3 Have you got some good news for us, Marion?
Marion Well, I’ve got some good news and some bad news.
Villager 4 What’s the bad news, Marion?
Marion Prince John and Queen Arachnid are coming here today.
Villager 5 And what’s the good news?
Marion Robin Hood is planning an ambush!
Villager (cheer) Hooray!
Villager 1 If anybody can help us, it’s Robin.
Villager 2 He’s our only hope.
Villager 3 (looks SL) Look out! Pokem, the Sheriff’s idiot sidekick is coming!
Villager 4 He’s probably going to announce yet another tax rise.
Pokem enters (SL)
Pokem Listen up you peasants! The Sheriff has decided that the insignificant amount of taxes you pay, are to be increased as from today.
Villager 5 But he already taxes us to the hilt.
Pokem Nonsense! It’s ages since your taxes went up.
Villager 1 They went up last week!
Pokem Exactly! Ages ago. Lady Marion! What are you doing associating with these peasants?
Marion I was just showing the villagers how to greet the royal party when they arrive. I want to make sure they get the reception, they so richly deserve.
Pokem I’m sure their majesties will appreciate your devotion to duty, Marion.
Villager 2 It’s the Sheriff!
Marion joins the Villagers. Sheriff enters (SL)
Pokem Three cheers for the Sheriff! Hip-hip hooray! Hip-hip…
Sheriff …They aren’t cheering, Pokem.
Pokem Yes sire. (poking the Villagers) Take that and that and…
Sheriff …What are you doing?
Pokem Poking them like you asked, Sheriff.
Sheriff(beats Pokem) You, are a blithering idiot!
Pokem Yes sire, thank you sire, you’re too kind sire. All together now. (conducts Villagers) For he’s a jolly good fellow, for he’s a jolly good fellow. For he’s…
Sheriff Shut up!
Pokem Yes sire at once sire, your wish is my command sire…
Sheriff …I command you to shut up!
Pokem Shutting up sire.
Sheriff Have you told the peasants about the new tax rises, yet?
Pokem Yes Sheriff.
Villager 3 We can’t afford to pay any more taxes.
Sheriff You peasants are always pleading poverty.
Villager 4 Maybe that’s because we’re poor?
Sheriff You always seem to have enough to spend on life’s little luxuries.
Villager 5 Such as?
Sheriff Food, for a start.
Marion Food isn’t a luxury, Sheriff!
Pokem The Sheriff’s is. He gets a big luxury hamper delivered every week, from Harrods.
Sheriff Shut up, Pokem!
Villager 2 We can’t even afford to shop at Aldi.
Sheriff They do say that dirt, is surprisingly nutritious.
Villager 3 We can’t eat dirt!
Sheriff You’ll be six feet under it, if you don’t pay your taxes on time!
Marion Don’t you ever give a thought to the poor, Sheriff?
Sheriff The poor are constantly on my mind. Which is why I have to collect more taxes, for poor Prince John. (to Pokem) And what about that lot down there? (indicates audience) Have you collected their taxes yet?
Pokem They’re only here to see the show, Sheriff.
Sheriff That’s no excuse! (to audience) Have you all paid your taxes? (response) Well, all the doors have been locked and you can’t leave until you’ve paid.
Pokem You don’t suppose they’re working for the hooded one, Sheriff?
Sheriff You mean, Batman?
Pokem No, sire! Robin Hood!
Sheriff I’ll ask them. (goes downstage) Well? Are you all working for Robin Hood? (response) Make your minds up, then!
Pokem They obviously have something to hide.
Sheriff You may be right, Pokem.
Pokem Righto, Sheriff. (goes downstage)
Sheriff Where are you going?
Pokem To poke them, sire.
Sheriff What for?
Pokem I thought you wanted me to.
Sheriff Don’t think Pokem, it only gives you headaches.
Pokem No, it doesn’t! (Sheriff bops him on the head) Owah! Yes, it does.
Sheriff (to Villagers) Listen up you rabble. Your measly taxes have been trebled, as of now. It was going to be quadrupled, but I’m feeling in a good mood today.
Villager 4 If that’s what you’re like in a good mood. I’d hate to see you in a bad mood.
Sheriff And that’s exactly what you will do, if you keep on protecting that thieving outlaw Robin Hood! Now, when are you going to hand him over?
Villagers Never! (chant) Robin! Robin!
Sheriff Silence! I will make you all pay for this insurrection.
Villager 5 Don’t tell me you’re taxing that as well?
Pokem Why don’t we offer a reward for Robin Hood, Sheriff?
Sheriff I don’t want to reward him!
Pokem No sire, I mean offer a reward for information leading to his capture. The peasants are that poor, somebody’s bound to dob him in.
Sheriff It’s worth a try. And we can always get the money back, by way of a 100% reward tax. Listen up, peasants! Your kind hearted and generous Sheriff, has decided to offer one hundred gold crowns, for information leading to the capture of the outlaw Robin Hood. But this is a time-limited offer. I want him handed in by the end of the week, or I will have your stinking hovels burnt to the ground! We’ll be back shortly to collect your taxes. Make sure you have them ready, or I will make ready a scaffold! Let’s go Pokem.
Pokem Now, sire?
Sheriff Now what?
Pokem Shall we poke them now?
Sheriff I’ll poke you in a minute! (shoves Pokem off SL)
Marion One hundred gold crowns is a fortune to poor people. It will be tempting for somebody to snitch on Robin.
Villager 1 We’d never betray Robin. (to others) Would we?
Marion Robin’s lucky to have so many loyal friends.
Villager 2 And Robin’s lucky to have you Lady Marion.
Marion But how can I tell if he truly loves me? Music cue 2: Marion and Villagers. After song ends…Let’s go and find Robin and tell him what’s happened.
All exit (SR) Hayrick enters (SL)
Hayrick Hiya kids! (response) It seems I’m going to have to train you lot up. So, here’s the deal. My name’s Hayrick and whenever I come on and say, hiya kids! I want you all to shout back, hiya Hayrick! As loud as you can. Will you do that? Great. Now, can you all keep a secret? Right, well I’m the official lookout for Robin Hood and his Merry Men. And it’s a very important job, because they’re the only ones who can help the villagers fight against the Sheriff of Nottingham and Prince John. But they could do with a few more volunteers. Now, who would like to join Robin Hood’s gang? I said, who would like to join Robin’s gang? But before you can become a member, you must all swear. Hang on, that can’t be right. I’ll just check my membership card. (takes out card and checks it) Silly me. It says you must swear an oath. Now, who wants a card? (hands out cards) Now, raise your right hand and repeat after me. We promise to always cheer Robin Hood and to always boo the Sheriff of Nottingham. You can put your hands down now. Unless you need the loo. In which case, it’s through the back door and first on the left. Oh, I almost forgot. We also have a secret password, but I’ll have to whisper it to you in case anyone hears. It’s…(stage whisper)…Pink Tights. What’s the password? (response) Not so loud. We don’t want the Sheriff hearing it.
Nursie (shouts off) Tyson!
Hayrick It sounds like Nursie’s lost her dog again. Mind you, I don’t blame it for always running away. I‘d probably I’d do the same if I had a mistress like her. I think I’d better scarper, too. Nursie seems to be under the strange illusion that I fancy her. It all happened when the Sheriff told her she wasn’t fit to live with pigs and I said she was. The silly old fool took it as a compliment and has been trying to get her paws on me ever since.
Nursie (off) Tyson!
Hayrick I’m off. If Nursie asks, you haven’t seen me, right? (exits SL)
Nursie enters (SR)
Nursie Tyson! Where are you? Come to Nursie, you bad boy. (to audience) Oh hello! I didn’t realise we’d already started. I’m sorry I’m late, only I’ve lost my little doggie you see. You haven’t seen him, have you? (response) Well if you do, will you give me a shout? Actually, you could help me call him now if you like. Will you do that? Oh, you are kind. I’ll count to three, and then I want everybody to shout Tyson! At the tops of your voices. Ready. One…two…three. Tyson! Louder! Tyson! Tyson!
Music cue 3: Tyson runs in (SR) jumps on Nursie’s back bowling her over before running off (SL)
Nursie Bad boy, Tyson!
Nursie staggers to her feet and bends down to pick up her hat and Tyson runs on (SL) and hits her rear sending her sprawling again and then runs off (SR)
Nursie (shouts) Tyson! Come back here at once, or I’ll cut off your meaty chunks!
Tyson runs on (SR) and fusses over the sitting Nursie.
Nursie Gerroff! It took me hours to put this make-up on. (to audience) Who said I needed it? (stands) I’m afraid Tyson’s a little over excited. You see it’s his birthday today, and I promised he could have his very own lamppost put up on the patio. But he’s a very clever dog you know. Why don’t you show everyone your party trick, Tyson?
Tyson goes downstage and cocks his leg at the audience.
Nursie Not that one! I meant your song and dance routine. Music cue 4: Tyson and Nursie. After song ends…Tyson bows. Well done, Tyson.
Tyson continues bowing.
Nursie That’s enough now, Tyson.
Tyson continues bowing.
Nursie I said, that’s enough! Who’s the star of this show anyway?
Tyson points to himself.
Nursie How would you like to pay a visit to the vet?
Tyson covers his vunerables with his paws.
Nursie (to audience) Allow me to introduce myself properly. My name’s Nurse Nora, but you can call me Nursie. And I work at Nottingham Castle. That’s because I’m Nanny to King Richard’s children Rosie and Jim, which makes them Prince John’s Nephew and Niece. And he’s left them in the care of the Sheriff of Nottingham, because his wife has some sort of allergy to children. It’s more complicated than an Eastenders plot, isn’t it? But Rosie and Jim are smashing little kids. Which reminds me. I wonder where they are. You haven’t you seen them, have you? (response Tyson! Go and find the babes and fetch them here.
Tyson nods and moves around stage, sniffing.
Nursie (to audience) Tyson’s one-tenth bloodhound, you know. The other nine tenths are anybody’s guess.
Tyson barks and runs off (SL)
Nursie There he goes! Off like a greyhound on steroids!
Music cue 5: Tyson shepherds the Babes on (SL)
Nursie Well done Tyson. Where have you kids been all morning?
Rosie We’ve been letting down the tyres on the Sheriff’s coach, Nursie.
Nursie You naughty babes. I don’t know where you get such ideas from.
Jim (passing a penknife to Nursie) Here’s your penknife back, Nursie.
Nursie Ahem! I wondered where that had gone. Well now you’re here, why don’t you say hello to everybody?
Both (wave to audience) Hello everybody!
Rosie Can we go and play in the woods, Nursie?
Nursie No you can’t!
Rosie But why not?
Nursie Because everybody knows the woods are haunted, that’s why. Besides, if you went in there, we’d have to have a big scene with ghosts and ghoulies and such like. Now I’m sure the audience don’t mind seeing a couple of ghosts…
Babes …But Nursie!
Nursie Never mind, but Nursie! Your father has charged me with looking after you little minxes.
Jim I thought he was paying you, not charging you.
Nursie I don’t think I’m charging him enough, actually. Now come along kids, it’s time you were back at the castle. Say goodbye to all our friends.
Babes (wave to audience) Goodbye friends!
Nursie You too Tyson. You must be dog-tired after all that dancing. (to audience) Dog-tired? Oh, please yourselves.
Tyson waves his paw and they all exit (DSL) Marion and Villagers enter (USL) chatting. Hayrick runs on (SR)
Hayrick Robin’s coming! Robin’s coming! (to audience) Now, don’t forget to cheer.
Music cue 6: Robin enters (SR)
Villagers Hooray for Robin Hood! (Hayrick moves beside Robin and the Villagers move forward and split to either side of them)
Robin Thank you all for that wonderful greeting! And how are you all this fine morning?
Villager 1 Not very good Robin. The Sheriff has just trebled our taxes.
Villager 2 And threatened to burn down our homes, if we don’t pay up.
Robin The rotten swine!
Villager 3 And he’s offered a reward of one hundred gold crowns, to anybody who dobs you in.
Robin Only one hundred. I’m deeply offended. I must be worth at least a thousand.
Villager 4 We wouldn’t grass on you for any amount of money, Robin.
Robin Why thank you. It fair warms my heart, to see such loyalty.
Villager 5 Although we don’t know how much longer we can survive the Sheriff’s tax rises.
Robin Fear not good people. The Sheriff’s tyranny will soon be at an end.
Villager 1 Are you going to attack Nottingham Castle with your men, Robin?
Robin My merry men are brave enough, all right. But methinks there aren’t enough of us to attack Nottingham Castle. We really could do with a few more brave recruits.
Hayrick It’s funny you should mention that, Robin. Because I’ve just signed this lot up. (indicates audience)
Robin (peers out) My, what a fine-looking bunch. But are you sure they’re brave enough to join my gang, Hayrick?
Hayrick Well, they were brave enough to buy tickets for this show.
Robin That is brave.
Hayrick And they know the secret password and everything.
Robin I’m afraid the secret has password been changed, Hayrick.
Hayrick Why, what was wrong with it?
Robin Little John wasn’t too happy about using, pink tights.
Hayrick I said you shouldn’t have let Will Scarlet pick it. All right then Robin, tell me the new password.
Hayrick Go on then.
Hayrick I’m waiting.
Hayrick Are you going to tell me the new password or not, Robin?
Robin The new password is, okey-dokey!
Hayrick Oh, I see! Well, it’s better than pink tights I suppose. (to audience & Villagers) What’s the new password?
Aud & Vill Okey-dokey!
Hayrick Now don’t forget it, will you?
Marion The Sheriff and Prince John will be arriving shortly, to collect everybody’s taxes Robin.
Robin And me and my merry men have arranged a welcoming party for them.
Marion (looks about) Where are your men, Robin?
Robin They’re just waiting for a blow on my horn. I’ll just get it out. (takes out a hunting horn, and blows) Music cue 7:
Merry Men enter (SR) they stand in line facing the audience.
Alan-a-dale strums on his lute. Music cue 8:
Alan-a-dale What do you think of my latest tune, Robin?
Robin It’ll never catch on, Alan.
Alan-a-dale Oh, sssherbet-dabs.
Robin Little John, the toughest outlaw of them all!
Little John (bellows) I eat three Shredded Wheat for breakfast!
Robin Will Scarlet!
Will Scarlet (tugging at his tights) These woollen tights don’t half itch, Robin. I said we should have ordered them in Lycra.
Alan-a-dale Will’s been a bit grumpy ever since he laddered his best tights, earlier.
Will Scarlet (to audience) The outdoor life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be you know.
Robin And last but not least. Friar Tuck!
Friar Tuck Greetings, brothers and sisters! Music cue 9:
Hayrick The royal party are coming!
Villagers Let’s get out of here!
Hayrick and Villagers exit (SR)
Robin To your positions men.
Robin and Merry Men hide behind bushes (USR) Sheriff and Pokem enter (SL)
Pokem Make way for their Royal Majesties, Prince John and Queen Arachnid! Out of the way peasants! (realises there’s nobody there) There’s no one here sire.
Sheriff And a good job too. Their majesties can’t stand common people getting under their royal feet.
Pokem But won’t they get annoyed if nobody cheers them, sire?
Sheriff Good point, Pokem. They’re used to spontaneous adulation, even if it is produced at the point of a sword. This lot…(indicate audience)…will have to cheer them instead.
Pokem But what if they won’t, sire?
Sheriff Leave it to me. (to audience) Now listen to me, you snotty little nose-wipes! Their majesties, Prince John and Queen Arachnid will be here soon. And I order you all to cheer them, when they enter. And if anybody dares boo, I’ll have them stretched on the rack during the interval.
Music cue 10: Prince John and Queen Arachnid enter (SL) followed by Guards carrying a large treasure chest.
Pokem (to audience) Three cheers for their majesties. Hip-hip…hooray! Hip-hip…(to Sheriff) They’re not cheering, Sheriff!
Sheriff They’ll be cheering on the other side of their faces, if their majesties hear them not cheering.
Arachnid (holding her nose) Uggh! What’s that horrible smell?
Prince. J (indicating audience) It’s all those commoners down there, dear.
Arachnid Uggh! Even in the dark they look horrible.
Prince. J That’s because they are horrible, dearest.
Arachnid And what are all those…smaller ones?
Prince. J They look like children to me.
Arachnid I hate children! They remind me of your wretched Nephew and Niece.
Prince. J You mean, Richard’s brats?
Arachnid Yes, and they’re horrible too.
Prince. J Indeed, they are. They also stand between me and the crown of England.
Arachnid Then don’t you think it’s time we got rid of them?
Prince. J All in good time my dear. Meanwhile let’s get some lovely loot out of this…(indicates audience)…horrible lot. They all look filthy rich.
Arachnid Well, they certainly look filthy.
Robin and his Men appear behind them. Robin pokes the Sheriff with his sword.
Robin Good morning Sheriff!
Sheriff What the deuce!
Pokem (turns) It’s Robin Hood!
A brief fight ensues between the Guards and Robin and his men.
SFX:Sound of sword-fighting – clashing swords.
The Guards eventually turn tail and run off.
Arachnid This is an outrage!
Alan-a-dale So is your face.
Arachnid How dare you! (to Prince John) Well? Aren’t you going to defend my honour?
Prince. J (scared) Best not to annoy them dear, they might turn nasty.
Robin We leave being nasty, to the Sheriff.
Little John opens the chest and holds up gold and jewels.
Little John Look Robin!
Arachnid Take your thieving hands of my baubles!
Little John I wouldn’t touch your baubles, with an extra-long barge pole.
Robin How kind of you to deliver the villager’s tax rebate personally, Prince John.
Prince. J How dare you! I am King…in all but the legal sense. Kneel before me, insolent wretch!
Robin I bow the knee to none, but good King Richard.
Merry. M (cheer) Long live King Richard! Long live King Richard!
Arachnid You’ll all pay for this!
Friar Tuck (taps the chest with his sword) Methinks you’ve just paid for it.
Robin and Merry Men laugh.
Prince. J I’ll get even with you Hood, if it’s the last thing I ever do.
Little John (points his sword him) Hold your tongue, or it will be the last thing you ever say!
Sheriff If you’re going to kill us, then get on with it! We’d rather die with dignity than live like cowards.
Prince. J You speak for yourself Sheriff.
Robin Unlike you Sheriff. I don’t kill people in cold blood. Now, be off with you. (slaps Sheriff on the bottom with his sword)
Merry Men laugh.
Sheriff (menacing) We shall meet again, Hood.
Robin I look forward to it Sheriff. Especially if it turns out to be as profitable as this meeting. (to Merry Men) Eh lads?
Merry Men Aye, Robin! (all laugh)
The Sheriff and the Royal Party exit (SL)
Robin Another day in our struggle against tyranny ends in victory, men. But the fight won’t be over, until King Richard returns to England’s shores. And whilst we wait for that happy day, we shall continue to uphold justice and defend the poor. With our hearts!
Merry Men (cheer) Our hearts!
Robin Our minds!
Merry Men Our minds!
Robin Our souls!
Merry Men Our souls! Music cue 11: Robin and Men. After song ends…And now, let us away to our hideout in Sherwood Forest! (Tuck and Scarlet pick up chest and all exit SR)