Villagers are discovered onstage. Music cue 1: Villagers. After song ends…Chester enters (SR)
Chester Come on you lot! Clear off before Prince John arrives! You know how he hates seeing the place being cluttered up with poor people!
Villager 1 Maybe if he didn’t keep taxing us so much, we wouldn’t be poor.
Villager 2 I dread to think what would happen if he ever became King.
Villager 3 And the Sheriff’s just as bad.
Chester The Sheriff only carries out Prince John’s orders. Deep down, he’s kind and loving.
Villager 4 The only thing the Sheriff loves, is himself.
Chester That’s not true. He loves lots of things, like…
Villager 5 …Jailing people.
Villager 1 Torturing them.
Villager 2 Stealing their money.
Villager 3 Burning down their homes.
Villager 4 One day he’ll get what he deserves.
Villager 5 And it won’t be what he expects, either.
Chester Oh, goody! The Sheriff loves surprises.
Villager 1 Let’s go, everybody.
Villagers exit (SR)
Chester (to audience) Hiya folks! I’m Chester, the Sheriff’s lackey. (looks around and whispers) I hate working for him really, but I daren’t let on in public or I might end up…(draws finger across neck)…keeeek! He became my boss when the Job Centre sent me to a job-placement, on a zero hours’ contract. I thought that meant I didn’t have to turn up for work. But apparently, it doesn’t work like that. I once tried quitting, but he said if I did he’d see to it that I never worked again. I thought, that’s all right I’m used to not working. But then he explained that I wouldn’t be breathing either. Working for him is really getting me down, and I constantly need cheering up. You know what’s coming next, don’t you? That’s right. Every time I come on I’ll shout wotcha kids! And you all shout back wotcha Chester! Okay? (response) Let’s have a practice then. (exits and re-enters) Wotcha kids! (response) Fantastic!
Music cue 2: Lights dim briefly as the Sheriff enters (SL)
Chester (startled) Sheriff!
Sheriff Who were you talking too just now?
Chester The audience, sire. I was just telling them what a wonderful person you are.
Sheriff (peering out) Did you all pay to get in? (response) Well you’ll have to pay double to get out. (to Chester) Have you composed my love poem for Lady Marion yet?
Chester I’m still working on it.
Sheriff Well, hurry up about it. And don’t forget to mention my huge…attributes.
Chester But Sheriff, she’s just an innocent young girl.
Sheriff (winking and nudging) Yes, but not for long eh?
Chester Is there something in your eye, Sheriff?
Sheriff (snaps) No, there isn’t! Tell her that I look like a famous film star.
Chester (aside to audience) Frankenstein.
Sheriff With the grace of a dancer. (dances woodenly)
Chester (aside) A dancing elephant.
Sheriff And the strength of a huge stag.
Chester (aside) Strength of a used tea-bag.
Sheriff Lady Marion’s loaded. And once we’re wed, I’ll get my hands on her assets.
Chester I think that goes without saying. (nudging and winking) Eh, Sheriff?
Sheriff I meant, her money!
Chester And nobody deserves it more than you, sire.
Sheriff True. Though rather grovelling of you to say so.
Chester I thought you liked people grovelling.
Sheriff Yes, but don’t overdo it. The poem must convince her of my undying lust…er…love.
Chester Understood, Sheriff.
Sheriff My guards will be arriving later, to collect taxes from those lazy good-for-nothing peasants. They’re on the pay or you burn, scheme.
Chester Don’t you mean, pay as you earn?
Sheriff No, pay as you burn. If they don’t pay up, I burn down their homes. (laughs)
Chester (joining in the laugh) Ha-ha-ha!
Sheriff Enough! I do the evil laughs around here! Now, go and woo Marion for me.
Chester Consider her well and truly wooed, sire. (exits USR)
Sheriff (to audience) And if that doesn’t work, I may be forced to use…(darkly)…the forces of darkness. (laughs) You can’t beat good old-fashioned evil. (exits USL)
Marion and Molly enter (DSL) Marion looks sad.
Molly What’s wrong Lady Marion? It’s not like you to be so glum.
Marion I believe the Sheriff fancies me, Molly. And with my guardian King Richard, away abroad. I don’t have anybody to protect me, from his unwelcome advances.
Molly I’ll protect you, m’lady. (raises her sword)
Marion Thanks Molly. But not even someone with your sword skills, can take on the Sheriff and his guards. If only my mother were still around. I really miss her you know.
Molly (elicits audience sympathy) Aaahh!
Marion The way she used to cuddle me tight…(cuddles herself)…and whisper sweet words to me. (sighs) I can almost hear her now.
Nursie (off) Get a move on you, lazy pile of old bones!
Molly That sounds nothing like your mum.
Nursie enters backwards (SR) pulling on a rope.
Nursie Shift yourself, you old nag! (to audience) I haven’t strained this much, since the morning after taking part in a boiled-egg eating competition. (to wing) Right Neddy, this is your last chance. Heave! (pulls, rope breaks and she falls down)
Marion (helping Nursie up) Are you all right?
Nursie Yes, but I think my stethoscope’s bent. (takes out a bent stethoscope)
Molly What’s your name?
Nursie I’m Nurse Bedpan. Who are you?
Molly I’m Molly and this is Lady Marion.
Nursie (all posh) Ooooh! A lady! (curtsying to Marion) One is pleased to meet one.
Marion How do you do Nurse Bedpan?
Nursie Call me, Nursie. Everybody does. Apart from certain gentlemen friends that is.
Molly What do they call you?
Nursie After eight. But that’s another story. Anyway, first things first. (to audience) Hello boys and girls! (response) Just shout hello Nursie! Whenever I say hello boys and girls, and we’ll get along just fine. (to Marion) Do carry on.
Marion What brings you to Nottingham, Nursie?
Nursie I’m desperate to get into a new position. (to audience) Oh, stop it! I meant a job.
Marion There’s a teaching vacancy at…(local school)
Nursie No thanks. Only a complete idiot, would be a teacher these days.
Marion It pays well.
Nursie I’ll take it!
Molly Perhaps you could also help me, chaperone Lady Marion. She’s an orphan and the Sheriff’s trying to get his hands on her dowry.
Nursie I’ve not heard it called that before. (to Marion) Don’t you have anybody else to chaperone you, dear?
Marion No. My legal guardian is abroad, fighting.
Nursie England football supporter, is he?
Marion No, he’s King Richard.
Molly Although, I think he does supports Millwall. (or local team)
Nursie (to Marion) You’re right, he’s not a football supporter.
Marion I believe my virtue in danger, from the lecherous Sheriff.
Nursie Oh, you poor thing! Come to Nursie. (grabs her and presses her face into her bosom – Marion struggles to breathe)
Molly Although right now, she’s in more danger of being suffocated.
Nursie (releasing Marion) Don’t worry dear, I’ll look after you. I know what it’s like being pursued by men. Although I’m currently having a few problems with my transport.
Molly Have you lost your pensioner’s bus pass?
Nursie (snaps) Cheek! I meant my horse, Neddy. He won’t come on because he’s a bit nervous. He used to work on Blackpool beach, and only feels happy when he hears anybody sing, oh I do like to be beside the seaside.
Marion Maybe if we all sing it together, it might persuade him to come on.
Nursie It’s worth a try. (to audience) Now make sure you all join in. (all sing – Neddy fails to appear) It obviously wasn’t loud enough, let’s try it again. (repeat)
During the singing Neddy enters, carrying two large saddlebags on his back.
Nursie There you are at last, Neddy.
Molly What big bags you’ve got, Nursie.
Nursie Yes, well I didn’t sleep much last night.
Molly I meant, your saddlebags.
Nursie Oh, those! They’re full of my exclusive beauty products.
Marion Are you an Avon rep?
Nursie No, but I’ll probably end up bigger than them. You see, I’ve invented this new perfume that makes you irresistible to men. Not that I need it myself, mind.
Prince John staggers on (SR) dressed in his underwear.
Prince. J Help! Help! (spots Nursie) Are you a nurse?
Nursie (sarcastic) No, I’m a spot-welder.
Prince. J I’m in desperate need.
Nursie Then you’re in luck. Desperate men are my speciality.
Prince. J I feel faint!
Nursie I do tend to have that effect on most men.
Prince. J Ooohh! (wavers and falls to the floor)
Molly Do you have any smelling salts, Nursie?
Nursie No. (produces a perfume bottle) Try this instead.
Molly holds the bottle under Prince John’s nose.
Prince. J (splutters and jumps to his feet) Phwoar! What’s in that bottle?
Nursie It’s my latest perfume creation. I call it, Twice Nightly.
Prince. J (wafting) Wearing that, you’ll be lucky if it’s once yearly.
Marion (to Prince. J) What’s your name?
Prince. J I’m Prince John!
Marion Prince John? I didn’t recognise you without your royal clothes on.
Molly I’d be shocked if you did, Lady Marion.
Prince. J Lady Marion! (indicating Nursie) Still mixing with commoners, I see.
Nursie Art least I don’t go running around in public, in my underwear
Prince. J And we’re all very grateful, believe me. I was on my way to Nottingham Castle, when Robin Hood and his gang of outlaws ambushed my entourage, in Sherwood Forest.
Nursie And where is your entourage now?
Prince. J The cowards fled, and the outlaws stole all my gold and jewels. They even took my royal clothes! They said they were going to give them to nasty, smelly peasants. (pointing at audience) People just like them down there. Then they left me all alone, in the dark spooky forest.
Molly Don’t tell me you’re scared of the dark.
Prince. J Of course, not! But I’ve heard, that there are witches in Sherwood Forest.
Nursie There are no such things as Witches. (to audience) Are there boys and girls? (loud witch cackles offstage) Although I could be wrong.
Prince. J Witches! Help! Mummy! (runs off SL)
Nursie What a Princely coward! (laughs)
Molly And he hopes to replace brave King Richard, as King of England?
Marion The sooner King Richard returns and puts him in his place, the better.
Nursie I second that. Now, if you’ll point me in the direction of the school. I’ll be on my way.
Marion (pointing SR) It’s that way, Nursie. You can’t miss it.
Molly Unlike most of the pupils.
Nursie Thank you. Come along Neddy. (exits SR with Neddy)
Marion Come on Molly. I’ll contact King Richard on Skype, and tell him what’s going on. Then maybe he’ll return home early.
Molly He will, if he wants to remain King.
They exit (SL) Robin strolls on (SR) studying a newspaper.
Robin Three across. What a person needs most. (spots audience) Hello there! My name’s, Robin Hood. I’m just doing a crossword in the Nottingham Post and I’m stuck on three across.
The Merry Men enter (SL) Alan-a-dale carries a lute.
Robin Ah, men. I’m glad you’re here.
Little John Have you got another robbin’ job for us, Robin?
Robin No, Little John. I’m doing a crossword and I’m stuck on three across.
Will Scarlett I’m good on movie questions, Robin.
Robin It’s not a movie question, Will.
Alan-a-dale And I’m great at music. (strums lute badly and the rest cover their ears)
Little John Apart from playing it.
Robin It’s not a music question Alan.
Friar Tuck What’s the clue then, Robin?
Robin The clue is, what a person needs most. Four letters
Friar Tuck Beer! Or it could be wine. Anything alcoholic, really. Hic!
Alan-a-dale I’ve got it! Love! What a person needs most, is love!
Robin Of course! That would explain why I’m not completely happy, with my life.
Will Scarlett But you lead the exciting life of a famous outlaw, Robin. What else could you possibly need, to make you happy?
Robin (grabs Will by the arms and looks intently at him) I want some romance, Will.
Will Scarlett Sorry Robin, but you’re not my type.
Little John Why don’t we find some rich merchant to rob, Robin? That always cheers you up.
Robin I suppose it might take my mind of things for a bit. All right then, let’s go robbing.
All exit (SL)