Chorus are onstage. Music cue 1: Chorus. After song ends…
Enter Chester [SR]
CHESTER: Come along everybody, clear off before Prince John arrives! You know how he hates seeing the place being cluttered up with poor people.
CHORUS 1: We wouldn’t be poor if he didn’t keep taxing us so much.
CHORUS 2: I dread to think what would happen if he ever became King.
CHORUS 3: And the Sheriff’s just as bad.
CHESTER: He’s only carrying out Prince John’s orders. Deep down he loves everybody.
CHORUS 4: Yes – he loves jailing them.
CHORUS 5: Torturing them.
CHORUS 1: Stealing their money.
CHORUS 2: Burning down their homes.
CHORUS 3: But one day he’ll get his just desserts.
CHESTER: That’s all right, the Sheriff loves desserts
CHORUS 4: Yes, but it won’t be sweet desserts.
CHORUS 5: Let’s go, everybody.
Exit Chorus [SR]
CHESTER: Hiya folks! I’m Chester, and I’m the Sheriff’s lacky. I hate working for him really, but I can’t let on or I might end up…[finger across neck]…keeeek! But working for him really stresses me out and I constantly need cheering up. You know what’s coming next, don’t you? That’s right. Whenever I shout, Chester’s stressed! I want you all to shout back, cheer up Chester! Okay? Let’s have a practice then. [exits and re-enters] Chester’s stressed! That’s brill!
Music cue 2: Enter Sheriff [SL]
SHERIFF: Who were you talking to just now Chester?
CHESTER: The audience, sire. I was just telling them what a wonderful person you are.
SHERIFF: It’s all true of course. By the way, Have you composed my love poem for Lady Marion yet?
CHESTER: I’m still working on it Sheriff.
SHERIFF: Well, hurry up about it. And don’t forget to mention my enormous…holdings.
CHESTER: But Sheriff, Lady Marion’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! You must tell her I look just like a famous film star.
CHESTER: [aside to audience] Frankenstein.
SHERIFF: That I have 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 teabag.
SHERIFF: Marion’s loaded, and once we’re wed I’ll get my hands on her huge…assets.
CHESTER: I think that goes without saying. [nudging and winking] Eh, Sheriff?
SHERIFF: I meant her money! The other stuff’s an added bonus.
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.
SHERIFF: Yes, but don’t overdo it. The poem must convince her of my undying lust…I mean…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 as 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 filthy homes!
CHESTER: Isn’t that’s a bit nasty Sheriff, even for you?
SHERIFF: Nothing’s too nasty for me Chester! My only problem is that thieving outlaw Robin Hood. The peasants treat him like he was some sort of hero, but I’ll soon rid myself of him, you mark my words! Now, go and woo Marion for me.
CHESTER: Consider her well and truly wooed, sire. [exits SR]
SHERIFF: 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 SR]
Enter Marion and Molly [SL]
MOLLY: Is something wrong Lady Marion? You’re not your usual jolly self today.
MARION: I have a horrible feeling that the Sheriff fancies me Molly.
MOLLY: That ugly old fossil!?
MARION: Yes, and with my guardian King Richard being abroad, who will protect me from his unwelcome advances?
MOLLY: I will protect you with my life, my Lady. I’ll whip out my sword and cut his ardour short. [swishes sword]
MARION: Thank you Molly, but not even someone with your sword skills can take on the Sheriff and all his guards. If only my dear mother were still alive.
MOLLY: [elicits audience sympathy] Aaaah!
MARION: I miss the way she used to cuddle me and whisper sweet words to in my ear. [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, Marion.
Enter Nursie [SR] walking backwards and pulling on a rope, leading off.
NURSIE: Hello boys and girls I’m Nurse bedpan, and whenever I say, ‘hello boys and girls’, just shout ‘hello Nursie’ and we’ll all get along just fine. This is your last chance Neddy. Now, come on! [pulls on rope, it breaks, and she falls over]
MARION: [helping Nursie up] Are you all right?
NURSIE: Yes, but I think I’ve bent my stethoscope. Who are you two?
MOLLY: I’m Molly and this is Lady Marion.
NURSIE: A Lady! [curtsying] One is pleased to meet one, your poshship!
MARION: How do you do, Nurse Bedpan.
NURSIE: Call me Nursie. Everybody does, apart from certain gentlemen friends that is.
MOLLY: And what do they call you?
NURSIE: After eight, but that’s another story and not one for a family audience.
MARION: What brings you to Nottingham, Nursie?
NURSIE: I’m desperate to get into a new position. [to audience] Stop it! I mean a job!