Music cue 1: Sailors. After song ends…Sailors exit (USL) Billy enters (DSL)
Billy Hiya boys and girls! I’m Billy Crusoe, brother of the famous Robinson Crusoe. Although I don’t think he’s as famous as he believes. Mum’s probably more famous for her Bristol’s…pies that is. She’s cook for the Scuppered Bosun public house, and invented the famous Bristol Belly-buster, meat and potato pie. I’m at the docks today, because mum’s sailing to France for some duty-free shopping and she wants me to accompany her. I want to buy some snacks for the trip, but I don’t want to miss the boat. So, I was wondering if you’d help me out. Will you? (response) Smashing. Now before a ship sails, somebody always shouts, all aboard! So, if you hear anybody shout all aboard! I want you all to shout, wait for us! As loud as you can and I’ll come running, okay? Now, don’t forget. (exits SL)
Music cue 2: Celia Crusoe enters (SR) wheeling on a suitcase and singing.
Celia All the nice girls love a sailor…(to audience) Oh, hello! Are you all waiting to embark? Me too. I’m just looking for a nice young sailor to take me up the gangplank. I’ve never done it before you see. Sailing that is. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Celia Crusoe, mother of the world-famous explorer Robinson Crusoe. This is my maiden voyage and I’m ever so nervous. Well, the sea’s a dangerous place isn’t it? Last week a P&O liner was overrun by hordes of hunky pirates, who tossed all the men overboard and ravished all the women. And to think I nearly booked a cruise on it. Maybe I’ll have better luck this time. Mind you, my poor husband hasn’t had much luck, ever since he spliced fell off the rigging and spliced his mainbrace. He’s now bedridden and spends his time watching TV. He loves In The Night Garden, especially Upsy Daisy.
SFX: Loud knocking
Celia (shouts) Calm down! (to audience) It’s because he heard me mention his favourite programme. He’s laid up there now waiting for it to start. (cocks an ear) He’s gone very quiet. I wonder if he’s all right? (shouts) Upsy Daisy! (knocking) He’s fine. Would you mind helping me look after him? You won’t have to do any of the messy stuff. Just a bit of long-distance babysitting. Every time I say, I wonder if he’s all right? I want you all to shout, Upsy Daisy! If he knocks then I’ll know he’s okay. Let’s have a go then. I wonder if he’s all right? (response)
SFX: Loud knocking.
Celia Well done everybody.
Captain Codpiece enters (USL) behind her.
Captain Ahoy in front and avaaast behind!
Celia (grabs her bum) How dare you! (turns) Oh hello, Admiral. I didn’t notice you hoving behind me.
Captain I’m, Captain Codpiece.
Celia I thought I could smell something fishy. But I’m willing to overlook anything for a man in uniform. And may I say what a smart uniform you’re wearing, Commander.
Captain I’m a Captain!
Celia Yes. (vamps) But there’s no telling how far you’d go, with the right woman behind you.
Captain If you were the woman right behind me, I’d go a long way. In the opposite direction. And there’ll be no fraternising with my crew, if you don’t mind.
Celia What do you take me for? (Captain whispers) How dare you! You sailors are all alike. Just because you see a slim attractive young woman, walking up and down the docks. You immediately jump to conclusions.
Captain Then what are you doing here?
Celia I’m waiting for my ship to come in.
Captain You’ll have a bloomin’ long wait.
Celia I’m off to do a spot of shopping in France.
Captain What’s the name of this ship you’re waiting for?
Celia The Slack Girl.
Captain That’s my vessel. And I’m bound for the Caribbean, not Calais.
Celia But The Slack Girl always goes to Calais. Its crew have been clients of mine for years.
Captain So, you’re the source of my crew’s ailment.
Celia (snaps) I don’t know what you’re on about! If you must know, I’m landlady of the Scuppered Boson, which is frequently frequented by frisky sailors.
Captain All right, there’s no need get crabby. (laughs) Sea…crabby? Get it?
Celia If that’s a sample of seafaring humour, this show’s going to sink like a stone.
Captain Like my last ship. And the one before that, and the one before that, and the one…
Celia …How many ships have you had sink under you?
Celia What happened to them?
Captain They all hit the harbour wall and sank.
Celia You mean to say, you’ve never even made it out of harbour yet?
Captain No, but I’m confident I’ll make it this time.
Celia And what makes you think this time will be any different?
Captain Because I’ve hit the wall that many times, there’s nothing left of it.
Celia How come The Slack Girl doesn’t do the booze cruise anymore?
Captain They opened the channel tunnel, and the previous Captain sold her to me.
Celia Never mind. I’ll just stock up on duty-free rum instead.
Captain I’ll see you aboard then. (exits SR)
Paperboy enters (SL)
Paperboy Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Blackbeard implicated in latest pirate attack! Fifty sailors tossed overboard!
Celia Give me one of those papers. (takes paper and reads) How awful!
Paperboy That’s sixpence for the newspaper, Mrs.
Celia In that case, you can have it back.
Paperboy But you’ve read it now.
Paperboy So, you still have to pay for it.
Celia Listen, sonny Jim.
Paperboy My name’s Jack, not Jim!
Celia All right, sonny Jack. That paper’s already been read hasn’t it?
Paperboy Yes…by you!
Celia That’s irrelevant. I’m not buying second-hand newspapers. Now, sling your hook. (boy exits – to audience) I need to buy some toiletries from Boots, but I don’t want to miss the boat. So, I wonder if you’d help me out. Will you? (response) Thanks. Now before a ship sails, somebody always shouts all aboard! So whenever you hear anybody shout, all aboard! I want you all to shout, wait for us! As loud as you can and I’ll come running, okay? (response) Thanks. See you later then. (exits SL)
Music cue 3: Robinson strolls on (SR)
Robinson Hiya folks! I’m Robinson Crusoe the world-famous explorer. (slaps thigh) You’ll all have heard of me, no doubt. I’m just off to explore the Caribbean, and I’m hoping to catch mum before she sets sail for France. I want to make sure she gets her luggage all aboard. (response)
Celia runs on (USL) Billy runs on (DSL) they crash into each other and fall down.
Celia (standing) You great twit, Billy! Why don’t you watch where you’re going?
Billy (standing) It was you who got in my way!
Celia I should’ve given you up at birth!
Billy (upset) You don’t really mean that, do you mum?
Celia Of course not son. (aside to audience) I did try, but nobody would have him.
Robinson You haven’t missed the boat, have you mum?
Billy I think she missed it years ago.
Celia Cheek! No, Robinson, but I’m having second thoughts about going. I’m frightened we might get hijacked by pirates.
Robinson (to Celia) I always thought you had a soft spot for pirates.
Celia Only if the look like Johnny Depp. Anyway, if the government didn’t tax life’s little luxuries so much. I wouldn’t have to go abroad to get me booze.
Billy With what you’re planning on bringing back from Calais, you could open an off licence.
Celia What a good idea, Billy.
Robinson So, that’s your little game is it?
Celia A girl has to make a living somehow.
Billy You’ll be for it if the excise men nab you, mum. You’re not allowed to resell duty-free.
Celia I’m not re-selling it duty-free. I’m charging full price. Anyway, I’m not going to Calais. The ferry’s been sold to an ex-JCB driver, who’s sailing it to the Caribbean.
Dr Defoe enters (SR) and goes up to them.
Dr Defoe Pardon me. But could you tell me where I can find a ship called, The Slack Girl?
Robinson That’s the ship we’re sailing on. You can stick with us if you like.
Dr Defoe That’s very kind of you.
Robinson Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Robinson Crusoe, the world-famous explorer. (slaps his thigh) You’ve no doubt heard of me.
Dr Defoe No, I don’t think so.
Robinson (deflated) Oooh.
Celia And I’m his mother, Mrs Celia Crusoe.
Dr Defoe Celia Crusoe, the Inventor of the famous Bristol Belly-buster?
Celia The very same.
Robinson (butting in) Would you like to hear all about my latest exciting adventure, Mr…?
Dr Defoe …Not really. (to Celia) I’m a big fan of your Bristol’s, Mrs Crusoe.
Celia Come to my cabin later tonight and I’ll let you have a little nibble. I’ve packed a couple in my suitcase.
Dr Defoe I look forward to it.
Billy (to Dr Defoe) I think you might be biting off more than you can chew.
Robinson Are you sure you haven’t heard of me, Mr…?
Dr Defoe …Defoe. Dr Daniel Defoe.
Billy Are you the ship’s Doctor?
Dr Defoe No, I’m a botanist.
Celia Well, live and let live I always say.
Dr Defoe I’m going to the Caribbean in search of the legendary, man-eating Giant Stinkwort.
Robinson Do you think it really exists, Doctor?
Dr Defoe That’s what I intend to find out.
Billy Why is anything that eats people, always called a man-eater? And not a woman-eater?
Celia Maybe it’s because women have more sense, than to go near anything that looks even remotely dangerous.
Billy Let’s get aboard ship, mum.
Celia I’m not sure I want to go now.
Billy But you’ve always fancied a Caribbean cruise.
Robinson And this is your chance for an all-expenses paid trip.
Celia All-expenses paid!?
Robinson Yes, mum. My trip’s being sponsored by Booking.com.
Celia I’ll come!
Captain Codpiece enters (SR)
Captain All aboard! (response) We’ll never fit all you aboard! You’ll have to catch the next ship.
Robinson I’m very much looking forward to sailing with you, Captain Codpiece.
Captain Are you the ship’s new lookout?
Robinson No, I’m Robinson Crusoe the world-famous explorer. (slaps thigh) You’re sure to have heard of me, you being a sea-faring man.
Captain Nope. I can’t say that I have.
Robinson I’m very famous abroad!
Captain That would explain why I’ve never heard of you then.
Robinson What do you mean, Captain?
Captain I’ve never been abroad before.
Billy But you’re a ship’s Captain! How come you’ve never been abroad before?
Celia The harbour wall kept on getting in the way.
A one-legged Sailor enters (SR) on a crutch.
Dr Defoe What happened to your leg, sailor?
Sailor I’d set my heart on playing Long John Silver in a Treasure Island panto. And had it off to give myself a better chance of landing the part.
Dr Defoe And did you?
Sailor No, they changed their minds and did Cinderella instead. (exits SL)
A one-armed Sailor enters (SR)
Captain Did you lose your arm in a sailing accident, sailor?
Sailor No Cap’n, I cut it off.
Billy Why on earth did you cut off your own arm?
Sailor I’ve always wanted to sail around the world, single-handed. (exits SL)
Robinson I must say, you have a very dedicated crew, Captain.
Celia Dedicated? If you ask me, they ought to be medicated.
Swash and Buckle enter (SR) carrying a large cardboard box between them.
Captain (to Swash & Buckle) What’s in those boxes, mateys?
Buckle Bra’s Cap’n.
Captain Why are you taking bra’s aboard ship?
Swash You told us to Cap’n.
Captain No I didn’t!
Buckle But I distinctly remember you asking us to fetch 42D cups.
Captain I asked you to fetch forty-two teacups!
Swash (brings out a huge bra) Sorry Cap’n, but these were the biggest we could find.
Captain And what about the large sides of beef?
Buckle (brings out a pair of large briefs) I thought you said large-sized briefs.
Captain I don’t think I want to see the next item.
Dr Defoe What’s that then, Captain?
Captain A bucket of shot.
Swash (to Buckle) I told you he said shot!
Captain (to Swash & Buckle) Never mind. Just show these passengers to their cabins.
Buckle Which ones?
Captain (indicating Celia & Co) These ones.
Buckle No Captain, I meant which cabins?
Captain The ones under the foredeck.
Billy It must be a big ship if it has four decks, mum.
Captain Perhaps you’d all like to sit at my table for supper, later.Celia Well, I’m sure as heck not standing.
Captain I’ll see you later then. (exits SL)
Buckle (to Celia and Co) Follow us to your quarters.
Swash and Buckle pick up the boxes.
Robinson Coming mum?
Celia You and Billy run along. I just want to breathe in the fresh air of Bristol, a little longer.
Billy Okay mum.
Swash This way. (leads off SL)
Robinson and Billy follow Swash and Buckle off. Celia inhales deeply and coughs roughly and wiping away a tear.
Dr Defoe (looking at her) Do I detect a tear in your eye, Mrs Crusoe?
Celia How very perceptive of you, Doctor.
Dr Defoe Is it because you’re going to miss dear old England?
Celia No, it’s because my gusset digs in something chronic whenever I cough.
Paperboy enters (SR)
Paperboy Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Ship over-run at sea! Blackbeard strikes again! Fifty sailors go to the bottom! (exits SL)
Celia It’s no good, I can’t go. The thought of being attacked by that dreadful Blackbeard, is setting me shingles off.
Dr Defoe You’ll have nothing to fear on this trip Mrs Crusoe, I’ll see to that. Providing that you do a little something for me in return. (winks and touches nose)
Celia Have you got some sort of tropical ailment, Doctor?
Dr Defoe Just rest assured that everything will be all right. (winks and touches nose)
Celia Is there something you want to tell me, Doctor?
Dr DefoeYes, but only if you’re completely circumspect.
Celia (looking down her front) Well I was the last time I checked.
Dr Defoe You mustn’t breathe a word of it to anyone.
Celia I’ll be quiet as a Trappist Monk with laryngitis. Now, whisper it in my ear. (he does and she repeats it loudly) You’re a secret agent on a mission to capture Blackbeard! You’re hoping to trap him when he attacks the ship! Attacks the ship! (laughs hysterically)
Dr Defoe Why are you laughing? This is a very serious matter!
Celia (waggles finger in her ear) Sorry, you were tickling my ear.
Dr Defoe If my mission is to succeed, I’ll need your help. Now, listen closely.
Celia (he whispers and she repeats it loudly again) Everything must look normal! The pirates mustn’t suspect a thing! One of them may already be aboard ship and you want me to become a spy! A snoop on the poop?
Dr Defoe Yes. Now, will you do it?
Celia Are you kidding? Snooping’s my favourite hobby. By the way, what’s my secret agent number.
Dr Defoe Number?
Celia You know. Like James Bond.
Dr Defoe Oh, you mean 007?
Celia Yes, only I’d like something a bit more appropriate. (pushes her chest out)
Dr Defoe (looks at her chest) How about 0048C?
Dr Defoe I’m off to have a word with the Captain. Now remember, you must remain circumspect.
Celia Well I don’t think it’s reversible, really.
Dr Defoe I’ll see you later, then. (exits SL)
Celia (to audience) Isn’t it exciting? Me, a secret agent! But the pirate spies mustn’t suspect a thing. So if you hear anybody mention the word spies. I want you all to go, ssshh! Will you do that? (response) Thanks.
Robinson enters (SL)
Robinson Hurry mum, the ship’s about to set sail!
Celia Well, I hope it’s been fitted with bumpers.
Dr Defoe re-enters (SL)
Dr Defoe Just one more thing Mrs Crusoe. (whispers in her ear)
Celia You don’t say…you don’t say…you don’t say!
Dr Defoe exits (SL)
Robinson What was that all about, mum?
Celia He didn’t say. I’m off to slip into something nautical, ready for the Captain’s table. Cheerio! (exits SL)
Robinson That sounds like she’s going to wear something embarrassing.
Daisy runs on (SR) carrying a small wooden sample box.
Daisy I haven’t missed it, have I?
Robinson That all depends on what it is, Miss?
Daisy My father’s ship. I’m trying to find before it sails. Only he forgot to take his flora sample box, with him.
Robinson Your father’s a margarine salesman?
Daisy No, a botanist.
Robinson (penny drops) You’re not Dr Defoe’s daughter, by any chance?
Daisy That’s right. Do you know him?
Robinson Yes, he’s sailing with us to the Caribbean.
Daisy I haven’t missed him, then?
Robinson No, you’ve made it just in time.
Daisy Oh, good. I’m Daisy, by the way.
Robinson (smitten) Pleased to meet you, Daisy. I’m Robinson Crusoe. The world-famous explorer. (slaps thigh) I suppose you’ve heard of me?
Daisy No, sorry. (smitten) But I wouldn’t mind discovering who you are.
Robinson (chuffed) Really?
Daisy It must be ever so exciting, being a world-famous explorer.
Robinson It certainly is. I don’t suppose you’d care to come to the Caribbean with us?
Daisy I’d love to!
Robinson Wonderful! (aside to audience) This could be my most exciting adventure, yet. This way Daisy. (takes her by the arm and they exit SL)