The Village Square
Villagers sing and dance. Music cue 1: Villagers. After song ends…All exit (SL) Vance enters (SR) struggling to carry a big cardboard box. He puts it down.
Vance Hiya folks! My name’s Vance, but most people call me Van the man. That’s because I deliver stuff in my van. So, whenever I come on and shout who’s the man? I want you all to shout back, Van’s the man! Will you do that? Let’s have a go then. (exits and returns) Who’s the man? (response) That’s great! I must deliver this package to the palace, but my van’s broke down and I’m struggling to carry it the rest of the way.
Annie Gusset enters (SL)
Annie Hiya Vance!
Vance Hi, Annie!
Annie You haven’t seen mother anywhere, have you?
Vance No and I don’t want to.
Annie Don’t tell me she’s still bothering you.
Vance It’s called stalking, Annie. And it’s making me a nervous wreck. Look! (shaky hand)
Annie I take it you’re not interested in her romantically, then?
Vance I’m not interested in her remotely, never mind romantically.
Annie Then why don’t you just tell her?
Vance I have, frequently. But she doesn’t listen.
Annie She’s not the best listener in the world, I’ll admit. What’s in the box, Vance?
Vance It’s a big birthday cake for the King’s birthday. But it’s too heavy to carry to the palace.
Annie What’s wrong with using your van?
Vance It’s just broken down.
Annie Then why don’t you ring the AA?
Vance I’m not a member.
Annie Green Flag?
Vance Afraid not.
Annie Aren’t you a member of any breakdown service?
Vance Yes. I’m a member of a new service called, Breakdowns Anonymous.
Annie Then why don’t you ring them?
Vance They don’t have a phone number.
Vance They don’t have an mail address. Or a physical address, for that matter.
Annie I think you’ve been taken for a ride, Vance.
Vance I think you’re right.
Music cue 2: PM and Dogsbody enter (SR) Dogsbody wears a Town Crier’s hat and carries a large bag containing various hats required for the scene.
Dogsbody (shouts) O yeah! O yeah! I have a small proclamation!
Vance I’m sorry to hear that. But why are you broadcasting it in public?
PM Because Town Crier, is one of his many jobs.
Annie And who are you?
PM I’m the Prime Minister.
Vance (aside to Annie) I thought there was something dodgy looking about him.
PM And this is Dogsbody, my cabinet.
Dogsbody (shouts) Order! Order!
Annie Why is there only one of him?
PM Cutbacks, I’m afraid. I had to fire the rest of the cabinet, to maintain my high salary.
Vance And he does all the jobs, does he?
PM That’s correct.
Dogsbody rummages in the bag and puts on a yellow hard hat.
Annie What job’s he doing now?
PM Minister for building works.
Dogsbody (to Annie) Ello darlin’ what’s the trouble then? Need your pipes lagging?
Annie What other jobs does he do?
PM Minister for police.
Dogsbody (produces a policeman’s helmet) Well your honour, I was proceedin’ in a westerly direction towards the accused. (grabs hold of Vance) Right, sunshine. I shall have to take down your particulars.
Vance (breaks free) You leave my particulars alone! (to PM) I think I preferred the first bloke.
PM Town Crier again, Dogsbody
Dogsbody (Town Crier’s hat on) O yeah! O yeah! The King has decreed that all taxes will be doubled with immediate effect.
Vance But he doubled them only last month!
Annie If his majesty keeps on raising everybody’s taxes, he risks a popular revolt.
Dogsbody I don’t think any revolt will be very popular.
PM Well, not with us certainly. I’d be out of a job and you’d be out of several jobs.
Vance If taxes keep on rising, we’ll all need several jobs to pay for them.
PM It’s time for my monthly meeting with his majesty. Official chauffeur please, Dogsbody.
Dogsbody (puts on a flat cap) Okay guv, where too?
PM I said chauffeur, Dogsbody! Not taxi-driver!
Dogsbody Sorry PM, more cutbacks I’m afraid.
PM Very funny Dogsbody. Now, take me to the palace.
Dogsbody Yes guv.
Vance If you’re going to the palace, would you mind delivering this box for me?
Dogsbody I’m sorry, but my many jobs don’t include that of delivery person. Music cue 3: Drives off (SR) and the PM follows on close behind.
Annie I’d better go and find mother. We’ve just had a big order from the palace, for five-hundred army uniforms.
Vance Five-hundred army uniforms! Anybody would think there’s a war on.
Annie The daft King certainly does. Still, it keeps us in work. Cheerio, Vance. (exits SL)
Vance I’ll never manage to carry this box all the way to the palace. I’d better leave it here while I go and fix my van. Oh, but what if somebody tries nicking it? (to audience) I say, would you mind looking after this box for me? (response) Thanks. I’ll leave it here…(pushes it DSR)…and if anybody goes near it, just shout out and warn me, okay? Now, what shall I get you to shout? (thinks) I know! It contains a big fruit cake. So, if anybody goes near it, just shout fruitcake! And I’ll come running, okay? Let’s have a practice then. I’ll sneak up on the box and you all shout. (creeps up on the box) You can do better than that. (repeats) Great! I’ll see you later then. (exits SR)
Music cue 4: Lights dim briefly as Rumpelstiltskin enters (SL) with Sniff and Scratch.
Scratch Why have we come to village today, boss?
Sniff I was wondering that. We usually only come here when we’re about to nick something.
Rumpelstiltskin Because the object of my desire is here.
Scratch And you want us to nick it?
Rumpelstiltskin It’s not something you can steal.
Sniff So, what is it then?
Rumpelstiltskin It’s not a what, it’s a who.
Rumpelstiltskin No, who!
Scratch I don’t know boss, you started it.
Rumpelstiltskin (snaps) Idiots! The object of my desire is Annie Gusset. And I intend to marry her.
Sniff What makes you think a beautiful young girl like her, will marry somebody like you?
Rumpelstiltskin And why wouldn’t she marry me?
Scratch No offence boss, but you have the kind of face that only a mother could love.
Rumpelstiltskin Do you think it wise to insult your employer?
Sniff You’ve always told us to speak our minds, boss.
Rumpelstiltskin Only once you’ve acquired them.
Scratch But isn’t Annie Gusset engaged to the famous Scottish soap star, George Mclooney?
Sniff That’s right. Apparently, he’s very big in the Trossachs.
Scratch That would explain his popularity with the ladies.
Rumpelstiltskin Forget him. I intend to marry her, but I need a plan to make it happen. So, get your thinking caps on.
Sniff We can’t do that, boss.
Rumpelstiltskin Why not?
Scratch We haven’t got any.
Sniff Will a baseball cap do instead?
Rumpelstiltskin You, are both morons!
Sniff Do you think it wise to insult your employees, boss?
Rumpelstiltskin Yes, I do!
Scratch Fair enough. Just so long as we know where we stand.
Rumpelstiltskin I want you to spy on Annie and her mother, Gertie. And see if you can pick up any useful information. Meanwhile, I’ll go and order my wedding suit. (exits SL)
Sniff (spots the box) Ello! What’s this, then? (goes to it and audience shout)
Vance runs on (SR)
Vance Who’s the man? (to Sniff) Oi! Leave that alone!
Scratch This big package is yours, is it?
Vance Yes…I mean, no.
Sniff Make your mind up then!
Vance I’m delivering it to the palace, but my van broke down.
Scratch Then why have you left it here, unattended?
Vance It’s not unattended. (indicating audience) This lot are watching it for me, while I fix my van. So, don’t even think about pinching it.
Sniff We’re not interested in your stupid package. We’ve got bigger fish to fry.
Vane Are the new owners of the village chippy?
Scratch No. He’s talking metaphorical fish.
Vance I think I’d prefer cod, myself.
Sniff Let’s go Scratch. If we don’t keep the boss happy, we’ve had our chips.
Scratch All this talk of fish and chips has made me hungry.
Sniff Let’s go to the chippy then.
Scratch Good idea. Come on.
Sniff and Scratch exit (SL)
Vance I’d better get back to my van. (to audience) Keep watching that box for me. (exits SR)
Gertie enters (SL) singing.
Gertie You’re the one that I want, you’re the one that I want, ooh, ooh…(spots audience) Oh, hello! Are you all enjoying yourselves? (response) It won’t last. My name’s Gertie Gusset and I’m a dressmaker, just like my mother before me. I never saw her without a mouthful of pins you know. One day she had a sneezing fit and stapled two of us kids to the wall. Now, I like to get nice and friendly with everybody, so whenever I shout hello boys and girls! I want you all to shout back, hello Gertie! Will you do that? Let’s try it then. (exits and re-enters) Hello boys and girls! (response) Wonderful! (spots box) What’s this box doing here. (goes to it and audience shout) How dare you! I’ have all my marbles thank you very much!
Vance runs on (SR)
Vance Who’s the man? (spots Gertie) Gertie!
Gertie Have you left that box here?
Vance Yes. My van broke down and it’s too heavy to carry.
Gertie Speaking of weight. I suppose you’re wondering why I’m looking so much slimmer, these days?
Vance Don’t tell me you’re on yet another diet.
Gertie Yes, it’s the new Scotch whisky diet.
Vance A Scotch whisky diet?
Gertie It’s been recommended by George Mclooney, and it’s marvellous.
Vance And have you lost anything?
Gertie Yes. So far, I’ve lost three days. I’ve also heard about this amazing new operation, that involves having all your bones removed and replaced with rubber ones. Not only do you weigh less, but you also look so much more relaxed.
Vance Your body’s over-relaxed, if you ask me. But that’s gravity for you.
Gertie Yes, and it’s gravitating in your direction. (presses against him)
Vance (pushing her off) Geeerroff!
Gertie You can’t resist my gravitational pull forever.
Vance Then I’ll start using anti-gravity aftershave.
Gertie There’s no such thing as anti-gravity aftershave.
Vance Yes, there is. It’s called Old Spice.
Gertie Old Spice isn’t anti-gravity aftershave!
Vance Then how come women never gravitate towards men who wear it.
Gertie Maybe that’s because it’s usually worn by old men?
Vance Speaking of which. How old are you?
Gertie Don’t you know it’s rude to ask a lady her age?
Vance I’m not. I’m asking you.
Gertie And what makes you think I’m not a lady?
Vance There’s something about you, I can’t quite put my finger on.
Gertie (pressing against him) You could do, if you asked nicely.
Vance I really must go and fix my van. (turns to go but is held back by Gertie)
Gertie Would you like me to give you a hand?
Vance What do you know about fixing motors?
Gertie Nothing. But I could hold your gearstick, for you.
Vance No thanks, Gertie! (turns and runs off SR)
Gertie (to audience) I’ll leave my motor running and get him in my clutches later. (exits USL)
Music cue 5: George Mclooney enters (DSL)
George Hello, folks! I’m George Mclooney, Scottish soap star. I’ve just come down from bonnie Scotland to see ma girlfriend, Annie Gusset. She doesn’t know I’m here, so it’ll be a wee surprise for her. (spots box) What’s this? (goes to it and audience response)
Vance runs on (SR)
Vance Who’s the man? (spots George) Don’t touch that box, Miss!
George (turns) How dare ye!
Vance Sorry pal, the skirt threw me.
George It’s a kilt, ya Sassenach!
Vance Aren’t you George Mclooney?
George Aye, that’s me. (takes out a signed photo) Would ye like a signed photo?
Vance No. But I’d like you to keep your hands of that package. I’m taking it to the palace.
George Then what’s it doing there?
Vance Waiting for me to fix my van. (to audience) Keep watching it for me, kids. (exits SR)
Annie enters (SL)
Annie What are you doing down here?
George I’ve come to ask, if you’ll make me the happiest man in the glen.
Annie You mean…?
George Aye, lassie. (goes down on one knee) Annie Gusset, will ye do me the great honour of becoming ma wife?
Annie Yes George, I will!
George That’s fair grand. I can feel a wee song coming on. Music cue 6: George and Annie. After song ends…They embrace.
Gertie enters (SR)
Gertie Hello boys and girls! (spots Annie & George) Hello, what’s going on here then?
Annie George has come all the way from Scotland asked me to marry him, mum.
George And she said, yes.
Gertie Congratulations to you both. (to George) I take it you’ll be moving South of the border, after you’re married. (to audience) Don’t make up your own jokes, please.
George Aye! I’ve just landed a part in EastEnders.
Annie That’s my favourite soap!
George What’s your favourite soap, Gertie?
Gertie Imperial Leather. (laughs)
George But I’ll need a wee job to tide me over until I start my new role.
Annie Maybe George could work for us, mum. We could do with a bit more help, with the order for army uniforms.
Gertie All right, Annie. But first I need to ask him something, on health and safety grounds.
George Ask away, Gertie.
Gertie Is it true, that a Scotsman wears nothing underneath his kilt?
George Aye. Apart from the Mcloud clan, who always wear underpants made from tin-foil. Hence the saying, every Mcloud has a silver lining. (laughs)
Gertie Then come with us, and let’s see what you’re like at lining army jackets.
All exit (USL)