THE VILLAGE SQUARE
Music cue 1: Chorus of Villagers. After song ends…Exit all [SL]
Enter Vance [SR] struggling with a big cardboard box. He puts it down.
VANCE: Hiya folks! I’m Vance, but everybody calls me Van the man, 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 enters] Who’s the man? Great! I’m delivering this package to the palace, but my van’s broken down and I’m struggling to carry it the rest of the way.
Enter Annie [SL]
ANNIE: Hello Vance! Have you seen my mother anywhere?
VANCE: No Annie, and I don’t want to.
ANNIE: Don’t tell me she’s still bothering you.
VANCE: It’s called stalking, Annie.
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 just doesn’t listen.
ANNIE: I know what you mean. What’s in the box?
VANCE: It’s a big cake for the King’s birthday, but it’s too heavy to carry to the palace.
ANNIE: What’s wrong with your van?
VANCE: It’s broken down.
ANNIE: Then why don’t you ring the AA?
VANCE: I’m not a member.
ANNIE: Green Flag?
VANCE: I’m afraid not.
ANNIE: Aren’t you a member of any breakdown service?
VANCE: Yes, I’ve joined a new one 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 email address. Or a physical one, for that matter.
ANNIE: I think you’ve been taken for a ride, Vance.
VANCE: I think you’re right Annie.
Enter PM and Dogsbody [SR] Dogsbody wears a Town Crier’s hat and carries a large bag containing various hats.
DOGSBODY: [shouts] Oh yeah! Oh 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: [to audience] I thought he looked a bit dodgy.
PM: And this is Dogsbody, my cabinet.
DOGSBODY: [shouts] Order! Order!
ANNIE: Why is there only one of him?
PM: Cutbacks. 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 right.
Dogsbody rummages in the bag and puts on a builder’s hard hat.
ANNIE: What job’s he doing now?
PM: Minister for building works.
DOGSBODY: [to Annie] ‘Ello darlin’ are you ‘avin’ subsidence trouble?
ANNIE: No, but I think my mum might be.
VANCE: [to PM] Yes, and it’s not only her house – if you know what I mean.
Dogsbody dons a police helmet.
VANCE: Who is he now?
PM: Minister for the police.
DOGSBODY: [to Vance] Have you ever considered joining the police force my lad?
VANCE: Yes, but I failed the interview.
ANNIE: How come?
VANCE: I kept replying no comment, to every question.
PM: Town Crier again, Dogsbody
DOGSBODY: [Town Crier’s hat on] Oh yeah! Oh yeah! The King has decreed that all taxes will be doubled with immediate effect!
VANCE: But he doubled them only last month!
ANNIE: If the king keeps on raising taxes, he risks a popular revolt.
DOGSBODY: I don’t think a revolt would be very popular.
PM: Well, not with us anyway. I’d be out of a job, and you’d be out of several jobs.
VANCE: We’ll all soon need several jobs just to pay our taxes.
PM: It’s time for my monthly meeting with his majesty. Chauffeur Dogsbody.
DOGSBODY: [dons a flat cap] Where too guv?
PM: I said chauffeur Dogsbody, not taxi-driver!
DOGSBODY: More cutbacks I’m afraid PM.
VANCE: If you’re going to the palace, would you mind delivering this box for me?
PM: Dogsbody’s many jobs doesn’t include delivery person. Drive on Dogsbody!
Music cue 2: Exit Dogsbody driving, PM off.
VANCE: So, how’s business then Annie?
ANNIE: Great! The king’s just placed an order for five-hundred army uniforms.
VANCE: Blimey! Anybody would think there was a war on!
ANNIE: The king certainly does. Anyway, I must find mother. Bye, Vance. [exits SL]
VANCE: I can’t carry this box any further. I’ll just leave it here while I go and fix my van. Oh, but then somebody might nick it. [to audience] I say, would you mind looking after this box for me? Thanks. I’ll leave it here…[places it DSR]…and you shout and warn me if anybody goes near it. Now, what shall I get you to shout? I know! It holds a big fruitcake, so just shout fruitcake, and I’ll come running, okay? Let’s have a practice. I’ll sneak up on the box as if I’m about to nick it. [does so] You can do better than that. [repeats business] That’s better! Keep watching it and I’ll see you all later. [exits SR]
Music cue 3: Enter Rumpelstiltskin with Sniff and Scratch [SL]
SCRATCH: Why have we come to village today, boss?
SNIFF: I was wondering that, too.
RUMPELSTILTSKIN: Because the object of my desire is here.
SCRATCH: And you want us to nick whatever it is?
RUMPELSTILTSKIN: It’s not a what, it’s a who!