The Village Of Tapioca
Music cue 1: Villagers. After song ends…Villagers move upstage. Felix enters (SL)
Felix (to audience) Hiya boys and girls! My name’s Felix and I live here in the village of Tapioca, in the Kingdom of Ambrosia. It’s a nice little place…I said nice, love. Not rice. If anybody makes jokes about Ambrosia, the royal guards take them into custardy. (laughs) Only joking. Ambrosia’s a nice quiet place now, but it used to be terrorised by a nasty fire-breathing dragon. The King offered a huge reward to anyone who could slay it. The Pied Piper tried and became the Fried Piper. A knight called Rab, ended up as a kebab. Then a knight from Camelot speared the dragon, made it rollover and claimed the jackpot. Now there’s nothing to be scared of. That’s not quite true, there’s still Dame Thyme. And she’s scarier than any dragon. She was once asked to leave a library, because her clothes were too loud. And fancy calling her son Justin! I mean…who wants to be called Justin Thyme?
Music cue 2: Town Crier enters (SR) and unwinds a scroll.
Town crier Oh yeah! Oh yeah! Their royal majesties hereby invite all citizens of Ambrosia to a fancy-dress ball, tomorrow night at the palace. To celebrate the eighteenth birthday of Princess Nightingale! Oh yeah! Oh yeah! (rolls up the scroll and exits)
Villagers exit (SR) excitedly. Walter enters (SL) carrying a cardboard box.
Felix (to audience) Eh-up, it’s Walter the village idiot. What’s in the box Walter?
Felix You mean, it’s empty?
Walter No. It’s full of ‘air.
Felix Listen Walter. If it’s full of air, then it’s empty. A bit like your head.
Walter It’s not empty. (opens the box and takes out a wig) See?
Felix You mean, hair!
Walter That’s what I said.
Felix Yes, but you dropped the H.
Walter Did I? (looking around the floor) Where?
Felix Never mind, Walter. Have you heard about the royal ball? It’s going to be even bigger than the one they threw for Professor Newton, when he won the Nobel prize.
Walter (puzzled) He won a prize for not having a bell?
Felix No Walter. It’s the Alfred Nobel prize.
Walter Alfred won one as well?
Felix (to audience) I can’t take much more of this. (guiding him off SL) Goodbye Walter.
Justin Thyme enters (SR)
Justin Hiya Felix!
Felix Hiya Justin. Have you heard the news?
Justin What news?
Felix The King and Queen are throwing a fancy-dress ball for Princess Nightingale’s eighteenth birthday, and everyone’s invited.
Justin Oh, no!
Felix What’s wrong? I thought you liked a good do.
Justin Yes, and so does mother. Remember the time she went to pyjama party?
Felix How could I forget? She thought it meant you had to turn up in what you sleep in, and she only sleeps in her birthday suit.
Justin It was so embarrassing.
Felix (looks about in alarm) She’s not with you, is she?
Justin No, she’s harvesting our last crop of beetroots.
Felix How’s the farming business doing?
Justin Terrible! We’re that skint, she’s even asked me to pawn her wedding ring at Cash Convertors. I’m just on my way there now. I’ll see you later, Felix. (exits SL)
Felix (to audience) I think I’d better leave before Dame Thyme turns up. She fancies me like mad and I’d have to be, to fancy her. I wouldn’t say she was ugly, but she must’ve sucked an awful lot of lemons to look how she does.
Dame. T (off) Justin!
Felix Oh ‘eck! (starts tiptoeing off SL)
Dame Thyme enters (SR)
Dame. T (spots him) Hello, Felix! Fancy seeing you here.
Felix (turns) Oh, no. It’s the creature from the black lagoon.
Dame. T Blackpool, actually. I’ve just been there for a mucky weekend.
Felix I beg your pardon?
Dame. T It was a farmer’s convention, and we got down and dirty on a local farm. But I still found time for a bit of sunbathing on their new naturist’s beach.
Felix (aside to audience) I’ll bet the tide went out and never come back.
Dame. T Do you like my all-over tan?
Felix You never got a tan like that in Blackpool!
Dame. T Oh yes, I did! Well, from a branch of Boots in Blackpool anyway. I went to the Pleasure Beach and had a ride on the big one.
Felix You mean, the rollercoaster?
Dame. T What else!? (to audience) Have any of you lot been on it? (response) Were you scared? (response) I wasn’t. It takes a lot to frighten me.
Felix (aside to audience) She’s usually the one doing all the frightening.
Dame. T I saw this young man sitting on his own, looking rather nervous. The closer, I got the more nervous he seemed to get.
Felix I don’t blame him.
Dame. T I sat next to him, grabbed his hand and said. Calm down love, we haven’t even started yet. But he just screamed and jumped off. I guess the thought of going all the way was too much for him.
Felix I can understand that.
Dame. T Don’t you like scary rides, Felix?
Felix That all depends on who’s sitting next to me.
Dame. T You’d be all right with me holding your hand.
Felix (to audience) Now that’s scary.
Dame. T And who are you taking to the royal ball, lover-boy?
Felix You know about the ball?
Dame. T Everybody knows about the ball. You are going, aren’t you?
Felix No, I don’t think I’ll bother. I’m still getting over that last pyjama party.
Dame. T But that was years ago!
Felix (to audience) I suppose the nightmares will stop, eventually. (to Dame) I think I’ll have a quiet night in, instead.
Dame. T Good idea. You light the candles and I’ll bring a nice bottle of beetroot wine.
Felix (grimaces) Beetroot wine!?
Dame. T Yes. Get that down you and it’ll put hairs on your chest. (runs a hand over his chest) Not that you need any more.
Felix On second thoughts, maybe we should go to the ball. (aside to audience) They say there’s safety in numbers. (to Dame) What will you be wearing then?
Dame. T I’m thinking of going as a giant spoon.
Felix That should cause quite a stir.
Dame. T And what about you?
Felix I think I’ll go as the invisible man. (to audience) With a bit of luck she won’t see me. (to Dame) I’ll see you there then. (turns to go)
Dame. T (grabs him back) Give us a kiss before you go.
Felix All right, then. Close your eyes and pucker up. (she does so, and he turns and begins to tiptoe off SR)
Dame. T What are you waiting for, Felix? Hurry up before I go off the boil! (opens her eyes and spots him exiting) Come back, you rotten tease! (runs after him) Music cue 3:
Sage enters (SL)
Sage (turns and calls behind) Get a move on, slowcoach!
Onion trudges on.
Onion (wincing) Ooooh! My feet are killing me! (removes his shoes and rubs his feet)
Sage Put your shoes back on, before they kill the rest of us!
Onion Why couldn’t we have caught the bus?
Sage Because we’re skint. Ever since losing our job as sheepshearers, after falling asleep on the job.
Onion It’s not easy staying awake when you’re counting sheep all day.
Sage Tell me about it. We’ll have to find another job quick, or we’ll starve.
Music cue 4: Zendora enters (SL)
Onion Let’s ask her where the job centre is?
Sage Okay. (to Zendora) Excuse us Mrs.
Zendora (snaps) It’s Ms! (pronounce Mizzz)
Onion (looks around) There’s a bee in here somewhere.
Sage Do you know where the job centre is? Only we’re looking for work.
Zendora Then this is your lucky day. It so happens, I’m looking for two willing helpers.
Sage (nudges Onion) We’re in here.
Onion (uneasy) I don’t know, though. There’s something strange about her.
Sage Look who’s talking. (to Zendora) Sage and Onion are at your service.
Onion (to Zendora) What’s the pay like?
Zendora If you’re up to the task, you could become rich beyond your wildest dreams.
Onion (sidles up to her) I must warn you. I have some pretty wild dreams.
Sage (drags Onion away) We’re your men, Mrs.
Zendora (snaps) Mzzzz!
Onion (looks around) There’s that bee again.
Sage (to Zendora) What job do you want us to do then?
Zendora I want you to carry something out for me.
Sage No problem.
Onion Where do you want us to carry it?
Zendora I don’t want you to carry it anywhere.
Onion (to Sage) I said you she was weird, didn’t I?
Zendora It’s a plan, you fool!
Onion It must be a big one if you need help carrying it.
Sage Don’t you know what a plan is?
Onion ’Course I do. (rubs his tum) I like cheese and tomato myself.
Zendora I said plan not flan!
Sage (poking Onion) How did I ever get lumbered with you?
Onion Maybe it’s because we’ve got the same mum?
Sage Yes, and that’s the only reason I put up with you.
Onion If our mum could see the way you treat me, she’d turn in her grave.
Sage What are you talking about!? Mum’s not dead!
Onion Isn’t she?
Sage No! She’s alive and well and working in Iceland!
Onion I didn’t know she’d emigrated.
Sage She works in frozen foods, you idiot!
Onion I imagine everything’s frozen over there.
Sage Twit! If brains were dynamite, you wouldn’t have enough to blow your own nose!
Onion That’s not funny. (laughs to audience) Snot funny. Get it?
Zendora Let me explain my plan, gentlemen.
All huddle and whisper – then separate.
Sage That’s a cunning wicked and evil plan.
Zendora I know, but you won’t get paid extra for flattery.
Sage You can rely on us Mrs.
Zendora (furious) Mizzzzz!
Onion (looking around) That bee’s still here.
Sage There is no bee, you fool!
A Child dressed as a Bee runs across stage behind them and exits opposite side, but only Onion spots it.
Onion (encourage audience) Oh yes, there is!
Zen & Sage Oh no, there isn’t!
Onion (to audience) If that Bee appears again, will you all make a loud buzzing noise like this? Bzzzzzz! (response) Great.
The Bee enters again and stands behind them and audience respond.
Onion (to audience) Is the giant bee behind us now? (response)
Zen & Sage (to audience) Oh no, it isn’t!
Onion (encourage audience) Oh yes, it is!
Sage I’ll prove there’s no bee behind us. On the count of three we’ll all turn. 1…2…3!
As the count starts, the Bee exits. All turn.
Zendora You see? There’s no giant bee behind us.
The Bee enters again and stands behind them and audience shout.
Onion Is the giant bee behind us again? (response)
Zen & Sage Oh no, it isn’t!
Onion (encourage audience) Oh yes, it is!
Sage I’m not bothered, because bees are quite nice really, aren’t they?
Bee nods its head and poses.
Onion Yeah and they make lovely honey.
Bee nods its head and rubs its tummy.
Zendora I hate bees! They’re nasty stingy things. And for some strange reason, my magic doesn’t work on them. If I had my way, they’d all be exterminated!
Bee stands with hands on hips and then angrily taps Zendora on the back.
Zendora (turns) Aaahh! It’s a giant Bee!
The Bee jumps about angrily and turns its stinger towards Zendora.
Zendora No! Keep it away from me!
The Bee turns its stinger to face Zendora and backs towards her.
Zendora Aaahh! Help! (runs off SL chased by the Bee)
Onion (to Sage) It soon made her buzz off, didn’t it?
Sage I’m sure she’ll be back. And if we manage to pull this job off, we could end up rich.
Onion What would you do if you were rich?
Sage Listen and I’ll tell you. Music cue 5: Sage. After song ends…What would you do if you had lots of money?
Onion I’d put it all in a big oxo tin and hide it underneath my bed.
Onion ’Cos that’s what mum always did.
Sage Only to stop the landlord getting his hands on it.
Onion (knowingly) It wasn’t the only thing he tried getting his hands on.
Sage That’s true.
Onion Maybe that’s why mum emigrated to Iceland.
Sage She hasn’t emigrated, but maybe you should.
Sage To stop me from throttling you! (goes to grab him)
Sage chases Onion Music cue 6: Both exit (SL) Music cue 7: Fairy enters (SR)
Fairy. S The royal party grows ever near, A time Zendora would fill with fear. Princess Nightingale must beware, But I’ll be around to lend a care. (exits SR)