THE VILLAGE OF FOLLY-ON-THE-WOLD
Gertie’s Greengrocer’s shop with a practical door is [USR] a fruit and veg stall is outside. Music cue 2: Marsha and Chorus. After song ends…
JIMMY: [off] Marsha! Marsha!
CHORUS 1: It sounds like your boyfriend’s looking for you, Marsha.
MARSHA: Quick, hide me!
CHORUS 2: Why?
MARSHA: I think he might be after something.
CHORUS 3: If he hasn’t found it by now Marsha, then he never will.
MARSHA: He asked me to help clean out his ferrets earlier, but I can’t stand the things.
CHORUS 4: [looking SL] Here he comes now!
MARSHA: Don’t let him see me!
CHORUS 1: Hide behind us, Marsha.
Marsha kneels on the floor behind them with her face buried in her lap.
Enter Jimmy [SL] he cranes his neck looking for Marsha.
JIMMY: Has anybody seen Marsha?
CHORUS 2: What do you want her for Jimmy?
JIMMY: I’ve got something to show her.
CHORUS 3: What is it, Jimmy?
JIMMY: I’m not telling you.
CHORUS 4: Don’t be shy Jimmy, you can show it to us.
JIMMY: Only if you promise not to scream.
CHORUS: We promise!
JIMMY: Close your eyes then.
Chorus shut their eyes, nudging each other and giggling. Jimmy takes a ferret from his pocket, which is attached offstage by fishing-line.
JIMMY: All right you can look now.
CHORUS: [open their eyes and scream] Aaaah! [exit at a run SR]
Marsha is still crouched on the floor.
JIMMY: [stuffs ferret back in his pocket] What are you doing down there, Marsha?
MARSHA: [stands] Jimmy Jester! What are you doing frightening the daylights out of everybody?
JIMMY: I was just showing them my furry little friend.
MARSHA: What furry little friend?
JIMMY: The one I keep in my trousers.
MARSHA: I beg your pardon!?
JIMMY: Little Willie.
MARSHA: [shocked] Jimmy Jester!
JIMMY: No! Little Willie, my pet ferret. [takes ferret out] Look!
MARSHA: [horrified] Oooh! Put it away! Put it away!
JIMMY: All right Marsha, keep your hair on! Off you go Willie – straight home mind. Music cue 3: [ferret is yanked offstage – Jimmy peers out] ‘Ere, Marsha. Who are all those people?
MARSHA: That’s the audience, Jimmy.
JIMMY: What are they doing here?
MARSHA: They’ve come to watch us perform.
JIMMY: I bet they wouldn’t like us watching them while they perform.
MARSHA: Don’t talk silly, Jimmy. Let’s say hello to them.
JIMMY: Okay then. [to audience] Hello everybody, I’m Jimmy Jester!
MARSHA: And I’m Marsha Mallow.
JIMMY: She has a soft spot for me. [laughs] Get it? Marsha Mallow? Soft spot?
MARSHA: You’ll get a sore spot if you keep making fun of my name, Jimmy.
JIMMY: Knock, knock, Marsha.
MARSHA: Who’s there?
MARSHA: Butch who?
JIMMY: Butch your arms around me and give me a kiss. [grabs and tries kissing her]
Enter Gertie [SL] holding two large melons in front of her chest.
GERTIE: Jimmy Jester, you, lazy excuse for a shop worker! Didn’t you hear me shouting you earlier?
JIMMY: Yes, Gertie.
GERTIE: Then why didn’t you answer me?
JIMMY: You’ve always told me never to answer you back.
GERTIE: Idiot! Hurry up and grab hold of my melons.
MARSHA: And that’s the best offer you’re going to get today, Jimmy.
Jimmy takes melons and places them on the stall.
GERTIE: Remind me to get my…[posh accent]…mange tout out later, Jimmy.
JIMMY: What’s with the posh talk all of a sudden? Last week, it was mangey toot!
GERTIE: One can’t talk common when one runs a high-class delicatessen…[pronounce delicate-arsen]…can one?
MARSHA: I thought you ran a greengrocer’s, Gertie.
GERTIE: I’m going upmarket, and I’ve stocked up with exotic foods from around the world.
JIMMY: I wondered what that funny smell was.
GERTIE: That’ll be my Italian smoked duck. It’s cured you know.
JIMMY: I didn’t even know it was ill.
Enter Snow White from the shop.
S WHITE: Good morning everybody!
MARSHA: Hello, Snow White! Did you know that your Aunt Gertie was going up-market?
S WHITE: No I didn’t! How come auntie?
GERTIE: It’s because the bottom’s fallen out of the fruit and veg trade.
S WHITE: I did notice that business was a bit slack lately.
GERTIE: Slack!? It’s slacker than Jimmy’s work rate, and that’s saying something. It’s not easy running a business on my own, I could do with a man about the place.
JIMMY: What about me Gertie? I’m a man about the place.
GERTIE: I meant a real man, like my late husband Billy. He used to say to me, Gertie, you’re the salt of the earth, you are. Then he’d throw me over his shoulder for good luck. Oh, but he was tight-fisted. On our wedding anniversary, I said I wanted taking somewhere expensive, so he took me to a petrol station. He was a keen gardener and was always poking around my allotment, with his little dibber. Then one day, he went down to pick out a cauliflower for Sunday lunch, when tragedy struck. [takes out a hanky]
MARSHA: What happened, Gertie?
GERTIE: He dropped down dead. [stuffs hanky in mouth to stifle a cry]
MARSHA: How awful! Whatever did you do?
JIMMY: Let me guess, you opened a tin of peas instead? [laughs]
GERTIE: [snaps] No, I didn’t!
MARSHA: That wasn’t funny, Jimmy.
JIMMY: Don’t blame me Marsha, I didn’t write this stuff.