The Village of Folly-on-the-Wold
Greenfly’s Greengrocer’s shop with a practical door is (USR) with an outside stall laden with fruit and veg. Music cue 2: Marsha & Villagers. After song ends…
Jimmy (off) Marsha! Oh, Marsha!
Chorus1 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 Well if he hasn’t found it by now, he never will.
Marsha He asked me to help clean out his ferrets earlier, but I can’t stand anything that looks like a rat.
Chorus 4 (looking SL) Here he comes!
Marsha Don’t let him see me!
Chorus 5 Hide behind us, Marsha.
Marsha kneels down behind them with her head on her knees. Jimmy enters (SL)
Chorus 1 Are you looking for somebody, Jimmy?
Jimmy I’m looking for my girlfriend, Marsha.
Chorus 2 What do you want with her?
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.
Chorus 5 Yes, come on Jimmy. Show us what you’ve got.
Jimmy Do you promise not to scream?
Chorus We promise.
Jimmy Close your eyes then.
Chorus close their eyes, nudging each other and giggling. Jimmy takes a ferret from his pocket, which is attached offstage by fishing-line.
Jimmy You can look now.
Chorus open their eyes, scream and run off (SR) leaving Marsha crouched on the floor hiding her face. Jimmy puts ferret away.
Jimmy What are you doing down there, Marsha?
Marsha (realises the others have gone and stands) Jimmy Jester! What are you doing frightening the living daylights out of everyone?
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) Ooohh! Put it away! Put it away!
Jimmy All right, keep your hair on! Off you go Willie. Straight home mind. (ferret is whisked off SR)
Music cue 3: ‘Ere, Marsha. (peering out) There are lots of people out there.
Marsha That’s the audience, Jimmy. They’ve come to watch us perform.
Jimmy Have they? I bet they wouldn’t like us watching while they performed.
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 (kicks his bum) And you’ll get a sore spot if you keep making fun of my name, Jimmy.
Jimmy (to audience) I think she needs softening up a bit. I’ll tell her a joke. (to Marsha) Knock, knock, Marsha.
Marsha Who’s there?
Marsha Butch who?
Jimmy Butch your arms around me and give me a kiss. (grabs her and tries kissing her)
Gertrude enters (SL) carrying two large melons in front of her chest.
Gertrude Jimmy Jester!
Jimmy (startled) Mrs Greenfly!
Gertrude You, lazy excuse for a shop worker! Didn’t you hear me calling you earlier?
Jimmy Yes, but you’ve always told me never to answer you back.
Gertrude Hurry up and grab hold of my melons.
Marsha And that’s the best offer you’re going to get today, Jimmy Jester.
Jimmy takes the melons and places them on the stall.
Gertrude 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!
Gertrude One can’t talk common, when one is running a high-class delicatessen…(pronounced delicate-arsen)…can one?
Marsha I thought you ran a greengrocer’s, Gertrude.
Gertrude I’m going upmarket and have stocked up with exotic foods, from around the world.
Jimmy I wondered what that funny smell was.
Gertrude That’ll be my Italian smoked duck. It’s cured you know.
Jimmy I didn’t even know it was ill.
Snow White enters from the shop.
Snow White Good morning everybody!
Marsha Hey, Snow White. Did you know that Aunt Gertrude, is going up-market?
Snow White No. (to Gertrude) Why’s that then, Auntie?
Gertrude It’s because the bottom’s fallen out of the fruit and veg trade.
Snow White I had noticed that business was a bit slack lately.
Gertrude You can say that again. It’s slacker than a yard of Cumberland sausage. It’s not easy running a small business on my own, you know. I sometimes long for the company of a man about the place.
Jimmy What about me? I’m a man about the place.
Gertrude I meant a real, man. A man like my late husband, Billy. Now, there was a real man. He used to say to me, Gertrude, you’re the salt of the earth. Then he’d throw me over his shoulder for luck. Oh, but he was tight-fisted though. On our wedding anniversary, I said I wanted taken somewhere expensive, so he took me to a petrol station. I once accused him of having affairs with other women, but he just said I was paranoid. I tried booking into a Paranoid’s Anonymous meeting, but they wouldn’t tell me where it was. Billy was a very keen gardener and was always poking around in my allotment, with his little dibber. I’ll never forget that fateful day. (takes out a hanky) He was down the allotment, picking up a nice fresh cauliflower for Sunday lunch, when it happened.
Marsha What happened, Gertrude?
Gertrude He dropped down dead. (stuffs hanky in mouth to stifle a cry)
Marsha How awful! Whatever did you do?
Jimmy Don’t tell me. You opened a tin of peas instead. (laughs)
Gertrude (snaps) No, I did not!
Marsha This isn’t a joke, Jimmy.
Gertrude (blithely) I was all out of peas, so I opened a tin of carrots instead.
Jimmy Oh, well that makes all the difference. I’m a bit of a gardener myself. People often tell me I have green fingers.
Gertrude Only because you keep shoving them up your nose.
Snow White How have you managed to cope since, auntie?
Gertrude It hasn’t been easy. But now, I just take life with a pinch of salt.
Jimmy Plus, a slice of lime and a shot of Tequila.
Gertrude Every little helps, as they say.
Chorus wander back on.
Snow White (to Chorus) Aunt Gertrude’s feeling a bit down everybody. Let’s cheer her up by all singing a nice happy song.
Music cue 4: Ensemble. After song ends…Chorus wander over to the stall on display outside the shop and browse.
Gertrude I feel much better now. There’s nothing like a little singsong to…(hoists her chest)…lift the spirits.
Snow White Seeing as you’re all happy again, auntie. Is it all right if I go for a walk in the woods?
GertrudeCertainly not! You might get lost.
Snow White Please auntie. I won’t go far, I promise.
Gertrude Oh, very well then. But don’t be too long.
Snow White I won’t, auntie. (kisses her cheek) Bye! (skips off SL)
Jimmy Can I take Marsha for a wander in the woods, Gertrude? (to Marsha) Do you fancy it, Marsha?
Marsha (taking his arm) Yes please, Jimmy!
Gertrude I’ll bet you do. Now, get inside that shop the pair of you.
Jimmy But Marsha doesn’t work in your shop.
Gertrude Neither do you most of the time.
Marsha I don’t mind helping out, Jimmy. At least we’ll be together.
Jimmy and Marsha exit into shop, giggling like naughty schoolkids.
Chorus 2 How about a bit of service, Gertrude.
Chorus 3 Yeah, shift yourself or we’re off to Asda.
Gertrude All right, come inside and I’ll show you my large chorizo. (ushers them inside)