SFX: Pyro flash. Octavia enters (SL) in a green spot.
Octavia Did I startle you just then? (response) Good! I hate all of you measly humans! Let me introduce myself. I am Octavia Cephalopod. An evil sea-witch and wannabe ruler of the ocean. But in order to do so, I must first steal King Neptune’s trident. Once I have it, I will have enough power to rule not only the undersea world, but also the human world above. Every creature in the sea is too loyal to King Neptune, to help me steal it. So, I’m going above to the human world to find some willing helpers. Luckily for me, humans are two-faced backstabbers, who will do anything for money. And that’s only the politicians. Copenhagen docks seems like a good place to find some villains. Farewell, and I’ll see you soon – as your new ruler! (exits SL laughing)
SFX: Pyro flash. Fairy Seaweed enters (SR) in a pink spot.
Fairy Hello boys and girls! My name’s Fairy Seaweed. And it’s my job to bring harmony to all living things in the sea. If Octavia gets her way, it will upset the whole balance of nature above and below the waves. I must ensure that her evil plan doesn’t succeed, and you can all help me. Whenever she comes on, just boo her as loudly as you can. Hopefully, it will annoy her enough for her to make mistakes and allow me to defeat her. Will you do that? (response) Thanks. See you all later then. (exits)
Arial (enters (SL) with Minnow) Thank you for accompanying me, Minnow.
Minnow It’s my job to accompany your highness everywhere. So, where are we going today?
Arial To my singing rock.
Minnow But you went there yesterday! And the day before, and the day before that…
Arial …But you know how much I love to sing, Minnow.
Minnow And is that the only reason you go there?
Arial What do you mean?
Minnow I’ve seen how you stare at all those humans on the beach.
Arial I can’t help it, Minnow. They always look like they’re having so much fun. I sometimes wish I could join them on the beach. But for that I’d need legs.
Minnow I’ll take my mermaid’s tail over legs, any day.
Arial I love the way the human’s legs wiggle so beautifully, when they swim.
Minnow Your father King Neptune, has warned us all to stay well away from humans.
Arial I don’t see why. They look harmless enough.
Minnow Well, they’re not. Especially the boy ones.
Arial Of course, if you don’t wish to accompany me to the singing rock.
Minnow Can you imagine what your parents would say, if I didn’t and you got into trouble?
Arial Then stop worrying and try and enjoy yourself. Come on. (leads them off SR)
Blackout – cloth/tabs out – lights up.
Outside Sybil Sushi’s fishmonger’s shop. Music cue 1: Hazel & Chorus. After song ends…
Hazel (to the others) That was great fun, wasn’t it?
Chorus 1 It sure was, Hazel.
Sybil (shouts off) Winkle!
Hazel That sounds like my employer, Mrs Sushi!
Chorus 2 What’s it like working for her, Hazel?
Hazel It’s all right, but she can get a bit crabby at times. (laughs)
Sybil (shouts off) Hazel!
Hazel (to Chorus) Beat it guys, or she’ll think I’ve been slacking.
Chorus 3 Okay Hazel.
Chorus 4 Don’t forget we’re all going clubbing tonight at…local club)
Hazel I’ll be there.
Chorus exit (SR) Music cue 2: Sybil enters (SL) carrying a large basket of fish.
Sybil Cor, this basket of fish weighs a ton! If only I had a strapping big son to help me.
Hazel I thought you had a strapping big son, Mrs Sushi.
Sybil More like, I have a slacking son and I’m always strapped. Life’s been so hard ever since my poor husband passed away. He used to work in a gun factory, until they fired him. Then he started his own business breeding budgerigars, but it never took off.
Hazel I heard you had a bit of a kerfuffle yesterday, with the window cleaner.
Sybil It’s true. I was upstairs in my bathroom, standing there in the altogether. (pointing at audience) I can see all the men in the audience getting a clear picture of that in their heads. Hold on to it boys, you never know when you might need it. Anyway, I was just seeing to all my nooks and crannies. When there was an almighty crash, and a handsome young window cleaner suddenly fell at my feet. I think something must’ve distracted him, because he didn’t realise the window was open when he went to slap his shammy on it. He begged me to ring accident and emergency. Which I did…first thing this morning. (to Hazel) I don’t suppose you’ve seen my little Winkle, have you?
Hazel Would you like to rephrase that, Sybil?
Sybil My lazy son, Winkle!
Hazel No, I’ve not met him yet. Even though I’ve worked here a month now.
Sybil That doesn’t surprise me. I can never find him myself. It’s my own fault for putting him on a zero-hours contract. He took it literally and has worked zero hours ever since.
Hazel Doesn’t he like working in the fish business, then?
Sybil He doesn’t like working, full stop. And talk about stupid! He once spent three hours trying to find a fish’s fingers. I really ought to pack it in, you know. The fish business is like a pair of old pants.
Hazel What do you mean, Sybil?
Sybil The bottom’s dropped out of it. I even tried nude modelling once, but I barely made a living.
Hazel Mum says, we should always count our blessings.
Sybil I do. But these days, I can count mine on one finger. Maybe I should remarry.
Hazel Have you ever thought about it?
Sybil I think about it constantly. Remarrying has also crossed my mind. After all, I’m still a young woman in the prime of her life.
Hazel How old are you then?
Sybil As old as my tongue and younger than my teeth.
Hazel You can’t be younger than your teeth.
Sybil Why not?
Hazel ‘Cos you only bought them last week.
Sybil How would you like to be unemployed?
Hazel (holding her nose) We’d better get that fish inside – it’s starting to pong.
Sybil Sorry, that’s me. (wafting behind) I had curried crab for lunch. Let’s go then.
They exit inside the shop. Winkle enters (SR)
Winkle (to audience) Hiya kids, I’m Winkle Sushi. Do you wanna be in my gang? I said, do you wanna be in my gang? (response) That’s better. Now, every time I come on and shout Hiya gang! I want you all to shout back, hiya Winkle! Will you do that? Let’s have a practice then. Hiya gang! (response) Not bad. Now let’s try it with all the grumpy kids joining in. (Hazel enters behind) Hiya kids! (response) That’s much better.
Hazel They’re very good, aren’t they?
Winkle (turns) Who are you?
Hazel I’m Hazel, your co-worker. And you’re Winkle, aren’t you?
Winkle That’s right. (sarcastic) How ever did you guess?
Hazel They do say that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.
Winkle Any kind of wit might improve this show. Hazel eh? How does it feel to be named after a nut?
Hazel Fine. How does it feel to be named after a…
Sybil (entering from shop)…Winkle!? There you are!
Winkle What do you want, mum?
Sybil You should’ve been helping me fetch a load of fish from the docks, this morning.
Winkle Sorry mum, but I was having this lovely dream and wanted to see how it ended.
Hazel What were you dreaming about?
Winkle I was dreaming I was eating the biggest marshmallow in the world. Then I woke up and found I’d eaten my pillow.
Sybil You don’t know what good hard work is.
Winkle No – what good is it?
Sybil Listen, hard work never killed anybody.
Winkle Well I don’t want to be its first victim.
Sybil There’s no chance of that.
Winkle Anyway, you know I don’t like getting up while it’s still dark.
Hazel How come?
Winkle I had a terrible experience as a child.
Hazel Why? What happened?
Winkle Ask mum.
Sybil He was such a frightened child. Every night he’d look under his bed, checking for any monsters hiding there. Then one night for a joke, I hid under his bed wearing a Freddie Kruger mask. Up until then, I never realised how expensive child therapy was.
Hazel Now I understand.
Sybil And now you’re here Winkle, you can help us fillet some fish.
Winkle But I haven’t had breakfast yet.
Sybil You can’t still be hungry, surely.
Winkle What do you mean?
Sybil Well, you ate a whole pillow earlier, remember?
Winkle I’m thinking about getting a second job, mum.
Sybil Second job! You don’t even do your first job!
Hazel What job are you after, Winkle?
Sybil I thought you were allergic to water.
Winkle Only if there’s soap in it. I can picture myself now, running along the beach in slow motion, just like on the old Baywatch series.
Sybil You always do everything in slow motion.
Winkle I’d make a great lifeguard, me.
Sybil What makes you think that?
Winkle Well, yesterday. I managed to drag a lovely young lady from the sea.
Hazel Was she in trouble?
Winkle Not yet! (nudging Hazel and laughing)
Sybil Our business will be in trouble, if we don’t start earning enough to pay the rent.
Winkle If only we had a ship, then we could catch our own fish and cut out the middleman.
Sybil What a good idea!
Hazel Can you afford to buy your own ship?
Sybil No, but I know somebody who might loan me one.
Sybil Captain Codpiece. An old flame who I almost married.
Hazel How come you didn’t?
Sybil His fire went out.
Winkle Do you think he’ll lend us his ship for free, mum?
Sybil I’m certain he will.
Hazel What makes you think that?
Sybil (takes her aside) Because it’ll be cheaper than years of child-support back-payments.
Hazel You mean, Winkle is…?
Winkle What are you two whispering about?
Sybil (turning) Just women’s problems! Now let’s go and get packed ready for a fishing-trip.
All exit inside.
SFX: Car horn toots.
Harpo and Coco enter (SL) in a cut-out taxi. Harpo drives.
SFX: Screeching tyres.
They come to a sudden halt (CS)
Harpo Why did you shout stop!?
Coco I want to swap places, Harpo.
Harpo What for?
Coco I fancy driving for a change.
Harpo We can’t swap place, Coco.
Coco Why not?
Harpo Because you don’t have a driver’s licence.
Coco I don’t need a licence to drive a cut-out taxi.
Harpo What makes you think that?
Coco Well, it doesn’t have an engine for starters.
Harpo You also need to have the knowledge.
Coco I know how to drive a taxi, thank you.
Harpo Not that knowledge!
Coco Then what knowledge are you talking about?
Harpo It’s a test you must take before you can drive a taxi in a big city.
Coco What does it involve?
Harpo You must know where every single street in Copenhagen is.
Coco I know where every single street in Copenhagen, is.
Harpo (surprised) Do you!?
Coco Yes. They’re in Copenhagen, stupid!
Harpo And do you know how to get to them all?
Coco Of course, I do!
Coco By taxi! Now hurry up and swap places.
Harpo Okay. I’ll just tell our passenger that we’re changing drivers. (gets out and checks the passenger seat) She’s gone!
Coco What do you mean, she’s gone?
Harpo I mean she’s disappeared! Vanished! Not there!
Coco (looks inside) Oh no, the floor’s dropped out!
Harpo I said we should’ve had that fixed.
Coco We couldn’t afford the garage fees.
Harpo She must have fallen out along the way. But where?
Coco It was probably in…(local street)
Harpo What makes you say that?
Coco Because that’s when I remember the taxi suddenly getting lighter.
Harpo Then why didn’t you say something at the time?
Coco Because we were going downhill at the time and it always feels lighter then.
Harpo You know what this means, don’t you?
Coco We won’t get a tip?
Harpo That, and we’ll also lose our taxi licence. We’d better find her, quick.
Harpo By retracing our route.
Coco We can’t do that.
Harpo Why not?
Coco We don’t have any tracing-paper.
Music cue 3: A bedraggled Octavia staggers on (SL)
Harpo Never mind, she’s found us.
Octavia You idiots left me lying in the middle of…(local road)…in rush hour traffic!
Harpo Sorry madam, we didn’t realise you’d fallen out.
Octavia You will both suffer a great penalty for this!
Coco That doesn’t worry us, love. Us English are used to suffering at penalties.
Harpo (to Octavia) At least you weren’t run over.
Octavia I was run over! Look! (turns and shows a tyre imprint running all up her back)
Coco I thought you looked a little tyred. (laughs) Get it? Tyred?
Octavia You think it’s funny, do you?
Harpo Certainly not! And to make amends, we’ll take you to Copenhagen Docks free of charge.
Octavia Free of charge?
Coco Yeah and it won’t cost you a penny either.
Octavia Very well. And don’t expect a tip.
Coco Hop in and straddle the gap.
Octavia enters taxi and Harpo takes up the driver’s position.
Harpo Hold tight now, here we go.
Coco (stops him) Hang on! I’m supposed to be driving this time!
Harpo Oh yeah, I forgot. (swaps places with Coco)
Octavia Hurry up and get a move on!
Coco One moment madam, we must do all the safety checks first. Now, have you got your seatbelt on?
Octavia There isn’t one!
Coco No smoking in the back.
Octavia I don’t smoke!
Harpo (to Coco) Just get going, you idiot!
Coco Check wind speed. (licks a finger and puts it in the air) Chocks away. Huston Control, we have lift off! (drives taxi off SR)
SFX: Squeal of tyres.
Octavia Look out you fool!
Loud crashing sound. Coco and Harpo run on (SR)
Harpo How did you manage to crash the taxi into a lamppost?
Coco I was distracted by a chicken crossing the road.
Harpo You are joking, aren’t you?
Coco No. I don’t know any chicken crossing the road jokes.
Octavia runs on (SR)
Octavia I’m going to make you both suffer horribly!
Harpo You’re not gonna sing to us, are you?
Octavia I don’t sing! But I do break necks!
Coco Run, Harpo!
Harpo and Coco run off (SL)
Octavia You can’t escape from me! (chases after them)
Prince Valiant enters with his Valet (SR)
Valet Are you sure you’ve thought this through, your highness?
Prince Yes, Justin. I feel stifled at the palace and yearn for adventure on the high sea. And who knows. I might even find romance out there on the waves.
Valet You’ve been watching old re-runs of The Love Boat again, haven’t you?
Prince So, what if I have?
Valet I don’t get it. You have every luxury possible at the palace.
Prince I care nothing for life’s luxuries, Justin. Money doesn’t buy you happiness, you know.
Valet So they say. Personally, I don’t buy it.
Prince Love is more important than money.
Valet Have you ever tried paying your gas bill with a hug?
Prince True happiness, is finding that one special person to share the rest of your life with.
Valet Maybe, so. But you have a much wider choice if you’re stinking rich.
Prince I don’t know why, but I have a feeling that out there…(pointing over the audience)…that one special person is waiting for me.
Valet In the audience!?
Prince No! Out at sea!
Valet Oh, I see.
Prince Now, let’s hurry to the Copenhagen docks and find our ship.
Valet I’m not going with you, sire.
Prince I beg your pardon?
Valet Watch my lips. (slowly) I-am-not-going-with-you.
Prince But I thought…
Valet Well you thought wrong, didn’t you?
Prince But I was hoping that we would share great adventures together.
Valet No fear. I enjoy my luxurious life at the palace too much. And besides, I suffer from terrible seasickness. Well, goodbye your highness. I hope you find what you’re searching for. (exits SR)
Prince Well, that was unexpected. Still it’s probably for the best. Captain Codpiece wouldn’t appreciate him barfing all over the ship. Farewell pampered boring life, hello exciting adventure and romance! (exits SL)