Trouble In Pantoland

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Description

Synopsis:

When Baron Hardup becomes the new tax-collector of Pantoland, the once nicest man in Pantoland turns into the nastiest in the land. And if anyone doesn’t pay up, his bailiffs take payment in kind. Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep. Little Boy Blue’s horn has been confiscated and sold on ebay.  Little Jack Horner has been evicted from his corner. And now Mother Goose is being threatened with eviction. But things are not what they seem, and the reason for the Baron’s sudden change becomes clear, when the evil Witch Grizelda is revealed to be the power behind the throne. This story, cleverly manages to weave lots of well-known pantomime and nursery-rhyme characters, into a traditional panto storyline of good versus evil.

Roles:

11 principals plus several minor speaking roles, a goose and a chorus.

Runtime:

All of our scripts have a runtime of approx 120 minutes, assuming that you use the full number of suggested musical numbers and not including any interval. But this is very dependent on your own production and can be edited by yourselves to suit.

Music:

All of our pantomimes come with a full, suggested songs and music cues and SFX list.

Style:

Traditional British pantomime, incorporating visual comedy, slapstick and audience participation.

Free Sample

Characters

Mother Goose
Silly Billy
Heidi
Peter Pan
Baron Hardup
Nick
Nack
Fairy Snow
Grizelda
Little Tommy Tucker
Priscilla (a Goose)

Chorus/Minor roles

Jack
Jill
Little Bo Peep
Little Boy Blue
The Witch from Oz
Villagers, Guards, Fairies, Skeletons, etc

Scene One

Outside Mother Goose’s Cottage

Music cue 2: Heidi and Villagers. After song ends…

Enter Jack and Jill (SR) looking glum.

Villager 1 Look everybody, it’s Jack and Jill.

Villager 2 Hello, you two. How’s the water fetching business?

Jack & Jill (glum) Terrible.

Villager 3 What’s the matter guys?

Villager 4 You haven’t fallen down that steep hill again, have you?

Jack No. After that happened, health and safety made the council install a flight of steps and a handrail, all the way to the top.

Jill It certainly made our water fetching a lot easier, I can tell you.

Heidi Then why are you both looking glum?

Jack Baron Hardup has just confiscated our water buckets.

Jill And now we can’t make a living fetching water for people.

Heidi But Baron Hardup’s always been such a kindly old gentleman.

Jack Not anymore. Ever since becoming Pantoland’s new tax-collector, he’s turned nasty.

Jill He turns up and demands payment on the spot.

Jack And if you can’t pay up, his bailiffs confiscate your belongings or evict you.

Heidi That’s terrible!

Jill The once kindly old Baron, is now the scourge of Pantoland.

Jack People are leaving Pantoland because they can’t afford the new taxes.

Jack Little Jack Horner, Humpty Dumpty, and Old Mother Hubbard, to mention a few.

Jill If this carries on for much longer, there’ll be nobody left in Pantoland.

Enter Little Bo Peep (SL) crying.

Villager 1 It’s Little Bo Peep!

Villager 2 Why are you crying, Bo Peep?

Bo Peep Baron Hardup confiscated all my little lambs because I couldn’t pay my taxes.

Villager 3 No wonder you’re upset.

Bo Peep He said if I don’t pay up by tomorrow, they’ll all end up in shepherd’s pies.

Villager 4 How could anybody be so wicked?

Bo Peep (sobs) I might not see my poor little lambs, ever again.

Heidi Cinderella will be horrified when she discovers what her father’s been up to.

Bo Peep She already knows. He evicted her and Prince Charming from their palace, for failing to pay their capital gains tax.

Heidi Poor Cinderella. Her own father has turned nastier than her wicked stepmother.

Jack And her Fairy Godmother can’t help her this time.

Heidi Why not?

Jill The Baron confiscated her magic wand, for refusing to pay the new spell tax.

Jack Baron Hardup must be stopped, before he permanently ruins Pantoland.

Heidi Yes, but what can we do to stop him?

Enter Little Boy Blue (SL) wailing.

Boy Blue It’s not fair! It’s just not fair!

Jill It looks like Little Boy Blue could be the Baron’s latest victim.

Jack What’s happened to you, Little Boy Blue?

Boy Blue I was on my way to Old McDonald’s farm as usual, when I bumped into Baron Hardup and his bailiffs.

Jill Let me guess. He said you owed lots of taxes?

Boy Blue Yes, he did. And when I couldn’t pay, he confiscated my solid-silver horn.

Bo Peep Just like he did with my little lambs.

Boy Blue Now the sheep are in meadow and the cows are in the corn, but without my horn I can’t call them.

Jack Couldn’t you use a loudhailer instead?

Boy Blue Yes, but can you imagine all the little children singing. Little Boy Blue, come blow your loudhailer? The whole integrity of the rhyme would be compromised.

Heidi I suppose it would, seeing as you put it like that.

Enter Mother Goose from the cottage.

M. Goose What’s going on? Why are you all congregating outside my house? Has my chimney fallen down or something?

Heidi No, mum. We were just discussing what to do about Baron Hardup.

M. Goose What’s the silly old fool been up to now?

Jack He’s out collecting taxes with his bailiffs.

Jill And if you can’t pay, he’s taking it in kind.

Bo Peep He’s confiscated all my little lambs.

Boy Blue And my solid-silver horn.

M. Goose The heartless swine. And to think I almost married him.

Heidi (shocked) I didn’t know that mum!

M. Goose He proposed to me long before I had you and Billy. But I was young and fancy-free, with lots of wild oats still to sow and I turned him down. And seeing how he’s turned out, I’m glad I did. But sooner or later, he’ll get his comeuppance.

Jack We need somewhere safe to hide, while we wait for him to get his comeuppance.

M. Goose Take them all The Seven Dwarf’s cottage Heidi, they’ll be safe there. It’s been empty ever since Dopey won the lottery and bought a big house in…(local posh area)

Heidi Yes, mum. (to the others) Come with me everybody.

Exit Heidi, Jack and Jill, Little Bo Peep and Little Boy Blue (SR)

Villager 1 I’m off to barricade my home, to stop the Baron taking any of my stuff.

M. Goose Maybe I should do likewise.

Villager 2 I think you’ll be safe from the Baron’s clutches, Mother Goose.

Villager 3 What makes you think that?

Villager 4 I can’t see him wanting to get his hands on your bits and pieces.

Exit Villagers (SR) laughing.

M. Goose Cheeky lot. (to audience) Oh, hello! Do excuse my appearance. I’ve had a bit of a lie-in this morning after being out clubbing all night at…(local club) Have any of you been there? It’s brill, isn’t it? And NHS Direct said the loss of hearing and constant ringing, should only be temporary. Now, has anybody seen my son Billy? Or Silly Billy, as everybody calls him. I wouldn’t say he had a low IQ, but he makes Simple Simon seem like a genius. He’s gone to market this morning to sell a load of goose eggs, from our smallholding, and I’m hoping to get enough to pay my council tax. I just hope he doesn’t end up smashing them first. Anyway, I’d better get back inside. Little Tommy Tucker will be wanting his breakfast. See you all later! (exits inside)

Enter Silly Billy (SL)

Silly Billy Hiya folks! I’m Billy Goose! Some people call me, Silly Billy. But I don’t think that’s fair, because I’m actually very clever. For instance. I’ve just had an accident with two dozen goose eggs mum asked me to sell at market, and they all got smashed. But I don’t want mum finding out, ‘cos she’d only shout at me. So, I bought two dozen eggs from Asda and sold them at market instead. Now, that’s what I call clever thinking. (thinks) Hang on. I got less for the eggs at market than I paid Asda. (pulls a goofy face) What am I like? Maybe I deserve to be called Silly Billy, after all. I tell you what. Anytime you hear me say, what am I like? I want you all shout back, you’re a Silly Billy! And it’ll remind me not to be silly in future. Will you do that? Practice time then. (exits and re-enters) What am I like? (repeat until happy) Fantastic!

Music cue 3: Enter Fairy Snow (SR)

Silly Billy Eh-up! Are you the tooth fairy? ‘Cos if you are, you owe me a lot of back payments.

Fairy Snow No, I’m not. I’m Fairy Snow,

Here to join your little show.

I’ll flit about from scene to scene,

Keeping everything nice and clean.

Silly Billy Fairy Snow!? Sorry missus, but mum only uses Bold.

Fairy Snow I’m not a washing powder. I’m a good panto fairy.

Silly Billy If it’s a good panto you’re after, then you’re in the wrong show.

Fairy Snow Don’t be a silly, Billy.

Silly Billy How do you know my name?

Fairy Snow I’ve read the script, Billy.

Silly Billy So, have I. And I don’t recall seeing a fairy in the cast list.

Fairy Snow I’m not in the cast Billy. I’m a real live Fairy.

Silly Billy Get away! You mean, you can do real magic and stuff?

Fairy Snow Absolutely! Would you like me to give you a demonstration?

Silly Billy What kind of demonstration?

Fairy Snow Think of something you’d like me to do.

Silly Billy How about magicking up two dozen goose eggs, to replace the ones I smashed earlier. Do you think you could manage that?

Fairy Snow Yes, but it’s not much of a challenge, is it?

Silly Billy Then how about making an elephant appear?

Fairy Snow I doubt the stage could take the weight.

Silly Billy It manages to take mum’s, okay.

Fairy Snow How about I make a nice goose appear instead?

Silly Billy That ought to please mum. She might even forgive me for breaking all the eggs.

Fairy Snow Now, let me think…(stands thinking)

Silly Billy What’s to think about? Just wave your little wand thingy about and make it happen.

Fairy Snow Shush, Billy. I’m trying to remember the spell I need. (thinks)

Silly Billy(impatient) Then hurry, before mum shows up.

Fairy Snow There’s no need to egg me on, Billy. (to audience) Egg me on? Oh, please yourselves. I’ve got it, Billy!

Silly Billy (moves back) I hope it’s not a catchable fairy disease.

Fairy Snow A bird in the hand is worth two they say,

And this one I promise won’t fly away.

I’ll wave my wand and then produce,

A very special, snow white goose. (waves her wand)

SFX: Pyro flash (SL)

Enter Priscilla (SL)

Silly Billy Blimey! I’ve never seen one as big as that before!

Exit Fairy Snow (SR) unnoticed by Billy.

You really did it, Mrs Fairy! (turns) Where did she go? (calls) Mrs Fairy! (looking around) She was here, wasn’t she? Thank goodness for that. Otherwise I’d think I was going mad. (to Goose) You’re a bit of a funny looking goose, aren’t you? Never mind. As long as you can lay lots of eggs, what does it matter.

Priscilla moves away upstage.

Enter Mother Goose from the cottage. She doesn’t notice Priscilla.

M. Goose I thought I heard voices, Billy. Who were you talking to just now?

Silly Billy You wouldn’t believe me if I told you, mum.

M. Goose Try me.

Silly Billy It was a fairy.

M. Goose You’re right, I don’t believe you. Did you sell all the goose eggs? No lying, now Billy.

Silly Billy I’m sorry, mum. But I’m afraid they got a bit scrambled.

M. Goose It’s your brain that’s scrambled, Billy. I told you to be eggstra careful because I half eggspected this to happen. (to audience) Listen, someone’s gone to the trouble of writing these egg jokes, so the least you could do is crack the odd laugh.

Silly Billy Sorry mum, it was a freak accident.

M. Goose Just like you were.

Silly Billy What do you mean by that, mum?

M. Goose Never mind son, it was a long time ago and I was young and foolish.

Silly Billy (aside to audience) And now she’s old and totally stupid.

M. Goose Thanks to you, we’ve got no money. How am I going pay my council tax now?

Silly Billy Don’t worry mum. I didn’t come back empty-handed.

M. Goose I don’t see anything in your hands. They’re as empty as your head.

Silly Billy I got us another goose and it’s a whopper.

M. Goose And you can certainly tell them. Where is this whopper of a goose then?

Silly Billy (pointing) She’s right behind you, mum.

M. Goose (turns) Woah! You weren’t kidding! You didn’t get it from that farm next to the Nuclear re-processing plant, did you?

Silly Billy No mum. The nice fairy used her magic to make it appear.

M. Goose (sniffs at him) Have you been drinking, Billy.

Silly Billy No, mum. She’s called Fairy Snow and this lot…(indicating audience)…saw it all. Didn’t you?

M. Goose But everybody knows that fairies don’t exist.

Silly Billy Oh yes, they do!

M. Goose Oh no, they don’t!

Silly Billy (leading audience) Oh yes, they do!

M. Goose I can’t spend all day arguing with idiots. Bring the goose inside and I’ll light the stove.

Silly Billy (horrified) You’re not thinking of cooking her, are you mum!?

M. Goose Don’t talk daft. I’m going to make her some porridge to eat. The only goose that will be cooked is yours, if you don’t start making yourself a bit more useful. (to Priscilla) You’d like some porridge, wouldn’t you? (Priscilla nods and cuddles against her) Oh look, she likes me. I think I’ll call her, Priscilla. (to Priscilla) Do you like your new name, then? (Priscilla nods) Good. Now, come inside and tell me all about yourself.

Silly Billy Can I have some porridge too, mum?

M. Goose I’m afraid there isn’t enough to go around, Billy. Silly BillyBut I haven’t had breakfast yet and I’m starving!

M. Goose You can lick the bowl after Priscilla’s finished with it.

Silly Billy I think I’ll pass, thanks.

M. Goose Suit yourself. Now hurry up and get inside.

Exit all into the cottage. Music cue 4:

Enter Baron Hardup (SL)

Baron Here we are. Mother Goose’s cottage. (to audience) But I‘m not only interested in her money, but also her beautiful daughter Heidi. And if everything goes to plan, she will soon become my wife. Oh, the unbridled joy of complete financial power! (knocks on door) Mother Goose! (no reply) Open this door immediately!

M. Goose (off) This is a recording. Mother Goose is unavailable to answer the door right now. Please leave your message after the tone…beeeeep!

Baron I know you’re in there, Mother Goose! Now, Stop mucking about and open this door before I smash it in!

M. Goose (flings open the door) You do, and I’ll smash your face in!

Baron Calm down dear, it’s only a panto. We don’t want any unpleasantness, now do we?

M. Goose You’re the only unpleasantness around here.

Baron Can’t we talk this through calmly, face to face?

M. Goose Certainly. Which of your faces would you like me to talk to?

Baron Listen, you old battleaxe! You owe loads of council tax and I’m here to collect. Now, pay up, or I’ll evict you and sell your cottage.

M. Goose How much do I owe?

Baron Five-hundred pounds.

M. Goose (exclaims) Five-hundred pounds! Are you sure there hasn’t been a mistake?

Baron No, I have all the details right here. Let me see now…there’s the income tax.

M. Goose I’m just a poor single-parent widow. (elicit sympathy) I don’t have any income.

Baron Purchase tax.

M. Goose If I don’t have any income, how can I purchase anything?

Baron Tobacco tax.

M. Goose I don’t smoke.

Baron Alcohol tax.

M. Goose I don’t drink…well, only for medicinal purposes.

Baron And finally, the poll tax.

M. Goose You know where you can stick that.

Baron Behave yourself!

M. Goose And that lot comes to five-hundred pounds, does it?

Baron No, it comes to four-hundred pounds.

M. Goose So, what’s the rest for?

Baron Vat.

M. Goose What’s vat?

Baron It’s the other tax.

M. Goose I knew they were taxing this and that, but I didn’t realise they were taxing the other.

Baron Have you got the money to pay all these taxes, or not?

M. Goose No. I’ve not been able to sell any eggs recently. All I seem to do is shell out, and I haven’t been able to lay anything away for a rainy day. (to audience) I hope you’re keeping count of all these eggs jokes, by the way.

Baron In that case I’ll be taking your cottage in lieu.

M. Goose Oh no, please don’t take my loo! What if I’m caught short?

Baron You just have been, which is why I’m evicting you.

M. Goose And what if I refuse to go?

Baron Then I will have you physically thrown out.

M. Goose Oh no, you won’t!

Baron Oh yes, I will!

M. Goose Oh no, you won’t!

Baron Oh yes, I will!

M. Goose (leading audience) Oh no, you won’t!

Baron I can’t stand here all day, arguing with you.

M. Goose Are you going then?

Baron Yes, but my bailiffs will be back to evict you. (to audience) And don’t think you’ll get away without paying your taxes. You’re all next on my list. (exits SL)

M. Goose Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say. But he did threaten me with the bailiffs, didn’t he? (dramatic overacting) Oh, what am I going to do? Me, a poor lonely widow. Thrown out, onto the cold hard unforgiving streets. Where can I go? Who will take us in and give us shelter? Oh, woe is me! (to audience) This is heart-rending stuff, isn’t it? (resumes overacting) Oh, woe, woe and thrice woe!

Enter Heidi (SR)

Heidi What’s the matter mum? Why are you so upset?

M. Goose It’s that rotten old Baron Hardup. He’s threatening to throw us out of our lovely home, just because I can’t pay my taxes.

Heidi Not us as well. This is starting to get serious, mum.

M. Goose If we’re evicted, what will happen to Little Tommy and Billy?

Heidi Cousin Tommy’s only visiting. And Billy’s old enough to look after himself.

M. Goose How? He’s a complete idiot!

Heidi What are you going to do, mum?

M. Goose I won’t give Baron Hardup, the satisfaction of evicting us. I’ll leave first.

Heidi It’s going to be hard, leaving the only home I’ve ever known.

M. Goose My parents moved home a lot when I was a child. But I always managed to find them. I’m going inside to start packing. Meanwhile, you keep a look out for the Baron’s bailiff’s and warn me if you spot them coming up the road. (exits inside)

Heidi Pantoland used to be the happiest place in the world. But if the Baron has his way, it will soon become the most miserable. (exits SR)