The Longborough Play – a combat play (2008 version)

BACKGROUND Longborough is three miles from Stow-on-the Wold, in Gloucestershire.

This play is very similar to “The Stony Play”, and is in fact the original play which we adapted for our own needs. As with all the plays we have performed, slight alterations have been made to the original text, and the odd extra characters added to accommodate people who wanted to take
part.

CHARACTERS

Headman – Prince George – Bold Slasher The Turkish Knight – Doctor – Jack Finney – Lame Jane – The Drummer – Beelzebub – Hump Backed Jack

THE PLAY

All enter Singing “Old Woman Tossed Up”

Oh there was an old woman tossed up in a blanket
99 miles beyond the moon
And under one arm she carried a basket
And under the other she carried a broom
Old Woman old woman old woman cried I
Oh wither Oh wither Oh wither so high
I’m going to sweep cobwebs beyond the sky
And I’ll be back with you bye and bye

HEADMAN
Room, a room, brave gallants all, tis once that on you I do call
A room , a room, a douse a douse, I’ve bought me besom to sweep your house
I’ll sweep you’re house so clane so dace so hansom nice
Here’s a party coming here tonight, so please let’um have a light
A room, a room, brave gentlemen and ladies, give me room to sport
That in this house we may resort, resort our merry play
Step in Bold Slasher and clear the way

BOLD SLASHER
I am Bold Slasher, Bold Slasher is my name, with sword and buckler by my side
I hope to win the game
I am the Turkey Champion, from Turkey land I came
I’m come to fight the English Champion, Prince George is called his name
I’ll cut him and I’ll slash him as small as little flies
I’ll send him to the devil till he’s nine days old

PRINCE GEORGE
I am Prince George this noble night, I shed my blood for England’s right
Here I walk and here I stand, here I take my sword in hand
So do to God guard your life, sir

BOLD SLASHER
What do you say to your life sir?

PRINCE GEORGE
Pound of bread and cheese and a knife sir

BOLD SLASHER
We’ll have a little more satisfaction before we die, sir

PRINCE GEORGE
All right, sir

Bold Slasher strikes Prince George down

HEADMAN
On this battlefield Prince George was slain, rise bold fellow and fight
again

Prince George fights and falls again

HEADMAN
Horrible, terrible, what hast thou done? Thou hast killed my only dearly
beloved son
Is there a doctor to be found to cure him of his deep and deadly wound?

DOCTOR
Yes: here is a doctor to be found to cure him of his deep and deadly wound

HEADMAN
Where does this noble doctor come from?]

DOCTOR
Where the streets are pitched with penny loaves and the house a thatched with pancakes

HEADMAN
Very fine place that. How much will this noble doctor come for? come for £5?

DOCTOR
No

HEADMAN
What’ll you come for then?

DOCTOR
Five pence three farthings (to Jack Finney) Give a leg on my horse Jack

JACK FINNEY
Get on yourself sir

DOCTOR
What’s that Jack?

JACK FINNEY
Butchers halt

DOCTOR
Hold my horse Jack

JACK FINNEY
Hold him yourself , sir

DOCTOR
Take him out and rub him down with the besom stick. And sup him up with a rack-staff and get him ready gem I want him. I’m a doctor, a doctor’s good. With my hand I can stop the blood. I’m not one of these yer shimshams goes about to do their country harm I does my country good. Rather kill nor cure
What’s the matter with this young man? Got the toothache?

PRINCE GEORGE
Yes

DOCTOR
How long has this tooth pained you?

PRINCE GEORGE
Fortnight afore I found of it and three weeks since

DOCTOR
Here young man take one of my pills – cure all ills
Hips, Pips, Palsy and Gout, Pains within and pains without
If the devils in this will fetch him out
Does any man do more than me?
Let Jack Finney come in and see.

The Headman calls Jack Finney

JACK FINNEY
My names not Jack Finney. It’s Mr. Finney, a man of great pains.
Do more than you or are a man at this game.
I’ll cure this man if he isn’t quite stone dead.
So I prays thee old fellow raise up thee head.
I cured a magpie once of the toothache.

HEADMAN
How did you do that?

JACK
Cut his head off and throwed his body into the ditch

HEADMAN
Oh you cruel barbarous fellow

JACK FINNEY
I’m no cruel barbarous fellow at all.
Bring me a woman as been dead ninety nine years, nine years led in her grave
I’m bound to maintain her rest part of her life.

DOCTOR
Allow me to draw your tooth, young man

PRINCE GEORGE
Yes

DOCTOR
Fetch me my tooth drawing tack Jack

JACK FINNEY
Fetch it yourself sir

The doctor hits Jack with a whip

DOCTOR
What’s that?

JACK FINNEY
I’m going as fast as I can, sir

DOCTOR
Hold me up Jack

JACK FINNEY
Tumble down if you can’t stand up

DOCTOR
What’s that Jack.

(Jack makes no reply. The doctor pulls the tooth out.)

DOCTOR
Look here, gentlemen and ladies, a tooth for a Christian. More like a camels tooth or an elephant’s tooth than any poor Christian’s Carry a quart of beans twenty miles over hedges and ditches without spilling the corn. I went down a long lane, a short lane, a narrow lane, a wide lane, and Icome to a house built with apple dumplings and thatched with pancakes. I knocked at the maid and the door came out. I called for a glass of bread and cheese and a crust of water. I met a bark and he dogged at me. I went to a stick and cut a hedge, fetched him a rattler on the napper and the spin did blood out.

HEADMAN
This is a case that we’ve seen before, rise Prince George and we’ll fight no more

THE DRUMMER
In comes I the drummer with all his heart.
I hope the Doctor and Jack Finney have done their part.
And with free good will.
I’ve brought me music to play you still.
My father have killed two very fat hogs
And that you may plainly see
For I’ve got one of the skins to make me
A Ruba duba, duba duba, duba duba dee.

HUMP BACKED JACK
Here comes I old Hump-backed Jack
With me wife and family at me back
Here comes I that’s never been in it
With me big head and little wit
Me heads so big, me wits so small
I’ve brought me fiddle to please you all.
My father was a shopkeeper, that you can plainly see
He left me this old tin canister to make me a hurdy gurdy gee

SONG: The Holly and the Ivy

BEELZEBUB
In comes I old beelzebub
Who on my shoulder I carry my club
In me hand me dripping pan. Jukes, gentlemen and ladies
Don’t you think I’m a clever young old man?
Last Christmas eve I turned me spit
I burnt me finger and haven’t found on’t it.
Spark fled over the table, pot lid whacked the ladle
Lep jumps the gridiron ‘What! can’t you agree?
I’m the judge bring him to me”.
In runs the frying pan with his long tail
And swore he’d send them all to jail.

LAME JANE
In comes I Lame Jane
with a neck as long as a crane.
Once I was a young maid
Now I’m a down old widow.
A wig behind and a wig before.
Ware out my lads
And I’ll sweep the floor.

PRINCE GEORGE
Once I was dead and now I am alive, blessed be the doctor who made me revive
We all shake hands never fight no more, all be brothers as we never was before
We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy bright new year
A pocket full of money and a cellar full of beer
And a good fat pig in the pigsty to last you all the year

All sing “Christmas is Coming” during which the collection takes place.


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