Our Christmas 2005 play – a combat play

Based on The Stony Play
CHARACTERS

Open Your Door, St George, Bold Slasher, The Turkish Knight, Guier, Doctor, Jack Finney, Beelzebub, Big Head, Old Tosspot

THE PLAY

(enter ALL singing)

ALL
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 will be back with you bye and bye.”

OPEN YOUR DOOR
Room, room, give me room to rhyme.
Open your door and let us in
We beg your favour for to win.
Whether we rise, stand or fall,
We’ ll do our duty to please you all.

We are come to show you our activity this Christmas time.
Active youth and active age,
The like was never acted on any stage.
And if you don’ t believe what I say
Enter in St George and clear the way.

ST GEORGE
In comes I St George, a noble champion bold.
‘Twas I who fought and won three crowns in gold.
‘Twas I who fought the fiery dragon and bought it to its slaughter
And by this means I won the Queen of Egypt’s daughter.

(points to clenched fist)

Here’s England’s right – here’ s England’ s wrong
I fought them all courageously
And still have gained the victory
And will always fight for liberty.

Here I draw my bloody weapon
Show me the man that dare me stand
I’ ll cut him down with my courageous hand.

BOLD SLASHER
I am the man that dare you challenge.
A man of courage bold
And if thy blood is running hot,
I’ ll quickly fetch it cold.

My head is made of cannon balls;
My body’ s made of steel;
My arms and legs of the first class brass
I challenge thee to feel.

ST GEORGE
Who are you but a silly lad?

BOLD SLASHER
I am Bold Slasher, the Turkey champion
From Turkey land came I to fight you –
The great St George by name.

I’ ll hash you and smash you as small as a fly
And send you to Turkey to make mince pies baked in an oven.
And after that I shall fight every champion in Christendom.

ST GEORGE
Bold talk, Bold Slasher, bold talk I am sure.
Now draw forth your sword and fight
Draw forth your purse and pay
Satisfaction we will have before you go away.

BOLD SLASHER
My sword it is already drawn,
No money will I pay.
Satisfaction we will have
Before you go away.

(they fight)

ST GEORGE
Stand off – stand off, for your time draws nigh.

BOLD SLASHER
No! Stand off you English dog for now you die.

(ST GEORGE falls)

OPEN YOUR DOOR
Oh cruel, cruel warrior.
See what thou hast done.
Thou has killed and wounded mine only son.
Walk in Guier with your face like fire
And see what thou canst do with this villain.

GUIER
I am Guier. Guier is my name.
Of English nation bred and claim.
I’ ve searched this country round and round
To find King George ten thousand pounds.

(turns to BOLD SLASHER)

Battle, to battle with thee I call
To see who on this ground shall fall.

(they fight. GUIER disarms BOLD SLASHER who falls to his knees)

BOLD SLASHER
Pardon, O pardon me I crave
And I will be your Turkish slave.

GUIER
Go home, go home you cowardly snipe
And tell them what champions in England do dwell.
I saw 8 magpies in a tree,
2 for you and 3 for me,
One for sorrow, 2 for mirth, 3 for a wedding, 4 for a birth,
Five for England, 6 for France, 7 for a broom, 8 for a dance.

(GUIER dances)

OPEN YOUR DOOR
Horrible! Terrible!
Is there a doctor to be found
To cure this man of his deadly wound?
Doctor, doctor. Ten pounds for a doctor.

DOCTOR (holding hobby horse)
I am a doctor good and rare.
I’ ve travelled this country far and near.

OPEN YOUR DOOR
How camest thou to be a doctor?

DOCTOR
By my travels sir!

OPEN YOUR DOOR
And what countries have you travelled most noble doctor?

DOCTOR
Italy, Sicily, France and Spain.
Three times to the world and back again.

OPEN YOUR DOOR
No further?

DOCTOR
Why yes, sir, a great deal further!

OPEN YOUR DOOR
How much further?

DOCTOR
From the fire side, upstairs and back again!

OPEN YOUR DOOR
What parts do you come from most noble doctor?

DOCTOR
A fortnight beyond the leather windmill where thy digs ducks, shears owls and leads blind geese to water in timber chains. I went down a long, narrow, broad, short lane and there I met a pigsty tied to an elder bush built with apple dumplings and thatched with pancakes. I knocked at the maid and the door came out and asked me if I could eat a glass of beer and drink a crust of bread and cheese. I said thank you kindly but I meant no please.

OPEN YOUR DOOR
What pains can you cure most noble doctor?

DOCTOR
The hipsy, the pipsy, the palsy and the gout.
If the old mans in, I’ ll furk him out.

OPEN YOUR DOOR
What’ s thy fee doctor?

DOCTOR
Well £10 is my fee. But I must take 15 of thee before I set this gallant free.

OPEN YOUR DOOR
Rather a high fee doctor!

DOCTOR
Well, as you are a poor man I will throw off a farthing – that will make it fourteen pounds, nineteen shillings and eleven pence three farthings.

(looks round)

Jack! Where’ s Jack?
Walk in Jack Finney and hold my horse.

JACK FINNEY
My name ain’ t Jack Finney
My name ain’ t Jack Finney
Me name’ s MISTER Finney and I’ m a man of great strength.
Cured an old magpie of toothache yesterday.

OPEN YOUR DOOR
Oh yes, how’ s that?

JACK FINNEY
Well I twisted his old head off, throwed his body in a dry ditch and drowned him. Then I went off the morrow, about ten days after, picks up this little magpie, rammed me arm down its throat, turned him inside out and made as good a magpie as ever walked on a pair of patterns.

DOCTOR
Hold my horse Jack Finney.

JACK FINNEY
Will he bite?

DOCTOR
No.

JACK FINNEY
Will he kick?

DOCTOR
No.

JACK FINNEY
Takes two to hold him?

DOCTOR
No.

JACK FINNEY
Hold him yerself then!

DOCTOR
What’ s that you saucy young rascal?

JACK FINNEY
Got him fast by the tail, sir.

DOCTOR
Good, rack him up with a faggot and fuzz, and give him a bucket of ashes to drink. Then rub him dry with a wet snowball.

JACK FINNEY
Do it yourself, sir.

DOCTOR
What’ s that you saucy young rascal?

JACK FINNEY
I’ ll do it myself, sir.

OPEN YOUR DOOR
Now see what this young man wants doing to.

DOCTOR

(examines ST GEORGE)

Well, sir, he wants a tooth drawn and a little wind put into him.
Jack Finney fetch my tooth drawing tack.

JACK FINNEY
Fetch it yerself, sir.

DOCTOR
What’ s that?

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

(JACK FINNEY throws implements on the floor)

DOCTOR
Well, what do’ st you want to throw ‘em down there for?

JACK FINNEY
For thee to pick ‘em up.

DOCTOR
What’ s that you saucy young rascal?

JACK FINNEY
For me to pick ‘em up.

DOCTOR
Well pick ‘em up and be quick about it.

(JACK FINNEY and DOCTOR draw tooth from ST GEORGE’s mouth)

JACK FINNEY
Be it out, sir?

DOCTOR
Looks more like a Jackass tooth than a Christian’ s.
Now I have a little bottle in my left hand waistcoat pocket called Okum Pokum.
Here Jack, take a little of my nip nap,
Put it in your snip snack.
Rise up Jack and fight again.

(ST GEORGE arises)

Ladies and Gentlemen standing round.
See I’ ve cured this man safe and sound.
I’ ve healed his wounds and cleansed his blood
And gave him something that done him good
Ain’ t I Jack?

ST GEORGE
Yes and I liked it too. Come in Old Tosspot

OLD TOSSPOT
In comes I, Old Tosspot; am I welcome or am I not,
For I do hope Old Tosspot will never be forgot.

I have a little purse and it’ s made of leather skin,
It needs a silver sixpence to line it well within.
And if you don’ t believe these words I say,
Step in Beelzebub and clear the way.

BEELZEBUB
In comes I old Beelzebub
And on my back I carries my club
And in my hand a dripping pan,
I thinks myself a jolly old man.

Last Christmas night I turned the spit,
I burnt me finger and felt it itch,
The sparks flew over the table,
The pot-lid kicked the ladle.

Up jumped spit Jack like a mansion man
Swore he’ d fight the dripping pan with his long tail.
Swore he’ d send them all to jail.
In comes the gridiron, if you can’ t agree
I’ m the justice bring um to me.

BIG HEAD
In comes I old Big Head.
With me big head and me little wits.
Me head’ s so big and me wits so small.
So here is a rhyme to please you all.

(sings)

My father died the other night and left me all his riches –
A wooden leg, a feather bed, and a pair of leather breeches,
A coffee pot without a spout, a jug without a handle,
A guinea pig without a wig, and a half a farthing candle.

Sing brothers, sing.

ST GEORGE (sings)
The Holly and the Ivy,
When they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown.

ALL (sing)
The rising of the sun
And the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.

ST GEORGE (sings)
The holly bears a prickle,
As sharp as any thorn,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ,
On Christmas day in the morn.

ALL (sing)
The rising of the sun
And the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.

BOLD SLASHER
We’ re not the London actors that act upon the stage.
We are but country ploughboys who work for little wage.
The mire is deep – so very deep. We’ ve travelled far and near.
We ask you for a Christmas box and a pitcher of your best beer.

ALL (sing)
Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat,
Please put a penny in the old man’ s hat.
If you haven’ t got a penny, a ha’ penny will do.
If you haven’ t got a ha’ penny, then God bless you.


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