Our Christmas 2006 play

After Antrobus – a combat play
CHARACTERS

Letter In, King George, Black Prince, Mary, Quack Doctor, Derry Doubt, Old Tosspot, Beelzebub, Driver.

THE PLAY

Enter to Old Woman Tossed Up. When in circle for performance, sing following verse:

Here come jolly good lads and we’re all in one mind.
For today we’ve come a mumming good nature to find.
For today we’ve come a mumming as it doth appear-
And it’s all that we are mumming for is your ale and strong beer.

Letter In
Now ladies and gentlemen, light a fire and strike a light,
For in this house there’s going to be a dreadful fight
Between King George and the Black Prince
And I hope King George will win.
Whether he wins, loses, fights or falls,
We’ll do our best to please you all.

King George
In comes I, the Champion Bold,
I’ve won £10,000 in gold,
‘Twas I who fought the fiery dragon and brought him to the slaughter,
And by these means I won the King of Egypt’s daughter.
I’ve travelled the whole world round and round,
But never a man of my equal found.
If you don’t believe these words I say,
Step in, Black Prince, and clear the way.

Black Prince
In comes I Black Prince of Paradise, born of high renown,
I’ve come to take King George’s life and courage down.
If that be he who standeth there, who slew my master’s son and heir,
If that be he of royal blood,
I’ll make it flow like Noah’s flood.

King George
Ah! Ah! Mind what thou sayest.

Black Prince
What I say, I mean.

King George
Stand back thou dog! Or by my sword thou shalt die.
I’ll pierce thy body full of holes and make thy buttons fly.

Black Prince
How canst thou make my body full of holes and make my buttons fly?
When my body’s made of iron,
My fingers and toes of double joints,
I challenge ye to yield! Prepare!

(They fight and Black Prince falls dead. Enter Mary)

Mary
Oh! King George! What has thou done?
Thou’s killed and slain my only son, my only heir,
See how he lays dead and bleeding there!

King George
Well Mary, he challenged me to a fight,
Better to fight than to die.
Ten punds for a doctor, five for a quack!
If you don’t believe these words I say,
Step in Quack Doctor and clear the way.

(Enter Quack Doctor)

Quack Doctor
In comes I, who never cometh yet,
The best quack doctor you can get.
Here I come from the continent to cure this man King George has slain.

Mary
How camest thou to be a doctor?

Doctor
By my travels.

Mary
And where hast thou travelled?

Doctor
Icaly, Picaly, France and Spain,
Three times out to the West Indies
And back to old England to cure diseases again.

Mary
And what disease canst thou cure?

Doctor
All sorts.

Mary
And what’s all sorts?

Quack Doctor
All sorts; the Hump, the Grump, the Ger, the Gout,
The pain within and the pain without.
In my bag I’ve got spectacles to blind humblebees,
Crutches for lame mice, plasters for broken backed earwigs.
I’ve pills and I’ve powders for all kinds of aches, including headache,
Earache, also cold shakes.
I’ve lotions and I’ve motions, also some fine notions
That have carried my fame far wide over five notions.

Mary
And what are thy fees to cure my son?

Doctor
Five pounds, Mary, but you being a decent woman, I’ll only charge you ten.

Mary
Well, cure him!

Quack Doctor (to Black Prince)
Here John, take three sips from this bottle down thy thrittle throttle.
Now arise, and fight thy battle.

Mary
Thou silly man, as green as grass, the dead man never stirs.

Quack Doctor
Oh! Mary, I quite forgot. I took the right bottle of the wrong cork.
I have another little bottle right here in my inside? – no outside? – somewhere
Round the backside pocket, which will soon bring him to life again.

(Stoops and gives another drink. Black Prince stirs.)

Black Prince
Oh! My back!

Mary
What ails thy back, my son?

Black Prince
My back is broken.
My heart is confounded,
Knocked out of seven centuries into fourteen score,
Which has never been known in Old England before.

Quack Doctor
Here, John, take three drops of this down thy thrittle throttle,
Now arise and fight thy battle.

(King George and Black Prince fight again. Enter Letter In)

Letter In
Lay down your sword and rest
For peace and quietness is the best.
He who fights and runs away
Lives to fight another day.
If you don’t believe these words I say,
Step in Derry Doubt and clear the way.

(Derry Doubt dances in)

Derry Doubt
In comes little Derry Doubt
With my shirt lap hanging out,
Five yards in and five yards out-
Out goes little Derry Doubt.
(Dances in and out)
If you don’t believe these words I say,
Step in Quack Doctor and sing away.

(Doctor sings two verses of The Holly and The Ivy)

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 Be-el-ze-bub,
On my shoulder I carry my club,
In my hands a dripping pan,
And I reckon myself a jolly old man.
With a rin-tin-tin, I sup more drink,
I’ll drink a pot dry with any man.
I’ve just done six months in gaol for making a whip crack out of a mouse’s tail.
Early Monday morning, late on Saturday night,
I saw 10,000 miles away a house just out of sight.
The doors projected backwards, the front was at the back,
It stood alone between two more and the walls was whitewashed black.
If you don’t believe these words I say,
Step in Driver and clear the way.

Driver
In comes Dick and all his men,
He’s come to see you once again,
He was once alive, but now he’s dead,
He’s nothing but a poor old horse’s head.
He’s travelled high, he’s travelled low,
He’s travelled all through frost and snow,
He’s travelled the land of Ikerty Pikkery,
Where there’s neither land nor city;
Houses thatched with pancakes,
Walls built with penny loaves,
Pig puddings for bellropes, and black puddings growing on apple trees;
Little pigs running about with knives and forks in their backs,
Crying out ‘Who’ll eat men?’
This horse was bred in Seven Oaks,
The finest horse e’er fed on oats;
He’s won the Derby and the Oaks,
And now pulls an old milk float.
And if you don’t believe a word I say,
We’ll sing you a song at the end the play.

Letter In (speaking)
We are pleased you have come here this______ afternoon,
Where there’s not much light now
But there will be soon.
We wish you a merry Christmas and a cellarful of beer
And a pocket full of money to last you all the year.

All Sing
Christmas is Coming

END


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