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GUINEVERE:  Good morning everyone.

 

VILLAGERS curtsy and bow.

 

VILLAGERS:  Good morning, Your Ladyship.

 

GUINEVERE:  How many times have I told you all not to call me that, it’s just Guinevere.

 

VILLAGERS curtsy and bow.

 

VILLAGERS:  Yes, Your Ladyship.

 

GUINEVERE:  You just did it again, please don’t.

 

VILLAGERS bow and curtsy.

 

VILLAGERS:  Yes, Your Ladyship.

 

GUINEVERE:  And again.  Look, I’m just like all of you really.  Well, I live in a castle and you all live in hovels and I just idle my hours away and you all work hard for a living and I suppose I smell a little nicer but apart from all of that I’m just like you.

 

VILLAGERS bow and curtsy.

 

VILLAGERS:  Yes, Your Ladyship.

 

GUINEVERE:  Oh I give up.  (notices AUDIENCE)  Oh hello, I didn’t know we were having visitors.  My name’s Guinevere and I live at castle Camelot, the mightiest fortress in Ancient Britain, a centre for truth, fairness, honour and courage.  A bit like (local council office) really, but with turrets.  At least it used to be all those things until King Uther died, now it’s just full of lords and silly knights arguing over who’s going to be the next king.  The Lady of the Lake usually chooses the king but she’s disappeared and nobody knows what to do.

 

DOTTY:  (offstage)  Your Ladyship?

 

GUINEVERE:  Oh no, it’s my maid, Dotty.  Don’t get me wrong, boys and girls, I really like her but she’s always fussing over me, you’d think she was my mother.

 

DOTTY enters right.

 

DOTTY:  Oh Your Ladyship, there you are, you had me worried sick. 

 

GUINEVERE:  (indicates audience)  I was just out speaking to the people, Dotty.

 

DOTTY:  The people?!  The people?!  The common people?!  How many times have I told you, Your Ladyship, you’ve got to be careful around the common people, they have ever such funny habits.

 

GUINEVERE:  Such as?

 

DOTTY:  (points into audience)  That one there for instance is picking his nose and holding himself and saying he wants a wee wee.

 

GUINEVERE:  All children do that.

 

DOTTY:  I’m not talking about the child, I’m taking about the grown man sat next to him.

 

GUINEVERE:  Oh yes, that is a bit weird.  (points to audience member)  That lady looks normal though.

 

DOTTY:  Oh yes, she looks quite classy actually.  Very smart, very sophisticated, definitely your sort of person, Your Ladyship.  (to AUDIENCE MEMBER)  Where’re you from, love?  (AUDIENCE MEMBER answers.)  Oh, (repeat town name), maybe not then.  Your Ladyship, run back to castle Camelot and tell the guards to lock up the silver, hide all the cream buns and tell the married women to keep a close eye on their husbands, we’ve got another one!

 

GUINEVERE:  On my way!

 

GUINEVERE exits right.

 

DOTTY:  Now that she’s gone I suppose I should introduce myself properly.  My name’s Dotty, and I’m Lady-in-waiting to Her Ladyship, Guinevere.  She’s a lovely girl, she’s like the daughter I never had.  Not that I would tell her that to her face, it just wouldn’t be proper.  She’s so pretty and nice that there isn’t a man in all of Camelot who hasn’t tried to win her hand, but she isn’t interested in a single one of them.  Mainly because they’re all idiots and I’ve taught everything I know about men.  I took her aside one day and I said, “Your Ladyship, there are some things that men have that women haven’t.”  “What’s that,” she said.  “Well,” I said, (looks around to make sure no one is listening) “beer bellies, bad breath and the ability to belch the national anthem.”  Still it doesn’t stop us wanting to get our hands on them, does it girls.  Now before we go any further I think we should have a bit of fun.  Here’s what I want you to do, every time I come on I’ll shout out, “hello boys and girls” and I want you all to shout back “hello Dotty” as loud as you can.  Will you do that?

 

AUDIENCE:  Yes.

 

DOTTY:  Wonderful, let’s have a practice.  (DOTTY exits and comes back on again)  Hell boys and girls.

 

AUDIENCE+VILLAGERS:  Hello Dotty.

 

DOTTY:  (pause)  Have you done it yet?  You’re going to have to do it louder than that, I’m very hard of hearing.  Let’s have another go.  (DOTTY exits and comes back on again)  Hello boys and girls.

 

AUDIENCE+VILLAGERS:  Hello Dotty.

 

DOTTY:  No I still couldn’t hear you, boys and girls.  Let’s have one more go but before we do I’ll just blow the wax out of my ears first.  (holds nose and squeezes eyes shut whilst other hand is held up to ear with a candle hidden in hand, makes noise like blowing nose and pulls hand away from ear revealing candle, could do it on both ears if you desire.)  There we go.  (DOTTY exits and comes back on again)  Hello boys and girls.

 

AUDIENCE+VILLAGERS:  Hello Dotty.

 

DOTTY:  Wonderful, boys and girls.  Now I think we should sing little song to celebrate.

 

SONG 2 Cheerful number performed by DOTTY and VILLAGERS.  

 

Wasn’t that fun, but it still doesn’t solve the problem of where we’re going to find a new king from, or just some hunky, young men will do to keep us going.  (PRIMROSE enters right unnoticed by DOTTY, PRIMROSE move behind DOTTY as)  We all dream that a knight in shining armour will come galloping up on his steed and whisk us off our feet.  (PRIMROSE shoves DOTTY off her feet)  Who on earth did that?!  (sees PRIMROSE)  Oh you stupid horse, where did you come from?

 

MERLIN backs on right, calling out to something unseen off right.

 

MERLIN:  Come on, put your back into it, boy, we haven’t got all day you know.

 

DOTTY:  Is this stupid, old nag yours?

 

MERLIN turns to face DOTTY, look her up and down but doesn’t notice PRIMROSE.

 

MERLIN:  No sorry, I’ve never met her before in my life.

 

DOTTY:  Not me, you cheeky, old fool, I mean the horse.

 

MERLIN notices PRIMROSE.

 

MERLIN:  Oh yes.   Why, is there a problem?

 

DOTTY:  She just knocked me down.

 

MERLIN:  She has a nasty habit of doing that I’m afraid, it comes of being an old war horse.  She’s trained to knock people down and strike fear into her enemies.  Aren’t you, Primrose.

 

DOTTY:  Primrose?  That’s hardly a fitting name for a war horse.

 

MERLIN:  I suppose not but...

 

ARTHUR enters right pulling cart.  Cart has the sword in the stone on it covered by a blanket.

 

ARTHUR:  Merlin, I fail to see why I have to pull this cart around, I thought Primrose was supposed to be doing it.