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A swashbuckling fast paced adventure that is both fun and simplistic. If you're on a tight budget then this is the show for you, though a strong principal boy and girl are needed. And lads, watch out for Marion's temper.
SCENE 1 (Part of Scene Only)
Curtain up on woodland village. FRYER TUCKS café stands to rear of stage.
SONG 1: Lively CHORUS number involving VILLAGERS.
Song ends, JOAN enters from café.
JOAN: Good morning everyone.
CHORUS: Good morning Little Joan.
JOAN: Is everybody merry?
CHORUS: Absolutely slaughtered.
VILLAGER 1: (pointing to AUDIENCE) Theyre not joining in Joan.
JOAN: Who isnt? (notices AUDIENCE) Oh, hello, I didnt know we were having company. Come to think of it you dont look very familiar actually, in fact I dont believe Ive seen any of you ever before.
VILLAGER 2: (panicking) Perhaps theyre the Sheriffs soldiers.
VILLAGER 1: Run to the trees!
CHORUS begin running about stage screaming.
JOAN: Wait! Settle down! (CHORUS begin to calm down.) Theyre not the Sheriffs soldiers, look, theyre far too poorly dressed, theyre just peasants like us. (CHORUS breath a sigh of relief.) Welcome visitors to our humble little woodland village. Allow me to introduce myself, my names Joan Little but my friends call me Little Joan on account of me being so slim and lithe like. (CHORUS laugh) Watch it. Please forgive our earlier suspicion, were all outlaws you see and the Sheriff of Nottingham has got a price on the head of each and every on of us. Not a high enough price if you ask me but he was always an old skinflint that one. You see hes trying to take over the country whilst our king, Richard the Lion Heart is away doing whatever it is medieval kings do in foreign countries. Its probably charity work or something. Anyway, the Sheriff of Nottingham has captured all the good lords who were loyal to the king and raised taxes so high to fund his own army that we can barely afford to eat. So, weve rebelled against him and were now hiding out here in Sherwood Forest. We would overthrow him but weve no one to lead us, and lets be honest, what are the chances of us finding a thigh-slapping hero out here. Anyway, would you like to join our band of outlaws?
JOAN: Oh how lovely. Im so pleased that youre keen to become a bunch of murderous, thieving lawbreakers. I suppose I should find that disturbing really but I dont for some reason. Now, the first thing you need to do to become an outlaw is to be merry. Heres what I want you to do. Every time I come on Ill shout out "is everybody merry?" and youll shout back "absolutely slaughtered". Just a little alcoholic outlaw humour. Now lets have a practice shall we. (JOAN exits right then comes back on.) Is everybody merry?
AUDIENCE: Absolutely slaughtered.
JOAN: That wasnt very good, you can do better than that for Auntie Joan. Lets give it one more try. (JOAN exits right then comes back on.) Is everybody merry?
AUDIENCE: Absolutely slaughtered.
JOAN: Wonderful, youre now all a bunch drunken outlaws. Dont tell Social Services about this by the way, they really dont have much of a sense of humour about this sort of thing.
TUCK: (offstage) Shut up with that noise filthy English merry type people!
JOAN: Ignore him, its just Tuck, hes not merry at all. Hes a fryer you know, egg and chips mainly. Very reasonably priced but not very good for the hips. I work for him at his café, hes not too bad to work for, hes just needs a good woman to cheer him up a bit.
TUCK enters from café.
TUCK: Hey, Little Joan, why you and filthy English merry types make so much a noise when Tuck is a creating culinary masterpieces.
JOAN: Culinary masterpieces? You own a greasy spoon and serve egg and chips.
TUCK: Not just egg and a chips, I also serve sausage and a chips, bacon and a chips, fish and a chips and the speciality of the house chips and a chips.
JOAN: Dont you ever do anything thats not fried?
JOAN: Anything with it?
TUCK: A chips.
JOAN: Silly question really.
TUCK: Good solid English food for solid English merry types, and good solid English ladies.
JOAN: And what exactly do you mean by that?
TUCK: Only that in Italy we appreciate perfect form like a yours. Anyway, Ive a no time to stand around a talking to you, no matter how a ravishing you may look, where is the girl?
JOAN: Shes out running errands, shell be back soon.
TUCK: Mama mia, why do I put up with these filthy English merry type people?
TUCK exits to café.
JOAN: Greasy little foreigner, hell be the heart disease of us all. I dont know why hes here he just turned up one day and started cooking, badly. That is he cooks when hes not moaning, which is something he does very well indeed. He keeps looking at me funny as well, all dark and predatory like. If were going to get closer to Europe I do hope the rest of them arent like that.
MARION enters left carrying a box.
MARION: Hello Little Joan.
JOAN: Hello love. (to AUDIENCE) This is Maid Marion she works at the café too, isnt she lovely.
MARION: Stop it Joan youre embarrassing me.
JOAN: I know love, but youre like a daughter to me, so I feel its my duty to embarrass you. (to AUDIENCE) Im looking for a man for her but I havent had any luck yet. She needs someone heroic with nice thighs.
MARION: Joan! I dont need anything of the sort, Im quite happy being a single girl.
JOAN: Youll soon change your tune when you meet Mr Right. Speaking of men, misery guts is looking for you, I told him you were on an errand, so keep your head low.
MARION: Thank you Joan, Ill do that.
JOAN: Think nothing of it love. I suppose I should get back to work or hell be out here looking for me too.
JOAN exits to shop.
MARION: Little Joan is funny and between you and me I think she has a bit of a soft spot for Fryer Tuck, though she wont admit it. I hope they get married one day, thats not the life for me though.
VILLAGER 1: Marion, why are you carrying a box around?
MARION: Its a bit of an odd story actually. I was just taking a walk through the forest when a man came up to me and just gave it to me. He said that I must protect it with my life and that the future of the whole country could depend upon whats inside.
VILLAGER 2: What is inside?
MARION: I have no idea, but he did say I was forbidden to look on orders of the king.
Gasps amongst VILLAGERS.
VILLAGER 2: The king? Do you think hell be returning soon?
MARION: I dont know, I hope so, if anyone can deal with the Sheriff of Nottingham its him. This box is a little heavy though, I dont care what the king says, I cant carry it around with me all the time.
MARION puts box on floor stage left.
VILLAGER 1: Are you sure it will be safe there?
MARION: Probably not. I know, we could get all the boys and girls to keep an eye on it. (to AUDIENCE) Will you keep an eye on this box for us?
MARION: Great, now heres what I want you to do, every time anyone goes near it I want you to distract them by screaming as loud as you can. Like this. (MARION screams) Have you got that?
MARION: Right, lets have a practice. Ill pretend Im going to steal the box and you all scream at me. Oh, look, someones left a box lying around, I wonder whats inside. (MARION goes to box, AUDIENCE and CHORUS scream.) That was wonderful, now remember, anyone goes near it, scream as loud as you can. I think Richard the Lionheart will be pleased with his new guards. I hope he does come back soon, then we can all go home and be happy again.
SONG 2: MARION and VILLAGERS.
Song ends, MARION and VILLAGERS exit. WILL enters left.
WILL: Make way, make way for the hero of Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood!
ROBIN HOOD fanfare. ROBIN enters heroically and strikes a pose. Pause, ROBIN and WILL look around puzzled.
ROBIN: Will, theres nobody here.
WILL: I think youre right.
ROBIN: Well whats the point of me striking heroic poses when theres nobody here to see them? It seems a little silly.
WILL: I dont understand it, my sources quite clearly said that this was a bustling village.
ROBIN: Well your sources were clearly wrong. I cant be a hero without an audience and theres nothing here but birds, squirrels and (pointing to AUDIENCE) hundreds of people on seats. Get me an audience!
Pause, ROBIN and WILL look to AUDIENCE.
WILL: I suppose we could use them.
ROBIN: The thought had crossed my mind. The thing is Will, why didnt they cheer me before?
WILL: Perhaps they dont know who you are. Ill introduce you. (grandly to AUDIENCE) Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I give you the greatest archer in the land, the bravest warrior of the people, the hero of Sherwood Forest, the most magnificent slapper of thighs, the one, the only, Robin Hood!
ROBIN: They still dont sound very impressed Will. Im going away now, and when I come back I want an impressed audience, if I dont Ill be looking for a new assistant.
ROBIN exits left.