November 17 2009
After the colossal success of their last two seasonal pantomimes, the Selhurst Players are performing a new version of Mother Goose this year. Jamesey gives a sneak preview.
(Itís a family fun fair day at Selhurst and Mother Goose is watching the crowds enjoying themselves with jugglers juggling, monocyclists monocycling, cheerleaders twirling and 10th rate singers singing).
Mother Goose. How I wish I could enjoy myself like these good folk. But things arenít going right for me. I owe several months' rent, I canít find a buyer for my club for love nor money and the crowds are shrinking every week. Oh, thereís my son Colin.
(A lump of masonry falls off one of the crumbling walls and just misses her head).
Colin. Donít be sad, mum. Things will work out in the end.
(From the speakers comes the sound of "Telstar")
Mother Goose. Sniff, sniff, sob, sob. Even my film was a flop. The critics loved it but the distributors wouldnít touch it with a bargepole. I did so want to be a big shot film producer but I never have any luck these days.
(Colin exits whistling cheerfully. Enter the wicked Squire Kemsley Rock and his two heavies Dowie I and Dowie B).
Squire Kemsley Rock. Whereís my rent Mother Goose? Youíre months behind now.
(The squire turns to the audience).
Squire. She is a silly old baggage isnít she, children?
Audience. Oh no she isnít.
Squire. Oh yes she is.
(The Dowies make throat cutting gestures and stand threateningly over Mother Goose).
Audience. Boo. Hiss.
Squire. Well, youíd better find my money soon or youíll be sorry.
(The trio exit smirking. Enter Colin again accompanied by a large goose).
Colin. Look what Iíve just bought, mum. Her name is Priscilla and she was going cheap at the Fort Neef Pet Store. Iíve just a got a feeling sheíll bring us luck. At worst, she could replace the club mascots, that couple who run around looking like parrots.
Mother Goose. Oh dear, oh dear. As if weíre not in enough trouble, now weíve got another mouth to feed although I suppose the eggs could be useful. But I canít see how a goose called Priscilla will ever bring us luck.
Audience. Oh yes she will.
(Mother Goose is sitting in her kitchen adjusting her orange wig in the mirror. There is a clap of thunder, a flash of lightning and from a trapdoor on the floor of the stage springs a fearsome pantomime demon, Ronthazar).
Ronthazar. I am Ronthazar the pantomime demon. I have mystic powers and can harness the powers of darkness. (He turns to the audience) I do a bit of property development too if anyone wants to buy a nice modern semi.
Audience. Boo, hiss.
Mother Goose. Oh, you gave me quite a turn there. Do you always spring out on people like that?
Ronthazar. Fear not, good lady. I come in peace. I have the power to restore your lost youth and bring you good fortune if you do as I say.
Mother Goose. Well I canít say I need my youth restoring (she smiles coquettishly) I look young enough as I am.
Audience. Oh no you donít.
Ronthazar. I am told that your son, Colin, has got hold of a goose with magical properties. Give me the goose and I will give you your youth and Iíll even throw in the freehold of Selhurst Park too if we can agree.
Mother Goose. Well, that certainly sounds more interesting.
(There is a clattering of hooves and a pantomime horse trots onto the stage).
Front end. Iím Wayne Routledge.
Rear end. Iím John Bostock.
Ronthazar. (turns to the audience) Mother Goose doesnít know this but my magical powers donít always work. Both these lads came to me at different times asking for fame, wealth and Premiership football. I got them both transferred to Tottingham Hotfoot. But things didnít work out according to plan. The front end is now at QPR and the rear end at Brentford.
(Ronthazar gives an evil chuckle and disappears accompanied by a clap of thunder and a flash of lightning. Colin enters looking very excited.)
Colin. Mum, mum, the most amazing thing has happened. Come quickly and look
(The football pitch at Selhurst. Priscilla the goose is sitting on the turf surrounded by six huge golden eggs. Mother Goose and Colin look on with mouths agape. One by one the eggs break open and red-and-blue stripe shirted footballers emerge).
First egg. Victor Moses at your service.
Second egg. Sean Scannell at your service.
Third egg. Alassane N'Diaye a votre service.
Fourth egg. Lee Hills at your service.
Fifth egg. Nathaniel Clyne at your service.
Sixth egg. Kieran Djilali at your service.
(Colin and Mother Goose are overjoyed).
Mother Goose. This is marvellous, Colin. Now I wonít have to do any deals with that horrible Ronthazar. And with this little lot we can win promotion and sell off a couple of them to pay the rent and all will be well.
(And they all lived happily ever after. Well it is a panto).
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