Hoodening Play 2002

(final version)

Moll:
The Hoodeners are here!
Cor it's nippy outside, I'm chilled to the bone
Me fingers are frozen, I'm too cold to moan
About getting you lot to sort yourselves out
My lips are numb, I can hardly shout
That wind whips up so very harsh
And blows so cold across the marsh
So settle down and make my life easier
This weather is making my chest so much wheezier
So where are the others? Ah, here they come
Come on you lot — don't look so dumb
[Enter Sam, 'arry, George and Dobbin, feebly attempting to sing 'Five jolly Hoodening boys']
'arry:
We've been working so hard I'm fit to drop
Old Dobbin's knackered, he is in a strop
[Dobbin looks stroppy]
Sam:
That 'orse ain't used to working so hard
He can't pull his plough another yard
Last week he worked halfway through the night
This can't go on…
George:
        Yeah, you're right
Moll:
The reason we're short is we don't have a lad
Our last one went off
Sam:
        He was a bit sad…
Moll:
To seek his fortune in pastures new
Sam:
He moved to Swindon between me and you
'arry:
So till we get a new lad we're relying
On this nag here to work harder
George:
        He's trying…
'arry:
But not hard enough! He should take a tip
Before he feels the weight of my whip
['arry swipes Dobbin who rears]
Moll:
You're a hard bugger 'arry, one of a few
George:
The animal rights lot will be after you
'arry:
Praps I should go and march with the crowd
To protect my rights, and shout very loud
Sam:
About freedom to pursue these country ways
George:
A waste of time that's what I says
Moll [to 'arry]:
Speaking of waste you're not much use
Sam:
        It's self-inflicted alcohol abuse
Moll:
Boozing and partying and showing no tact
Sam:
Well he is called Prince Harry, that's a fact
'arry:
With remarks like that you should cower
You may well end up in the tower
George:
Speaking of Royals, it's been a mixed year
The Golden Jubilee gave us much cheer
Sam:
But it was a year to forget for some
With the passing of Margaret and the Queen Mum
[Dobbin looks restless]
Moll:
Still, what's up with him? He looks a bit ropey
Sam:
All this work makes him look dopey
The extra labour upsets his guts
Specially if the diet includes some nuts
'arry:
The other day he marked his cards
Shot a rook out a tree from fifty yards
Moll:
I think he's brewing, we've not heard the last
We must be set for another blast
[Dobbin does the usual… a dead rook appears]
Sam:
Look, he's got another one!
George:
While we're here we might as well
Read out special lines if there're any to tell
[Special lines]
'arry:
Well Dobbin could do with some help, I guess
To get us out of this temporary mess
Moll:
There is a mare moved in down the road
If she helped out it would lift the load
Sam:
She moved up from Bristol — and it cost her
With a housing deal through Peter Foster
Moll:
No, Birchington is from where she hails
We'll take her on if all else fails
Sam:
But we still have to look for a lad
And maybe get permission from his dad
[Enter Will]
George:
What about young Will?
'arry:
        He is very tiny…
Moll:
He's a local lad but I hear he's whiney
Sam:
Oi, how old are you?
Will:
        I'm of age
Sam:
You looking for work
Will:
        Depends on the wage
In fact I'm fourteen and desperate for work
'arry:
Nah he's too young — get lost you berk
[Will goes off head down (partly in a futile attempt to avoid a clout from 'arry)… Aaahhhhh. Enter Bill dressed in school uniform; whispers in Moll's ear]
Moll:
He'd like to apply for the job of the lad
Sam:
I know we're short but it's not that bad
'arry:
How old are you if I could ask?
Bill:
Fourteen, mate
George:
        Is he up to the task?
Moll:
Give him a chance, he looks quite strong
He's willing too
Bill:
        I can't go wrong
'arry:
He looks OK, but his clothes are tight
Moll:
He's not fourteen
George:
        You're probly right
Sam:
You can tell he's lying — his lips are a-quiver
Denial is not just an African river        [audience groans if still awake]
Moll:
We've no other options and can't wait long
Let's take him on
Bill:
        I can't go wrong
[Re-enter Will]
All:
Clear off! You're too late! Job's already gone! etc.
[Will goes off… two fingers]
'arry:
We'd best try you out on Dobbin, I guess
Can you ride at all?
Bill:
        More or less
Moll:
Dobbin…
Dobbin, the amazing talking horse:
Yeah?
Moll:
        … meet Bill, your new mount
Dobbin:
Bloody hell!
Moll:
Jump on after three
Sam:
        If you can count
George:
One, two… four. He's on!
Sam:
        Just about
Moll:
Careful now you great big lout
'arry:
He's wobbling… he's not that light
Bill:
I can't go wrong
George:
        Yeah, right
[Bill falls]
'arry:
He's toppled down, just like King Kong
What happened mate?
Bill:
        I went wrong
Moll:
I think we might have judged too soon
I don't think he's to be a boon
Sam:
Just pop off and get yer lunch        [Bill goes off]
He won't be back, that's my hunch
George:
Do yer think the fall affected his brain?
Sam:
Nah, I reckon he came up on the down train
George:
'spose he got a dodgy carriage
He looks worn out…
Sam:
        No, that's marriage
[Second fart from Dobbin: hits a Scotch hedgehog. Enter Birchington horse]
'arry:
Ah here she comes, that Birchington filly
She's affecting Dobbin…
Moll:
        Look at his… [willy]!
[genteel alternative, never used: 'he's going a bit silly']
Sam:
She cuts a fine figure she does, to be sure
Fine strong haunches — her pedigree's pure
George:
She's got to him, the dirty rogue
She has a look of Kylie Minogue
'arry:
We should be so lucky, lucky…
George:
What is her name?
Moll:
        I think it's Edwina
'arry:
The galloping Major has definitely seen her
[Dobbin lusts]
Sam:
They'll soon be at it if we don't hurry
I hear he's already had a curry
[Will wanders in]
'arry:
Let's try out young Will, see what he's like
Will:
Should be easy, like riding a bike
Moll:
Just jump on and dig in your heels
Then hold your breath and see how she feels
Sam:
If she starts to rear, hold on tight
If you fall we'll call it a night
Will:
I can't go wrong
George:
        Let's hope he's right
[Will jumps on; Dobbin runs round and tries to mount Edwina]
Moll:
Steady Dobbin, quick grab his reins
Hold him hard, there's lust in his veins
'arry:
Hang on Will, his grip's getting weaker
Sam:
They're going at it like Sven and Ulrika
[Edwina rears and throws Will; they trample him and run off]
George:
The poor lad's fallen and banged his head
I hope he's OK…
Sam:
        Nope, he's dead
'arry:
Best cover him up while he's still warm
Then we'll have burial rights to perform
Moll [sobbing]:
Have we got a sheet for the little mite?
His poor crumpled body, what a sight
George:
We'll have to carry him from off this verge
And then perform our funeral dirge
Sam [aside]:
        If we must
Moll:
I can't do much more, specially singing
Sam:
Oh, stop moaning
Moll:
        I'm not minging, am I? am I minging?
[They lift him up]
'arry:
He's heavy for a little 'un, no doubting that
Let's put him down, the little brat
Moll:
'arry!
[Re-enter Bill with Dobbin]
Sam:
He's back — but at least he's got Dobbin in tow
Oi, give us a hand
Bill:
        I suppose so
'arry:
One final lift from someone strong
Will cart him off
Bill:
        We can't go wrong
[Funeral march:]
	Our charge is dead, he's not with us anymore
	Mind out the way as we back towards the door
	He's waited all his years
	To get this job we fears
	He won't feel the pain as we drop him on the floor
George:
Careful now — he was quite loyal
Charges may only be dropped by a Royal
Moll:
Now he's down, let's have a rest
I think I need a pint of best
Before we start to dig his grave
Shame he's dead — he was so brave
'arry:
I reckon he could have had this job
He got on well with all our mob
Sam:
The wages too ain't that bad
All the cash he could have had
[Will opens one eye]
Bill:
I spose I'm in now he's dead
I can't go wrong
Will:
        Oh my head!
All:
He's alive!        [they help him up]
Bill:
Oh no he's not!        [pushing him down]
Will:
Oh yes I am!        [and so on…]
Moll:
It's good to see you back with us all
Surviving such a terrible fall
Will:
Thank you all for your kind words
But can someone pick up all these turds?
'arry:
I think you need to go home lads
And tell this news to your dads…
[Will and Bill go off]
George:
Well that's one thing we've got sorted out
Now let's say what our cause is about
Moll:
This year we collect for the local hospice
We collect on behalf of someone we miss
Sam:
Dig deep in your pockets, don't hold back
Fivers or tenners bung in our sack
'arry:
We'll send Moll round to complete the task
In Maureen Knight's memory that's what we ask
[Enter Edwina and very young Dobbin]
George:
Cor blimey, Dobbin! you've cocked up rather…
It looks like you've become a father
Dobbin:
I demand a DNA test!
'arry:
That's the result of one brief linking
We've solved the problem…
Moll:
        I know what you're thinking
Sam:
Now all our work can get done
By these two here, Dobbin and son
George:
A final request while we collect your bread
It's a Hoodening tradition to "wet the foal's head"
Sam:
So any donations in the alcohol line
Would be very welcome — bitter's just fine
All:
For if ye the Hooden Horses do feed
Throughout the year ye shall not need
[Song: 'We are St Nicholas Hoodeners' or 'Come Landlord']

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