Hoodening Play 2003

(final version)

[Enter Moll]
Moll:
The Hoodeners are here!
Come on you lot, get back, make some room
Or else you'll be feeling the back of my broom!
Get out of the way 'cos we've got work to do
Although I must say we're a disgruntled crew
We're fed up with working for such a low pay
And there are some that are threatening to call it a day
You'll see what I mean when the others come in
Here they come now just hark at their din!
[Enter 'arry, Dobbin, Sam, and George — complaining]
Sam:
It's been a dry ol' summer in more ways than one
For many a day we kept out of the sun
The fields, like our throats, were arid and parched
I can tell you it really made working quite hard
'arry:
You never work hard you lazy old git
I'm fed up with your shirking; I'm ready to quit
Moll:
Now come along you two, we don't want a fight
What do you say George?
George:
        Yeah, you're right.
'arry:
No, I mean it. You others can do what you like
But I've had enough I'm going on strike
Moll:
He's got a point Sam, we've been treated quite rough
Our pay's much too low and the work is quite tough
If we all stick together a strike's worth a shot
If it helps to improve on what little we've got
Sam:
OK, I agree, we'll give it a bash
It's worth it to get a little more cash
But what about you two are you with us or not?
George:
I s'pose so
Dobbin:
        What choice have we got?
Sam:
We'll need some equipment, some placards and a brazier (brassière)
'arry:
Old Moll's got one of them on — C'mon give us it here!
['arry tugs at Moll's clothing]
Moll:
You keep your hands off my underwear
Or I'll stick my broom up your derrière
Sam:
No we don't want her undies we want a nice burner
We could stick on some chestnuts and sell 'em as an earner
'arry:
Bill can go off and find us a drum
Hold on, he's not here, hasn't he come?
George:
I think Bill's been Killed, I saw a sign in the town
Moll:
What, that girl with the sword, did she cut him down?
[Enter Bill with trousers hitched up very high and spruced up a bit]
Moll:
Crikey he's looking a little bit smart
Sam:
If you ask me he looks like a right stupid fart [a bit of a tart]
Moll:
What's going on Bill? Your image has changed
Like David Beckham your hair's re-arranged
'arry:
He looks rather strange, a bit of a sight
What would you say, George?
George:
        Something of the night.
Big Bill:
I'm fed up with earning the minimum wage
I thought I would try to go on the stage.
I've had it with farming, I'm changing careers
'arry:
Is that why your trousers are up round your ears?
Sam:
He's trying to be like that bloke Simon Cowell
George:
If they were up any higher, he wouldn't sing, he'd howl
Dobbin:
        He'll probably win then
Sam:
So you're trying your luck with that Pop Idol thing
That's quite a surprise, are you sure you can sing?
Big Bill:
Have you no faith? I thought you were my mates
I'm going to be the next G-G-Gareth G-G-Gates
Moll:
Well before you go off to be a high flier
You can fetch us some nuts and a drum for our fire
Sam:
And drop in on the Boss to tell him our plight
Say we're not giving in without a good fight
[Bill goes off]
'arry:
We'd best voice our views in the open air
Not hide behind a bush, like Tony Blair
George:
We should bark like [insert pet's name; if none, 'a Rottweiler'], not some poor poodle
Let's make our own placards — here, have a doodle
While you're doing that, we've some special lines
We'll try not to offend, we don't want no fines
Moll:
It's hard enough now with that Licensing Act
The council seem to think we know how to act!
Dobbin:
They obviously haven't seen us then, have they?
[Special Lines]
[Bill returns with brazier]
Big Bill:
Here you are. Now I'm off for my final audition.
'arry:
You can't be no worse than this year's Eurovision
[Exit Bill]
Moll:
What shall we do now?
Sam:
        Put some nuts on the fire.
Once they start cooking we'll soon have a buyer.
'arry:
I don't think old Bill is as daft as he seems
I think we should think of alternative schemes
Sam:
I thought I might try for that Millionaire
You know, on the telly, the bloke with blonde hair
And for moral support, George will come on the night
Yes or No, George?
George (coughing loudly):
        Yeah alright.
Moll:
That's OK for you, you're a bit of a chancer
I thought I might try to be a pole dancer
What do you think?
'arry:
        It sounds a bit tacky
Sam:
This is St Nicholas (Sarre/Marshside), not Faliraki!
Moll:
I've been practising hard using my broom
'ere, shall I give you a demo — just give us some room
[Moll steps forward and starts to disrobe]
All:
NO!!
Sam:
I s'pose Dobbin could always be sold to an Arab
Either that or he'll end up a Doner Kebab
[Dobbin stamps on Sam]
'arry:
As it happens some bloke did enquire 'bout the horse
I told him to get lost at the time of course
Moll:
What was the chap's name?
'arry:
        I think it's MacDonald.
George:
What the one with the farm?
'arry:
        No, the one they call Ronald.
[Dobbin quakes]
Moll:
That's us all sorted out. But what about 'arry?
'arry:
I've got plans you know. I might even marry.
Sam:
Hey, what's that noise? Somebody's coming
'arry:
P'raps old Bill has finished his strumming.
[Enter Second horse with Little Willy who passes a letter to 'arry]
Sam:
What have you got there?
'arry:
        It's a note from the Boss
Moll:
What does it say?
'arry:
["Don't forget your lines!"]
        I think he's quite cross.
Our demands have been quashed. He don't want us back!
Moll (looking over 'arry's shoulder):
        The cheeky ol' sod, we've all got the sack!
'arry:
He says he's downsizing, he's found a new way
Someone who'll work harder for half of the pay
Sam:
No-one's that stupid — who could it be?
Little Willy:
Don't call me stupid. The new worker — that's me!
Moll:
It's Young Will from last year… a strange little lad
Sam:
And the Birchington filly. I think we've been had.
Little Willy:
Out of my way. I've got work to do.
I'll finish this field by twenty to two.
[Little Willy and second horse start ploughing]
'arry:
I don't quite believe it. Look at him go!
Moll:
He's as fast as that chap Rubens Barichello!
Sam:
He won't keep that up, he'll be knackered you'll see
'arry:
I don't know about that, he's going more quickly!
[Sounds of rumbling]
Sam:
No listen, I'm right, I think they're due to explode
Moll:
I don't think that's Young Will, that's old Dobbin's load
[Dobbin drops a load]
'arry:
Crikey, how did that happen?
Sam:
        He's eaten some nuts!
Moll:
The inevitable's happened, they've upset his guts.
Little Willy:
I'll have that manure to spread on the field
We'll plough it in now to improve on the yield.
Moll:
Oh no you don't — keep your hands off our turds
Or else you and I will be having some words
Sam:
Now Dobbin's ejected an enormous eruption
George:
His version of weapons of massive destruction
Sam:
Well at least we found his…
'arry:
        Best not stand that near
You can see the size of his weapon from 'ere!
Sam:
He's looking quite frisky and just like last year
He's looking for action! He's after the mare!
Moll:
There are seeds of his own he wants to be sowing
Quick there Young Will you'd better get going
[Little Willy tries to mount the second horse with Dobbin in pursuit. In the ensuing confusion Little Willy falls off. Exit both horses]
'arry:
It looks like Young Will's been struck down by the horse
Moll:
Do you think he's OK?
Sam:
        No he's dead of course!
Moll:
Well what shall we do? We can't leave him here.
Sam:
Let's cover him up and go for a beer
[Sheet is produced from somewhere to cover up Little Willy]
'arry:
Come on Moll let's take him away
We can't leave him here he'll just rot away
Sam:
Nah, leave 'im there, the little prancer
I've even heard tell he's a Morris dancer
'arry:
Say no more — let's have that bier [or "beer"!]
George:
Best pick him up, though I'll not shed a tear
[Moll and 'arry pick up Little Willy]
Sam:
Just to mark our performance in the rugger
We'll sing a song while we carry the bugger
[SONG — with actions]
	Swing low, sweet chariot
	Comin' for to carry him home;
	Swing low, sweet chariot
	Comin' for to carry him home.

	He looked over Dobbin, and what did he see,
	Comin' for to carry him home?
	A band of Hood'ners comin' after he,
	Comin' for to carry him home
Moll:
It's a bit of a shame, I've heard tell he's a boffin.
Sam (shouts out):
A word of advice.
Moll & 'arry:
        Yes?
Sam & George:
        DON'T DROP THE COFFIN!
Moll & 'arry (turning round):
What?
[Moll and 'arry drop Little Willy]
Little Willy:
Ouch!
All:
He's alive!!
[Little Willy gets up]
Little Willy:
Health and Safety's a joke here, the Boss is demented
It's quite clear that directives are not implemented
'arry:
What's he saying? Is he taking a hike?
Little Willy:
No, I'm joining your ranks. I'm going on strike!
[Assembled mass sings We Shall Not Be Moved.]
	We shall not, we shall not be moved
	We shall not, we shall not be moved
	Just like a horse that's standing by its halter
	We shall not be moved
[Enter Bill looking despondent]
'arry:
Here comes Bill back, looking dejected.
Moll:
Did you win lad?
Big Bill:
        No, I was rejected!
Sam:
Was it your singing? Or was it your waist?
Big Bill:
They said that I had no musical taste!
George:
That can't be true!
Sam:
Oh no, look what's happened whilst our backs have been turned
[All belatedly remember to turn their backs]
The fire is raging, my nuts are all burned
Moll:
The fire's out of control — call the Brigade
Sam:
Bet they're out damping down an amusement arcade
'arry:
No, they're all out on strike, they're like us — underpaid.
George:
Run and get help Will and don't get delayed.
[Exit Little Willy]
Sam:
We can't wait that long, we're a long way from home
We need an extinguisher filled with some foam
Moll:
But we're near to some water. Have you got a big hose?
'arry:
No it's just a vicious rumour
Moll:
        Then just take off some clothes
'arry:
What do you mean? I'm no Full Monty Stripper
Anyway I think something's stuck in my zipper!
Sam:
You want him naked? Can I ask why?
Is he joining the ranks of the WI?
Moll:
No we don't want him as a calendar girl
We need to smother the fire, quick as a whirl
Big Bill:
Hold on I've got something that might help in my pants
Does anyone want to give me a hand?
All:
        No thanks
[Bill produces a length of hose from his nether regions]
Sam:
What on earth?… Is it some sort of new innovation?
Big Bill:
No, it's the remains of my last colonic irrigation.
All:
Ugh
Moll:
We can siphon the water from yonder dyke [beg pardon, not you, Madam!]
The fire'll be out as quick as you like
[Fire is extinguished]
'arry:
Now that that's done and the fire is out
It's time for a beer. I think it's your shout.
Moll:
But we've nothing to sell now, we've no food and no hay
George:
And whilst we're not working, we'll not get no pay
Sam:
Our nuts are all soggy and the fire's quite dead
George:
We're all underpaid
Moll:
        And we're all underfed
Sam:
I could do with some grub now. I crave something tasty
I'm beginning to think that we've been a bit hasty.
[Enter Little Willy with a letter]
Moll:
Here's Young Will again, is this some kind of joke?
We've got more letters than that Paul Burrell bloke.
'arry:
It's the Boss again,
[All groan]
'arry:
        He takes it all back
We've been reinstated, we've not got the sack!
[All cheer]
Sam:
I wonder what caused him to alter his mind?
It's not like the boss to be generous and kind.
'arry:
He says he got wind of that gadget of ours
It's just what he needs to water his flowers.
Moll:
He's keen to retain us to develop ideas
And as a sign of goodwill he'll buy us some beers!
George:
But what of our pay rise? Has he agreed?
Sam:
As well as our ale, it's more cash we need!
Moll:
You speak for yourself and don't be so bold
The boss buying drinks, is worth more than gold!
I think we should quit now, while we're ahead
We're OK for the moment, there's no more to be said
George:
Hold on, what of Dobbin? We've lost our old nag
Sam (nudging Moll):
        No, she's still here!
Big Bill:
He'll surely come back for some nosebag
[Enter Dobbin, to recorded sound of Hamlet 'Air on G String']
Moll:
Here's Dobbin now. I don't think he wants food
He's had his oats — you can tell by his mood.
Sam:
Dobbin's in clover and our jobs are OK
Even though we've not managed to increase our pay!
'arry:
And now for our whip round. The reason we're here
Apart from the need for a few pints of beer.
George:
The Kingfisher Children's Centre is our cause this year
It's over there in Broadstairs, not that far from here
Sam:
Equipment is what's needed to assist with education.
Particularly some special chairs — they're a sort of innovation
'arry:
They're to help the kids with special needs and they cost a lot of cash
They need to raise an awful lot — so we thought we'd have a bash
Moll:
So please dig deep and give us any money you've to spare
We'll take coppers, silver, cheques or notes, anything to show you care
All:
For if ye the Hooden Horse do feed
Throughout the year ye shall not need.
[Third(!) song: 'If I were the Hoodening kind']

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