• Babes In The Wood

Synopsis:
The wicked Prince John plans to have his absent brother King Richard’s children kidnapped and disposed of, so that he can claim the throne of England for himself. To this end he enlists the greedy Sheriff of Nottingham to do his dirty work for him, and he in turn employs two idiot baddies, Riff and Raff. This turns out to be his mistake and the Babe’s good fortune. The Sheriff also has an idiot son called David, who dreams of one day becoming a famous footballer, but ends up joining Robin Hood’s gang instead. David also has a long-suffering girlfriend called Victoria. The baddies manage to kidnap the Babes, but Nurse Nettles, and her classroom assistant, Bugsy, along with Maid Marion and Robin Hood and his Merry Men, set off to rescue the Babes. However, Robin and his Merry Men are about as useful as a chocolate teapot, and the Babes are accidently discovered by David and Victoria, who unwittingly deliver them into the hands of Prince John and the Sheriff. A panto full of traditional fun and games, including the almost obligatory schoolroom scene, which uniquely incorporates a slapstick baking routine featuring Nurse Nettles and Riff and Raff.

Roles:
12 principals plus several smaller speaking roles and a chorus.

Runtime:
All of our scripts have a runtime of approx 120 minutes, assuming that you use the full number of suggested musical numbers and not including any interval. But this is very dependent on your own production and can be edited by yourselves to suit.

Music:
All of our pantomimes come with a full, suggested songs and music cues and SFX list.

Style:
Traditional British pantomime, incorporating visual comedy, slapstick and audience participation.



Characters
Nurse Nettles
Maid Marion
Bugsy
Riff
Raff
David
Victoria
Sheriff of Nottingham
Prince John
Robin Hood
Friar Tuck
Little John
Will Scarlet
Alan-a-dale

Chorus/Minor roles
Villagers
Schoolchildren (including the babes)
Dancers, etc
 

Scene One

The Village Of Piddle In The Field


Music cue 1: Villagers. After song ends…

Bugsy enters (SL)

Villagers
Hiya Bugsy!

Villager 1
Shouldn’t you be at school, Bugsy?

Bugsy
I’m just on my way there now.

Villager 2
How come you're late again?

Bugsy
I overslept.

Villager 3
Nurse Nettles won’t be happy. You’ve already been late twice this week.

Bugsy
Can I help it if I have trouble hearing the alarm?

Villager 4
How come you have trouble hearing the alarm, Bugsy?

Bugsy
’Cos I’m always fast asleep when it goes off. 

Villager 5
(to Villagers) It's no wonder the education system is going to the dogs.

Villagers exit shaking their heads.

Bugsy
(to audience) Hello boys and girls! Now as you’ve just heard, my name is ‘Bugsy’. And the reason I’m going to school at my age, is because I’m a classroom assistant. I help Nurse Nettles by putting out all the books and pencils ready for lessons, and clear up all the mess afterwards. Well what else do you think classroom assistants do? Actually I’m a bit sad today, because I've just broken up with my girlfriend. (elicit sympathy) It's sadder than that! (audience respond) We’d been going out together for five years, and then yesterday she said she wanted to get married. The only problem was, she wanted to marry somebody else. (elicit sympathy) So as you can imagine, I need a bit of cheering up. Will you help cheer me up? (audience respond) Great. Now the one thing all teachers and classroom assistants love, is school holidays. So whenever I come on and shout ‘schools out’! I want you all to shout back ‘for summer’! Will you do that? (audience respond) Let’s have practice then. (exit and re-enters and sings) Schools out! (audience respond - repeat business until happy with response) That’s much better. Anyway, I’d better be going or Nurse Nettles might give me detention. Her name’s quite appropriate actually, because she has a face that looks like she’s been licking nettles. (laughs)

Nursie has entered in time to hear him talking about her.

Nursie
(shouts) Bugsy!

Bugsy
(turns - startled) Nurse, Nettles! I was just talking about you. I was telling all the boys and girls, what a nice kind-hearted person you were. (to audience) Wasn’t I? (audience respond)

Nursie
Liar! I heard every word you said. (to audience) And you lot can all write you ‘I must not tell fibs, one hundred times. (to Bugsy) Why aren’t you at school, Bugsy? 

Bugsy
I thought it was half-term, Nursie.

Nursie
That’s because you only have half a brain! Mind you, you’d be wasting your time going today anyway.

Bugsy
Why’s that then?

Nursie
Because all the little so-and-sos are wagging it! (to audience) I’ll bet none of you boys and girls would ever wag, school. Would you? (audience respond) 

Bugsy
(to audience) I can see some of you, will have trouble passing your exams.

Nursie
I only hope the school inspector doesn't turn up unannounced. Talking of people turning up unannounced. (indicating audience) Who are this lot?

Bugsy
That’s the audience, Nursie.

Nursie
Audience? They look more like refugees from Oxfam. (to audience) Now I know what you’re all thinking. How can I possibly run a school full of young tearaways, and still look as young and fresh-faced as I do? Well I’ll tell you. It’s all down to...

Bugsy
…Botox!

Nursie
(snaps) Rubbish! It's all down to good clean living.

Bugsy
(aside to audience) I do all the cleaning and she does all the living.

Nursie
Plus, I allow myself a visit to the beauty parlour at least once a week. I should've been there this morning, but they’ve had to cancel due to technical problems.

Bugsy
Don’t tell me the cement-mixer’s broken down again?

Nursie
(snaps) One off these days you’ll push me too far, Bugsy!

Bugsy
(to audience) I’d need a bulldozer to push her. 

Nursie
Right, that’s it!  (takes out a note and hands it to Bugsy) Take this and put it in the…(local paper)

Bugsy
What is it?

Nursie
It’s an ad for a new classroom assistant.

Bugsy
You mean, you’re giving me the sack?

Nursie
Yes.

Bugsy
Can’t you take a joke, Nursie?

Nursie
Take it! I’ve employed it for the past four years, and now it’s somebody else’s turn. Now go back to school and clear out your stuff.

Bugsy hangs his head and begins to sadly trudge off (SL) encouraging the audience to sympathise as he exits.

Nursie
(to Bugsy) Stop playing for sympathy, and get on with the plot!

Bugsy exits (SL)

Marion and Robin enter (SL) passing Bugsy as he exits.

Marion
(cheery) Hello, mum!

Nursie
Hello, dear. (to audience) This is my daughter Marion. You can see where she gets her good looks from, can’t you? (snaps at audience) Who said ‘no’?

Marion
Bugsy seemed a bit upset, mum. Has something happened?

Nursie
Yes. I’ve just sacked him.

Marion
But Bugsy has been with you forever, mum.

Nursie
Four years actually. It just seems like it’s been forever.

Marion
But where will you find another classroom assistant, willing to work for nothing?

Nursie
Bugsy didn’t work for nothing! He got paid in kind.

Marion
(startled) What kind!?

Nursie
His board and lodgings, what else?

Marion
How come you don't pay him in money?

Nursie
Because the DoE have cut my budget that much, I can’t afford to. It’s got that bad, the kids are having to recycle their exercise books.

Marion
How can you recycle exercise books?

Nursie
By cutting them into little squares and hanging them in the loo.

Marion
That can’t be very pleasant for them.

Nursie
Well I must admit, they’re having it rough.

Marion
But what if the new classroom assistant wants paying in money?

Nursie
Oh, I hadn’t thought of that.  I’ll tell Bugsy he can have his job back. (indicates Robin) Who’s your friend in the green tights, Marion?

Marion
This is my new boyfriend, mum.

Nursie
(takes her aside) He may be a friend Marion…(glances at Robin)…but are you sure he’s a boy?

Marion
As sure as you’re a woman.

Nursie
Oh, don’t confuse things even more. 

Nursie
(turns to Robin) And what’s your name, young man?

Robin
The name’s ‘Hood’. ‘Robin Hood’. (slaps his thigh)

Nursie
(to Robin) Doesn’t that sting?

Robin
Not really, I’m used to it. (slaps his thigh again)

Nursie
And what do you do for a living, Robin?

Robin
I rob people. 

Nursie
So you’re the chancellor of the exchequer?

Robin
No, I only rob from the rich.

Nursie
Business must be a bit thin round here then. And what are your intentions towards Marion?

Robin
I love her terribly.

Nursie
Well maybe you ought to try a bit harder then.

Marion
(looking longingly at Robin) And I love Robin with all my heart.

Nursie
Well just make sure that’s all it’s with. (to audience) I’m sorry kids, but this is the part of the show where they sing the soppy song. I’m off to round up all those wagging kids. Meanwhile, you lot get on with writing out your lines. (exits SR)

Music cue 2: Robin and Marion. After song ends… 

The Merry Men enter.

Robin
Hello, men!

Alan-a-dale
What happened to you, Robin?

Robin
What do you mean, Alan?

Will Scarlet
You didn’t show up for our meeting in Sherwood Forest this morning.

Robin
I thought that was tomorrow.

Little John
No, Robin. We were supposed to be finalising our plans to rob Prince John, when he visits Nottingham today.

Robin
Sorry men, but I've had a lot on my mind recently.

Friar Tuck
(looking at Marion) And I think we can all guess what.

Marion
(feeling awkward) I'll see you later, Robin. Bye! (exits)

Alan-a-dale
Marion's a nice girl, Robin. But you can't let yourself be side-tracked from our just cause. To help the poor, by robbing the rich.

Robin
Don't worry men, nothing will ever sway me from our noble task. Now let’s huddle, whilst I whisper my plan to you. (huddle and whisper) Now is everybody clear?

Merry Men
Yes, Robin!

Robin
Then let's go!

Robin and Men exit (SR)

Sheriff enters (SL)

Sheriff
(turns and calls) Hurry up David!

Music cue 3: David enters (SL) he's dressed in a football strip and is dribbling a football along the floor.

Sheriff
I thought I told you to leave your football at home.

David
But, dad! I have to keep practising my ball skills, if I want to become a professional footballer.

Sheriff
Forget football son. It's a stupid game, and you’ll never make a living from it. Now give me that ball.

David
Sorry dad, but the manager said I mustn't give the ball away. If you want it, you’ll have to tackle me for it. 

David dribbles the ball around stage and the Sheriff tries tackling him.

Sheriff
Give it here you little...(eventually kicks David on the shin)

David
(goes down and rolls about the stage, theatrically) Foul, ref!

Sheriff
I never touched you?

David
(stands) Free kick, dad! (places the ball)

Sheriff
Right'o. (kicks him on the shin)

David
Owah! (holding his shin) No dad, it's my free kick!

Sheriff
If you think you're taking a free kick at me, you've got another think coming. (kicks ball into wing) Now you know what we’re here for?

David
Yes, dad. To collect taxis for Prince John.

Sheriff
No son, it's 'taxes' not taxis. 

David
(dimly) Ooooh...right.

Sheriff
I sometimes find it hard to believe, that I was blessed with a son as intelligent as you. 

David
Is that why you made me have that DNA test, dad?

Sheriff
No son, that was an IQ test. The DNA test was the week before. And it proved beyond any shadow of maintenance, that you are indeed the fruit of my loins.

David
I thought loins where big fierce animals, dad.

Sheriff
No son, that’s lion’s.

David
So what are loins then?

Sheriff
I’ll tell you when you’re grown up. 

David
But I am growed up dad.

Sheriff
Only from the neck down, son. Are you sure you wouldn’t rather stay at home, and watch the Tweenies, David?

David
Well it's very tempting, dad. But it’s national take your child to work day, and I’ve always wanted to see you Sheriffing.

Victoria enters (SL)

Victoria
Hello David.

David
Hello Victoria. This is my girlfriend, dad. She’s a wag.

Sheriff
(to Victoria) What on earth do you see in my son?

Victoria
You mean apart from the fact that he’s going to be a professional footballer, and earn squillions?

David
Actually I've decided to pack in playing football, babe.

Victoria
But why David?

David
Well there isn’t any Premier League yet. Besides, I think dad's fractured my shin.

Sheriff
(to David) Do you know where my henchmen are, son?

David
Yes, dad.

Sheriff
Where?

David
In France, silly.

Sheriff
(sighs) Never mind, I’ll find them myself. (exits SL)

Victoria
Do you fancy a bit of cannoodling, David?

David
I can’t babe.

Victoria 
Why not dearest?

David
I haven’t got a canoe.

Victoria
Never mind. Let's just sit on this bench, and you can hold me tight and whisper sweet nothings in my ear.

They sit on the bench. David cuddles Victoria and whispers in her ear.

Victoria
Why do you keep repeating the words ‘sweet nothings’ over and over again, David?

David
I thought you wanted me to.

Victoria
No, David. I meant, whisper something soft and sweet in my ear.

David
(stage whisper) Marshmallow! Marshmallow!

Victoria
Oh David, we can’t go on like this. I want to know your intentions.

David
I intention to make you the happiest girl in the world, babe.

Victoria
(snuggles up to him) Then just name the day, lover.

David
Today’s…(current day)

Victoria
No, dearest! I meant, our wedding day.

David
We can’t afford to get married yet, babe.

Victoria
But I yearn for you David.

David
I know, but we both need to be earning before we can afford a mortgage. 

Victoria
I sometimes wonder if you really do love me, David.

David
‘Course I do babe. I’ve even written a poem for you.

Victoria
(snuggles closer) Oh David, you’re so romantic.

David
Yes, but I’m taking inhalers for it. 

Victoria
Let me hear it then. 

David wheezes noisily.

Victoria
Not your Asthma David, your poem!

David
Okay, here goes then.
F is for the feelings I have for you
L is for the love that will see us through
O is for the ordinary way that we live
R is for the roses, to you I will give
A is for adorable ‘cos that’s what you are
Put them all together and it spells…FLORA.

Victoria
But my name’s, 'Victoria'. 

David
I couldn’t think of anything to rhyme with 'Victoria'.

Victoria
Oh David, you really do love me. Music cue 4: David and Victoria. After song ends…They exit (SR) holding hands and looking longingly at each other.

Nursie enters (SR)

Nursie
I couldn’t find those truanting kids anywhere. I even looked in all the pubs, just in case. Hic!

Sheriff and Riff and Raff enter (SL)

Sheriff
Ah, Nursie! I’m glad I’ve bumped into you.

Nursie
What do you want?

Sheriff
You know what I want.

Nursie
I know what you’ll get.

Sheriff
And what’s that?

Nursie
Nothing, that’s what.

Sheriff
In that case, I have something for you.

Nursie
What?

Sheriff
These! (pushes Riff & Raff forward) You know what to do. 

Riff & Raff
Yes, boss.

Riff and Raff approach Nursie. 

Riff
You know what we want?

Nursie
I know what you need.

Raff
What’s that then?

Nursie
Something between your ears.

Riff
Hand over your taxes, or else!

Nursie
How much do you want?

Raff
How much have you got?

Nursie
A big fat Zilch.

Riff
Haven’t you anything smaller?

Nursie
Yes - sod all.

Raff
Are you saying you haven't any money?

Nursie
That's right.

Riff
Rubbish! I know for a fact, you get paid on a...(current day)

Nursie
Yes, but I spent it all on a sawn-off shotgun. Would you like to see it?

Riff & Raff
(yelp) No! (they run back to the Sheriff)

Sheriff
Did you get her money?

Riff
No, boss.

Sheriff
And did you threaten her?

Raff
Yes, but she threatened us more.

Sheriff
(pushing them aside) Imbeciles! I’ll get it myself. (goes to Nursie) You know what I want, what I really really want?

Nursie
Well tell me what you want, what you really really want.

Sheriff
I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want.

Nursie
Well tell me what you want, what you really really want.

Riff & Raff
(sing) #I really, really, really wanna ziga-zig, aaahh!#

Nursie
(vamping to Sheriff) #If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends#

Sheriff
(snaps) Shut up you, silly old fool! (to Riff & Raff) And that goes for you two!

Nursie
Did I mention I’m auditioning for X-factor?

Sheriff
Your singing ought to be X-rated.

Nursie
Cheek!

Bugsy enters (SL) followed by Children.

Bugsy
(subdued) School’s out! (audience respond) School’s out forever, for me.

Children gather round Bugsy, pleading with him to stay.

Children
Please don’t leave us, Bugsy!

Nursie
What’s going on, Bugsy?

Bugsy
I told the kids I’ve been sacked.

Nursie
Well as of now, you’re un-sacked.

Bugsy
You mean, I can have my old job back?

Nursie
Yes.

Children
(cheer) Hooray!

Bugsy
(overwhelmed) Such loyalty.

Nursie
Just think how upset they’d be if I left.

Children
(all cheer) Hooray!

Nursie
(snaps) Right, that’s just got you all detention! (to audience) Ungrateful kids.

Bugsy
All right Nursie, I’ll come back. But this time I want paying in money.

Nursie
I’ll pay you five pounds a week.

Bugsy
I’m not working for five pounds a week! 

Nursie
All right then, I‘ll double it and pay you five pounds a fortnight.

Bugsy
That’s more like it. 

Nursie
Now march all those little truants, straight to school.

Bugsy
Okay, Nursie. (to Children) Come along kids. (leads moaning Children, off SL)

Sheriff
Whose, are all those kids?

Nursie
They’re mine.

Raff
Blimey! Didn’t you have a telly in your house?

Nursie
No, we made our own entertainment.

Sheriff
(to audience) No prizes for guessing what that was.

Nursie
I teach them in school.

Riff
That’s usually the best place.

Nursie
I’ll bet you two never went to school.

Raff
Actually, our mum sent us to school every single day.

Riff
And we went straight past it to the park.

Nursie
Didn’t you learn anything?

Raff
We learned how to wag it.

Riff
We also went to school at night.

Nursie
You mean you went to night-school? 

Raff
No, we went to school at night.

Nursie
And what did you learn there?

Riff
We learned how to strip the lead off the roof.

Sheriff
Listen here, Nursie. Pay up your taxes, or I’ll close down your school.

Nursie
I can’t afford to pay any taxes. I’m flat bust.

Raff
(staring at Nursie’s chest) Oh, I wouldn’t say that.

Sheriff
You must have money. Last week you said you'd been and bought an outfit, for every day of the year.

Nursie
Yes, and I’m wearing it.

Sheriff
Enough shilly-shallying! (to Nursie) Pay up by tomorrow, or I'll be forced to take steps.

Nursie
Well don’t take the tall ones. I need them to clean the windows. 

Sheriff
(to Riff & Raff) Let’s go.

Sheriff, Riff and Raff exit (USL)

Nursie
The old misery guts. (to audience) I bet you wouldn’t like it if your school was closed down, would you boys and girls? (audience respond) You would? I'm shocked. Well I’d better get to school. See you later! (exits SR)

Blackout - cloth/tabs in - lights up.


Scene Two

Somewhere Near The Village


Sheriff, Riff and Raff enter (DSL)

Raff
Who are we were meeting here again, Sheriff?

Sheriff
Prince John.

Riff
I've never met royalty before. How do we do greet him when he arrives?

Sheriff
You grovel. You do know what 'grovel' means, don't you?

Riff
Yes. It’s what Raff did when his wife found out about him, and the barmaid from the...(local pub)

Sheriff
That’s right. Grovel exactly like that.

Prince John enters (SR)

Sheriff
(genuflecting) Greetings, your highness. 

Raff
(grovelling) Pleased to meet you your slyness. 

Riff 
(to Prince John) She meant nothing to me darling - honest!

Prince. J
(brushing him aside) Fool! (to Sheriff) You know why I’m here Sheriff?

Sheriff
You want me to carry out some wicked deed for you?

Prince
Yes. Are these…(indicates Riff & Raff)…your henchmen? 

Riff
No, we’re Englishmen.

Prince. J
Are you a moron?

Riff
No, C of E.

Prince. J
(to Sheriff) And are they prepared to carry out dastardly deeds?

Sheriff
Yes, your highness. They’re tough and ruthless.

Raff
Yeah, rough and toothless.

Riff
By gum we’re hard.

Prince. J
(to Riff & Raff) How hard?

Riff
We’ll steal candy off babies.

Raff
Knock hats off old ladies.

Riff
Tell white lies.

Raff
Pull wings off flies.

Riff
Pick our noses.

Raff
Cut heads off roses.

Riff
We’ll do anything for money.

Raff
But don’t tell mummy.

Sheriff
(snaps) Shut up!

Riff
We do that too.

Prince. J
(to Riff & Raff) My brother King Richard, has left his two brats in the care of Nurse Nettles, while he’s away fighting in the crusades. But it’s unlikely, that he will survive. Which means that one of his brats, will take over the throne. And I can’t allow that. So you will both to join Nursie’s class, and kidnap them.

Raff
You want us to dress up as snotty schoolkids?

Sheriff
Yes, but the snot is optional. 

Riff
No way!

Raff
Won’t do it!

Riff
Too silly!

Raff
Too embarrassing!

Prince. J
Is that your final answer, or would you like to ask the audience?

Riff & Raff
Final answer.

Riff
And nothing will make us change our minds.

Prince. J
I’ll pay you fifty gold crowns each.

Riff & Raff
(quickly accept) Done!

Prince. J
Once you've kidnapped them, I want you to take them to the deepest darkest part of the woods. I’m sure you know what to do then.

Raff
Have a picnic?

Prince. J
No you fools! Dispose of them!

Riff
In what way 'dispose' of them.

Prince. J
Do I have to spell it out for you?

Raff
That wouldn't do any good.

Prince. J
Why not?

Riff
'Cos we can't read.

Prince. J
I want them dead by morning.

Raff
You can rely us, your wickedness.

Prince. J
Fail me, and I will have you flayed alive and hung down the nearest well. (to Sheriff) And that includes you, too! (exits SR) 

Riff
(to Raff) Have you ever seen anybody flayed alive? 

Raff
No, but I’ve seen somebody who was well…

Sheriff
…Put a sock in it! Now you both know what you have to do?

Riff & Raff
Yes, Sheriff.

Sheriff
Just remind me.

Riff
Why? Have you it forgotten already?

Sheriff
I haven't forgotten! I just wanted to make sure you’ve grasped it.

Raff
Grasped what?

Sheriff
The plan.

Riff
What plan?

Sheriff
The plan to kidnap the babes!

Raff
Oh, yeah we’ve grasped that…I think.

Sheriff
You’re not exactly filling me with confidence here.

Riff
Would it help if we moved over there? (points to opposite side of stage)

Sheriff
(hits them) Idiots! You’d better not mess this up. Otherwise we’ll all be staring at the bottom of a well, minus our birthday suits. 

SFX: School bell.

Raff
(to Riff) We’d better hurry to school. We don’t want a yellow slip for being late, on our first day.

Riff
(to Sheriff) Shall we take an apple for the teacher?

Sheriff
Take a basketful if you like! Now get going! (pushes them off and all exit SR)


Babes In The Wood

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