Mother goose

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Draft 3

In front of closed curtains. Fairy Liquid takes her place centre front in blackout, then follow spot comes on to reveal her standing with wand out-stretched.

Fairy Liquid: (in an exaggerated good fairy voice)

Welcome, all you boys and girls

With bright clean clothes and fresh brushed curls.

You’re here to watch our tale unfold

And laugh and shout to help me mould

A happy ending for our good friends

While baddies learn to make amends.

(change to ordinary voice and talking confidentially to audience): Oh dear, this rhyming thing really is rubbish. I was never any good at poetry at school. Much better at chemistry…ooh I did like making bangs and puffs of smoke. By the way, my name is Fairy Liquid. My friends call me Liquid Gold. That’s because I specialise in sorting out problems and making good people happy.

SONG 1 Smile (Fairy Liquid)

Quite an agony aunt I am, really. So they say I’ve got a heart of gold. But I often need some help. You see, I have a rival. She’s called Fairy Nightshade. She and I both went to Hogwarts School. Even then we were always trying to outdo each other. Well, she’s made a career out of helping the Baddies-what she calls a niche market. But her magic powers have been a bit rocky ever since Hermione gave me the tip-off: if you shout “SHE’S DEADLY” whenever you see her, it sort of weakens her magic. Her wand goes floppy. “Deadly Nightshade” you see. It’s poisonous and her magic doesn’t go quite the way she meant.

So I’ll need you to do the shouting if all the good people of Nursery-rhyme Land are going to go away happy (tonight/this afternoon).

I think we’d better do some shouting practice. I’d hate to think that you weren’t as slick and polished as the cast. So I’m going to say “here’s Fairy Nightshade” and you’re going to shout “she’s deadly”. Here we go: “here’s Fairy Nightshade”……. Is there anyone out there? Have I been talking to myself for the last 5 minutes? Let’s have another go. “Here’s Fairy Nightshade”……. Well that was a bit better but I doubt it would make her wand go floppy. I know: let’s have a competition. First we’ll have the boys and girls on their own. Then we’ll have the mums and dads. And finally, we’ll have the Grannies, Grandads, Aunties and Uncles- I call them the outlaws. So: boys and girls first: “here’s Fairy Nightshade”…much better. Now Mums and Dads: “here’s Fairy Nightshade”….that’s more like it. And last but not least, the Outlaws: “here’s Fairy Nightshade”….

Pretty good. I reckon that ………..were the best. But I don’t want the weakest link to walk out.

Whoops…here she is. What good timing.

Fairy Nightshade strides towards Fairy Liquid from stage right. She is dressed as a hippie/goth with long striped tights, lots of long beads and a head band: Ha, Ha. You nasty little girls and Boys: I’m Fairy Nightshade…..(we presume that this will be drowned by the audience shouting ‘she’s deadly’, encouraged by Fairy L. During this shouting, Fairy N’s wand droops.) Oh, I see we’ve already been introduced. Don’t take too much notice of that wet Fairy Liquid. She thinks she’s so clever just because she was in the same House as Harry. She’s a really boring goody goody.
Fairy Liquid: Oh I’m not staying here to be insulted. I’m off. I need to do a bit more work on my Biological Washing Potion. (leaves stage left)
Fairy Nightshade: (to the audience): What you’ve come for (tonight/this afternoon) is a bit of fun. You’ll enjoy meeting my friend Jasper Juggernaut. He just loves making people miserable. And I love it when they cry.

Now, talking about introductions and meeting people; I think it’s time you met each other. Then you’ll know who to stab in the back when you go home. I want everyone on this side (signs left half of hall) to stand up…….. Now, say to the audience on the other side ”How do you do”. …..Now the other half stand up… say “mind your own business”…..

There, that’s done all the nice friendly introductions.



SONG: 2 Cruella de Ville (Fairy Nightshade)

Well, if Fairy Wet has gone off to launder her magic, I’d better do something about straightening my wand. I can hear those Nursery-Landers so I might need it. See you later. (leaves stage right)


(Barrow Village backdrop with an oldy-worldy cottage to stage right. This is Mother Goose’s Willow Farm. Front door has its name over it. The Nursery-Landers, chickens, ducklings and goslings are milling about SONG 3 OLD MACDONALD HAD A FARM (all)

Mother Goose (as singing finishes): Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear. Why are you lot so cheerful? This is going to be a really horrible day. I can feel it in my bones. Nothing’s gone right. It all started when the alarm clock went off. I was having a terrible dream about that beastly Jasper Juggernaut. Then, when I went out to feed the poultry, the chickens and the ducklings and the goslings had all managed to get out. I suppose Basil forgot to shut them in last night. And there you still are, you little blighters. Your mummies and daddies are all where they’re supposed to be—in their nice big poultry houses. How can I be called a poultry farmer when my birds are running round all over the place?

(calls, in Faulty Towers style) Basil, Basil! Where have you got to? Call yourself my Head hen man. You’d do more good sitting on the eggs.

Basil (enters from behind Willow Farm, stage right)(absentmindedly pre-occupied with an official-looking piece of paper and trying to keep his monocle in place. He has a bad stutter): What is it, Pris-sis-cilla? I’m just trying to su-su-sort out the message from the policeman. (he trips over an upturned bucket and goes sprawling)

Mother Goose: (repeats) You’re sorting out the message from the policeman? Whatever do you mean? Look, you’re su-su supposed…I mean you’re supposed to sort out the hens and the ducks and the geese. Not messages from policemen. (dawning on her) Uh oh. I smell more trouble. I said it was going to be a horrible day. What’s gone wrong now? What have you dropped, mangled, broken or lost this time?

Basil: Weeell, (defensively) how did I know that you had the su-su-steering on the truck su-su-sorted out after all this time?

Mother Goose: Go on. Tell me the worst.

Basil: Weeell….as I was driving round Jerusalem roundabout with the eggs for market, a su-su-su-sports car came bursting out of su-su-Sileby Road. I braked hard and…weeelll…I su-su-skidded and…weeelll…to cut a long su-story longer, all the eggs are su-su-smashed. Huh, huh. Praps I meant su-su-scrambled!

Mother Goose (beside herself with rage): Basil, how can you stand there and make jokes. How long have you worked for me? I’ll tell you: thirty five long years. How have I put up with you? Because you’re so pathetic that I end up feeling sorry for you. You’ve even had the nerve to suggest I might marry you some day. Well, forget it. You’re hopeless!

Basil (looking pathetic) I su-su-suppose you’re right.(to the audience): I am pathetic. I’m really useless. I’d better go and su-su-sort out the truck.(exits stage right)

Mother Goose: .(to the audience): It’s not PMT that’s wrong with me. It’s not the fact that I’m a widow. It’s not even that Basil is so useless. The real trouble is that I’ve got an appointment. Yes, that bully Jasper Juggernaut is coming to see me later on.

Jack Goose enters stage right and greets cast and audience Hi everybody. Hey, what’s the matter with you lot? Talk about long faces: a sausage dog would proud of a head like yours.

Jill Goose: Mother’s upset. Don’t make it worse, Jack. Look, mother, Basil couldn’t help it. He does try. And we’re all here to make sure that Jasper doesn’t do anything too awful. We all need to stand together. We’re really all in the same boat. Everyone knows that Jasper wants to evict all the Nursery-Landers who live down Strancliffe. We’ve all seen his plans to build a big cottage development down Willow Way. We know what he’s like. So we must try and stay calm. That’s the only way we can defeat him.

Jack Goose: Oh, I don’t know. I rather fancied driving one of those big yellow digger things. I bet you could make them do wheelies if you practised…..

Mother Goose: Jack, wash your mouth out. How can you stand there and talk as though you want Jasper to have his evil way?

Jack: Well, if we lived in a new house, there’d hardly be any garden so cutting the lawn wouldn’t be a



problem. Hey, that reminds me of a new joke I heard: The groundsman at Cadbury World spilled his cocoa

on the lawn. The grass came up smelling of Roses. Get it…get i…..

Jill (interrupting): Jack, can’t you be serious for a single minute? You’re really not helping.

Jack: Look, what’s the problem. If we sold the farm we’d have pots of money. (goes a bit dreamy) Then I might have some chance of buying this fabulous little car I’ve seen. Well, actually, I’ve had a go in it this morning. Some blighter nearly knocked into me on the roundabout. He wasn’t looking where he was going.

Mother Goose (slowly dawning on her): Jaackk…it wasn’t you in that sports car was it? It was. All you think about is the bright lights of Loughborough, fast cars and girls. Do you realise that you made Basil tip the truck over. All the eggs we were sending to Loughborough Farmers’ Market were smashed. And I blamed him. Now we definitely won’t be able to pay the rent. Well get this straight. I’m not going to give in gracefully to that horrible Jasper Juggernaut. (punches the air as though delivering a right hook) I’m going to give him what for. I’m going to fight him on the beaches, I’m going to fight him in…..

Jill Goose: That’s more like it, mother. Fighting talk and keep your wits about you. You’ll need them …Jasper’s just coming round the corner.

Jasper Juggernaut (simpers onto centre stage from stage left. He oozes a camp confidence and oilyness. The nurserylanders and the chickens,etc all draw back, obviously upset.) Ah, Priscilla, my good woman…

Mother Goose: Don’t you Priscilla me. It’s Mother Goose to you. What do you want? (to the audience) as though I don’t know. (back to JJ) I suppose you’re going to propose some ridiculous plan to buy me out of Willow Farm. Well, let me tell you. My family have been poultry farmers in Strancliffe for…..

Jasper Juggernaut: Buy you out? Buy you out? Don’t be crazy. I own your farm. No, I’ve come to deliver the final demand for your rent. Pay me by tomorrow morning or I’ll send my bailiffs to evict you. (evil chuckle) Huh huh, Mavis and Phyllis will do a grand job. They may only be women but they’ve got muscles of steel. It’s all that weight-lifting training they do at Humphries on a Wednesday night. Oh, you won’t argue with Phyllis and Mavis.

Nursery-Landers start BOOING and encourage audience to join in.

Jasper: Oooh, I do love it when you boo. It sends shivers down my back.

Knave of Hearts (moving as tho’ to attack JJ but keeping a safe distance): I’ll send shivers down your backside if you don’t stop bullying Mother Goose. She’s my girl friend’s mother and I won’t let you be so beastly to her. (puts his arms round Jill who looks adoringly at him)

Jasper: Who asked you, knave? For someone who’s always in trouble with the law for stealing tarts, you aren’t in a position to threaten me. I’ve only got to spill the beans to your mother, the Queen of Hearts and she won’t cough up your rent. Then I can get rid of you, too.

Nursery Landers BOO, again encouraging the audience

Jasper: Oh don’t do it; I like it. Now, come on, you old bat (looking at Mother Goose, who is all of a dither): Do you know, you remind me of an old pair of curtains.

Mother Goose: Whatever are you talking about… an old pair of curtains?

Jasper: Ha! You need to pull yourself together. (groan) Now, you pay up tomorrow morning or you’re out.

Mother Goose: (looking rather flattened) Oh Jasper, I can’t pay tomorrow. Basil had a horrid accident on Jerusalem roundabout. He could have been killed. And it wasn’t his fault. (beginning to whine) Pleeease give me a little more time. How can I leave just like that? What would happen to all my birds?

Jasper: Stop whining, woman. Your birds are your problem. Why not have a chicken supper tonight? (the young birds recoil in horror) You could set up shop: chicken and chips in a basket? Ducklings a l’orange? Roast goose stuffed with pate?

Jack: Hey, did you know that someone’s crossed a hen with a banjo: it plucks itself!

Jill: For heaven’s sake shut up Jack.

Simple Simon: The next thing you’ll be suggesting is pies: chicken and mushroom pies. Look, Jasper. Just take your horrible person somewhere else. We really don’t want you around.

Jasper: Who asked you, simpleton. The next thing we’ll find is that you can’t pay your rent. You won’t even have a penny.

Simple Simon: Look, just because my name is Simple Simon, it doesn’t mean that you can push me around. (does boxing movements towards JJ but plenty of distance away) Talking about pushing, just push off.

Jasper: Let’s get one thing straightyour rent straight into my bank. I’ve just decided to put the rent up. (ACT 1 SCENE 2


That means that most of you soppy Nursery Landers will be getting a visit from me in the next few days. (to the audience): I’ve booked the bulldozers for the end of next week so I might as well get as much cash from this lot as I can. (to the cast): I’m not hanging around any longer. I’ve got a slap-up lunch booked with the architects at the Hunting Lodge. Caviar and chips…mmm…my favourite. Enjoy your bread and cheese. (saunters off stage left)

Nursery Landers boo and encourage the audience to boo.

Jasper( pops back just far enough to be seen): Ooh, I do love it when you boo. (leaves)(Nursery Landers make rude gestures in JJ’s direction. Some stick out their tongues etc.)

Knave of Hearts: What a simply horrible man. Whatever can we do to get rid of him? He can’t be allowed to bulldoze our homes. It will bulldoze our lives.

Jill: And why should he be allowed to build lots of horrid new cottages in those lovely old meadows behind Strancliffe? He’ll squeeze far too many together and Jack’s right; they won’t have proper gardens.

Mother Goose: If he expects me to buy one of his new ‘Juggernaut Homes’ after he’s pushed me out, he’s got another think coming. How could I live in one of those modern five up and five down when I’ve been used to my little farm cottage all my life?

Old Mother Hubbard (comes rushing in from stage right): Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. What ever will I do? I’ve got all those mouths to feed. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, I don’t know what to do.

Mother Goose: Eh up, me duck. What’s the matter now? Don’t say you’ve just had a visit from the old juggernaut. If so, join the club. I think we’re all in the same boat.

Mother Hubbard: Boat, boat? I don’t live in a boat. You know very well, Priscilla, I live in a shoe. Or I did until two hours ago. That terrible man, Jasper Juggernaut has just sent his two bailiffs to serve a final demand. I’ve got to pay my rent by Monday or I’ll be turned out with all my children. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I don’t know what to do. (rushes off stage right)

Mother Goose (calls to Basil, off stage): Basil, Basil. (Basil returns from stage right) I think you’d better go and see if you can help her. She’s in a right state. Take some food with you. Knowing her, her fridge will be empty and her cupboards will be bare.

Basil: Oh, Oh, yes, yes, of course. What su-su -sort of food? How about su-su-sausage su-su-sandwiches? Or su-su-steamed su-su-s uet pudding? Or did you mean just su-su-snackth?

Mother Goose: Just use your common se…no, on second thoughts, you don’t have any common sense. Look, take a big tin of baked beans and a packet of sliced bread. Don’t forget the tin opener and try not to fall over on the way. (she hands these items to Basil)

Little Miss Muffet: I’ve got a huge pot of curds and whey you can take to poor old Mother Hubbard. But don’t spill it. (she passes him a large bowl containing shaving foam. Basil tries to hold all these things. Starts off, trips and ends up with his face in the foam. He picks himself up, his face completely covered in foam and tries to go off in the wrong direction(ie stage left )carrying only the bowl-which still has foam in it. He bumps into Simple Simon and manages to cover SS with foam.)

Mother Goose: Basil! Stop! What are you doing? You’re going in the wrong direction and you’ve left the beans and the bread on the floor. Oh dear, you really are hopeless. And you look ridiculous. Look, Simple Simon, I think you’d better go with him. Both of you, go and give yourself a good wash in the horse trough. Simon, pop along to the pieman and get some pies. And Knave, I suppose I shouldn’t encourage you to go and pinch any more tarts from your mother. But I know Mother Hubbard’s children would really like them. Why don’t you simply ask your mother? (Basil, Simple Simon and Knave of Hearts exit stage right.)

Little Miss Muffet: Actually, I’ve had a rent demand, too. Jasper stuck it on my tuffet. I’m never going to find all that money. (sighs theatrically)

Little Tommy Tucker: So’ve I. I was singing with the band for that dance last night at Humphries. I’d just been paid when Jasper came along and tried to get me to pay there and then. Fortunately, most of my pay is my supper so I hadn’t actually got much cash on me.

Jack Goose: Look, lighten up, you lot. It can’t all be doom and gloom. You need cheering up. (shouts) Duck! (everyone ducks) Ha! Caught you out. It’s the ducklings; they’re firing shells at you! (everyone groans) Why did the rubber chicken cross the road? Because she wanted to stretch her legs! (groans). (pointing to a group of ducklings): Look at those dotty ducklings: they’re really quackers.

Jill: Oh Jack, your jokes are awful. But I think you’re right. Perhaps we should try and cheer up a bit. I know. Let’s sing the Goose family anthem: (ACT 1 SCENE 2)
SONG 4 TENESSEE WIG WALK (First time thro’ with cast singing and children dancing the actions; Then Mother Goose teaches the audience the chorus and actions)

(During the singing, the chickens, ducklings and goslings perform a ‘cheer leader’ type dance.

Mother Goose: Thanks, Jack and Jill. I do feel a bit more cheerful. And now I must round up the little birds and get them back to their runs. (she picks up a broom and shoos them off stage, helped by the rest of the cast). All exit

Curtain closes (ACT 1 SCENE 3)
Eglantine (appears, front stage left. She is very ‘physical’, flapping her wings, clucking around, investigating the audience, the set, the props, with her beak): Isn’t it time I was on? I’m getting fed up, waiting in the wings. “in the wings”…get it? (she flaps her wings).

Fairy Liquid (enters from stage left, following Eglantine as she is talking)(crossly): Eglantine! Get back! I’m not ready for you yet. You are a naughty goose. Your turn will come. Now just get back behind those curtains until I fetch you. (to the audience) Eglantine’s a lovely goose but you do have to watch her. She always wants to be the centre of attention. She’s a real EGGSibitionist.

Eglantine (groans loudly and encourages the audience to do same. She preens herself): Two can play that joke. I’m EGGStremely bored. (groans). She wanders off, down the steps and into the audience.

Fairy Liquid (as Eglantine gets to the audience): I’d better go and see what she’s up to.

(she follows E. Eglantine makes fun of members of the audience with her moveable head and generally causes merriment. Fairy Liquid urges her on using her wand as an aid. They disappear out of the hall.

Meanwhile, as Eglantine and Fairy Liquid leave the stage, and while the audience is distracted by them, preparations are made by the stage crew for the next front of curtains scene:
A large office desk is pushed onto stage left front, more-or-less in front of side curtains, plus an imposing chair behind. The desk is buried in papers, envelopes, lists and books. Mavis enters from stage right front in athletic mode, flexing her muscles, jumping up and down and looking rather fit; dressed in shell suit/leotard with huge woolly socks but with the usual head scarf))

Mavis (in Barrow dialect, which I can’t write!): Eeh, thar were right great. I’ve never tried all this trainin’ lark before but it’s grand. All the time I were bashing that dangly pillow thing, I were thinking it were the ol’ man’s head. An’ when it came to pickin’ up them big bits o’ metal, I were dreaming o’ givin’ ‘im what fer. (dances around the stage, throwing punches at imaginary enemies. Then starts to do some stretching exercises .Loses her balance and falls over. Phyllis enters from same place, limping and looking extremely unfit and unenergetic. Similar outfit)

Phyllis: Oh my gawd. I can barely move. Mavis, whatever are you doing on the floor? I know it were really bad, but it weren’t that bad. Whatever would the ol’ man say if he could see us now: you fallen to the floor and me as stiff as a dead corpse.

Mavis: I thought it were great. I ain’t stiff. I jus’ lost me balance. I got a bit excited at the idea of giving ol’ Jasper a really good thumping. What d’yer mean…a dead corpse. Have yer ever seen a live one? Silly woman.

Phyllis: Don’t bully me. Just because yer body is built like one of them Japanese fat fighters. You know: them Sumo wrestlers. Well I’m delicate. I can’t take much more of this training even if it does give us an extra twopence a day on our wages.

Mavis: Don’t get too excited: I doubt we’ll get any or’it. The ol’ miser. He can’t even sort out them nursery landers on ‘is own. I know ‘e’s a right pufter but fancy ‘aving to train up two women to tip babies and OAPs onto the streets. He’s pathetic. I ‘ates him but I don’t ave no choice. It’s a job and I’ve got mouths to feed.

Phyllis: Ey up, me duck. We’d better get ‘is nib’s office tidied and dusted before he gets back from sorting out poor old Mother Goose. Lord knows what he’s going to expect us to do if she can’t pay up. Ehy, jus’ look at this mess. (rummages in the papers)

Mavis: He’d never miss any of this lot. We could tip ‘alf of it in the bin and ‘e’d never know. (she quickly folds one sheet into a paper aeroplane and throws it at Phyllis. Phyllis giggles and picks up a handful of papers which she throws over Mavis’s head. Phyllis picks up the 1st aeroplane (or another, ready made) and throws it into the audience. They start to laugh and shriek, throwing ready made paper aeroplanes into the



audience. As each one goes, they call out what might have been on the paper: eg there goes the planning application; whoops, this one’s an invitation to a party; off goes the bill for the digger, etc. Hopefully some interaction develops with the audience.)

Phyllis: (as things calm down) Let’s just stuff a few bits on a pile and make it look as though we’ve tidied up. (they do this)

Mavis: Eh up, I’ll get sweeping. You do the dusting. (they slip on the familiar overalls)

Phyllis (goes round behind the desk, dusting. She pulls open a drawer): Ey, look what I’ve found. This is ‘ol Juggernaut’s secret sweetie store. Shall we do the same with them? (starts to throw sweets into the audience.

While she is doing this, Jasper enters stage right and stands behind them looking thunderous.)

Audience: He’s behind you ! Booo! Etc (Mavis and Phyllis both turn sharply to look at J and bump into each other)

Jasper (To the audience, camping up his response): Oh keep your paws off me! I do so love it when you boo. (turning to M and P). You’re fired. (back to audience) I must have been off my rocker when I employed these two jokers. Train up the office tea ladies to get a karate black belt at Humphries and they could do my dirty work for me. That’s what I thought. I don’t want Barrow Voice making me out to be the Bad Guy because I’m not.

Audience: Oh yes you are

Jasper: Oh no I’m not

M and P + audience: Oh yes you are

Jasper: I’m not

Audience: Oh yes you are

Jasper (back to M and P, oily) Well, I’m not an unreasonable man.

Mavis and Phyllis and audience: Oh yes you are.

Jasper: Oh no I’m not

M and P + audience: Oh yes you are

Jasper (to audience): Look, you’ve already done this bit. Give it a rest. (to P and M): I’ll give you one last chance. I’ve got work for you my pretties. The bulldozers come in next week. I’ll give you a bonus for every family you evict. You start tomorrow morning. None of them will be able to pay up ( to the audience): I’ve just put the rent up.

Audience: Boo

Jasper (suggestively) Are you trying to put me off my stroke? (he goes to the table and picks out several sheets of paper from the pile and gives a few each to M and P) These look good and official. Go and deliver one of these to each of the Nursery Landers living down Strancliffe. Most of them can’t read so it doesn’t matter what the papers say. Then GET THEM OUT. I don’t want any of their furniture. I just want them out.

Audience: Boo (J exits stage right with M on one side and P on the other. J wiggles his bottom at the audience as they boo.)

Fairy Nightshade (enters stage left, creeping in with exaggerated caution, looking right and left): Hello boys and girls. It’s me again. Remember I’m here to stir things up a bit. Ha, Ha.

Fairy Liquid (enters stage right): Here’s Fairy Nightshade (signalling to the audience to shout “she’s deadly”.

Fairy Nightshade (holds up her wand which is still straight) (to the audience) You’re pathetic. You couldn’t bend a banana. Jolly good; we’re coming to a bad bit. Jasper has sent Mavis and Phyllis to serve the final rent demand on Mother Goose. Yesterday, I got Basil to smash all those eggs so I know Mother Goose won’t be able to pay the rent. In a few moments, I’ll be right behind those two hefty char ladies to make sure they get rid of Mother Goose and her goody goody family.

Fairy Liquid: Now come along, Boys and Girls, Mums and Dads and all you Outlaws; Now’s your chance to spoil her magic. (shouts) It’s Fairy Nightshade!

Audience: She’s deadly.

Fairy Liquid: You’ll have to do better than that. Come on, as loud as you can. It’s Fairy Nightshade!

Audience: She’s deadly. (Fairy Nightshade’s wand gradually bends down)

Fairy Liquid: Well done! That will mess up her magic.

Fairy Nightshade: Oh no it won’t (etc)




Fairy Liquid: Now I must go and put the finishing touches to my Golden Egg potion.(exits stage right

Fairy Nightshade ( stamps her foot): Oh bother you lot. I’ll go and find something else to mess up.(exits stage left)


Curtains open to reveal the kitchen of Mother Goose. Mother Goose is sitting on a rocking chair, rocking. Jack and Jill are on either side of her. The clock says 8.55. There is a door back centre stage leading into the kitchen. It is locked with a large bolt.

Mother Goose: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. It’s Monday morning. Rent day. Any minute, those two soppy char ladies of Jasper Juggernaut are going to knock on the door. They are going to ask me to pay the week’s rent. I’m going to tell them that I can’t. And then what?

Jack: You’re going to say “Boo to the goose” and they’ll go scuttling away. Get it? Boo to the goose. Joke!

Jill: Jack, this is serious. You know, you can’t go on joking through life.

Jack: Don’t you mean that Jack Goose can’t make YOKES? Yokes; you know; the yellow bit in the middle of goose eggs. Yokes….jokes….Oh, forget it.

Jill: Can’t you grow up? Mother needs our help and support.

Mother Goose: Jill, he’s only a boy. He’s still only thirty one. He’s doing his best.

(There is a loud knocking on the door. Everyone looks at the door but no-one makes a move to open it. Mother Goose starts to shake.)

Mother Goose: Oh, I’ve come over all peculiar. Jill, I suppose you’d better go and open the door.

Jack (goes to the window and peeps out): Yes, it’s Mavis and Phyllis. Mother, I’m being serious now. I think we should all hide and then try to frighten them away. At least it would give us a bit longer to find some rent money.

Jill: I suppose it’s worth a try.

Mother Goose: I’m all of a dither.

(There is more knocking. MG and J hide behind furniture while Jack undoes the bolt then opens the door and hides behind the door as he opens it. The door is left wide open. Mavis enters in Karate mode, looking aggressive. Phyllis limps in looking very cautious. Both look around and are surprised to see no-one. They move together, side by side, towards centre front, looking first one way then the other. Then Mavis moves 2 paces to her right and Phyllis 2 paces to her left, all the time, peering to find Mother Goose. They then move backwards towards centre stage. They inevitably bump into each other)

Phyllis (gives a shriek): Who’s there? Who’s that? Don’t hit me-I’ve got me ‘ands up.

Mavis: Don’t move or I’ll break yer bones. I am a fighting machine…. (They look at each other).

Phyllis: Don’t touch me! I’ll come quietly. Help! I didn’t mean it….

Mavis: Phyllis, don’t be silly. It’s me, Mavis. We’re both supposed to be getting Mother Goose out of ‘er ‘ouse.

Phyllis: Well, why did yer shout at me? You knows I suffers with me nerves.

Mavis: I didn’t shout at you. I thought you wus Mother Goose. She don’t seem to be ‘ere. We’d better ‘ave anover shufty for ‘er. We’ve got that there bonus to go for. (They repeat the moves, ending up bumping again. As they bump, MG, J and J, still in their hiding places, shout like dervishes but stay hidden.)

Mavis (shouting): I’ve got you this time. She turns on Phyllis and swipes her. Phyllis tries to hit her back)

Mavis: Blimey, It’s you again. Wot yer keep coming up on me like that fer?

Phyllis: (becoming hysterical) Oh lawd, Oh lawks a mussy. I wanna go ‘ome. Wot wus all that noise? There’s a mad man hiding ‘ere. Oh I can’t stand this. I wan’er go ‘ome. I’ve bin clouted and now me ‘ead’s ringin’. Mummeee. (She picks up a broom that is leaning against the wall near her. She holds it in front of her, protectively.

Mavis: For goodness sake, Phyllis, pull yersell together. We ‘aven’t seen a soul and yer wittering on already.

(Jack gives a theatrical groan from behind the door. Phyllis shrieks again. Mavis starts to do karate movements, aiming in random directions. Jill makes loud ghost noises. Phyllis twirls round and accidentally hits Mavis with her outstretched broom.)

Phyllis: That’s it. I’m not staying ‘ere a moment longer. There are ghouls and ghosts in this place. I’m off. Jasper can stuff ‘is bonus.

Mavis: ‘Eh up, Phyllis. Don’t leave me. I know I’m a mean fightin’ machine but I can’t do this ‘ere evicting



on me own. Oh well. I s’pose yer right. We’re not really cut out to be ghost busters. Let’s go. (As they move

towards the open door, Basil comes blundering in. M and P change tack. Mavis immediately does a half

nelson on him while Phyllis produces a document which she stuffs under his nose. They pull him towards front centre stage.)

Mavis: Where’s Mother Goose? She knows she’s got to pay the rent today or she’s out on ‘er neck. Wher’ve yer hidden ‘er. ‘Ere; read this, Mister ‘ead ‘enman.

Basil: What’s all this? I’ve just come in for me cocoa. (Looking down at Mavis): Madam, su-su-stop breaking my arm. Anyway, I can’t read anything without my glass. (Mavis reluctantly releases him. He gets out his monocle from his shirt pocket and reads) “ To Jasper Juggernaut, es-es-su-su-squire. Your presence is cordially requested at the su-su-sixth annual su-su-sports day at Hall Orchard su-su-school. Please will you present the prizes at the end of the day?”…..What’s this got to do with Mother Goose and her rent? (suddenly becomes masterful and decisive) Look here, my good woman. You’re out of your depth. I want you out of this house, quick sharp. Go back to old Jasper and su-su-stick to the house work. You were never cut out for this job. It’s man’s work.

Mavis (muttering) : Why didn’t that Jasper give us proper paperwork? Typical! He’s all bluster. And anyway, why should we do ‘is dirty work fer ‘im. Oh well, I suppose we’d better go. Cum on, Phyllis, me duck. But we’ll be back!

Phyllis: (to the audience) Not if I’ve got anything to do wirrit. Bye, Basil. Don’t forget to put yer teeth in.

(M and P exit through the door. Basil shuts the door. As soon as they’ve gone, Mother Goose, Jack and Jill come bursting out of their hiding places.)

Mother Goose: Basil, is that really you? For a moment you sounded really masterful. And you’ve got rid of those two wretched women for the time-being. Jack, your groans were very impressive. You frightened the life out of me. I almost spoilt everything by running out of the door myself. And Jill, where ever did you learn how to make those ghost noises?

Jill (laughs) We’ve been doing some training at the Panto Group down in the village. Oh, I’m so relieved that they’ve gone.

Jack: You heard them: they’ll be back. Even if the scaredy-cat one is too frightened, Jasper will come back with the short one. He wants to do his Willow Way development too badly to give up so easily.

Mother Goose: Oh I do wish we had money to pay the rent. That would foil Jasper’s plans. *

Jill: Yes, I wish we could win the lottery or something. *

Jack: And I wish I hadn’t spent all that money to have a go in the car. *

(At each *, an electronic “fairy bells” noise is heard.)

There is a knock on the door. Mother Goose starts to tremble again.

Mother Goose: Oh dear oh dear. It’s Jasper. He’s come to throw me out himself.

Jack: going to the window: No, it’s not Jasper or his ladies. It’s an old woman. I think we’d better ask her in.(Fairy Liquid enters stage right, her fairy dress covered with a cloak. She is bent over as a poor old crone.)

Jill: Old woman, you look tired. Can we help you? Please, sit down here by the fire. (Jack offers her a chair)

Fairy Liquid: No thank you my dears. I must not tarry. But you can do something to help an old woman.

Jill: Of course. Tell us how we can help.

Mother Goose (suspiciously) You’re not one of Jasper’s gang, are you?

Jill (reprovingly to MH): Mother, of course she isn’t. You can see that she’s an old, old lady. (to FL) Now tell us what we can do.

Fairy Liquid: I have a good friend who needs shelter and a bed for the night. She is a goose girl. She and her goose have been travelling for three days and they are far from home. Would you be so good as to take them into your home. They will need food and rest before they carry on with their journey.

Mother Goose (blustering):Well you’ve come to the right place, haven’t you! Did somebody tip you the wink? ‘Try the Poultry Farm down Strancliffe’, someone said, I’ll be bound. ‘She takes in all sorts of waifs and strays. She’s good for a soft touch’.

SONG 6 BE KIND TO YOUR WEB-FOOTED FRIENDS (Mother Goose sung ironically)

Jill: Mother! Don’t be so grumpy. Of course we will look after your friend and her goose. Don’t mind mother. She’s not herself at the moment.



Jack: Yes, I’ll vote for a goose girl any day. Perhaps I can try out some new jokes on her without being shouted at.

Fairy Liquid (calling): Daisy May! Eglantine! You can come in. These good people will give you food and shelter. (Daisy May and Eglantine enter through the open door.) I must be gone for I have work to do. You will be made welcome and comfortable. Eglantine, please try to behave yourself. Do as Daisy May tells you and don’t put your beak into trouble. (*electronic fairy noise as she exits through the door.)

Jack (getting straight in on this talent: ie Daisy May!!): Well hello!! So you’re our visitor. (To audience): What a crumpet! What a dish. This is love at first sight. (To DM): Let me show you our EGGchings. No, seriously, can I take you to your room?

Mother Goose: Jack, put her down! She doesn’t want to be bothered by you. She’s tired. Daisy May, have a seat. Jill, make our visitor a cup of tea. Jack, go and take the goose to the goose pen.

Eglantine (indignantly, behaving like a prima donna): Goose pen? Goose pen? I’m the goose that lays the golden eggs. I demand 5-star accommodation. I’m not going to be shut up in a pen with other gooses. (she flounces around expressing her disgust).

Daisy May (laughing): Geese! It’s other GEESE. Now, Mother Goose, thank you for your kindness. I would love a cup of tea. And Jack, when I have drunk the tea, you can show me round the farm.

Jill (goes to the stove and pours tea for them all. She serves each of them from a tray): Daisy May, where have you come from? Have you travelled far? What is your business?

Mother Goose: Questions, questions. Jill, let the poor girl rest.

Daisy May: Don’t worry, Mother Goose. I’m fine. Jill, I have walked over from the Forest with Eglantine to deliver some eggs.

Jack: Forest? Charnwood Forest or Notts Forest ? EGGstra eggs or EGGseptional eggs?

Daisy May (laughing): Oh Jack. I can see that I am going to enjoy my stay here. I love jokes.

Jack ( pretending to swoon) She loves jokes. My ship has come in! (to the audience): I’m definitely in love and gone to heaven. (to Daisy May): why did the goose cross the road twice?

Daisy May: Why did the goose cross the road twice?

Jack: To show it wasn’t chicken! Here’s another: Why do cows have bells?

Daisy May: I don’t know. Why do cows have bells?

Jack: Because their horns don’t work. (They both laugh heartily. MG and Jill look on stonily)

Eglantine: For heavens sake. What are those two cackling about. Nobody seems to be taking any notice of me. I’ll just have to use the usual method to get people’s attention. (She moves to the centre of the stage, climbs onto a low stool and starts to squark and flutter, and flap her wings, winding up to a climax, when she lays a large golden egg.(drum roll). It falls to the floor and rolls a bit. Everyone has stopped what they were doing and is looking at her.) How about that then? Pretty good, eh! If you want any more, you’ll have to be reeeally nice to me. (she leaves centre stage and starts to poke around people and objects with her beak, flapping her wings as she does so.)

Daisy May: Now you can see why Fairy Liquid told her to behave. She’s a real drama queen. But she does deliver the goods.

Mother Goose (looking stunned): What do you mean…Fairy Liquid. Are you telling me that old woman was a fairy? Oh, pull the other one! Come to think of it, this is pantomime. And is that egg really golden or is it just a foil-wrapped Easter egg come a bit early? (she moves to pick it up)

Eglantine (gets in her way and starts to peck her): What do you take me for? Of course its gold. I’m the goose that lays the golden eggs. This is the Mother Goose panto.

Jill: Mother, don’t you see what this means? Our problems are over. We can pay the rent ten times over with that golden egg. (she goes to pick it up. Again Eglantine gets in the way)

Daisy May: Eglantine! You heard what Fairy Liquid said. Just behave yourself. You know very well that the egg is for Mother Hubbard. Fairy Liquid means to help all the Nursery Landers so that old Jasper Juggernaut can’t go ahead with his Willow Way project. She’s in the Barrow Development Group. She says it doesn’t fit in with rural planning ideas.

Jack (looking dreamily at Daisy May): Gosh. She’s clever, she’s pretty and she likes my jokes. I’m hooked.

Basil: Su-su-snatch it. We must have that egg.(picks up the egg, trips on something, the egg flies out of his grasp and is caught by Mother Goose.)

Mother Goose: Thanks a lot, Basil! (holds the egg high):I can’t believe this is happening to me. Jill, just pinch me. I must be dreaming. (ACT 1 SCENE 4)


Daisy May: No, you aren’t dreaming. It is magic but the egg is real and it is gold. Fairy Liquid wants you to use the egg to pay for your rent. She has put in an order for three eggs altogether. You’ve had one and there will be two more. Eglantine is temperamental and we don’t know when she’ll lay the others. I’m afraid we will all just have to put up with her. But from now on, your money problems are over as long as you’re sensible.

Mother Goose: Oh my goodness me. Oh lordy lordy. Well I never did. Who would have thought it. Me.. plain old Mother Goose. One moment expecting to be thrown out of her home; the next, the owner of a fortune. It’s like winning the lottery. Oh, I’m all of a dither. Oh, let’s have another cup of tea.

Daisy May (laughing): This time, I’ll make the tea. You deserve it. After all, you did take a complete stranger into your home. (she moves to the old-fashioned hob to do the bis.)

Mother Goose: That was really thanks to Jill and Jack. Well, now I think we should have a party to celebrate. If this Fairy Liquid person is planning to help all the Nursery Landers, we’ll all want to celebrate.

Jill: There isn’t room for everyone at Willow Farm. Let’s book Bishop Beveridge.

Knave of Hearts (enters through the door. He is immediately surrounded by Jill, Jack and Mother Goose, clamouring to tell him the good news.): Hello all. What’s all this? Are you all so desperate for some of mother’s tarts? (Snatches of the story so far are heard):

Jill: We’re OK; we’ve got a golden egg …..

Mother Goose: We’ve had a visit from a Fairy…

Jack: You must meet Daisy May- she loves my jokes….

Mother Goose: I can pay the rent thanks to Eglantine….

Jill: So Jasper can take a running jump…

Jack: She’s ever so pretty and she’s clever with it…

Knave of Heart: Whoah, hold on a moment. What’s been going on?

Mother Goose: Oh Knave, we’ve got such wonderful news. We’ll tell you all about it over a cup of tea. Daisy May, this is Knave of Hearts. He’s Jill’s sweet heart. Knave: this is Daisy May. She’s a Goose Girl. She’s in charge of Eglantine, the Goose who lays the Golden Eggs. They are staying with us for a bit. Now, I’m just going to ring Tina to book Bishop Beveridge for a party, then we’ll tell you all about it.


(In front of curtains. A sign post in centre of stage just in front of curtains points to Nottingham Road left and Melton Road right. ie this is Fishpool Way. If we have the Gnomen by then, perhaps we could have a small replica??)

Fairy Liquid (enters from stage right, back in fairy garb): Well, that all went very well. Let’s hope that Eglantine is busy laying her golden eggs by now. Daisy May’s a good goose girl. She’ll keep Eglantine in order. Just for a moment, I thought Mother Goose was going to blow it. Still, she’s got two good kids. Jill’s a lovely girl and Jack’s beginning to steady up. If all goes to plan, I’ll thwart that Jaspar Juggenaut and all the good Nursery Landers of Barrow will end up safe and sound. All I’ve got to worry about now is Fairy Nightshade and that shouldn’t be too difficult with your help. Hey up- here she is…always a bit too late; always a bit skatty. Don’t forget to shout loud…. Here’s Fairy Nightshade…

Fairy Nightshade (comes on from stage left as audience is shouting ‘deadly’. Her wand droops.) Oh drat you all. You don’t give a girl a fair chance. Well, see if I care. I’ll just have to change tack. I’ll make sure that Jasper finds out where the eggs are coming from before that Eglantine lays any more. I’ll help Jasper to kidnap the flipping goose so he can get the rest of the eggs. That’ll put paid to old Watery One.

Fairy Liquid (encourages the audience to do another ‘deadly’ shout.)(to the audience): You’re terrific. Now Nightshade’s magic will go all wrong. She’ll never get the better of me.

SONG 8: short extract from ANYTHING YOU DO I CAN DO BETTER (2 fairies)

(They both exit stage left after making suitable gestures at each other.)

(Jasper, Mavis and Phyllis walk on stage right. Jasper is in the middle of bawling them out.)

Jasper: Didn’t I get you trained at night school? Didn’t I offer you a productivity bonus?

Phyllis(interrupting): what’s one o’ they there?

Mavis: It’s more likely a bang on yer ‘ead. ACT 1 SCENE 5)


Jasper (ignoring them): Didn’t I give you clear, masterful instructions?

Mavis (behind her hand): mistress-ful, more like.

Jasper (wriggling his bottom in effeminate despair): You didn’t boot her out and now she’s sent that Basil, the one with the lisp, with a whole month’s rent, in advance, for the entire lot of those wretched cottagers. Audience: Boos

Jasper (effeminate kick of a leg back from the knee): I love it….but I’ll have to cancel the diggers. I was so looking forward to watching their power, their grace, their….

Mavis: Oh, ger on wi’it, you ‘ole pufter.

Jasper (ignoring her): The only good thing about it is that egg. If Mother G was expecting some change, she can expect again. She shouldn’t have sent that half-witted hen man to pay. It’s given me enough cash to buy some of them out.

Audience: Boos

Jasper: I don’t need much more to get the whole lot of them out. (More Boos). Hello, hello, hello. Who have we here? I think the three of us might usefully do some eaves dropping. Just melt into the bushes, you two pieces of good-for-nothing. (Boos) (JJ and M hide behind bushes. Phyllis tries to hide behind the sign post.)(Jack and Daisy May enter stage left. DM is holding a lead to which is attached Eglantine. E is not happy about being on a lead. Throughout, she is pulling and twisting and being a nuisance. While the three are talking, they are moving slowly across the stage to stage right.)

Jack: You’re very pretty, you know. Will you go out with me? Would you like to go to the pictures in Loughborough? _____________________’s on at the moment.

Daisy May (laughing): I’d love to go to the pictures but I’ll have to arrange for a goose-sitter. I can’t possibly leave Eglantine on her own. She’s far too naughty.

Eglantine ( behaving in a very vexed and sulky manner): I’ve told you before. If you’re horrible to me, I just won’t lay any more golden eggs.

Daisy May: I’m not being horrible. It’s you that’s behaving like a spoilt brat. Look, if you’re good from now on, you can come to Mother Goose’s party at Bishop Beveridge. And that includes behaving properly while Jack and I go to the pictures. (they have reached stage right and they exit. J, M and P re-emerge.)

Phyllis (starts to wail): I ain’t been invited to that party. Aah, boo hoo, I’m so upset.

Audience: Aah

Phyllis: More upset than that…

Audience (louder): aah.

Jasper (irritated): You’re stoopid. What are you?

Phyllis: Stupid? What’s wrong now? Can’t I ‘ave a good moan?

Jasper: You’ve completely missed the point. We’ve just found out where the golden egg came from.

Phyllis: ‘ave we?

Mavis: Where did it come from?

Jasper: Weren’t you listening? No, I suppose you were too busy thinking about a party. Typical women.

Audience: Boo

Mavis and Phyllis: Where did the egg come from?

Jasper (exasperated): from that goose; what was she called…Ermintine? … Eggs on time?...Ergonomics? (Looks at the audience) What was she called:

Audience: Eglantine!

Jasper: Of course, Eglantine. Well, here’s the Cunning Plan: we’ll gate-crash Mother G’s party and hi-jack Egglantic.

M, P and audience: E-g-l-a-n-t-i-n-e!

Jasper: Whatever. I’ll get the bird, I’ll get more golden eggs, I’ll get Willow Way Developments; I’ll show these little people who’s boss round here.

Audience: Boo

Jasper: Yes, you boo! Don’t do it; I like it!

J, M and P: SONG I WANT IT NOW (During intro, the three turn with backs to audience; quickly stick on Freddy Mercury moustaches, don long rain coats(?). At start of their vocal line, they whip round to face the audience and shout their words. The backing music needs to be very loud-pop guitar full blast. If necessary, a tape.)


Jasper: I’m off to get kitted out. Come on, you two. You can get your glad rags out. (to audience): So long. We’ll see you at the party. At last, you can go and get those drinkie poos from the bar. (They exit stage right)


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