The Pantomime of Alibaba and the Forty or so Thieves

by Stephen Wass

For information about performing this play please contact old.mettle@btinternet.com
Cast List
Alibaba, smart in a cunning kind of way
Tourist, they are the same the world over
George, an argumentative tourist
Aladdin, not really smart at all
Morgiana, she’s smarter than smart, she’s sharp
Cassim, a nasty piece of work
Alfetchit, a servant left over from ‘Aladdin’
Alnickit, A master criminal with a Maths problem
Alpinchit, his right hand man with all the answers
Alcatchem, a top detective, not bald at all.
Bean seller, well why not?



Scene 1 - In the Casbah

[Enter Alibaba with a group of tourists]

Alibaba: Come on, this way my party, keep together now. Right now this is er.. the um.. Casbah.

Tourist: [Excitedly snapping] Wow so this is a Casbah eh?

George: [An extremely argumentative tourist] Yes but what is it? Exactly, a Casbah I mean?

Alibaba: [struggling] Well it’s a kind of bar...

George: Yes?

Alibaba: [Desperately ] Where we sell um.... ‘cas’.

George: Which is what, exactly?

Alibaba: [Bluffing] It’s a kind of um.. drink made from er... fermented camel milk.

George: What does it taste like?

Alibaba: Disgusting, come on let’s get on with the tour.
Next stop... Widow Twanky’s Washing Emporium!

Tourist: [Excitedly] Hey, come on! Isn’t that where Twanky Soap Powder was invented?

Alibaba: Yes, yes , yes, come on

[Enter Aladdin]

Aladdin: Hi, there. Alibaba how are you doing? [Looking at the tourists] How’s the um, soap powder business?

Alibaba: Oh that, had to give it up, all these other guys turned up with soap powder to sell and even dafter names. I mean Daz, Surf, Persil. How could I compete with that?

Aladdin: Tough luck.

Alibaba: Then I tried tree felling but I couldn’t find tree fellers to do it with. I haven’t even got an ass to sit on. Anyway enough about me and my problems. How’s the magic lamp business?

Aladdin: Useless, I had to sack my genie.

Alibaba: You sacked your genie. Why?

Aladdin: Same old story, wanted shorter hours, longer holidays, better accommodation. I upgraded him from a lamp to a nice spacious saucepan but it didn’t work out. [Mimes] Appear O genie of the saucepan...

Alibaba: I see what you mean. So we’re both broke again.

Aladdin: I’m desperate, I’m down to my last slave. Where is that girl? Morgiana, Morgiana!

Morgiana: [She is standing right behind him]I’m here o master.

Aladdin: Don’t keep creeping up on me like that. Now how are we....

George: [interrupting] Excuse me but hadn’t we better get on with the tour?

Alibaba: OK, OK, look, down that street there, first left, second right, go right in, I’ll be with you in a minute.

[Exit tourists]

Aladdin: [Figuring it out] Isn’t that the way to.....

[There are loud cries and much splashing]

Alibaba: Any way we need a sure fire get rich scheme.

Aladdin: How about writing to lots of rich people telling them we have millions of silver pieces which we need to invest and they can have a share if they give us details of their bank accounts!

Alibaba: Come on, nobody would be that stupid.

Aladdin: No I suppose you’re right.

Morgiana: How about doing something useful for a change. [Aladdin and Alibaba look at each other]

Alibaba: Like what?

Morgiana: Well there’s a big reward out from Crime stoppers for information leading to the arrest of the notorious robber Alnickit and his gang of thieves.

Aladdin: Oh yes, like we’re going to track down Arabia’s most feared villain and his gang just like that.

Alibaba: Just like that.

Morgiana: No  but I have got an idea, you could....

Alibaba: Come on it’s no use listening to her, let’s go and see if we can borrow the price of a lunch from my sickeningly rich brother Cassim

[Exit Alibaba and Aladdin, enter tourists looking uncomfortable and smelly]

Tourist: Well that visit to the hospital for sick camels was certainly an.... er, eye-opener.

George: there wasn’t anything about visiting sick camels in the itinerary and why he sent us in through the back door just as they were clearing out the....

Tourist: Yes, yes, there’s no need to remind us. At least we’re getting to see local colour. [Sniffing his arm] Perhaps this is that eco-tourism I’ve been hearing about

George: [Reaching inside his collar] Yes but I don’t need it dripping down my neck.

Tourist: Did you see that camel with no humps?
George: that was a llama. Come on lets get out of here before we end up doing the camel with three humps joke.

Tourist: I don’t think I know that one, still this little local market full of little locals looks safe enough, lets do a little shopping.

[They all pull out great wads of cash. At that moment a number of suspicious looking characters who have been sidling in throw off their cloaks and pull out massive scimitars. the rest of the crowd run for cover.]

Alnickit: Aha, tis I!

George: [scathingly] “Aha, tis I” what kind of way to talk is that?

Alnickit: That’s ‘aha’ talk. Tis I, Alnickit, the greatest robber in all Arabia and I’m here with my forty thieves including my loyal lieutenant Alpinchit!

George: [Looking round sceptically] I can’t see forty thieves.

Alnickit: [Defensively] No well, er... some of them are in disguise.

George: Where?

Alnickit: Well pointing out members of the audience] He’s one and she’s one and there’s another one and...

George: Besides, forty is a very bad number of thieves to have.

Alnickit: It is?

George: Well forty thieves and you, that makes.....?

Alnickit: [Busy figuring]

Alpinchit: That’s forty one, boss.

Alnickit: Soooo?

George: Well forty one is prime number and that means you can’t divide....

Alnickit: Time for a joke! Knock, knock.

George: [Suspiciously] Who’s there?

Alnickit: Robin.

George: [Even more suspiciously] Robin who?

Alnickit; Robin you, that’s what we’re good at.
[There is a short pause]
They didn’t laugh, come on, scrag em boys! [The robbers move in and take all the tourists valuables. Morgiana is watching all this from a hiding place]
Aha, tis time to away with our loot to our hidden hide away in the hills, aha! [They exit]



Scene Two - At Cassim’s House

Aladdin: Wow This isn’t where your brother lives?

Alibaba: Oh yes it is!

[They turn and look at the audience then look at each other a shake their heads]

He’s loaded.

Aladdin: So let’s go see him.

Alibaba: It’s not that easy I’m afraid. You remember Alfetchit?

Aladdin: Not the mean guy who used to work for my wicked uncle Abenazer?

Alibaba: The same, but now he works for my brother and we’ve got to get past him first.

Aladdin: No problem, watch this. [He exits and returns with a saucepan. Alibaba knocks on the door and Alfetchit appears.]

Alfetchit: Oh it’s you again, you’re looking very poor today, push off, Cassim is much too busy counting money to spare you any!

Aladdin: [Ignoring Alfetchit] O genie of the um... saucepan, appear to do my bidding. [Nothing happens, Alfetchit takes a step closer to look.] Come on , what are you doing in there? Stop it! [Alfetchit comes closer] Come out from behind that sofa! What do you mean it’s like being on big brother? [Alfetchit is really close now, Aladdin turns to him] Would you believe it? Have you ever seen a genie doing anything like that before? [Alfetchit bends right down to look, Alibaba kicks him and Aladdin hits him on the head with the saucepan and they rush in through the door.]


Cassim: [Counting money, to the tune of “One potato...”] One gold coin, two gold coins, three gold coins, four, five gold coins, six gold coins, seven gold coins more.... [Enter Alibaba and Aladdin]

Alibaba: Hi, Cassim, cheated anyone out of their fortune today?

Cassim: [rapidly hiding the money] What do you mean? I’m an honest merchant.

Alibaba: Yeah he means honest in the sense of he honestly couldn’t care if he swindled the last piece of silver from a starving widow.

Cassim: What do you want? You’re bringing on my indigestion and I haven’t even had lunch yet.

Alibaba: Well now you mention it lunch would be good but how about a loan? Aladdin and I have got a sure fire get rich quick scheme.

Aladdin: We have?

Alibaba: .. and we’ll pay you back tenfold next week.

Aladdin: We will?

Cassim: Well in that case here’s a single gold piece, now take it and get out of my sight. [He gives them the money]

Alibaba: thanks bro, be seeing you. [They leave]

Cassim: That good for nothing brother of mine is up to something. I think I’ll slip into a cunning disguise and follow him, just in case he has come up with something clever.
[Cassim after much fumbling about dons a completely unconvincing disguise and follows after them.]


Scene three - Out in the Countryside

[Alibaba and Aladdin are walking along, Alibaba is flipping the gold coin]

Aladdin: So what is this “sure fire get rich quick scheme”?

Alibaba: Well I haven’t thought of one yet but something will turn up.

[Enter cloaked figure]

Bean seller: Magic beans, magic beans, get your magic beans here, just ... [looking at Alibaba] one gold piece for five

Alibaba: Five beans for one gold piece, come on, do I look that stupid?

Bean seller: [After looking him up and down] Magic beans, magic beans  special offer one piece of gold for four beans.

Aladdin: Come on this is useless. [Exit bean seller]

Alibaba: I’ve got it, why don’t I hang you up in a glass case somewhere, let’s say for forty days or so.

Aladdin: How does that make us money?

Alibaba: Well, loads of people will come to look at you and then we can.....  I see your point.

Aladdin: Have you thought about....

Alcatchem: [From the bushes] Hold it right there!
Now get your hands up... slowly!

[Alibaba and Aladdin put their hands up, they are terrified.]

Alibaba: Who are you.

Alcatchem:  Alcatchem’s the name, hottest detective this side of the Euphrates. You can call me ‘Big Al’

Aladdin: Tough guy eh?

Alcatchem: Watch this! [Performs some astonishing feat of strength.]

Aladdin: Tough guy.

Alibaba; Well Mister er... Big Al, er sir.... how can we help you?

Alcatchem: Well now as this is the only track way to the hideout of the Alnickit gang and you’re on it I reckon that makes you thief number forty one and thief number forty two.

Aladdin: [Squeaks]You do? [In a deeper voice] You do?

Alcatchem: I do.

Alibaba: Look before you two end up married let’s get this straight, we’re simply two honest businessmen out for a quiet stroll in the country.

Alcatchem: You are? And what kind of business are you in?

Aladdin: [Aside] I’m not sure but we’re in it up to our necks at the moment.

Alcatchem: What was that?

Alibaba: No, really, we’re in business, er import and export!
[Alcatchem looks disbelieving]

We er import er camels and we er.. export um camels.

Alcatchem: How do you manage that?

Alibaba: Can’t tell you its a trade secret.

Alcatchem: Well you’re sure not bright enough to be crooks, hang on, someone’s coming.

Alibaba: Let’s climb a tree. [they look around and back at him]

Alcatchem: Quick behind this cardboard box painted to look like a rock. [They hide]

[Enter Cassim, still in his ridiculous disguise]

Aladdin: [from behind the rock] Isn’t that your brother Cassim?

Alibaba: [peering out] No, doesn’t look anything like him.

Cassim: Where have they gone now? Oh no there’s someone coming, I’ll hide behind this cardboard box painted to look like a bush.

[Enter Morgiana] Where have those boys got to? They’re bound to get into trouble without me to look after them. Hang on, I think someone’s coming, I’ll hide behind this cardboard box painted to look like a  um cardboard box.

[Enter Alnickit and the thieves.]

Alnickit: Aha! There’s a lot of cardboard boxes in this desert.

Alpinchit: I expect it’s pollution or something, come on let’s get in to our hidden hide away and stash all our ill gotten gains.

Alnickit: “Ill gotten gains”? Oh, more ‘aha’ talk.
[Alpinchit nods]
Open sesame!
[The entrance to a hidden cave creaks open and the robbers charge in. The doors close. The hidden characters slowly come out but then suddenly the doors reopen and the thieves swarm out forcing everyone back into hiding. The robbers ‘gallop’ away.]

Alcatchem: [Emerging again] Right, that’s where they hide out. I’m going for back up.

Aladdin: Back up what?

Alcatchem: You just stay here and keep an eye on things. [He leaves]

Alibaba: Right come on!

Aladdin: What do you mean?

Alibaba: You heard the magical password, we’re going into that cave!

Aladdin: Whoa! Not me! I haven’t forgotten what happened last time I went into a cave. If you see any dirty lamps just do not polish them, don’t even wipe them.

Alibaba: As if! Right, you keep watch here, I’ll just pop in and top up on a little treasure. Open sesame!
[He enters and a few moments later returns with two huge sacks of gold.] Right that’ll do us for now come on let’s get back to town.

Aladdin: Hey now we’ve got a bit of money, how about drilling for oil?

Alibaba: Now that’s a really stupid idea.

[They exit. Cassim emerges from hiding]

Cassim: The fools, they only took two bags of gold, I’ll clear the place out. Now, first the magic password. Open Readybrek, no that didn’t work. Drat what was the password? Ah, I’ve got it now, open sausages! No, wrong again? How about open Saturday!
I know, open rebbit, open rebbit? Rebbit? hang on there’s something odd going on here.
[Reaches down] It’s Clive the Frog! [Huge cheers]
What’s that Clive? the password’s open sesame? Great! Sorry what was that? There’s a gang of cut throat bandits creeping up on me? Oh no!
[As he is talking to Clive the different passwords the robbers return and creep up on him and pounce.]

Alnickit: Aha! have at thee!

Cassim: “Aha, have at thee”, what kind of talk’s that?

Alnickit: That’s... never you mind. You were trying to break into our hidden hide away and  there’s only one punishment terrible enough for that.

Cassim: What’s that?

Alnickit: I’m not sure, Alpinchit, what’s the terrible punishment for trying to break into our hidden hide away?

Alpinchit: Um, I think, and I could be wrong here but I think we have to chop him into quarters and leave the bits lying about as a warning to others.

Alnickit: Yuk! Who thought that one up?

Alpinchit: I think we read it in a story by Enid Blyton.

Alnickit: Well if Enid Blyton says that’s what we have to do....  Here hold him down. [Cassim is grabbed and held down while Alnickit measures up the job. He is about to take his first stroke when Morgiana pops out from behind her box.]

Morgiana: I wouldn’t do that if I were you.

[Alnickit jumps and nearly cuts off his own leg]
Alnickit: Why not?

Morgiana: Well for a start you’ll make a terrible mess on the new stage then there’s your numbers problem.

Alnickit: My numbers problem?

Morgiana: Look, you’ve got forty thieves and then there’s one of you, that makes....

Alpinchit: It er came to forty one boss.

Morgiana: And that’s why you gallop around everywhere together, there’s no way you can divide up into equal groups. Now, if you let this poor fellow join the gang, I mean he’s obviously a criminal, just look at his face, then you’ll have one more in your gang which will make.....

Alpinchit: Forty two boss.

Alnickit: Forty two?

Morgiana: Problem solved!

Alnickit: Problem solved?

Morgiana: Well you can have six groups of seven or seven groups of six...

Alpinchit: I used to have a teacher that went on like that all the time... now what was his name?

Morgiana: You can send them off all over the place to do your wicked deeds for you.

Alnickit: Wicked? Oh! Wicked!
Right come on then you
[Hauls Cassim to his feet.]

Cassim: But wait o master there is one who knows the secret of your magic cave, my miserable brother Alibaba, you must find him before he tells the whole world your secret or at least serialises it in the Daily Mirror!

Morgiana: Oh Cassim, how could you? [He shrugs}

Alnickit: Right men, after him, let’s split up, we could go off in... what was it?

Alpinchit: Six groups of seven...

Alnickit: or...

Alpinchit: seven groups of six

Cassim: Or we could divide up into two groups of twenty one

Morgiana: How about twenty one pairs?

[They all drift off discussing numbers.]


INTERVAL


Scene Four - Back in the Casbah

[Enter Tourists]

Tourist: Where is that useless tour guide? Alibaba, more like Alibumbum!

George: I know, I know and we still haven’t been to visit the Grand Viziers Palace or the Street of the Carpet Sellers or the...

[Suddenly a group of robbers scimitars drawn come rushing by, before the tourists can recover another group rush by from a different direction.]

Tourist: What’s going on?

George: I don’t know I think it’s a folk dance of some kind.

[Enter Aladdin and Alibaba, celebrating]

George: Ah there you are, now what about the rest of the tour?

Alibaba: Sorry I’ve given up on the tourist trade, I’m strictly in the spending money trade now.

George: But how are we going to find our way around...

Tourist: and what about tonight’s folklore evening?

Alibaba: Relax, look the Palace is that way, the carpet sellers are over there and...

Aladdin:  Hey, you can all come round to my place tonight for a meal.

George: But we don’t know where you live.

Aladdin: That’s alright I’ll put a cross on my door, like this. [He gestures and ‘x’ in the air.]

Alibaba: So there you are, all sorted now off you go. Oh, and if you get lost... [They pause.] buy a map!

[Exit the tourists. Enter Morgiana]

Morgiana: Oh there you are, come on we need to get you off the streets!

Alibaba: Why what’s the problem?

Morgiana: The problem is that your brother has joined the bandits and he’s told them that you know the secret password for the hidden hide away and when they catch you they’re going to chop you into quarters... if you’re lucky!

Alibaba: Right I’m going home and locking all the doors, see you later.

 [Exit Aladdin and Morgiana, Alibaba is now being followed by a hooded figure]

You know I’ve the funniest feeling some one is following me.

[The “He’s behind you” routine. Alibaba catches the individual]

Oh, it’s you Alcatchem. What’s the greatest detective in Arabia doing following me around?

Alcatchem: Well when we got back to the hideaway everyone had disappeared, then when I got back to town I overheard what Morgiana said. I figured that if I followed you around long enough the robbers would catch up with you then I could arrest them.

Alibaba: I’d prefer it if you arrested them before they caught up with me, they’re planning to chop me into mince meat you know.

Alcatchem: Well it is Christmas.

Alibaba: That’s not the point. Now you can escort me home and make sure I get there in one piece.

[They make to go, Alpinchit appears and begins to follow them.]

Alcatchem: You know I’ve the funniest feeling some one is following us.

Alibaba: Come on, not that corny old routine again let’s go home.

[All exit]


Scene Five - Another Part of the Casbah

[Enter Aladdin and Morgiana ]

Morgiana: I’m not sure that it was a good idea to invite all those tourists round to your house for a meal this evening.

Aladdin: Why not? It won’t take you long to do the shopping, clean the house, cook the food, lay the tables, provide the entertainment, oh and do a bit of washing!

Morgiana: We’ll see about that! Right shopping first... [She looks about the stalls.] Ok we need five bags of rice
[She loads them onto Aladdin] .. a couple of sacks of beans, three more sacks of flour, a few bundles of herbs...
[Aladdin is becoming more and more laden. Enter Bean seller]

Bean seller: Magic beans, magic beans, only one piece of silver for ten!

Aladdin: Er... what do they taste like?

Bean seller: Awful, they’re magic beans, not baked beans!

Morgiana: Come on, that’s enough bean talk, we’ve still got the sheep to pick up.

Aladdin:  I’m not sure that it was a good idea to invite all those tourists round to my house for a meal this evening.

Morgiana: Come on!

[They exit. Enter Cassim, Alnickit and assorted thieves]

Alnickit: Drat, drat, drat, Is everyone here now? We just can’t find that meddling fool of a brother of yours anywhere.

Cassim: He’s probably at home by now. Look I’ll go and mark the door of his house like this [he gestures a large ‘x’ shape] then tonight, under cover of darkness you can come and get him.

Alnickit: Right then off you go.

[Exit Cassim, enter tourists.]

Tourist: Excuse me, is this the way to the palace, we’re a little lost and...

Alnickit: Aha!

George: Not you again, look there’s no point in robbing us, you’ve already taken everything valuable we own.
Besides, I’ve been thinking, I don’t believe there are forty thieves at all. I think you’re operating under false pretences!

Alnickit: We are? We’re not!

George: Well let’s count them.

Alnickit: Count them?

George: The robbers.

Alnickit: Well I don’t see how that’s possible.

George: What?

Alnickit: Counting them.

George: Why not?

Alnickit: Well they don’t know how to count.

George: that’s not a problem, we’ll [turning to the audience] count them.

[He begins counting the robbers who slip round the back of the stage and join the gang to be counted again. George smells a rat.]

Hang on [stopping a robber] haven’t I seen you before?

Robber 1: No that was my brother.

George; [Stopping another robber] Now I’m sure I’ve seen you before.

Robber 2: No that was my other brother

Alnickit: [Stepping in] Er.. thirty nine, forty, see they’re all here.

[George and tourists still looking round in confusion.]

... and the palace is that way, come on lads, off the Alibaba’s.


Scene Six - Outside Alibaba and Aladdin’s Houses

[Enter Alibaba and Alcatchem followed by Alpinchit]

Alibaba: Right now I’m going in to jump in the my bath, you stay here and guard the door.

Alcatchem: This is no time for a bath!

Alibaba: Look how else am I going to make a clean get away?

[Alibaba goes in, Alcatchem stands on guard, Alpinchit approaches him.]

Alpinchit: is this by any chance of Alibaba?

Alcatchem: [ Aggressively] Who wants to know?

Alpinchit: Ah, tough guy eh?

Alcatchem: Watch this! [Attempts same feat of strength and it goes disastrously wrong, he sinks to the ground.]

Alpinchit: [Dragging him away] Not so tough guy! Now, I’ll mark Alibaba’s door with a cross... so, and then I can find it again later on when I return with the rest of the gang.

[Exit Alpinchit, Enter Aladdin]

Aladdin: Phew that shopping was a bit of a trial, now I’ll just mark my door with a cross. [Notice’ cross on Alibaba’s door.] That stupid girl she must have marked the wrong door. [He rubs it out and puts a cross on his own door.] That’s better. [Exit Aladdin, enter Cassim with his servant Alfetchit.]

Cassim: That’s strange someone’s put a cross on Aladdin’s door, it needs to be on Alibaba’s. Alfetchit, fetch me a piece of chalk.

Alfetchit: The piece of chalk master you want Alfetchit to fetch it?

Cassim: Yes, the chalk fetch it now Alfetchit!
[Alfetchit bows and leaves.]
Hang on there’s a piece of chalk here on the floor, too late he’s gone.
[He rubs out the ‘x’ and remarks Alibaba’s door]. Now all they need to do is come back later and get him, me I’m off for a camel burger until all the fuss has died down!

[Exit Cassim, enter Morgiana]

Morgiana: I don’t believe it, that fool Aladdin has put the cross on the wrong door. [She rubs it out and marks Aladdin’s door once again.] Now [rubbing her hands] time to teach Aladdin how to boil a sheep!

[Morgiana exits, Alnickit, Alpinchit and the rest of the thieves creep in. Alnickit is still trying to count the members of his gang.]
Alnickit: This counting business Alpinchit...

Alpinchit: Yes master?

Alnickit: I don’t think I’ll ever get the hang of it, does thirty nine always come after thirty eight?

Alpinchit: Never mind master we are here, look there’s the mark I put upon the front door.

Alnickit: Right men, draw your scimitars, after three we break down the door and storm the house. One, two...

[The door is flung open and Aladdin and Morgiana burst out waving bottles and streamers.]

Aladdin: It’s party time, come right in, there’s ‘cas’ to drink, we’ve got boiled sheep and beans, enough for ........

[He dries up as he sees the robbers standing there.]

Oh right um....

Alnickit: Oh, terribly sorry, er must be the wrong house, so sorry to trouble you, sorry...

[Aladdin and Morgiana go back inside looking puzzled but Morgiana stays by the door to see what happens next.]

You fool [turning to Alpinchit] you must have marked the wrong door, what do we do now?

Alpinchit: [Looking round desperately] He must live round here somewhere. Look those baskets over there, we could hide in them and when Alibaba finally comes along we can jump out and do the dastardly deed... [weakly] aha.

Alnickit: Well I suppose it’s the best we can do, right men into the baskets, don’t come out until you hear my call. [They all climb into baskets.]

Morgiana: [Coming out of the house, to the audience.] So that’s their little scheme is it, now let me think, just a moment... [She exits and returns with a basket of socks] Let’s put the robbers out of action for a while. Greatworth School football socks, haven’t been properly washed since 1998. [Smells one cautiously]
Phew... cheesy!
[She goes first to Alnickit’s basket and drops one in, there is lots of muffled banging before all goes quiet. She drops a sock into each of the other baskets.] Well that should keep them quiet for a day or so, I’d better let Alibaba know what’s happening.

[She knocks on Alibaba’s door. he opens it cautiously.]

Alibaba: Oh it’s you, seen any crazed robbers recently?

Morgiana: Yes lots.

Alibaba: [Looking round anxiously]Where?

Morgiana: Come here, I’ll show you.

[She leads him to peer into the baskets.]

Aladdin: Phew, I almost feel sorry for them. What are we going to do? hang on here comes Alcatchem.

[Alcatchem appears rubbing his sore head and staggering a little.]
I thought you were supposed to be guarding my door.

Alcatchem: I er... had to go and lie down for a minute.

Morgiana; Hm.. well you’re not the only one that’s been lying down on the job, come and look.

[She beckons him to look in the baskets.]

Alcatchem: My my, are they all right in there?

Morgiana: Nothing three weeks of fresh air won’t cure. Now what are we going to do with them?

Alcatchem: Well there are rather a lot of them, hang on someone else is coming.

[Enter the tourists.]

Tourist: [Frantic] I said we should have turned left at that last camel.

George: Alright, there’s no need to shout. I’m sure we had to turn right then... aha!
[Everyone turns to look at him.] Sorry. look, here we are!

[They all stop outside Aladdin’s door. He looks out rather uncertainly.]

Aladdin: Oh good you’re all here... [Beckons Morgiana over] I’ve had an um... accident with the sheep.

Morgiana: Never mind give them the beans, oh and plenty to drink.

[The food and drink is passed round rapidly and suddenly the party is all over.]

George: Is that it, we were just getting started.

Morgiana: Sorry but the last camel train home leaves in half an hour and we have some very special leaving presents for you.

George: You do.

For each of you we have one of these beautiful... ancient.... valuable... er antique um... baskets. And they’re packed full of er.... [She turns to Alibaba]

Alibaba; o.. er... souvenirs, yes that’s it something special for you to take home to remind you of your trip to Arabia.

Morgiana; Only you mustn’t open them until you get home, it’s er... a surprise!

Alcatchem: You can say that again.

Alibaba: Right on your way now.       

Tourist: they’re very heavy, they must be packed full of goodies.

Alcatchem: Well baddies really...

Tourist: Pardon?

Alcatchem: Granted, now off you go.

Aladdin: ...and don’t forget to tell them what sort of camel you need.

Tourist: Sorry?

Aladdin: One hump or two! [They fall about laughing.]

[The tourists exit carrying the baskets]

Alcatchem: Well that just about ties it up, except I’ve got no one to arrest now. Where can I lay my hands on a useless, cheating, lying, swindling, dishonest, good for nothing crook?
[As he speaks Cassim backs onto the stage unaware of what is going on, everyone stops to look at him.]
Well there you are.
[To Cassim] You’re nicked mate, coming along quietly?
[Cassim nods and makes a zipped lip movement]

Alibaba: Well that’s about it then, all we need to do now is go back to the cave, say the magic words and Bob’s your uncle.

Aladdin: No, Abenazer’s my uncle, just one thing though.

Alibaba: What were the magic words?

Aladdin: Oh, it was er.. open Wheetabix, no, open um Sugar Puffs.

Alibaba; No it wasn’t anything like that it was open smelly socks, yes that’s it...

[They exit still arguing amongst themselves.]

Morgiana: [Stays behind and turns to the audience, confidentially]

Open sesame!

THE END