THE COMEDY OF DICK WHITTINGTON
or
All’s Well If That’s As You Like It

by Stephen Wass

For information about performing this play please contact old.mettle@btinternet.com


SCENE 1 Outside the Whittington Family Home

[Enter Dick, searching....]

Dick: Dad! Dad!! Dad, can you take me to the bear baiting? Dad? That’s just typical of a parent, never around when you want them. Dad!

[Enter cloaked and hooded figure, he creeps up on Dick and taps him on the shoulder.]

Ahh! Who are you ? What do you want? [he looks more carefully] Dad? Dad, is that you?

Dad: No, it’s someone else.

Dick: Come on Dad.

Dad: Shhhh... I’m not your Dad, I’m  errr. someone else’s Dad.

Dick: Fine, in that case will you take me to the bear baiting?

Dad: No I can’t, in fact I shouldn’t be out here at all, but I had to tell you something...

Dick: That you’re not my Dad?

Dad: No, it’s worse than that.

Dick: Someone’s  invented mobile phones?

Dad: [Relieved] No, it’s not that bad. I’ve been declared an outlaw, I will have to run away, your mother and you will be out of a home and we’ve no money, otherwise everything’s fine.

Dick: You’re on the run, mum and I are out on our ears and we’re broke.

Dad: Yes

Dick: But nobody’s invented mobile phones yet?

Dad: That’s about it.

Dick: Well it could be worse, and what exactly did you do to make all this happen?

Dad: It was a misunderstanding.

Dick: A misunderstanding?

Dad: I was at the Inn last night and when I said I thought the king was a useless over-dressed over painted waste of space who ought to be overthrown I really meant he was an essential part of the English way of life who is dearly loved by all his loyal subjects.

Dick: Ah, that kind of misunderstanding.

Dad: Yes and this morning I had an Email telling me I was outlawed and must flee the country.

Dick: Hang on a moment, what’s an Email?

Dad: Oh, it’s this new kind of letter, you open it, read the contents and then go “Eeeeeee !” Anyway must be off, don’t want the old block to meet the chopper, you know. Your mum’s gone to stay with Aunt Ophelia but if I were you I’d go and become rich and famous

Dick: Rich and famous?
Dad: Yes, they’re holding auditions in Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, London. All you have to do is convince the judges in five seconds that you have more talent than ten thousand other young hopefuls and you’re made, instant success!

Dick: [Doubtfully] Yes.....

Dad: Anyway, see you around, bye.

Dick: [Thoughtfully] Bye [Dad exits.] My father’s an outlaw..

[Enter Francis Bacon in a hurry, screeches to a halt.]

Francis: What did you say boy?

Dick: Err.. nothing, what do you want?

Francis: I’m looking for Sir William Whittington, former knight of this shire, now wanted for high treason.

Dick: You’ve come to arrest him?

Francis: No, better than that, my name is Francis Bacon and I...

Dick: You’re called Bacon? I know a girl at school called Laura Egg, you should get together.

Francis: [Dignified] I’ve come to give your father legal advice, whenever I hear of poor folks in trouble I make it my business to find them and offer whatever help I can to them in their hour of need, I’m a solicitor.

Dick: Well that’s very kind of you, I’m sure that he will be very grateful to.....

Francis: No, no, he’ll have to pay me, I’m a solicitor.

Dick: But he’s got no money!

Francis: What ?

Dick: He’s broke!

Francis: Well, how about me giving you some advice?

Dick: I’m broke too.

Francis: Well, how about I give you some advice and we settle up when you’re rich and famous?

Dick: Oh, come on!

Francis: [Importantly]Go to London for there you will find that the streets are paved with gold!

Dick: I think I preferred the audition idea.... [suspiciously] Have you ever been to London?

Francis: Well, not as such.

Dick: What does that mean?

Francis: No.

Dick: Well, I suppose London is as good a place as any, by the way, have you seen what the streets are paved with round here?

Francis: No, I [looking down at his shoes] uggh! [He hops off]

Dick: Well that’s it I suppose, I’ll go to the city with the golden pavements, London here I come.
[Exits carefully watching where he puts his feet.]


SCENE 2 - On the road to London near to an Inn

[Enter Dick, he sits down to rest.]

Dick: My fingers are cold, my feet are wet, I miss my Mum and Dad. I wish someone would hurry up and invent mobile phones so I could ring home

[Enter Ben Jonson, large, important and in a hurry]

Ben: You boy out of my way, I’m very important and in a hurry.

Dick: Oooh, pardon me for existing.

Ben: Just get out of my way.. [He pushes by,] You haven’t seen Bacon have you?

Dick: Bacon, hmmm... let me think? Bacon? Ah yes! No that was ham. Ah hang on... no that was gammon.

[Jonson storms off.]

Now I remember.. [Jonson turns.] No, it was a pork chop, bye!

Oh well time to get on I suppose

[Enter William Shakespeare.]

Will: Oh, for a muse of fire that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention... no.  Now is the winter of our discontent made.... no. Oh bother!

Dick: [Politely] Can I help?

Will: [Startled] Hmmm. What? I beg your pardon?

Dick: You seemed to be having trouble.

Will: It’s just that I’m trying to write this play but I can’t get started.

Dick: I’ll help you, we could write about this uncle of mine, he thought he was donkey, he was always off with the fairies.

Will: I don’t think so.

Dick: Well what about my cousin Julia, she ran off with some Italian guy and they ended up buried in some tomb of a place,
Milton Keynes I think it was.

Will: Look I really don’t think...

Dick: We once had this pair of identical twins in the village who fell in the duck pond one day and....

Will: [Desperately] Yes, yes, yes, very good. Look, here’s a wayside inn, let us take some refreshment and...

[Voice from off.]

Kit: Well, if it isn’t old Shaky Shanks himself, [Enter Kit Marlowe] how’s the play writing business Will?

Will: Oh, right enough I suppose, how’s the spying business?

Dick: You’re a spy?

Kit: Well sort of, but don’t tell anyone.

Dick: Why not?

Kit: It’s a secret.

Will: Secret, my eye, everyone in London knows that Kit Marlowe is a spy.

Kit: Oh no they don’t!

Will: Oh yes they do! [Repeated ad lib.]

Kit: There’s only one way to settle this. [He draws his sword.]

Will: Ooo.. er.. hang on, the quality of mercy is not strained it...

Kit: Draw! [Will draws his sword, they fight. Kit is clearly winning, he shouts out, whacking Will with the flat of his sword for each word.] Everyone in London does not know I’m a spy!

Dick: Err.. excuse me gentlemen, there’s someone coming.

[Enter Francis]

Francis: Ah, a fight, good! Will Shakespeare the playwright and Kit Marlowe the spy. Would either of you gentlemen like legal advice? Competitive rates. [They turn on him with their swords] Very cheap really. [They advance on him] Free even.

Kit: That’s better.

Will: You’re Francis Bacon aren’t you, the legal eagle?

Francis: Well I am but I’m keeping quiet about it right now. Ben Jonson is on the warpath. he’s in trouble over a duel, I said I’d get him off.

Kit: And did you?

Francis: Not as such,

Dick: That means no.

[Enter the landlady]

Landlady: Are you going to hand around outside my inn all day or are you coming in? I’ve got food and drink a plenty.

Kit: What’s on offer?

[Coming up behind him and pushing Francis over]

Ben: What about a bacon roll?

Dick: [Turning angrily] Hey pick on someone your own size!

Ben: Well you’re about my size..

Will: Leave the lad alone Jonson.

Dick: I can look after myself [He notices the landlady at the widow about to empty a chamber pot.]It’s just a question of the old one two. Watch.. one [He pushes Ben back a step] two [He pushes him sideways a step.]

Landlady: Gardyloo! [She empties the pot over Ben who staggers away spluttering.]

Kit: Oh dear.. I think you’ve made an enemy there Dick. I wonder what he’ll do next?

Dick: Look there’s only one thing I want to know.

All: [Turning to him] Yes?

Dick: Which way is it to London?

[Enter person carrying a sign post. He puts it down. After they have left the sign post is turned the other way.]


SCENE 3 The Streets of London

[Enter Dick looking worn out.]

Dick: I’m sure there must have been a quicker way than going Warwick, Exeter, Northampton, York and Verona. Still, at least I got rid of Will and Kit, they argued all the way here. Now it’s time to just scrape the gold of these pavements.
[He falls to his knees and rubs the ground, he looks at his fingers.] Funny it smells just like home.

[A very smart young lady, Alice Fitzwarren, enters and without noticing him walks right over Dick pushing him to the ground. Francis enters]

Francis: I saw that, you could sue, get damages, compensation.. [Dick gazes after her in a dream.]

Dick: Did you see..

Francis: Yes, we could take her to court..

Dick: ...and court her, she’s gorgeous!

Francis: [Looking] I suppose so but think about the money...

Dick: I must make her mine, come on, let’s follow her.

[They bump into Will and Kit.]

Dick: Out of my way, I must find out where she lives!

Francis: Don’t worry, he’s just fallen in love.

Kit: What, just like that?

Francis: Just like that! [All the time Dick is trying to get past them.]
Will: Foolish boy, what a ridiculous idea, you might as well call it ‘love at first sight’.

Kit: Besides, she might be a bad tempered shrew.

Dick: [Pushing past] I’m sure I could tame her, come on!



SCENE 4 Outside the Fitzwarren mansion

[They all follow Dick up to a large door. ]

Kit: Ah, this is the home of Master Fitzwarren, one of the richest merchants in all of London.

[Dick knocks on the door, a footman opens it.]

Footman: Yes [Surveying the four characters gathered below]
Do you want something or were you simply warming your knuckles by knocking on my door? [Dick is unable to speak]

Will: The err lad wants to um...

Kit: ... have a job!

Footman: A job?

All: [Nodding] Yes.

Footman: What can he do?

[Will, Kit and Francis get into a huddle, Dick is still staring at the door.]

All: [In agreement] Anything!

Footman: Anything?

All: Anything!

Dick: [Quietly] Except cooking.

Footman: Well in that case, he’s in luck, we’ve... [there comes a long drawn out scream] just got a vacancy for a new cook’s assistant.

Will: Congratulations boy.

Dick: But I.....

Kit: You’re in here lad.

Dick But I can’t...

Francis: Would you like me to draw up a contract and a job description, I can...

[Further comments are cut short by the footman dragging Dick into the house and slamming the door.]

Kit: Well that’s that then, what shall we do now?

Francis: I know this Danish guy, called Hamlet, does great pastries..

Will: Another waste of time I suppose, when am I going to get my play written, that’s what I want to know...

[Enter Ben.]

Ben: Ah there you are, where’s that wretched boy you had hanging round with you?

Kit: Boy, boy? Do you remember seeing a boy Will?

Will: A boy.... no can’t say I’ve seen a boy.. what a about you Francis?

Francis: A boy? Well not as such..

Ben: Well you can tell him from me that next time I see him he’ll be the one... [All the time the others have been moving slowly to position him under a window.]

Footman: Gardyloo! [Ben is showered again.]

[They exit laughing]




SCENE 5 In the Kitchen

[The cook is at work beating something up with a huge cleaver. Enter Dick, reluctantly.]

Cook: What are you looking for boy?

Dick: [Still looking around] Umm, work.

Cook: Well have you got any qualifications?

Dick: [Still in a daze]... er yes, um.. loads.

Cook: Excellent, well in that case, whip that bowl of cream together with that stewed fruit and make me a syllabub.

Dick: A what? I don’t think.. [He starts fiddling about with the cream. At that moment Alice appears in the kitchen and Dick mesmerised simply pours the cream over everything.]

Alice; Ah cook, there you are, father says that we are to...

[She stops speaking and together with the cook watches the mess that Dick is getting himself into grow ever messier.]

Cook: [Erupting] Arrhh!

Alice: Now Delia [or Jamie depending on the gender of the person playing Cook] you know the doctor said you mustn’t get stressed..

[With a roar Cook starts to chase Dick round the kitchen. Master Fitzwarren is attracted by the noise.]

Fitzwarren: Now, now, what’s going on here?

Alice: Oh, father, stop them before someone gets hurt.

Fitzwarren: [Bellowing out] Stop that at once you spongy runyons, you botchy cores, you wimpled cloistrels or I’ll flap your sarsonets for a sore eye!

[Everyone stops and looks at each other in puzzlement.]

Fitzwarren: It’s alright, it’s all in Shakespeare. What’s this boy doing in here?

Cook: He’s the new help sir.

Fitzwarren: Oh, he’s supposed to be helping is he?

[Turning to the footman who has just appeared.]

Malvolio, take this young man to his room so he can get cleaned up, let’s see how he gets on helping with dinner this evening.

Footman: Yes sir.



SCENE 6 Dick’s Room in the Attic

Footman: Here is your room young master [sarcastically] I hope you enjoy your stay. [Aside] At least he won’t be lonely up here.

Dick: [Looking around] Yes, um thank you. [Exit footman]
It’s a bit grubby in here, so dirty and dusty and gloomy, everything’s filthy!

[He gets out his handkerchief and carefully wipes a tiny spot clean, his handkerchief comes away black.]

That’s better. [He blows his nose on the dirty part of the handkerchief.] Just time for a quick snooze before going down to help with dinner. The only thing is, I hate rats and mice, you will tell me if there are any around won’t you?

[A tiny mouse appears as an excuse for the “It’s behind you!” scene.]

Look, there’s nothing there, the only thing that’s keeping me awake is you lot shouting, now shut up will you so I can get some rest.

[With a contented sigh Dick lays himself down to sleep. Once he is asleep a whole company of rodents emerges on stage to do rodent type things which eventually wake Dick.]

Dick: Arrggh rats and mice, I hate them, why didn’t you tell me? [Exits at speed.]



SCENE 7 On the way to the pet shop.

[Kit is talking with a cloaked figure, it is Dick’s Dad.]

Kit: So you want to get away?

Dad: That’s the general idea.

Kit: Anywhere in particular?

Dad: Well, I’ve heard that Ibiza is very nice at this time of year.

Kit: Ibiza?

Dad: Yes, I err think it’s in Kent... or somewhere.

Kit: Right, leave it with me, I’ll see what I can do?

[Enter Dick.]

Now be on your way.

Dick: You know that looked a bit like... no, couldn’t have been.

Kit: Hello young Dick how’s the catering business?

Dick: Sticky, but now I’ve got another problem..  rats and mice. Any idea where I can get a cat?

Kit: Francis will know, here he comes now.

Dick:[To Francis] I need a cat.

Francis: Not a solicitor? Oh well, in that case we need to find a pet shop, there’s one round here somewhere. [Looks around] Ah, here we are.


SCENE 8 In the Pet Shop

[ A man in a brown coat stands behind a counter. Enter Dick followed by Francis and Kit]

Dick: I wish to make a complaint...

Shopkeeper: I’m sorry sir, we don’t sell parrots.

Dick: That’s a relief, in that case I’d like to buy a cat.

Shopkeeper: Yes sir what type of cat?

Dick: What types have you got?

Shopkeeper: [Counting them off on his fingers]Stone throwing cat

Kit: Catapult

Shopkeeper: Disastrous cat

Francis: Catastrophe

Shopkeeper: Chemically reactive cat

Kit and Francis: What? [Turn to audience ] Do you know?

Audience: [Hopefully] Catalyst

Shopkeeper: North Spanish cat

Audience: Catalan

Shopkeeper: Sea going cat

Audience: Catamaran

Shopkeeper: An organised cat

Audience: Catalogue

Shopkeeper: A tongue-tied cat

[Everyone looks puzzled, Will enters the shop.]

Will: Catachrestical... what? [Everyone is looking at him.] Well I am a genius after all.

Dick: What about something that’s good for mice.

Kit: Don’t you mean bad for mice?

Shopkeeper: Oh, a regular cat. Here Puss, Puss, Puss.

[They all bend down to look.  The human sized cat appears. They look down, then look up, then look down and look up again.]

Dick: Er... hello Puss.

Cat: What did you call me?

Dick: Puss

Cat: You know the I’m a main character in this show don’t you?

Dick: [Looking round] Yes.

Cat: Well you’re going to have to find me a better name than Puss, none of this “Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty” or it will be “Here Dicky, Dicky, Dicky.”

Dick: Er.. right. So... we need a name for the cat.
[Turning quietly to the shopkeeper.]
Haven’t you got anything a bit quieter, you know that just goes miaow?

Shopkeeper: Fraid not sir and she was champion mouser for 1574, had her own chat show and everything.

Dick: Good, well a name then?

Francis: What about a good old traditional name then - Tibbles?

[The cat goes over and socks him one.]

Dick: That’s a no then, any other ideas? [The others look nervous]

Will: How about Desdemona?

Cat: And have it shortened to Des? No thank you.

Kit: How about Rose?

Cat: [Preening herself] ...on account of my sweet nature?

Kit: I was thinking more about the thorns actually!

Dick: [Stepping in hastily.] Right, Rose it is, a lovely name.

Will: I’ve always preferred Rosalind myself.

Dick: Whatever, come on I’ve got to get back to help with dinner and get Rose to work on the rats and mice.



SCENE 9 Back in the Kitchen

[Cook and other servants are rushing around in a panic.]

Cook: Come on, come on, Master Fitzwarren has the Lord Mayor of London coming to dinner tonight, everything has to be perfect.

[Enter Dick and Cat]

Dick: Right now come in quietly I don’t suppose I’m allowed pets.

Cat: What do you mean ‘pet’, I’m a business associate.

Dick: Well I don’t suppose I’m allowed those either, now you just go off and quietly get rid of those rodents.

[The cat exits after a few moments there is the most fearful racket as the rats and mice are disposed of. Dick looks panic stricken.]

Cook: What is all that racket? Never mind we haven’t got time for that now we have a feast to prepare. Whittington, there’s a pie to be made. All the ingredients are there. I’m just popping out for a few moments to sign a few copies of my celebrity cook book. Make sure you’ve finished by the time I get back or there will be big trouble.

[Cook leaves, Dick messes about with the pie and does a certain amount of day dreaming....]

Dick: Dinner for the Lord Mayor eh, perhaps one day I’ll be rich and marry the lady Alice and live in a fine house and maybe, just maybe, become Lord mayor myself.

[Enter cat carrying a bag.]

Cat: In your dreams Dick.

Dick: What’s in there? [Looking at the bag.]

Cat: The end of your problems with rats and mice.

[Dick peers into the bag.]

Dick: Urggh, there must be dozens of them.

Cat: Watch out, cook’s coming!

Dick: What are we going to do? [They pass the bag rapidly from one to the other until finally Dick lifts the pie crust and pops the bag inside.]

Cook: Ah good you’ve finished the pie I’ll just take it and pop it in the oven, go and get changed and you can help serve to his honour the Lord Mayor.

Dick: But, but, but.....

Cook: But me no buts just go, by the way, is that a cat with you.

Dick: Er no it’s my business associate.

Cook: Right... fine.. um, well off you go.

[The cook and Dick with the cat exit. The footman bustles in and organises the table then Master Fitzwarren enters with Alice and the Lord Mayor.]

Fitzwarren: Ah, Malvolio, everything is ready for the feast. Your honour, please be seated.

Mayor: You know I always look forward to your feasts. Your cook is a genius, always coming up with something new. I wonder what treat cook has come up with today?

Fitzwarren: I’m sure it will be very special.

[Enter Dick carrying the pie reluctantly, he is being pushed in by the cook.]

Cook: What’s the matter with you boy? You should feel honoured to be carrying in one of my famous culinary creations. I’ve made a big effort putting together the ingredients for this pie, I can hardly wait to see what they think of it.

Dick: Me neither.

Fitzwarren: Please Lord Mayor, help yourself.

[the Mayor cuts into the pie and pulls something out.]

Mayor: Ah what tasty morsel do we have here?

Dick: [Gagging] I think it’s time to make a sharp exit, I’m out of here.

[He rushes off followed by the cat, the others look at him.]



SCENE 10 On the Road out of London

[Enter Dick and Cat.]

Dick: I don’t know, I just didn’t fit in there. Somehow I always felt like the weakest link.

Cat: You know that gives me an idea, let me think, the weakest link....

Dick: Let me guess you’ve got an idea for a game show where contestants pick on each other and are humiliated by a po faced woman in a black suit.

Cat: No but it’s a good idea, I’d mention it to master Shakespeare, no I was thinking about...

[Enter Ben carrying an umbrella.]

Ben: So you’re leaving London, crawling back to that squalid little dump you call home? Well I hope you starve on the way, or fall in a ditch and break your neck, or get set upon by robbers and get beaten up or... [He exits.]

Cat: Nice man, friend of yours?

Dick: No, just someone I met

[ Just then the bells start ringing.]

Listen, listen to the bells.

Cat: It’s hard to ignore them.

Dick: Doesn’t it seem to you as if they are saying, “Turn again Whittington, Lord Mayor of London”?

Cat: No, I’d say they were going “ding dong”.

Dick: No listen, “Turn again Whittington, Lord Mayor of London” I wonder what it can mean.

Cat: I’ve no idea but we need to get a move on  if we are going to avoid sleeping in a ditch tonight.

Dick: Yes I suppose so, come on.

Cat: Hang on, who is this coming along?

[Enter Will, Kit and Francis, hurried and out of breath.]

Kit: Thank goodness we’ve found you before you left London, where are you going?

Dick: Isn’t it obvious? I’m getting out of town before that cook has my guts for garters. You’ll never guess what I put into the Lord mayor’s pie.

Will: But haven’t you heard? The pie was a sensation! the mayor said he’d never had anything like it, so original, such a different taste.

Francis: Now everyone wants a slice, they are talking of calling it the Fitzwarren Special. the cook is even more famous and Fitzwarren wants you back. He’s even talking about making you a partner in his business although if you want my advice you’ll consider forming a limited company with....

[The cat socks him one]

Cat: This boy has only got one business associate and that’s me. Come on Dick, let’s go and get rich


INTERVAL


SCENE 11 Back at Master Fitzwarren’s

[Dick is working at a table, enter the Cat.]

Dick: Morning, what are you doing down so early?

Cat: Hunting wasn’t very good last night

Dick: Better luck next time.

Cat: The mice are getting crafty, they know my routine.

Dick: Hmmm.. Perhaps we need to make a fresh start, I’ve been doing this business thing for months now and all I do is write numbers in this big book. I’m no nearer being rich.

[They both sit lost in thought. Fitzwarren bustles in.]

Fitzwarren: Ah.. good morning, good morning, good morning, lovely day. [He bustles around humming nautical songs.]

Cat: What’s he so cheerful about?

Dick: Search me. What’s up Master Fitzwarren?

Fitzwarren: I’m organising another voyage, Sending people to far distant countries, to meet strange exotic peoples and.. make money out of them. Got anything to invest in my next venture?

Dick: Well as you haven’t actually paid me yet it’s not very likely is it?

Fitzwarren: Come, come my boy, that’s what being a partner is all about, just think of the profits you can make... if you had any money to invest.

Cat: Just a minute, this ship of yours, loads of rats and mice?

Fitzwarren: Er.. yes loads.

Cat: Well that’s it, I’ll go on the voyage as senior pest monitoring and control operative.

Captain: What?

Cat: Rat catcher!

Dick: And I’ll come to! [They look at him.] As junior in-voyage personal accommodation representative...
Cabin boy!



SCENE 12 On the Quay side

[ Everyone is gathered to say farewell. there are several merchants on the quayside who are all shouting out instructions for things they want bringing back.]

Francis: [To Dick] Now are you sure there’s nothing else you need me to do?

Dick: You could try and get a message to my father and tell him where I’m going.

Francis: Ah... um... [He is watching Dick’s dad being smuggled on board by Kit]. Yes well I’m sure that where ever he is he’ll er.. be thinking about you.

[Enter Ben, still carrying an umbrella.]

Ben: So you came back you miserable little squirt and now you fancy yourself quite the little business man. Well let me tell you whatever you do, wherever you go I’ll be out to get you. [He pauses and looks cautiously upwards from under his umbrella.]

Sailor: Be aware.. slops coming ashore!

[the water catches Ben full in the face, he splutters away.]

Will: [To the Fitzwarren] This is a fine ship Master Fitzwarren. What is it called?

Fitzwarren: Ah yes she is a fine ship, unsinkable too. We call her the Titanic. [A brief snatch of ‘Love Goes on” floats over the quayside. Everyone stops for a moment]

Alice: Oh do be careful everyone.. [as if struck by a sudden thought.] There aren’t any um.. ice bergs where you are going are there?

Fitzwarren: [Fondly] Silly girl, no they are sailing south to the fabled land of Ibiza. [he pronounces the z as a z.]

Will: I think you’ll find it’s pronounced  I- be- tha, the z sounds like a th.

Dick: Oh good so we can go and see the thebras in the thoo.

[Everyone looks at him.]

Sorry, just a bit nervous, my first voyage you know.

Kit: [Who has reappeared after stowing Dick’s Dad away.]
Well let’s hope you don’t get sea sick, you know how boats move about at sea, up and down and up and down and up and down [he is swaying about]

Dick: [Gulping] Excuse me.. all of a sudden I don’t feel so well.. [He rushes off trying hard not to be sick.]

Cat: [Following him] I think this is going to be a long voyage.

Alice: Oh he’s gone, and I was starting to feel quite fond of the boy, in fact I was going to give him a great big wet slobbery kiss right on his lips. [Now everyone else looks queasy, suddenly a file of rats and mice appear with little suitcases, everyone watches them troop on board. Enter Captain Macbeth]

Fitzwarren: Ah.. here is Captain Macbeth, he’ll be looking after everyone but you’ll have to be careful with him, he’s very superstitious, doesn’t like anyone using his name.

Will: So what do you call him?

Fitzwarren: We call him the Scottish captain.

Captain: Right, that’s it, we’re all aboard, time to cast off.

[The merchants carry on shouting out last minute instructions as the gang plank is pulled up and the ship departs with a chorus of “We’re going to Ibiza”]



SCENE 13 On board the Ship

[The Captain is on deck, swaying to and fro, Dick and the cat emerge, Dick is still a little unsteady.]

Captain: Ah, there you are, how are you feeling now?

Dick: [Uncertainly] Better, I think, how come you never get sea sick?

Captain: Oh, that’s easy... rum!

Dick: You drink rum to stop feeling sea sick?

Captain: No. I soak my feet in it.

Dick: You soak your feet in it!

Cat: [Suspiciously] Then what?

Voice off: Rum’s up! Come and get your rum!

[There is a  stampede as the sailors arrive for their rum ration.]

Dick: I think I prefer the maggot infested biscuits. [To the Cat.] How are you getting on with the rats and mice?

Cat: Oh them, that’s sorted. Eleven o’clock we’re having a concert party, two p.m. there’s deck games.

Dick: Your playing games with them?

Cat: Isn’t that what cats are supposed to do? Besides I’ve got tired of chewing them up and spitting them out, I don’t know somehow it’s just not cool.

Dick: Not cool!

Cat: Not cool. [She puts on a pair of sunglasses, and saunters off] Be seeing ya.

Voice off: Iceberg ahead!

All: What?

Voice off: I said iceberg ahead.

All: What do you mean iceberg?

Voice off: It’s big! It’s er.. green. It’s er.. um.. it’s a lettuce.

[Everyone groans. Suddenly there is a commotion, Dick’s Dad is dragged forward]

Sailor: Captain, we’ve found a stowaway!

Dick: Dad! What are you doing here?

Dad: Dick! What are you doing here?

Captain: [Suspiciously] You two know each other?

Dick: Yes!

Dad: No!

Captain: What?

Dick: This is my Dad, he’s on the run, he’s wanted as an outlaw.

Captain [Suddenly interested, the crew gather round menacingly] Is there a reward?

Dad: Free tickets to a Hear Say Concert!

[Everyone groans and looses interest.]

Besides, I think you’ll find me down as a passenger, that nice man Mr. Marlowe organised it all for me.

Captain: We’ll soon see, bring me the passenger list.
[A sailor brings him the list.]

Let’s see, ah here we are, “Item: one tall dark mysterious stranger in a sinister black cloak with hat pulled down over his eyes’.

[He looks at Dad who quickly pulls his hat down over his eyes.]

Well I suppose that’s alright then.

Voice Off: Land Ahoy

Captain: Haul on the main braces, splice the futtocks, reef the tops’les, patch the libbers!

Sailors: What?

Captain: Stop the ship!

Sailors: Ah!



SCENE 14 A market place in Ibiza

[Enter Dick, Dad and the Cat.]

Dick: Right, that’s got all of Master Fitzwarren’s goods unloaded and sold, now all we need to do is use the money to buy goods to take back to London for sale.

Cat: And find a way to make some money for ourselves.

Dick: [looking around] Hey look at these, someone’s finally got round to inventing mobile phones. [They approach a stall]

Cat: We could buy up the whole lot and take back to London,

Dad: Oh come on, who in their right mind would want to walk around with one of those pressed to their ear shouting out their business so everyone can hear,  they’ll never catch on.

Cat: [Also looking round at what’s going on.] You know there seem to be a lot of rats and mice around here.

Dick: Yes most of them off our ship, fancy organising sight seeing tours for them!

Dad: Just a moment, there’s some important looking geyser turned up with an announcement to make.

[They all turn to look.]

Grand Vizier: Be it known that his Excellency Don Pedro, Governor of this Island will reward handsomely anyone who can rid this island of the current plague of rats and mice, pied pipers need not apply.

Cat: Excuse me but you have a rodent problem?

Grand Vizier: We do, small hairy person, can you help?

Dad: Hey, he doesn’t recognise a cat when he sees one, they haven’t got any cats here!

Cat: I think I might just be able to help.....

[They all make their way to see his Excellency who is perched on his throne]

Don Pedro; I just can’t stand it anymore they’re getting everywhere. [A rodent climbs up and sits on his knee!]
Get off!

Grand Vizier: [Grandly] Sir William Whittington - outlaw, his son Richard Whittington, also known as Dick and a small hairy person called Rose.

Cat: Look your Excellency, I’ve got a scheme to help you out with the rodent problem.

Don Pedro: You have?

Cat: But I need to talk to all your rats and mice.

Don Pedro: You need to talk to them?

Cat: Sure.

Don Pedro: I had something more like ripping , scrunching, smashing, chewing in mind.

Cat: Hey Don, your so uncool.

Don Pedro: OK, pass the word round, the little hairy guy wants to talk to the vermin.

[Gradually the rats and mice gather round, they go into a huddle with the Cat who whispers to them and then their is a little rodent cheer and they all start partying!]



SCENE 15 Back in London

[Dick and the Cat are relaxing in the garden and Master Fitzwarren is standing in front of them.]

Cat: So that’s all we had to do Fitzy baby, we got all the rats and mice organised to throw big parties on the beach, lots of loud music, prancing about all night and in the morning they all feel that someone’s hit them over the head with a big stick.

Dick; We called it clubbing and afterwards they were all simply too exhausted to cause trouble, end of problem.

Cat: The best bit was that people actually enjoyed clubbing and we’ve been able to charge them  to go in. Dick’s Dad has stayed behind to run the business.

Fitzwarren: Amazing, extraordinary, and now you’re both exceedingly rich.

Dick: Yeah, but this is what’s really made a mint for us. [He pulls out a mobile phone.] I just want to book some tickets for Will’s latest play, he’s called it The Merchant of Ibiza and we’re all in it. [He’s vainly pushing buttons when in come Francis, Will and Kit]

Kit: Are here you are, Dick old fellow, I’m afraid we’ve got big problems.

Francis: Well actually, to be strictly accurate you’ve got big problems.

Dick: I have?

Will: These mobile phones you’ve been selling to everyone, how do they work?

Dick: Well, you push them against your ear then you shout at people.

Kit: Exactly, but now people have discovered they can get on just as well shouting at each other without pushing a mobile phone against their ear!

Dick: But you don’t get to press any buttons.

Francis: It gets worse, you remember that Ben Jonson guy? Well he’s now selling something called a lap top.

Dick: A what?

Will: It’s like a book, you open it up, put it on your knee and its covered in buttons, more than on your phone, it’s a real craze, people are spending hours just looking at them and pressing buttons. They’ve even stopped coming to watch my plays. It’s a disaster!

Dick: What are we going to do? Just a minute where’s that strange noise?

[He looks around.]

Hey, look, it’s Clive the Frog! [Cheers] What’s that Clive? [He holds the frog to his ear.] He says we need to get everyone on line and then start up a dot com business.

Kit: That doesn’t seem like startlingly good advice.

Francis: He is a frog after all.

Will: Ask him what he means.

[Dick listens to the frog again.]

Dick: Right, yes, yes, right, Ok yes, yes, Ok fine right yes...

Cat: So what do we do?

Dick: Well, it’s like this... [They all get into a huddle]


SCENE 16 On the Streets of London

[Enter Dick and the others, Dick is carrying a length of rope.]

Francis: So if I’ve got this right we use this line to tie on to someone’s lap top.. tie the other end to someone else’s laptop and if they want to communicate they can pull on the rope to attract attention and then shout to each other.

Dick: That’s about it.

Kit: But we can’t let Jonson know what we’re doing or he’ll try and take it all over,

Cat: It’s alright, that’s where the dot com bit comes in. I’ve had a word with Alice, she’ll be here in a minute.

Will: Watch out, here comes Jonson..

[Enter Johnson in full waterproof gear.]

Cat And here comes Alice with her friend Dorothy, Dorothy Compton, she’s desperate for company, you’ll see why.

[Enter Alice and her friend Dorothy, Dorothy is simply talking and laughing in an irritating high pitched voice and she never stops!]

Alice: [With her hands over her ears.] This is Ben Jonson, he’s very interested in new technology...

Dot: Oh, how interesting you know I had an uncle once who was interested in..... [She prattles on, Ben cannot get away]

Dick: Right, come on, let’s get ‘on-line’.

[They run around with lots of rope until Jonson is thoroughly tied up.]

Now all we have to do is float the company!

Francis: I know how to do that. [he grabs a jug from a passerby and fills Jonson’s boots with water.]

Will: Now all we need is a happy ending, this is a comedy after all.

Alice: You’re my hero! Will you marry me?

Dick: Of course.

Fitzwarren: And there’s a vacancy for a new Lord Mayor of London, why don’t you take it on?

Dick: Naturally.

Kit: And I’ve just heard from the palace your father is pardoned and would you like a knighthood?

Dick: No problem.

Cat: Excuse me.. but isn’t everyone forgetting something?

Francis: What’s that?

Cat: Me! If it hadn’t been for me none of this would have happened, who invented clubbing? Where’s my reward?

Dick: She’s right and I’ve got just the thing... [He produces a little collar with a bell on it. the cat walks over and socks him one.]

Cat: So there you are, all’s well if that’s how you like it!

THE END