SERIES ONE SHOW ONE
"THE CURSE OF THE MASTERSONS"
|JL - I'm a good girl I am, I've
never conversed with any man in my life!
PM - No, you've slept with plenty of them though, haven't you?
JL - That's right!
JS - Never said a word though.
PM - No, always kept her mouth shut.
JL - Yeah, well, sometimes...
LS - Hey! Come on... (pause) Away from the inn, where the talk was a bit dirty, back at Masterson Hall, old Lord Masterson was sleeping; his afternoon nap, but his sleep was not untroubled.
(Ghostly howling from the cast)
C - Masterson, Masterson...
PD - Yes? What is it?
C - Masterson, Masterson...
PD - (Impatient) Yes, what is it?!
C - Masterson!
PD - Oh, my God!
JS - I am the voice of your great-great Grandfather...
CQ - (echoing)...great-great Grandfather...
JS - Yes, the voice of your great-great Grandfather...
CQ - Yes, the voice of your great-great Grandfather...
JS - And I have come to warn you!
CQ - Warn you, warn you!
PD - Ah, God, what a terrible dream I had!
LS - Next morning, out by the stables, young Richard Masterson was meeting his young lady - Celia, a refined, pale-skinned beauty, of some elegance.
CQ - Richard!
JS - Yes, that's my name.
CQ - I'm so looking forward to our wedding day.
JS - Wedding day, yes, I'm looking forward to it too.
CQ - I can't wait...
JS - I can't wait either.
CQ - ...for the night of our nuptials, Richard.
JS - Oh, do we have to wait till then Celia?
CQ - Why yes of course we do, we can't possibly until we're married!
JS - Damn it, can't you see that I...
CQ - Oh, take me, take me! (pause) Richard, Richard!
JS - Yes!
CQ - You know how I want you, Richard?
JS - Oh God, yes I know!
CQ - Richard?
JS - Yes?
CQ - I'm going to turn round now and I want you to unlace my bodice!
CQ - Ooh!
JS - Oh God, your skin is so...
CQ - Soft?
JS - Yes. Soft and...
CQ - Cold?
JS - Yes.
CQ - And yet...warm?
JS - Extraordinary, you know your own back so well!
CQ - Richard...
JS - Yes - Celia?
CQ - I can hear someone coming down the path!
JS - It's not me!
(Noise of footsteps)
CQ - Richard!
JS - Yes?
CQ - I can't be caught like this, I have to go and hide behind that bush!
JS - All right, quickly..
CQ - Don't give me away!
JS - I'll try not to.
JL - (Prim old lady) Ah, young Master Richard, have you seen the young Mistress Celia anywhere?
JS - No, let me just pull my trousers up though. (pause) No, not at all, just...
JL - It's time for her French lesson.
LS - It was Bessie...
JS - Funny, we were just talking about the same thing.
LS - It was Bessie, the governess.
JL - I can't find her anywhere, she is a naughty girl!
JS - She is, I've no idea where she is, I haven't seen her at all.
JL - Ah, oh and by the way, young man...
JS - Yes?
JL - Your father wishes to speak with you.
JS - (Spat out) Father? Speak to me?
JL - (Also spat out) Yes, father, speak to you!
JS - Very well, then I'll go up to the Hall.
LS - And so he did. But watching this scene, hidden from view, was the young slave boy, who only a while before, had been so disabused by this young man.
PM - I'm still gonna get him!
LS - Richard Masterson went into the study, where he found his father waiting for him.
(Door opens and slams shut)
JS - Hello father, it's me.
PD - Yes?
JS - Why don't you die? Why don't you die so I can take over this estate - you're old, you're decrepit.
PD - If I die...
JS - Yes?
PD - Well, you know what will happen, don't you?
LS - He was talking of course, of the curse.
PD - Haven't you ever noticed, when I'm eating at the dinner table, have you never noticed my little teeth, sticking out at the front, and my little furry paws? Haven't you ever thought it's odd?
JS - Well, come to mention it...Yes!
PD - If I die...
JS - Yes?
PD - You will also inherit the curse, the curse, to bounce about like a little bunny! Up here, in this room, like a hutch!
JS - You mean, if you die, I'll become...A RABBIT?
PD - Yes, you will become...A RABBIT!
JS - I refuse to believe it, ha ha ha!
LS - And he laughed, and he laughed, and he slammed the door as he left! (Door shutting) Not very loud, but he slammed it. Meanwhile... (door shuts again) Meanwhile, down at the dock, James was getting ready to set sail, getting ready to set off for the New World, a brave new world where he hoped to make his fortune. He was about to cut loose the ropes, when a small, boylike figure came trundling up the dock towards him.
PD - Hello, young boy!
PM - Hello! Do you want to buy some dirty postcards?
PD - Thank you, yes!
PM - There we are.
PD - I can send them home to my mother while I'm away. Oh, what a sad little thing you are, would you like to set sail with me, come with me, be my trusty companion?
PM - You trying to pick me up?
PD - In a sort of way, yes, I am.
PM - Well, all right then. I'll come with you and I'll sail the Seven Seas, and see all the Seven Wonders of the World. And when I come back I'll have a Seven-Up that I'll buy at a 7-11.
PD - Very well! Come with me, and we shall make our fortune!
LS - And so they weighed anchor, and the ship set sail, the creaking...
PM - Well, the anchor seems to be about 45 pounds. What shall we weigh now?
PD - Well, you could weigh me if you wanted.
PM - All right then, get on the scales. Ooh, you are a big boy, aren't you!
LS - Meanwhile, back in the village, Emily...Emily was ashamed. Her father stood stern over her.
PM - I will beat you as much as I want to!
JL - Ah, Aaa, Ow! Ow! (Slapping sounds)
PM - Yes! And take that as well! (Slap, more crying) Here's one coming up just now! (Slap, ow) And here's another one from over here! (Slap, ow)
JL - Oh, I promise I won't go up to the manor any more!
PM - Do I have to snap my braces again?
JL - No, father, I beg you, don't.
PM - Well, whatever you do, don't go up to that Manor again.
JL - I thought you liked me going up there. I bring back enough colb (she fumbled the word gold) coins to keep you in beer, don't I!
PM - Yes, but I've gone off cob coins.
JL - I meant to say gold coins, you...
PM - Oh, gold coins!
JL - You smashed me round the mush so much my mouth ain't working!
PM - Yes I do want gold coins, gob coins I don't want, but gold coins yes.
JL - Well in that case I've got to carry on going to the Manor House.
PM - But you can't keep going to the Manor House, why can't you just send off for them like everyone else? Send off 5 packets of cornflakes and you get back a gold doubloon.
JL - Oh father, you don't understand, you must start living in the real world!
PM - What I don't understand is why have you got that accent and I've got this one? Do you know there's a little boy in the village that talks like an 89-year-old?
JL - Oh I know about him!
PM - Have you seen him?
JL - I've heard he's disappeared!
PM - Disappeared?
JL - Yeah, he was the slave boy that belonged to the Master, well, the young Master, and I've heard he's disappeared - set sail on the sea so they say.
PM - So in one respect he's not disappeared then? He's set sail on the sea so they say.
JL - Well, he's disappeared...
PM - With Sailor Sam.
JL - He's a disappeared...
PM - And a sack o' Saxa.
JL - He's, he's disappeared...
PM - And a salt over his shoulder.
JL - He's disappeared...
PM - He's disappeared!? Yes, that's 3 times!
JL - ...in the way that he's not...
PM - What is he, part of a magic act?
JL - ...he's, no, let me speak!
PM - What's this, Paul Daniels and Little Boy?
JL - He's disappeared in that...
PM - You sure it's not Debbie McGee? (pause) Go on then. So, you anyway...
JL - He's disappeared in the way that he's not here, and he should be.
PM - I'm going to stop you going to them youth clubs.
JL - Oh father, let me go to the Manor one more time...(in strong Westcountry accent)
PM - All right, go to the Manor (mimicking Josie) one more time. It's Pam Ayres, isn't it? (Pam Ayres) Go to the Manor one more time and see if you can get a little poem about a little wasp that flies around a little room. All right.
JL - (Exaggerated Pam Ayres accent) All right, I'll do that right away!
LS - Back at Masterson Hall, Richard was becoming impatient. He wanted to get his hands on the Masterson inheritance, he wanted the land, he wanted... everything! That night, he crept up the main staircase, along the corridor, and outside his father's room he paused, gently, oh so gently opened the door, and crept in, to see his father's uneasy snoring. (Snoring) Oh, how he hated this man. (More sleep sounds) Oh, how he hated him, as the half-man, half-rabbit who stood between him and the hutch that he so desired.
JS - Time for you to die at your son's hand! (Snore) Not so much a man, more of a rabbit. Well, I'm your myxomatosis!
LS - His hands tightened around his old father's throat, but before his father died, his eyes opened and saw, his son, his son squeezing the life from his body!
PD - Richard! Oh!
JS - Yes!
PD - Oh...(rabbit noise)
LS - And then he was dead.
JS - Now I'm Lord of Masterson Hall! I can barely...I can...Celia! Celia!
CQ - Yes! Take me! Take me!
JS - Now! Now!
LS - The next morning, Emily made her way up to the hall.
JL - La la la la laaaa. I'm coming into your chamber now, Lord!
LS - She opened the door, but what a sight met her!
JL - AAAAHHH!! Oh, oh my lovely little bunny-wunny! Oh! Lying here all limp and furry in my arms...like you used to. Oh, somebody's killed you! Somebody's murdered you! Oh, but wait! What's this on the floor? Oh, it's Lord Richard's ring! And look, the indentations in the neck match the ring perfectly! Oh, it's Richard that's done this. I'm going to go home and tell my Dad!
LS - And so she did. She ran, teary, from the Hall.
JL - (In tears) Dad! Dad!
PM - I thought I told you never to come back here.
JL - Don't hit me! (pause) Oh good. (slap) Ow!
PM - Sorry, force of habit.
JL - Now, father, something terrible's happened! Lord Masterson's dead, killed by his own son!
PM - But how do you know he was killed by his own son?
JL - Well, his son had a ring that matched perfectly the indentations on the Lord's neck.
PM - I'm going to put you in a home.
JL - Come! We must rouse up the villagers!
PM - Rouse up the villagers? What, not wake them up, or whatever, just rouse them up.
JL - Whatever you like. You're my Dad.
PM - All right then, come on then, lets rouse them up.
LS - And so they began to rouse the villagers up.
PM - You villagers, come on, get up!
(Cast moan and groan)
LS - Meanwhile, far away, far away on the other side of the world, things were going well for James and the young lad. The young lad now was growing up, his voice was beginning to break.
PM - (Deep gruff voice) James?
PD - Yes?
PM - You reckon we'll make a go of this minicab driving business?
PD - I think so, I think it'll catch on back home, you know.
PM - I'm wondering I'd like to see their faces back there, when we turn up with a fleet of Ford Cortinas...
LS - Back at Masterson Manor, though, an angry mob was making it's way up the hill towards Masterson Hall. (Cast make 'angry mob' noises) Their spokesman was Emily.
JL - Charles! I mean Richard!
JS - (or PD?) No, let's get Charles!
JL - Richard! Richard Masterson! Come out and face the villagers, you murderer!
JS - (or PD?) And bring Charles with you!
JL - Look, there he is at the window!
JS - (or PD?) Where's his brother Charles?
JL - I don't know, I just made him up.
PM - You made up a brother?
JL - Well, it's Tuesday.
PM - Look, he's not got the signet ring on!
JL - That's right! I have the signet ring here!
PM - Then that proves it's his signet ring!
LS - Richard came down and confronted the angry villagers, their mutterings were quelled (cast mutter in background) by his aristocratic...
JS - Shut up!
LS - ...presence. He spoke to them...
JS - I'm trying to have a lie-in, could you keep the noise down? What do you want?
JL - We know you're the murderer - you murdered your Dad!
JS - Stand back! Do you know what this is?
PM - Yes!
JS - What?
PM - It's a semi-detached house! You won't make us live in that!
JS - I'm not afraid to use it!
PM - Good God, he's got - watch out, he's got the rent book!
CQ - Darling, darling, what's going on?
JS - The villagers seem to think that I...I killed my father.
CQ - But I've never heard anything so absurd, when was this supposed to have happened?
JS - It was supposed to have happened last night...
JL - How did you know it happened last night, nobody mentioned last night!
JS - Damn! All right, I killed him!
CQ - Richard!
PM - By clever questioning, we've managed to beat the **********. Thank God for that.
JL - And look, look at his ears!
JS - What do you mean my...
PM - Why yes!
CQ - Something strange...something strange is happening.
JL - And his teeth.
CQ - Yeah!
JL - He's turning into a rabbit! Run for your lives, he's **********.
LS - So they ran, they ran away, leaving Lord Masterson, as he now was, alone. Back at the docks, a ship pulled in. James, and the young lad, now full-grown - full-grown enough to have a name. David - stood on the poopdeck.
PD - Well David, you're a man now.
PM - Thank you James, I'm pleased that I made it somehow. I started off on that voyage as a stupid little adolescent and I've come back as a Minicab Controller.
PD - I'm proud of you.
PM - Are you James?
PD - Yes, thanks for being my companion.
PM - That's all right. I've got some unfinished business, back here in old Blighty.
LS - He called at Emily's house. She was by her father's bedside. He, he was dying.
PM - Why have you got a house by your father's bedside?
JL - It's more convenient when he wants cocoa.
PM - Who's this bloke then?
" - I have come from many miles, I used to be the small boy that disappeared many years ago,
" - Oh yes, I remember you...Ah, I think I'm going to die! Urgh.
" - That's a damn shame, I could have kept that up all night.
JL - You're the small slave boy, but you were so little when you left.
PM - I know, I've grown - feel that!
JL - Fwooar - that's a big arm!
LS - They looked (romantic music) deep into eachother's eyes, and Emily knew, knew that this was it. All her dalliances with Lord Masterson were nothing, nothing compared with this handsome, travelled man.
PM - Emily!
JL - Oh David!
PM - Marry me and make me the happiest Minicab Controller this side of London!
JL - I will! I will!
PM - Love me, kiss me, and promise me you'll never take your teeth out.
JL - Can be fun sometimes...
LS - But there was one thing as yet not taken care of.
JL - Yeah, he's up in the Manor now. Young Lord Richard Masterson. Some say he's turned completely into a rabbit, but he still treats people bad, just like he treated you when you were a slave boy!
PM - You mean a rabbit with no respect for human beings?
JL - Exactly what I mean!
PM - Why don't we just put him in a pie and eat him?
JL - He's too clever for that!
PM - I think you should rebel.
JL - We have tried to rebel. We need someone strong like you, David. Go and wreak your revenge!
PM - Then follow me...
LS - And so they marched. They marched together up the hill.
PM - Lord Masterson. Do you remember a small boy with no name that you used to beat on the moors?
JS - Er, give me a moment...yes!
PM - I used to beat him as well. No, I'm just joking! I am that small boy, I've been to sea and I've got a name, and I've come to wreak my revenge on you.
JS - I'm Lord Richard Masterson, you don't scare me! (Rabbit noises)
PM - Bring the foxes in!
(Cast howl and bark)
JS - I know what a fox sounds like, thank you very much!
PM - Yeah, but they don't, do they!
LS - There was fear in Richard's eyes, he saw the foxes, and he turned, and he ran, his little bunny legs taking him as fast as they could. And the foxes ran after him, ran and ran and ran, and chased him until he was well beyond the reach of Masterson land. David stood with Emily, at the gates of Masterson Hall. By popular acclaim, he had been voted the new Lord Masterson.
JS - (Apathetically) Hip hip hooray. Hip hip hooray for the new Lord Masterson, David. (cast cheer)
PM - Get back! You were once my friends, but not any more - I am the new Lord of the Manor...Take your teeth out.
JL - But, what about your friend James? Can he stay at the Manor with us?
PM - No!
JL - Oh, all right then.
LS - But there was love between them. He may have turned into a fierce aristocrat, but there was love between them - he held Emily gently in his arms, and he talked to her of how things would be.
PM - In the 19th century I think there will be turmoil in Europe.
JL - Oh, you say the sweetest things!
PM - But Queen Victoria will reign until about 1903 when her son Edward the 7th the frequenter of music halls will take the throne.
JL - You're so clever!
PM - In 1953 Stanley Matthews will at last win an FA Cup medal.
LS - But as he talked, as he talked, he heard a voice (ghostly wails as before), several voices which echoed across the valley.
PM - But in 1972 Abba will win the Eurovision Song Contest.
JS - Lord Masterson, Lord Masterson!
PM - What are those voices?
JS - Beware Lord Masterson!
CQ - Beware Lord Masterson!
PM - No!
JS - Take it easy!
PM - No, not the Curse of the Mastersons!
(Thunderclap and scream)
LS - It was true. As he stood there, he stood there with his wife, the voices echoed in his head - he had won, he was victorious, he was the man who had taken it all, but with it all had come the curse, the curse which would haunt him to his dying day, the curse which was - The Masterson Inheritance!
(Ending music and applause)