Who are they?
Episode Guide
The Gallery



LS - Lee Simpson
PM - Paul Merton
CQ - Caroline Quentin
JL - Josie Lawrence
JS - Jim Sweeney
PD - Phelim McDermott
A - Audience
C - Cast in general

" - This is used when one person is doing more than one character at once, e.g. having an argument with themselves!
********** - I can't hear this phrase, any ideas?
(Italic in brackets) - This marks where I have felt the need to make some kind of explanatory comment, such as sound effects, accents, possible explanations for unexplained laughter, and mistakes made by the cast! (Nobody's perfect)

(Audience Applause)

LS - Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to the second episode of The Masterson Inheritance, an improvised historical saga of a family at war with itself. Having already laid the foundations of the Masterson family's turbulent history, our team of performers will try to spontaneously create the story of the next generation - a story based entirely on the suggestions of our studio audience. No script, no rehearsals, just an audience and a couple of microphones. To bring you this story of pride, power and passion in 18th century England, we have Josie Lawrence, Phelim McDermott, Paul Merton, Caroline Quentin, Lee Simpson and Jim Sweeney.

(Audience Applause)

Right then, now, for our story we need to get some sort of ingredients, some ideas from our studio audience, and the first thing we want from them is a suggestion of a rural occupation, or a rural job, that might... (murmur from audience) What was that?

A - Miner.

LS - A miner. A rural occupation... OK, OK, you can mine wherever you like, all right, so it's mining, as a rural occupation. Now, the next thing is, a character in the story tonight has a dream, they dream of something, they yearn for something, they have a longing for something - what, what is that thing, that they yearn...

A - Blancmange.

LS - Blancmange. (Dubious) OK... Er, and, er, next thing is we need a suggestion of an object, simple as that, any object...

A - Tumble dryer!

LS - A tumble dryer. Okay, the year is 1790....

A - A primitive tumble dryer.

LS - All right, tumble dryer, fine, fine, if that's what you want, tumble dryer, okay....tumble dryer... And now, what we need is a title for tonight's episode, now, we want a title that includes the word Masterson, so "The Something of the Mastersons" perhaps, or "The Mastersons Something Something" - any ideas?

A - "The Mastersons and Johnson".

LS - "The Mastersons and Johnson". Is that of personal importance to you sir? Just "The Mastersons and Johnson". All right then! "The Mastersons and Johnson". It doesn't make sense to me either, but that's what the man said. We are at the mercy of our audience. This evening we have, mining, farming, blancmange, a tumble dryer, in "The Mastersons and Johnsons".

(Opening music)

LS - The Masterson Inheritance. Book Two - "The Mastersons and Johnsons"

(Music fades out)

LS - 1792. Across the water in France, The Terror is in full swing. The Guillotine works night and day. In a more ordered land, in the countryside of England, ah, the countryside of England, stands a house, a large house, indeed a hall - Masterson Hall - proud, amongst the land it dominates, as the family dominates the land. And on the edge of that land, just beyond its borders, is a small mine. Just a hole in the ground really, but it is worked. It is worked hard - not by a man, but by a young girl. A young girl called Jane.

(Sounds of digging)

CQ - (Sounds of exhaustion) Ah, oh, ooh - Oh I'm knackered with all this digging! Hello!

LS - She was tired indeed - she shouted to the top, for she had agreed to meet her sweetheart...

CQ - Hello, are you up there!

LS - ...Edward.

PD - 'Ello!

CQ - Are you up there darling!?

PD - Yes, I'll come on down! How's it going?

CQ - Well, it's going very well Edward, except... you know that Daddy said I'm never to see you again, don't you?

LS - Even though he'd died several years earlier.

CQ - You know that he said in his will, I was never to see you again, don't you Edward?

PD - Really?

CQ - Yes.

PD - That's the first time you've told me that.

CQ - But I was keeping it a secret until I was old enough to be married, but now I am old enough to be married - I'm sixteen tomorrow Edward, I want you to be my husband but... I can never see you again.

LS - Edward held her in his arms, he looked deep into her eyes - the love between them was a pure love, a sweet love, a love between simple folk.

PD - But, I love you!

(Romantic music)

CQ - I know you love me Edward!

PD - I love you more than anything in the world!

CQ - But I have to go! Or you have to leave the Masterson land, we cannot be together!

PD - Oh well then, if that's what you want, I'll go.

CQ - Don't put up much of a fight, do you Edward?!

LS - And so we leave them, we leave them discussing their future down below ground. Back at Jane's house, where she lives, her mother is there, baking bread.

(Kneading sounds)

JL - (Yorkshire accent) Oh, I wonder how our Jane's getting on down 't mine. That poor girl, she's so beautiful, she's so lovely, she shouldn't be getting all dirty and messy down there!

(Knock at the door)

JL - Who can that be?

LS - And in strode Stephen, the Masterson's gamekeeper, a surly fellow with a bushy moustache and he wasn't afraid to use it!

JL - Stephen, come in.

PM - (Yorkshire) Aye! What can I do for you young missy?

JL - Well I've got some dust in the corner there, I want your moustache to sweep it up.

PM - Aye, I don't mind if I do.

JL - I've baked some bread for you Stephen.

PM - Aye, I'm right hungry, I've been trapping whippets in my underpants all morning! By God it gives you an appetite!

JL - I bet. Well there you are, wholemeal bread.

PM - Oh lovely, I'll take a great big bite out of it I think...(biting noises)

JL - (Hinting) Our Jane's down pit.

PM - Aye?

JL - She'll be sixteen tomorrow - a lovely lass.

PM - Sixteen and she's down the pit.

JL - Aye, working hard since Dad died. Edward's probably down there too.

LS - She wanted Stephen to marry her daughter, for thereby she could get a secure income from the Masterson lands, but no, no, Jane loved Edward. But, Anne had an idea, an idea that she may be able to make Stephen marry Jane.

JL - There's one thing my daughter loves.

PM - Aye I know!

JL - One...No! Apart from that, but you're on the right track, it is pink and wobbly.

PM - Oh, it's not blancmange then?

JL - It is, it is blancmange.

PM - By God!

JL - But of course, blancmange is only made at Masterson Hall, only the Mastersons are allowed to eat blancmange 'cos it's posh food.

PM - Aye, only the Mastersons have the secret blancmange recipe!

LS - King George the Third had given the Mastersons the monopoly on blancmange in 1767.

JL - Damn George the Third, I hate his guts! Why don't you go and steal the ingredients of the blancmange, and then make Jane a blancmange that... that will outdo any other blancmange in 't world, and she'll be yours forever.

PM - Well, as far as I understand it, there's two main ingredients, there's bla and monge.

JL - Well you go and get them Stephen, go now!

PM - Aye, I'll fly like the wind!

JL - All right!

LS - And so he did, he went off to try and steal the secret of the blancmange. Back at the mine, it was time for Edward and Jane's farewell.

PD - Thanks for me sandwiches then.

CQ - All right. I'll miss thee, Edward.

(Sad music)

PD - I'll miss you too.

CQ - Will you travel far and wide?

PD - I will! (Giggling from the audience, I presume he is holding his 'sandwiches' in a suggestive place!) That's me lunchbox I'm holding in me hand, you know!

CQ - Fantastic mime skills! You're wasted on the radio Edward. So, away thee! Will thou take thou faithful horse?

PD - Aye, I will! Neddy!

(Neighing horse)

CQ - What's he doing down the mine Edward?

PD - He came down on the rope!

CQ - He's gifted!

PD - Oh, he's a clever horse, our Neddy!

CQ - He is!

PD - He's going to help me make my fortune.

CQ - I shall miss you Edward.

PD - I'll miss you too.

CQ - And I shall miss him. I don't know who to kiss goodbye first.
PD - You can go first Neddy.


CQ - Goodbye Neddy, and Edward....

PD - Yes?

CQ - Farewell.

PD - Oh, farewell...

CQ - You'll write, won't you?

PD - If I manage to learn, yes.

Click here for soundbite

CQ - Grand! Goodbye, my love!

PD - Goodbye!

LS - And so he climbed the ladder, he and his horse (galloping sounds) climbing the ladder out of the mine. And she watched them go, and as she watched them go, she cursed. She cursed the fact that she was a Johnson and not a Masterson, for the Mastersons could marry who they wished, but the Johnsons could not! (The last few words were said very dramatically, and someone else from the cast makes some comment that makes him laugh, but I can't hear it) But all was not well at Masterson Hall, no, no all was not well. For, in a rain-soaked churchyard, a funeral was taking place. (Rain, church bells) The coffin...

C - (Sobbing, mourning, singing of doleful hymns)

LS - ...borne aloft...

PM - Stay in the box, you bugger!

JS - Nail it down!

LS - There were no tears shed, for this, this was David Masterson, the Lord of Masterson Hall, a cruel man, a man with no thought for his tenants or the people...

C - (very loud sobbing)

JS - Shut up! We didn't like him, remember!

C - Oh yes! (they begin to laugh)

LS - There was only one true mourner at this funeral, and he was not so sad. Christopher, the heir to Masterson Hall, and now Lord Masterson. He watched his father's coffin being lowered into the ground, and spoke his final words to him.

JS - It's mine now, all of it, you never wanted me to have it but I'm going to have it, oh yes! (he laughs maniacally)

LS - Back at Masterson Hall, there were drinks and a buffet for the funeral. Christopher was there, and so was Rose, a young lady that Christopher was hoping to have his way with.

JS - Ah, Rose, isn't it?

JL - (Upper class twit voice) Hello Christopher. I thought it was a very lovely funeral.

JS - Yes, I thought it was splendid. Let's just hope he stays down there.

JL - That's what I used to say to him...er...ahem. Another drink, Christopher?

JS - Yes, why not, some champagne, we should celebrate, all this is mine now! Of course, I'll need a...

(pop of cork)

JL - Oh!

JS - I do apologise! It's been so long.

PM - (In background) That's not what I've heard...

JS - I'll need the company...

CQ - (Also background) Neither have I.

JS - ...of a good woman.

JL - A good woman? Why, Christopher, are you proposing?

JS - No, I was thinking I need the company of a good woman. But till I find one...

LS - He slipped his hand around her waist...

JL - Ah, ooh!


JS - Sorry, it has been a long time. Rose!

JL - Yes?

JS - Can't you see what I'm saying, you're an attractive woman, I'm a young, powerful, rich, handsome man!

JL - (Dubious) Er, oh yes, OK.

JS - I've a bottle of champagne chilling in my room.

LS - Back at Jane's cottage, she walked in, to see her mother, still kneading the bread.


LS - She told her mother that Edward had left, and how upset she was.

CQ - (Tearful) Oh Mother, Mother, terrible news.

JL - What Jane, what?

CQ - Edward has finally gone.

JL - Ha ha ha..oh what a shame.

CQ - Mother, how can you laugh at a time of distress like this?

JL - Edward's not right for you Jane, can't you understand that?

CQ - What do you mean Mother?!

JL - You don't want to be stuck down that pit all your days, what about Stephen?

CQ - Oh don't talk to me about Stephen!

JL - But he's a good lad!

CQ - Have you seen the moustache on him!

JL - That could come in useful, you never know!

CQ - I see your thinking Mother.

JL - Yes.

CQ - I'm going to leave this house, Mother.

JL - What?!

CQ - I'm going to leave this house, unless you let me marry Edward. I love him, I shall never marry Stephen, the ***** hideous creature!

JL - How long is this Edward away for?

CQ - He's gone to make his fortune and to learn to read and write, it could be years!

JL - All right then, unless you find someone else in 't meantime, you can marry Edward. But, I want you to take this bread to Stephen, over at Masterson Hall.

CQ - Oh, don't make me go to see Stephen...(shouts) Mother!

JL - (Shouting) Go to him child, go now else you'll feel my wrath!

CQ - I'll go.

LS - At Dover young Edward had found passage with a friendly captain called Jake.

PD - What word are you going to teach me today?

PM - The word today, is "Squirrel".

PD - "Squirrel".

PM - Come back and see me tomorrow, and I'll give you another word.

PD - Very well - will I have to do that thing again?

PD - Yes please!

LS - Jake told Edward of the turbulent times in France, for he was a well learned man, but he gave him some warnings about what to do and what not to do, in the new revolutionary environment that existed there.

PD - Tell me, about it... what should I do, in the new revolutionary environment?

PM - Don't stick your head into any holes.

LS - So Edward made his way to France. Back at Masterson Hall, in his bedroom, Christopher was being charming toward Rose.

JL - Ooh, some Masterson blancmange! Oh yes please, Christopher, lovely! (Slurping)

JS - Yes, a special batch that I just made.

JL - Oh, strawberry, mmm. (Slurping) Could I have the blancmange now please?

JS - Yes, ah, let me just whip up a new batch!

JL - This is wonderful! How many girls have you given blancmange to Christopher?

JS - Four hundred and eighty-six.

JL - Ha ha, come, don't lie! Am I the first?

JS - Hang on, I'm figuring out which to do first. Ah yes, of course you're the first Rose, I've never smeared anybody's body in strawberry blancmange before.

JL - And are you sure there's no-one else you love, only me?

JS - Only you Rose, you can trust me can't you? (he laughs maniacally, she laughs too)

JL - Oh, what a lovely mould! (Kissing noises)

LS - And so we leave the lovers, with the blancmange between them, and go back to Jane, who is taking the loaf of bread to Stephen, he of the bristling moustache. She is wary, for he is a cunning man and a strong man. She knocks on his door, and walks into his hut.

(Knocking, door opens)

PM - Come in...

LS - As soon as he lays eyes on her, his blood is filled with lust!

PM - Coooorrrr!

CQ - I've brought you bread Mother baked.

PM - I can see that from here. Aye, put it on the table, let's have a look.

CQ - Don't look at me with that passion in your eyes...T'unhand me!

PM - I can't resist you! There's something about you that makes me think of wildlife...

CQ - What do you mean!

PM - (He laughs) There's a...there's a whiff of badger about you, I don't really know! You've not been using my shaving brush, have you?

CQ - No, and neither have you, and that's why I can never love you. Take off that moustache and then look me in the eye! (She laughs)

PM - I'm not a contortionist you know! I can't take this moustache off, it's my moustache, every one of these bristles is mine, I've earned every one of them hairs on my upper lip.

CQ - Stephen...

LS - It was then, that Stephen went to the cupboard. He went to the cupboard and got out something that he was sure would win her heart. Yes, he'd managed to sneak a little bit of Masterson blancmange away from the Hall!

PM - Have a look at that!

CQ - It's magnificent!

PM - It is, in't it! You can see your face in it on a good day!

CQ - (Accusingly) Where did you get that?

PM - I nicked it.

CQ - Why?!

PM - Because I'm a power-crazed individual! Why should the Mastersons have all the blancmange in the world eh, that's not fair, that's not right.

CQ - Oh this is all very well, but I know the truth. My mother told you that if you bought me the recipe for blancmange then I would be yours. But no! No. I can't and I shan't and I won't , for I love Edward!

LS - And she ran, she ran, slamming the door behind her...


PM - But come back!

LS - It was to no avail, the door had shut. We travel to France, to where Edward has landed, and he has made his way to Paris - ah! - a teeming metropolis, but one in turmoil.

C - (Assorted French noises)

PD - Er, excuse me, I wouldn't put your head in there!

JL - Ow!

PD - Ooh dear...

LS - It was no good. But eventually he met a very kindly gentleman, a very strange gentleman with half-moon spectacles, who took him back to his lodgings and treated him kindly to a cup of chocolate.

JS - (French accent) Would you like a cup of chocolate? I have some over 'ere in ze cup.

PD - That would be lovely!

LS - It was then that Francoise (Isn't that a girl's name? He definitely pronounced it Francoise, perhaps that explains what happens later), for that was the kindly French gentleman's name, noticed that Edward's clothes were all wet and dripping.

JS - Your clothes - they are all wet and dripping.

LS - I told you! And he asked Edward if he'd like to take them off because he had a very special way of drying them.

JS - Would you like to take zem off?

PD - What are you trying to suggest?

JS - I am suggesting you take your clothes off! Because zey are wet.

PD - Oh, that's all right then.

JS - I can have them dry in an instant.

PD - Why thank you.

LS - So Edward took his clothes off, and watched the gentleman as he, as he put his clothes in a hole - Edward was worried...

PD - Don't put them in that hole! A man told me never to put...Oh no, that was my head.

JS - I put zem in zis hole - (hums a little French tune) Now! Watch what 'appens!

(Jingling and clanking - doesn't sound like a tumble dryer at all)

PD - That's incredible! They're going round and round!

JS - That's right, and faster, and faster, and faster, et voila! Completely dry!

PD - That's incredible! That's...

LS - And indeed the clothes were dry. But, Edward did not put them on, for Francoise had laid a hand on his shoulder... the way a man...

PD - Francois! (Phelim knows how to pronounce it!) What are you doing?

JS - I am laying a hand on your shoulder, you poor little wet Englishman.

(The Masterson Inheritance romance music starts up)

PD - Your eyes, they are so...blue!

JS - Yes, zey are blue for you - normally zey are green. But when I saw you zey went blue! You are a very attractive man Edouard.

PD - Francois! What are you doing to me! I...I feel a strange feeling.
JS - Yes, me too, let me get the lights. (He makes a noise I can't quite spell, but suggests clothes flying rapidly in all directions) There, I stand before you naked!

PD - Francois!

LS - It was all he could manage! And so, we leave Edward, initiated into the joys of France. We travel back to England - England, where Jane is standing, looking at Masterson Hall, looking at this building, this symbol of a family that had dominated her life, as it had dominated everyone's life in these parts. And as she looked, a horseman came by - it was Christopher.


JS - Woah!

(Horse slows down, but keeps going for a few more steps, through a puddle it sounds like)

LS - Who had trouble stopping his horse sometimes.

JS - What are you doing, this is Masterson land, you shouldn't be here on Masterson land looking at Masterson House, what are you doing here?

CQ - (Gasps) I'm sorry sir, I didn't know I wasn't allowed here, I was just gazing up at the Hall.

JS - You see, I know everyone round here.

CQ - Why, who are you?

JS - Christopher Masterson!

CQ - (Gasps) Oh!

LS - She exclaimed.

JS - No need to shout, you'll frighten the horse!

CQ - I've heard about you.

JS - Have you?

CQ - Yes. You lure young girls up to your bedroom with your stories of blancmange!

JS - Yes, I know some very good blancmange stories!

LS - He got down from his horse.

JS - I'll get down from my horse.

(Horse neighs)

LS - And he advanced on her, a strange and menacing look in his masterful eye.

CQ - (Gasps yet again) Don't look at me like that, you're frightening the pants off me!

JS - Yes, that's the plan. And it's worked I see! I've got a little container of blancmange here...

LS - Christopher forced the blancmange upon her! Forced her the only way an aristocrat can!

CQ - (Trying to talk with her mouth full) Oh no! No!

LS - No thought of her feelings!

JS - Yes, and more, more!

LS - It was too late, once a Masterson had made up his mind, that was it. But, watching this sorry scene, this distressing scene, was....Stephen. This may be his master, this may be the man who paid his wages, this may be the man who owned everything he had, but he was going to be revenged on him.

(Dramatic music)

PM - You scamp!

JS - Strong language Stephen!

PM - Aye! Sir, I see you have your trusty sword by your side!

JS - Yes! I do!

PM - Well I, I too have my trusty sword, and I also have a door, that opens and closes at will!

(Swords clash, door opens and closes)

PM - Yes! Yes!

JS - Damn you! Damn you, let me in!

PM - Okay, take that!

(The sword fight starts in earnest)

(JS, CQ and PM generally shout and scream as you would in that situation.)

LS - And they fought, and they fought, and they fought, and they fought!

JS - Wait! Wait! Wait! A glass of champagne!

PM - Of course!


JS - Now, back to the fight!

PM - Take that! Take that!

(Swords clashing)

LS - Meanwhile...

PM - Wait! Who's that coming through the door!

(Door opens)

PM - It's nobody! Right, carry on!

(More sword clashing)

LS - (Trying to be heard) Meanwhile! On a ship...(the fight dies away) On a ship, travelling in the opposite direction is young Edward, dry, and with the plans for a new machine, a new machine that he hoped would make his fortune back in England. He travelled back of course, with kindly Captain Jake.

PM - You've come back a different man, ***********.

PD - I have, and look what I've brought with me!

PM - By God, an ostrich on a motorbike!

PD - Yes, how did that get in my bag?!

PM - I dunno! Don't let Customs see that, you'll pay duty on that one.

PD - No, no, underneath it, look!

PM - By God, a lampshade made out of orange peel!

PD - How did that get in there!?

PM - I don't know!

PD - Look, there's something strange going on here!

PM - Aye! Hang on, I heard somebody at the door.


PM - Go away.

PD - No, it's this. I shall call it, the....."Tumble Dryer".

PM - But, you mean you can dry tumble in that?!

PD - Aye!

PM - By God, you're going to make a fortune!

PD - I shall become rich, and I shall live with my true love, Jane.

PM - Ah...

LS - But Edward needed backing for his scheme, in the new business world that was...

(Paul claps and does doo-wop 'backing' vocals)

LS - ...in the new business world that was emerging, a mercantilist world indeed. He needed someone with a few savings. Jake had a thought.

PM - Have you thought of the Enterprise Allowance Scheme?

PD - You're a genius!

PM - Aye! That's why I am what I am today, a sad, lonely, desperate figure, travelling endlessly between here and France without ever getting off the boat.

LS - Back in the forest, back in the woods of Masterson, only one man was still standing.

CQ - You killed him.

PM - Aye, I did, and I'd do it again tomorrow, only I don't have to 'cos I've done it now, he's dead.

CQ - And so now what?

PM - By God, woman.

CQ - What?

PM - I'd like to show you where the otters play.

CQ - Do you know, Stephen?

PM - Aye, it's in my trousers every Friday night!

CQ - Stephen!

PM - Aye?

CQ - I thought I could never love you, but, but since you've killed Christopher and saved my virtue...

PM - (Laughs) Yes. (I think he is laughing here as in real life he was married to her at the time, and would therefore know exactly how virtuous (or not) she is!)

CQ - Yes, yes.

PM - You really?

CQ - Yes, since you've saved my virtue, now I look into your eyes, I gaze on your long hairy moustache, and do you know, I feel something in my heart for you Stephen.

(Romantic music)

PM - Yeah, it'll be bile.

CQ - I think I could love you Stephen.

PM - Aye, and I could love you an'all!

CQ - Stephen?

PM - What?

CQ - Will you take me as your wife?

PM - Aye, I will that.

CQ - Kiss me, Stephen!

(kissing noises)

LS - And as they kissed, along came...

(kissing ends with a pop)

LS - ...Anne, and saw the tender scene. She saw her daughter in the arms of Stephen and she was happy, and she took Jane home. She told her something that she thought she never would tell her.

JL - You, Jane...

CQ - Mmmmm?

JL - ...are a Masterson!

CQ - (Gasps)

(Dramatic fanfare)

JL - I'll kill that ruddy trumpet player!

PM - Did somebody order Black Magic?

CQ - I'm a Masterson?

JL - Yes!

CQ - What do you mean Mother?

JL - One day, the young Master was riding in the forest, and he too, force-fed blancmange to me.

CQ - Oh no!

JL - Though I didn't have no-one called Stephen to protect me, and well, what happened happened. And then you were born. Nine months later. A bonny little girl, but I couldn't tell Lord Masterson about it, he'd would have sent me off the land!

CQ - Oh, Mother!

JL - So I want you to go to that Hall with Stephen.

CQ - Oh Mother yes!

JL - And claim your rightful place!

CQ - Yes Mother, I shall!

LS - But then, there was a plaintive knock at the door, there...


LS - ...there stood Edward, his tumble dryer in his hand.

PD - Er...hello!

LS - His face full of hope, his sweet features...

PD - Jane! I've come home! Look what I've brought with me!

LS - But she had sorry news...

CQ - An ostrich on a motorbike?!

PD - How did that get there?

CQ - I don't know.

LS - She had sorry news for him, sorry news indeed.

CQ - I can't marry you. I'm to be married to Stephen.

PD - (upset) Oh no!

CQ - Oh, don't make that face Edward, it's horrid!

PD - But I...I've brought this, it's..it's a tumble dryer, it's going to make us rich, it's er...oh.

LS - But he knew the truth. He knew the truth by the look in her eyes, and proudly, not without a tear she walked out the door with her mother, (CQ crying in background) no longer a Johnson but a Masterson.

JL - Come child.

CQ - Aye mother. Goodbye Edward.

PD - Goodbye.

CQ - Goodbye tumble dryer.

PD - Well, here we are (door shuts) just you and me...er, tumble dryer.

LS - Not everyone wins. Not everyone wins, in fact, many people lose when it comes to, the Masterson Inheritance.

(Ending music and applause)