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Babes in the Wood Sample

Effluvia Nightshade is plotting to dispose of the “Babes”. Can she find anybody suitable devious? Cue Sloeworm and Slug.

It’s night-time in Blackthorn Castle. We hear Heather and Rowan laughing and playing off-stage and Nurse Dumpling telling them to get to bed. Effluvia storms in.


Effluvia Will no-one rid me of these loathsome brats? Didn’t pick any poisonous mushrooms, blast their little bones! And now, when Marian told them about those nasty Outlaws heading this way, they just laughed! Said it would be, what was it? Oh, yes. “An awfully big adventure” were they to meet them! Oh, how I wish they would! That’ll teach ‘em! Little monsters… Ooh! Can’t stand children…! How I begged my dear Dudley to send ‘em away to some dismal Finishing School! You know? Out of sight, and all that? But would he listen? No! Just hires them that Nanny, Nurse Dumpling, instead! (Bitterly) And leaves ‘em a fortune… Well, we’ll see about that!


She produces the letter again, reads it, howls with rage and tears it up. As she does so, the stage slowly darkens and there is the sound of distant thunder.


Effluvia An Outlaw, or someone who’s really devious,

Could rid me of those ones I’ve mentioned previous…?


Music


Bang on cue, Sloeworm and Slug enter and tiptoe up behind her.


Audience Participation


She eventually turns, sees them and they all do a double-take and scream together. They finally gather themselves together.


Slug May we be of help?


Effluvia How did you get into the Castle? This is private property, you know?


Sloeworm (Matter-of-fact) We come in through the drains…


She has to hold her nose. He hands her a card, which she has to wipe!


Effluvia (Reading it) “Sloeworm and Slug – Brat-Busters!”  Brat-Busters…?


Slug Yeah… We’ve ‘eard you ‘ates your step-children?


Sloeworm Brats, is they?


Effluvia An exaggeration! They maybe brats, but I don’t ‘ates… I mean, hate them! Just can’t stand ‘em is all. I just want them out of my life, those irritating infants.


Slug Well… We can take ‘em off your hands! Eh, Sloeworm?


Sloeworm Yeah! We could, like, I dunno? Leave ‘em deep in the Forest, I suppose. We wouldn’t harm them or nuffing.


Effluvia (Unsure) You mean, abandon them? (Aside) Hold that thought, Effluvia…


Sloeworm & Slug Definitely…


Effluvia Isn’t that a wee thing heartless?


Slug “Heartless”?


Sloeworm Nah… Not really.


She hesitates… Slug pretends to have an idea.


Slug Well… We could always leave ‘em with that ‘orrid old ‘ermit, what lives in the Forest…? He’d take care of ‘em, eh Sloeworm? They’d be like part-time hermits


Sloeworm doesn’t have a clue what he’s on about. Slug whispers to him and it slowly dawns on him.


Sloeworm Oh… That ‘ermit! (To her) Yeah! Wot he said, parking permits


Effluvia And he’d take care of them? They’d be out of my life… forever?


Sloeworm & Slug Would we lie to you?


They smirk and nudge each other.


Effluvia (Suddenly) Wait a minute though. Someone might ask questions. Especially that Marian person…


Slug Just tell ‘er they wandered off into the forest…? You couldn’t stop ‘em.


Effluvia smiles and they shake on it. She suddenly has an idea.


Effluvia Hang on… I’ve got a better idea! (Aside) I could give it a couple of months, couldn’t I? Eh? Then report them missing… Presumed dead! (Laughs) Pretend to mourn their loss, whilst raking in their inheritance! (Rubbing her hands) Deal!


Sloeworm & Slug Deal!




SYNOPSIS          CAST