Dick Whittington and His Cat

Characters Dick Whittington
Thomas, his cat
Alice Fitzwarren, daughter of the Alderman
Alderman Fitzwarren
Idle Jack, apprentice to the Alderman
King Rat
Fairy Queen
Sailor Sam, able seaman
Captain Sid Scuppers, of the Saucy Seagull
Polly, maid to the Alderman
Dame Tilly Tickle, cook to the Alderman
Weary Willie & Tired Tim, travellers of the road
Empress of the Islands
Abdul, Grand Vizier to the Empress

Act I: Prologue (Tab scene)

Fairy Queen Christmas is a magic time
Of love and feast and pantomime.
Our story now we will unfold,
Long, long ago, in days of old
A fortune-seeking lad, we're told
Thought London's streets were paved with gold.
He travels far with Tom, his cat
But lurking near we find King Rat
Who would destroy what's good and right,
So I shall try with all my might
To stop his wickedness and spite
So happiness may reign tonight. (exit Fairy Queen)
King Rat Ha! Ha! You'll see, I'll spoil your fun,
This pantomime has just begun -
Happiness shall flee away
All your plans shall go astray!
I shall do my evil deed -
Beware my friends, take heed, take heed (exit King Rat)

Scene 1 Curtain up, outside Alderman Fitzwarren's shop, stocks just off-centre, chorus on, noise, bustle etc.

Girl

 

Girl and Chorus

 

 

 

 

 

Come everyone, it's time for rejoicing and dancing and I've got those...

Dancing Feet

Dancing feet, I've got those dancing feet,
Oh, baby hear the beat, I've just gotta get dancing.
Happy toes, I've got such tappy toes
That's how the rhythm goes and I've gotta keep dancing.
I'll show you how a fling is flung,
A fox-trot or beguine begun,
Play a castanets from Spain, whoops! My feet take off again!
Swing or blues, no matter what you choose,
My feet jump in my shoes and I've gotta get dancing.
Tap that toe, oh brother here I go,
I hear that trumpet blow and my dancing feet dance!

Dance. At end of the dance, the Alderman enters and gets caught up in the revelry.

Alderman Upon my word, such merry making, singing and dancing and many a pretty girl to kiss, eh?
All Yes, sir!

Reprise song "Dancing Feet". Chorus exit

Alderman Phew! I'm a bit old for that sort of thing, it makes me out of breath just watching it! Now, I must think of something to give my daughter, Alice, for her birthday tomorrow. Shall I get her... (enter Idle Jack) Hello, young Jack, not joining in the fun?
Jack No, Master Fitzwarren, I've got my eyes on a girl, but she --
Alderman Yes, yes, most young men are the same, however, I must think of a present for my daughter, Alice, for her birthday tomorrow.
Jack Ah, yes, Alice -- what about some jewellery? I could try the docks and the market where I have many friends. All out of sight and sound of the Excise man, of course! What do you say to that?
Alderman Its a deal, if its the right kind of thing, but keep it dark! (he makes to go)
Jack Hey, don't forget the lolly!
Alderman Lolly? Oh, yes, lolly, I'd better get it. (exit Alderman)
Jack I'll keep it dark while it suits me, it's not the first time I've done a deal with Master Fitzwarren, a few more and then I'll topple his high and mightiness from his perch and Alice, my lovely Alice will be mine. (he turns to go as Polly enters)
Polly (eagerly) All alone, I see, why don't we find the others and have some fun?
Jack (offhand) Mmm, well, at the moment I've got a bit of business to see to.
Polly Oh, ho, my pretty lad, more trips to the docks on a dark night? (sadly) Is she pretty?
Jack You're wrong there, Polly, and I will join you for a while. There's something in the air tonight...
Polly Romance?
Jack Now, now, we don't want any of that
Polly Oh, but we do, at least I do! Come on, unbend, you're as stiff and starchy as Dame Tilly Tickle's petticoat.
Jack (going off with Polly) I really don't know anything about Tilly Tickle's petticoats.

Enter Weary Willie and Tired Tim. They yawn.

Tim London. I wonder what we can scrounge here?
Willie Anything except work, we don't want to be mixed up in that lark, but we might pick up something on the side.
Tim (yawning) On the side of what?
Willie Be careful, Tim, you may be alive!

Enter Alderman, he carries a bag of gold.

Willie Oh, no, take a dekko at this nut, we might be cracking something.
Tim & Willie (bowing low) Good morning, My Lord.
Alderman Bless my whiskers, what a dirty looking pair of ruffians, go away, we've enough rubbish around here without you dropping in. A good wash and some honest work (Tim & Willie shudder) would do you good.
Tim & Willie Work!
Willie Oh, oh, I feel bad, it's me blood pressure. Work! Lord help us, whatever other funny suggestions have you got?
Tim & Willie Work! (Tim nods off)
Alderman You both look like something put out for salvage, recycling's what you need, what do you do with your miserable selves?
Willie We don't like your remarks, Sir, but I suppose you could say we were Agents.
Alderman Hmm, it smells, you sme-- (Willie kicks him on the shin) Oh, oooh, (he hops about holding leg, drops money bag which is picked up by Willie) Give that back at once, or I'll have you put in the stocks here.
Willie Stocks? Interesting little gadget, show us how it works.

Business: all get locked in stocks.

Alderman Fools! Now we can't get out, soon we shall be the target for all and sundry. And me an Alderman!
Willie You got us in, you get us out.
Tim (yawning) It's nice and peaceful in here, just sitting... (a cabbage hits him)
Alderman That's what I mean. (Cabbage hits Alderman)

Enter Dame, she does not see who is in the stocks.

Dame Hello, again, I've got myself all in a twist. (lifts skirt to disclose striped socks, twisted) I don't find that young minx Polly anywhere - off with the lads again, I shouldn't wonder. (She throws a few more items at stocks from her basket and doubles up with laughter and is promptly knocked down by Jack who enters backwards, waving farewell to offstage.)
Jack Steady on, here, ups-a-daisy. Hey! That's Alderman Fitzwarren in the stocks!
Dame So it is, I wonder how he got in? (she absently lobs another missile)
Alderman Just wait until I get out! We'll see what the Law Officers have to say!
Dame Now, now, promise to be a good boy and we'll let you out.
Alderman All right, but make it snappy: if the Guild gets to hear of this I'll be the laughing stock of the town. (Alderman is released, he moves off with Dame and Jack)
Tim & Willie Here, what about us?
Alderman There's a little matter of that bag you stole, hand it back and I'll set you free at once.
Willie OK: take it. (Alderman takes bad and tickles Willie - business of Dame getting in stocks, more as she is released)
Alderman Be off with you, you rascals, if I clap eyes on you again I'll have you sent to jail.
Dame On your way, boys, on you way. (She picks up cabbage and helped by Jack pelts them as they go off)
Alderman (to Dame) Now, off you go, back to your work. (Dame exits)
(to Jack)
Here's the money to use, so get cracking!
Jack Right! I'm off to you know where to see what I can do about you know what, for you know who!
Alderman Good, don't spend all the money, I must go to find my daughter. (Alderman and Jack exit in opposite directions. Enter Cat who knocks at door, Dame comes out, cat mimes hunger and rubs against Dame's legs.)
Dame Hello, puss, you're hungry, but you can't come in here! (She shoos him away, looks down and sees mouse, she screams! Cat picks up mouse by the tail and chases Dame off. Cat comes back and goes into house, reappears carrying a pie. Enter Dick.)
Dick Thomas! I see you've found something for supper, clever puss. (he sits) Come here, Tom, we'll rest awhile, we've travelled many miles today and I'm so tired. They say London's streets are paved with gold - if that is true, we'll make our fortune. (Dick closes eyes. Enter Fairy Queen, who sings.)
Fairy Queen Dream on sweet lad, your slumber be sweet,
Fortune be yours, though we never meet,
I'll watch over you and near you I'll bide.
Though ill-luck befall you, I'll turn it aside,
Though ill-luck befall you, I'll turn it aside. (exit Fairy Queen)
Dick (half awake) I must be dreaming, why did I wake?
A lady so lovely a promise did make.
The future's before me, I know I'll win through.
A dream so enchanting can only come true,
(sleepily)
A dream so enchanting can only come true.

Dick and cat sleep. Enter Alderman and Alice.

Alice It will soon be my birthday, father. Shall we give a party?
Alderman I hope to have a nice surprise for you my dear, but come, it's getting late. (they move to go into the house and see Dick and Thomas)
Alice Look, father, who is this? (Cat gets up and comes to Alice) What a lovely cat. (she strokes Thomas) Oh, Puss, who is this young man? (she kneels beside Dick) He's sleeping so soundly, he must be exhausted.
Alderman I expect he's just another vagrant with no money for food and lodging

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Words (c) Harlequins 1990-1999.