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Jo-jo - script

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Jo-jo - script Powered By Docstoc
					                    Jo-jo and Aunty
                 (a play with Music
                      in 3 Acts)
                                                  (1996)
Time: the present - from March to June.
Scene: An old house let out into flats.
       [the Acts -- Act 1, Act 2, Act 3 ]
                               ___________________________________

Act 1, Scene 1. Aunty's Living Room.
        It has three doors leading to the passage and stairs, the kitchen and the bedroom. There are
four alcoves which have pig ornaments on the shelves;
also an upright piano.

Act 1, Scene 2. The basement.
       This is Mr Beetle's workroom and office.
Act 1, Scene 3. Monkey house at the Zoo -- front of curtain.
                         _______________________________________
Act 2, Scene 1. The 4 alcoves in each of which stands a Pig ornament. Also, the table top, much
                     enlarged so that the pigs are life size.
Act 2, Scene 2. Aunty's Living Room.
                         _______________________________________
Act 3, Scene 1. One Pig's alcove, and table top. All the pigs together, enlarged as before.
Act 3, Scene 2. Front of curtain. Dust Motes' dance.


                                              1
Act 3, Scene 3. Aunty's Living Room.
Act 3, Scene 4. Rooftop of the house. Chimney stack. The hatchway from one attic opening onto
                     the roof and one small attic window.
Act 3, Scene 5. Mr Beetle's Sitting Room.
                     Spacious, glittery and vulgar.




                                                Music.
        A small orchestra consisting of one each of the following instruments: piano, flute,
clarinet, bassoon, violin, cello glockenspiel, triangle, wood block, bass drum, side drum.
      There is an overture lasting about seven minutes. It might be appropriate to have a Finale
made up of old time music hall songs and 1920's popular music.
                                            Characters

Jo-jo the monkey             (A small acrobat ) (1 song, no dialogue.)
Aunty                  (A pianist. 3 songs) Aunty is a frail 75 year old with a powerful honky-
                       tonk touch on the piano.
Mr Beetle, Basil       (A black-beetle. 2 songs) Mr Beetle dresses in black. He has a black
                       moustache and black eyes and a black trilby, glittering tie-pin and rings.
                       Age: 36.
Mrs Beetle, Bertha     (A black-beetle. 2 songs) She is also glossy in satin and jewellery. Long red
                       finger nails and hair always immaculate. But really a drab little woman of
                       32.
Carla Carmen           (A Mexican pig ornament) (3 songs)
Carla is a big handsome black-haired woman, aged about 40. She tries for a bit of
                     glamour with bright colours, brooches and gold hoop earrings
                     but since she is rushing about all the time and constantly
                     wears an apron, the effect is somewhat lost.
As Carmen, she looks like Carmen Miranda.
Jock McGonagle
                       Jock (a tartaned Pig Ornament) (2 songs)
Jock is a big strong Scot. Would be handsome if he didn't look so gloomy most of the time.
As Jock, the pig, he wears full dress tartan.
Mrs Swingler; Sue Wing Hoo        (a Chinese Jade Pig) (2 songs)
A delicately pretty woman of 42, with Chinese features.
Con Custard; Kosi (an African Pig of teak) (A very good baritone with a range of two octaves. 4
                     songs)
A small black man with a sweet expression.

                                                2
Art; Archie (a spider) (a dancer with 2 songs)
(Art is 19, thin, graceful and fair)
Annie (Carla's eldest daughter)
Aggie (a spider)       (a dancer with 2 songs)
Annie is 17, tall and handsome like her mother but fairer and more willowy.
Rob (aged 6)
Rosa (aged 5)          --              -- Carla's younger children.
Roy (aged 4)
Monkeys
Dust Motes                                                                                      -
                                                                                                -
Patrons of the "Dog and Duck" -- Can be any back-stage workers that are free at the very end of
                                                                                                that
                     the play and willing to 'take a trotter and have a totter with any wee pig C
                     cares to dance'. Alternatively, some of the audience could be involved. h
                                                                                                o
                                                                                                r
                                                                                                u
                                                                                                s

                                                                                                o
                                                                                                f
        The problem of making the Pig Ornaments bigger than the spiders in act 2, scene 2 and
act 3 scene 1 can be solved two ways.                                                       D
                                                                                                a
1. The audience imagine the relative sizes. This would give the pigs the flexibility to join in the
                                                                                                 n
   dancing but would entail difficult costume changes for those particular actors. This has been c
   accommodated by the Monkeys and Dust Motes dancing to give time for costume and scene         e
                                                                                                 r
   changes.                                                                                      s
2. Large Pig ornament edifices could be built that the actors climb into so that the appropriate.
   voice comes from the right pig. The edifices could have some means of being moved around a
   bit with hidden wheels and steering wheels so that the pigs could weave in and out for the
   dancing. There could be some mechanism for moving the heads and arms which the actors
   could manipulate.

                        Act 1, Scene 1. Aunty's Living Room.

[Below: Scene 2; Scene 3]
It has an upright piano and four alcoves with a pig ornament in each.

(Aunty is seen thumping the piano with a bouncing bass. She is playing popular music of
the 1920's. Jo-jo is swinging from the light and cleaning the ceiling, the coving and the corners.
 Aunty gets up from the piano and the orchestra takes over as she sings her Jo-jo Song.)
Aunty:




                                              3
                     Jo-jo is my heart's delight. He's the monkey I adore.
                     He twines his tail around the light and reaches right down to sweep the floor
                     He makes the ceilings bright. I've never had so much help before..
                     Then, under and over and out of sight with a duster in each paw,
                     In crooks and crannies and places tight, he'll polish and shine I'm very sure.
                            Refrain: Jo-jo is my heart's delight, for he makes the whole world
                                         bright
                                    Ah! What joy when he is near. Jo-jo is my monkey dear.
                     Jo-jo is my Monkey dear. He takes a cloth and dries the crocks.
                     He'd have a grand career at washing out smalls and oiling locks.
                     And he is always there, the host most polite when someone knocks.
                     Though most of the time, I'm not quite sure whether he,s polite or mocks.
                     Happiness is what he gives along with all the shakes and shocks.

(Aunty goes back to playing the piano and Jo-jo starts dusting the shelves. He is about to dust
               the alcoves...)
Aunty:         No, no Jo-jo. I told you not to dust those shelves.

(Art pokes his head round the door.)
Art:            Good morning Aunty. Con will be down soon. He's going to mend your window
                sash. I haven't time this morning. Got an exam.

(Jo-jo goes up to Art and pretends to dust him.)
Art:                  (To Jo-jo) Get off. I wouldn't give that animal house room. He'll surely
                      cause a lot of mess and mischief.

(Jo-jo dusts Aunty. She laughs and continues playing the piano.)
Art:           Play my favourite, Aunty. The one when the villain makes his appearance.
(Aunty plays the traditional villain's music used in melodrama and old silent films.)
                       Did you always play the same music for the same situation, Aunty?


Aunty:                Invariably. It gave the audience the clue as to when to cheer and when to
                      boo.

(Jo-jo, having been told not to dust the alcoves, has been playing a game with
Aunty. When she is not looking, he runs up to the alcoves with his duster. When
she looks round, he runs.)
Aunty:                That's enough, Jo-jo. Dust the chairs.
Art:           Here's Con now.
Aunty:         Come in Con.
Con:           (Enters carrying a long ruler.) Good morning, Aunty.
Art:                  Well, I'm off now. Cheerio. (Art exit.)
Aunty:         Aren't you on night work, Con? Shouldn't you be sleeping?
Con:           I just want to measure for the sash cord so I know what to get later.
                                             4
(Jo-jo realising that Con is frightened of him starts to torment Con.)
Aunty:                Stop it, Jo-jo. We don't like it.
                      It's very good of you Con to bother with my window. Now that Spring is
                      coming I shall need to be able to open it. It's disgusting that Mr Beetle
                      doesn't do it. After all, it's his responsibility.
                      Yours must be a very hard job. Don't you get very tired?

(Jo-jo is still trying to torment Con, but more surreptitiously. He is making faces
at Con as he swings from the light cord.)
Con:                  (Occasionally having to dodge Jo-jo's feet) It's not the tiredness so much,
                      it's the worry that gets me down. I wish I could get out of this terrible place
                      but if I tried to move it would be a case of out of the frying pan into the
                      fire. I don't seem to be able to put a foot right. Whatever I do goes wrong so
                      I just stay put and keep mum.
Aunty:          You really shouldn't be so negative, Con.
                Stop it, Jo-jo. I'm not telling you again.
                After all you do a wonderful job at the hospital. I'm sure the patients like you.
Con:                  Some of them seem to.
Aunty.                 (Cheekily) And some of the nurses, I'll be bound.
Con:                  Well, as a ------ I've put all my eggs in one basket.
Aunty:                What does that mean?
Con:                  Never mind. I can't tell anyone. Nobody would understand.
Aunty:                Come, come, we weren't born yesterday. You do put yourself down. Now,
                      what about your lovely voice and those songs you write.

(Aunty begins to play Con's Love Song, which she has, obviously, played before.
Jo-jo quietens down and sits on top of the piano prepared to listen. He falls asleep
during the course of the song. Con sings.)




                                              5
                                   Con's Love Song.

                 The sky leaning to the rooves
                 Dims its blushes as it moves.
                 Golden streamers yearn and fade,
                 Passion quenched in a pall of shade;
                 But never mine.
                 Breezes and birds have gone away,
                 Sighless and soundless at close of day.
                 The last feather, the last leaf
                 Is touched to life then hushed in grief;
                 As ever mine.
                 A melancholy sweet old tune
                 Enters the silence of my room
                 Yearning, yearning through the gloom.
                 Yearning such as mine.
Aunty:            Lovely.
Con:              Thank you.
                  (He finishes the measuring.) Do you know if Mrs Swingler wants anything
                  done. (Embarrassed.) I mean I thought I'd ask while I was down here.
Aunty:            She'll be in later. I'll ask her. But, as you know, she's very independent.
Con:              So clever.
Aunty:            And practical.
Con:              Artistic.
Aunty:            Intellectual.
Con:              Sensitive.

(They both laugh. This is a game they have played before. This wakes Jo-jo who
joins in the laughing and then begins to clean the piano keys.)
Con:              There aren't many sensitive people about these days. (Enviously) You see
                  her every day.
Aunty:            Well, she only lives in the next room. But, yes, she is a particular friend of
                  mine.
Con:              You're lucky to have her as a friend. Well, of course, she's lucky to have
                  you as a friend. (Very embarrassed, suddenly with an effort.) Where is her
                                  husband?
Aunty:      Good Lord, I don't know. He must have deserted her years ago.-- Jo-jo, stop that
            noise; do it quietly.-- All I know is that she's not likely to make the same mistake
            again. She's pretty contemptuous of men, as far as I can see.
Con:              Really? All men?
Aunty:            Definitely.
Con:              I thought it was just me.

                                          6
Aunty:              There you go again, Con, putting yourself down. Thank you, Jo-jo. Don't
                    forget the candle holders and fretwork.


(Knock on the door) That's Sue now. Always on time. Come in, Sue.

(Sue Swingler enters and Jo-jo runs over to her and shows affection to her in a
mocking way.)
Aunty:              Now that's enough, Jo-jo. Stop behaving like a monkey.
Mrs Swingler:       Good morning, Aunty. Good morning, Mr Custard.
Con:                Don't worry, I'm just off.
Mrs Swingler:       Don't rush away on my account.
Aunty:              Con came to fix my window but he must get some rest.
                    He was just going anyway. Sleep well, Con.

(Con exit) (While Aunty and Sue Swingler are talking, Jo-jo is doing tricks with
the dusters. He puts them on his feet and skates round. Then dresses up in them
and does various imitations. Could be imitations of the 'pigs'. Mexican, Scottish,
Chinese, and African.)
Mrs Swingler:       You're playing as well as ever, Aunty.
Aunty:              I hope I didn't disturb you, sue.
Mrs Swingler:       No, it's nice to know there's some life in this terrible place, and to know
                    that you're as strong as ever, Aunty. You never change.
Aunty:              Coo! I must have been bloody ugly when I was young, then. Anyway, you
                    didn't know me when I was young. I had to be strong, playing matinees and
                    evening every day and dodging the orange peel and peanuts at the same
                    time.
Mrs Swingler:       What on earth is Jo-jo up to now?
Aunty:              Oh, leave him alone. He's only playing. He's really a very good monkey. I
                    don't know what I'd do without him. Look, he's cleaned up the whole room.
Mrs Swingler:       How on earth did you ever think of getting a monkey in the first place?
Aunty:              (Joking) Well, it was all your fault because you didn't come to the Zoo with
                    me this year. It was not my idea at all. It was Mr Beetle who persuaded me.
Mrs Swingler:       That sounds ominous; that man's up to no good.
                    I wouldn't agree to anything that he suggested.
Aunty:              There didn't seem to be any harm in it as far as I could see.
Mrs Swingler:       How did he persuade you?
Aunty:              Well, as you know, I went for our annual Zoo visit on my own this year as
                    you couldn't come. I met Mr Beetle and he wanted to buy a particularly
                    intelligent monkey -- Jo-jo, to be precise.

(Jo-jo preens himself and starts to show off. He takes Aunty's hands and strokes
                                            7
her and grooms her and does all kinds of chimp-like affectionate things as she tells
the story.)
                      The Zoo-keeper wouldn't part with Jo-jo, so Mr Beetle gave me some
                      money to see what would happen if I offered the man money. Just as an
                      experiment, Mr Beetle said. I did it for fun and I was allowed to have Jo-jo.
                      We were all three surprised.
(Jo-jo hugs and kisses Aunty.) See, he knows what I'm talking about.
                      Bless him.
Mrs Swingler:         There must be something in it for Mr Beetle. That man never does anything
                      without some gain for himself. You actually mean that Mr Beetle paid the
                      money and he lets you keep Jo-jo.
Aunty:                No, we have him turn and turn about.
(Jo-jo begins to cower and whimper as Aunty explains this.)
                      In actual fact, Mr Beetle hasn't had Jo-jo yet because, every time Mr Beetle
                      comes to collect him, Jo-jo runs off. I wouldn't mind having Jo-jo all the
                      time but it's only fair that Mr Beetle should have his turn. Jo-jo doesn't like
                      him.
Mrs Swingler:         Who does?
(Jo-jo goes off to hide.) Look at the way he treats Carla and bullies Mr Custard. He's so weak but
                       Mr Beetle shouldn't take advantage of that fact the way he does.
Aunty:                Poor Con. He's had a hard life. An orphan. No relations.
Mrs Swingler:         . . . or friends.
Aunty:                Don't blame him for that, Sue. He's had such a hell of a life; he has no
                      confidence in himself. He's always very kind and helpful to me.
Mrs Swingler:         He falls over himself to help me but that's not going to make me change my
                      mind about such an ineffectual person.
Aunty:                (Laughing.) Oh, you're hard, Sue. Where's Jo-jo?
                      What are you doing behind there, Jo-jo?

(Jo-jo comes out from behind the sofa and sits quietly beside Aunty allowing her
to stroke him. After a while, he forgets the fear that made him hide and starts doing
tricks again. Jumping from one piece of furniture to another using various objects
in the room for his impressions as Aunty and Sue Swingler continue their
conversation.)
Mrs Swingler:         Anyway, that's enough about poor Mr Custard. It's poor Carla I'm more
                      worried about. How can we help her?
Aunty:                She always says "Carla can cope."
Mrs Swingler:         But can she? I'm sure she can't be getting enough money to bring up five
                      children, even though two of them are almost able to fend for themselves.
                      Since her husband deserted her...
Aunty:                Husbands. She's been married twice.


                                              8
Mrs Swingler:        Twice! The woman's mad. After my husband disappeared, I'd never allow
                     another man to play the same trick twice.
Aunty:               (Sadly) All your children gone, too. All gone away. I never had any
                     children...
Mrs Swingler:        I should hope not; you were never married.
Aunty:               I was going to say, Susan, when you interrupted me, that it must be worse
                     for you having had so many children that you never see, than for me who
                     hadn't any.
Mrs Swingler:        And I'd like to point out to you, Aunty, that Jo-jo makes up for any family,
                     however large. What on earth is he doing now?
Aunty:               Bless him! He's a constant source of amusement.
Mrs Swingler:        (Doubtfully) Hm! Anyway, I can tell you, Aunty, I'm better off without my
                     lot. All boys, lacking in sentiment, expecting to be waited on. Four little
                     husbands I had there to add to the great baby I'd married.
Aunty:               Don't pretend you haven't any feelings for them, Sue. You write to them
                     often enough.
Mrs Swingler:        (With mock weariness)Saudi-Arabia, Hong Kong, Chicago, Adelaide, but
                     only because I'm an ardent philatelist.
Aunty:               How are your other interests coming along?
                     (Mockingly) How about the Anglo-Saxon?
Mrs Swingler:        (Seriously) I'm into the second term of the third year.
Aunty:               Jo-jo, come away from there. I don't want those pigs touched:
Mrs Swingler:        I think Carla is our main problem at the moment.
Aunty:               It's a good thing her Annie's such a sensible girl and earning a little. Her
                     other older one is...
Mrs Swingler:        . . . a boy. Not so reliable.
Aunty:               Sue, give the men a chance. Jo-jo, come down from there. Go into the
                     kitchen and do the washing up. He was no more trouble than most teenage
                     lads. He just couldn't get a job here so he had to...
Mrs Swingler: . . . get on his bike.
Aunty:               Jo-jo! Immediately.

(Jo-jo swings down from the ceiling, just misses Mrs Swingler's head with his feet.
Kisses Aunty effusively and dances into the kitchen from whence the sound of
crockery being stacked and broken is heard, as the conversation continues. There
is another lot of noise of a group of children excitedly climbing the stairs to
Aunty's room.)
Aunty:               You've got to admit that, as far as day-to-day activity is concerned, Carla
                     copes very well.
Mrs Swingler:        Yes, she certainly works all the hours God gave us but how does she
                     manage financially? That's them now.

                                             9
(A knock on the door. Before Aunty has a chance to say "Come in", Rob, Roy and
Rosa rush in with Carla panting behind them. Carla carries a bunch of snowdrops
and grape hyacinths which she arranges in a vase as she speaks.)
Rob:                  Where's Jo-jo?
Rosa:                 He's in the kitchen.

(The three children run into the kitchen from which direction even more noise is
heard with shouting and laughing.)
Carla:                I'm sorry, Aunty. They are naughty.
Carla:                (Going to the kitchen door) You be careful out there. Be good to Jo-jo.
                      (Turning to Aunty) They wouldn't harm him. They love him.
                      (As she starts arranging the flowers) Good morning, Mrs Swingler. How
                      are you both this morning?
Aunty:                Fine! Never felt better.


Mrs Swingler:         And you, Carla; are you coping?
(A crash from the kitchen, followed by silence. Carla runs into the kitchen.)
Aunty:                (Calmly) Jo-jo is inclined to break a few things.
(Carla drags the youngest, Roy, through the kitchen door, followed by the other two.)
Carla:                Now, you come in here where I can keep an eye on you.

(Carla continues to try to arrange the flowers as she holds on to Roy with the other
hand. The other children creep back to the kitchen door to watch Jo-jo as the
conversation of the women proceeds and Carla eventually forgets and releases
Roy.)
Rob:                  It wasn't me. It was Jo-jo.
Rosa:                 Tell tale.
Rob:                  He broke a cup.
Rosa:                 But he's clearing it up.
Aunty:                So how are you this morning, Carla?
Carla:                (With a grin) As bad as ever it could be, but Carla can cope.
                      Nice and bright in here. I see Jo-jo's been doing his stuff. These ornaments
                      are dusty. I understand you don't let him touch them.
Aunty:                Yes, those pigs are precious to me.

(When the children hear the pigs mentioned, they leave off trying to get to the
kitchen door and come towards Aunty.)
Rosa:                 They remind you of when you were a little girl, don't they, Aunty?
Rob:                  When you went all over the World with your Dad, didn't you, Aunty?
Rosa:                 Tell us again, Aunty.

                                                 10
(Roy gets up into Aunty's lap.) Aunty sings her Pigs' Story Song.
                                  Aunty's Pigs' Story song.

                     When dad brought this pig to me I was younger than Roy.
                     Mum said, "That pig from Mexico is no toy."
                     Put out of reach from me, but there for all to see,
                     its flashing sequins matched our joy.
                     I sat on a skirt spreading wide
                     in that rose-spattered shawl I was tied.
                     Held by an arm that was scrawny,
                     soothed by a hand that was tawny.
                     When Dad bought this pig of jade, so exquisitely made,
                     (she's old but will never fade)
                     suddenly I seemed to see a bridge by a willow tree
                     with leaves of silver filigree,
                     mountains striding the plain,
                     lanterns like jewels on a chain,
                     spicy the air with sweet smells,
                     sounding of gongs and bells.
                     When Dad brought this pig to me, I was younger than Rosy.
                     I remember feeling dozy
                     with the murmurs and soothing stroking,
                     the forest frogs croaking,
                     the fire spitting and smoking.
                     Black eyes above me twinkling,
                     the cooing and clucking and wrinkling.
                     Marimbas sweetly tinkling,
                     distant cow bells clinking.
                     The blue of the heathered hills remind me of Jock.
                     I see silvery rills purl through the ferns to the burn
                     and gushing from the rock white water meets the loch
                     settles like a wanderer who has long desired return.
                     But really I've never seen these places except in dream.
                     I won Jock at a fair.
                     Now I've told you again, so there!
                     _____________________________________________
(The children have been quiet during the song and, while the pigs are being
discussed, they are fascinated. But Jo-jo is heard making more noise than ever,
bashing a broom against the skirting, probably feeling jealous.)
Mrs Swingler.         That jade pig must be quite valuable.
Aunty:                Yes, maybe so. Mr Beetle always casts an eye over that one when he comes
                      in here.
Mrs Swingler:         You wouldn't ever sell that jade one to Mr Beetle, would you?
Aunty:                I wouldn't sell any of them; least of all to Mr Beetle.


                                              11
Mrs Swingler:          It only occurred to me that, if he can't get Jo-jo, he might try to do a swap.
                       There's got to be some explanation for him buying Jo-jo.

(As Jo-jo's name is mentioned, the children sidle out to the kitchen again, where
soon the sound
of them having a noisy game with Jo-jo is heard.) (Carla starts to dust the Pig
ornaments carefully.)
Aunty:                 Heavens! I shall have to make sure he does get Jo-jo next time he calls for
                       him. I've just remembered he's coming this morning. I mustn't let Jo-jo
                       know or he'll be up on the roof again like last time. Art said he'd go through
                       the skylight in his attic to get Jo-jo as he'd often been out there before, but I
                       thought that was too dangerous and besides, if Mr Beetle knew that Art
                       made a practice of going out on the roof, Mr Beetle might throw him out
                       altogether. Mr Beetle doesn't like Art.
Carla:                 He doesn't like any of us. (Giggling.) Though he used to be after me all
                       the time when I first came here. Didn't give me a moment's peace. It was so
                       obvious that Mrs Beetle tackled me about it, more than once. I told her I
                       wasn't in the least bit interested.
                       My God! She was furious. I'd insulted her husband.
Mrs Swingler:          Exactly what happened to me. I had to lock my door. I hated to meet him
                       on the stairs. At last, I summoned up the courage to tell him what I thought
                       of him. His wife overheard and was furious that I had the cheek to reject
                       her husband.
Aunty:                 She's a strange woman. Follows him around just like her own pet poodle.
Carla:                 Can't trust him out of her sight.
(It goes suddenly quiet in the kitchen.)
                       Mind you, I've got to feel sorry for her, married to him and with my lot
                       living just above. I try to keep them quiet... My God! It's gone quiet out
                       there.

(Carla runs into the kitchen. She drags Roy and Rosa back into the room, pushing
Rob ahead of her with her knee.)
                       How often have I told you not to lean out of top windows?

(Carla gives the two eldest a good shaking.)
                      It's dangerous, dangerous, dangerous.
                      They were hanging out of the window watching Jo-jo doing tricks down the
                      drain-pipe.
                       I'd better take this gang away before they get into any more mischief. Do
                       you want anything from the shops, Aunty?
Aunty:                 No, thanks, Carla. I got it all yesterday. Thanks for the flowers. they're
                       lovely.
                       You can take the empty Guinness bottles to the bottle bank. I'll just get
                       them.

                                               12
(Exit Aunty to kitchen where she shouts) Oh bless him. Come and see him. He's done all the
                       washing up and is now polishing the taps. Getting the place a bit wet at the
                       same time. You don't need the water running all the while, Jo-jo!
(The children and Carla go to the kitchen door to watch and laugh at Jo-jo.)
Carla:                   Well, come on kids. We must get to the shops. God! Is that the time? I've
                         got to get down to clean Mr Beetle's rooms at 11.30. Must rush.
Aunty:                   It really isn't right, the way he makes you work.
(The children, seeing that the adults have started talking again, sidle out to the kitchen where
                      they can be heard laughing.)
                      I'm sure you do more work than is warranted by the amount of rent you
                      can't pay.
Mrs Swingler:            Have you worked out the hours, Carla? Aunty might be right.
Carla:                   Aunty is right. I have worked it out and he's getting a bargain. I do
                         everything for the beetles now but I don't want to be thrown out on the
                         streets with four kids.
Mrs Swingler:            Surely the Council could house you?
Carla:                   Not while I've got a roof over my head. I'm not chancing what happened
                         when my first marriage broke up. I ended up in a hostel with my Peter and
                         Annie when they were little. No more of that, thanks.
Mrs Swingler:            I'm sure you could get a job anywhere. You're so capable.
Carla:                   That's a laugh. My Peter's very capable and passed a course as a motor
                         mechanic but hasn't got a job yet, and look at my clever Annie.
(Another loud crash from the kitchen) Ow, where are those kids now?

(Carla goes into the kitchen and drags them all out again including Jo-jo.)
Carla:                   Now say 'goodbye' to Jo-jo. You can see him another day.
Aunty:                   (To Jo-jo) Finished now, Jo-jo. Why don't you have a nice rest now?

(There is a battering on the door.)
Aunty:                   I know that knock. He sounds a bit excited.
                         Come in Jock.
(Enter Jock, angrily.)
Jock:                    Sorry, Aunty. I'm after Carla.
Carla:                   What's the matter with you, Po-face?
Jock:                    How on earth can I wash my socks with all the washing up left in the sink?

(At the entrance of Jock Jo-jo and the children have become quiet. The children
have sat on chairs looking meek and Jo-jo has curled up on his cushion on the
floor making himself small.)
Carla:                   Don't I get enough trouble with you downstairs without you following me
                         up here? Anyway, I thought you'd gone to work. Why don't you stick to the

                                                13
                       kitchen rota instead of hanging about the kitchen when I'm using it? I'll be
                       down immediately.
Jock:                  Can't wait. Got to get to work. Late already.
Mrs Swingler:          Wouldn't have hurt you to have done the washing up for Carla. Could have
                       done it in the time it took you to come up and complain.
Carla:                 No he couldn't. It's loads; five of us you know. Jock hasn't got time for that.
(Meanwhile the children, first the youngest Roy, have gone to Jock and are looking up at him.)
Carla:                 Leave Mr McGonagle alone. He hasn't anything for you.

(Jock gives a sweet each to the children from his pockets. It is clear he has done
this before. Jo-jo approaches and also gets a sweet.)
Carla:                 I really did think you'd gone to work already and it was my time for the
                       kitchen.
Jock:                  (Calming down) Well, I should be at work already.
                       Must go.
(Jock exit: Carla calls after him.)
Carla:                 Leave the socks. I'll do them.

(As soon as Jock goes, the children want to play with Jo-jo again but Jo-jo wants
to sleep. He beats them off which starts a rough-and-tumble.)
Mrs Swingler:          You do spoil him, Carla. It must be hell sharing a kitchen with that man.
Carla:                 (With obvious innuendo) Not always.
Mrs Swingler:          Really, Carla, you're incorrigible! For goodness' sake don't make the same
                       mistake again, and not with that old misery.
Carla:                 He's not always a misery. Anyway, am I likely to make the same mistake
                       again? I ask you!
Mrs Swingler:          I hope not. You're in enough trouble as it is. Don't be too trusting.
Aunty:                 Susan. Do stop lecturing. Carla's life is her own.
Carla:                 Well, I really must get cracking. Come on, kids. I mean it this time; stop
                       pestering Jo-jo.

(Exeunt Carla and the children.)
Mrs Swingler:          I bet she has a terrible time with that man. He's a brute.
Aunty:                 Sharing a kitchen isn't a good idea.
Mrs Swingler:          You'd never believe a man like that had a very good job in electronics and
                       earns a fair wage. He's too mean to get better accommodation and too lazy
                       to move.

(A great deal of noise is heard on the stairs outside: a number of people are coming
up the stairs and shouting to each other.)
Mr Beetle:      (From outside) Come on up, Jock. It won't take long with all of us.

                                               14
Jock:         (From outside, angrily) I told you I'm late for work. Can't you take no for an
              answer? Damn you.
(Jo-jo, hearing all the noise, has run away into Aunty's bedroom.)
Aunty:              The fool! He's come for Jo-jo. Making all that noise Jo-jo has run away
                    again. He'll be lucky if he catches him.

(It's the children who have been making most of the noise in a purposeful attempt
to warn Jo-jo. They burst into the room yelling "Jo-jo", etc. They then proceed for
the rest of this scene to impede the capture of Jo-jo in every way they can, like
blocking and tripping people up and pointing where Jo-jo isn't, etc., at the same
time making the pretence of trying to get Jo-jo.)
(Mr Beetle comes in, followed by Mrs Beetle, who stands around doing nothing.
Carla comes back and Con in his striped pyjamas. They try to help.)
(Jo-jo, routed from the bedroom, is seen several times swinging across the ceiling,
in and out of doors and through windows, while everyone rushes hither and
thither. )
Mrs Beetle:         Oh bas, what you want a monkey for anyway?
Mr Beetle:    Stop whining woman and help get him.
              (To Aunty) Stupid woman. Why didn't you tie him up.
              (To Con) Come on, Chocolate Sauce, you try the kitchen. Bertha and Carla, into
              the bedroom.

                                        The chase.
                   Catch that monkey; catch that Jo-jo.
                   Don't let him escape.
                   After him, after him:
                   Don't just stand and gape.
                   _________________________________

(Everyone keeps repeating this while the action progresses and until the curtain
falls.)



                                     Act 1, Scene 2.

Mr Beetle's workroom and office in the basement.
(Jo-jo is discovered cleaning out a great pot like a cauldron.)
Jo-jo:              (Sings)




                                           15
                                      Jo-jo's song

                 He's caught me at last, and life is a hell.
                 I work like a slave and sleep in a cell.
                 I hold his great book while he casts a spell.
                     (Refrain): I wish I could go back to Aunty,
                                      she's the one for me.
                 I scour out this cauldron, 'twould make a saint weep.
                 I get right inside because it's so deep,
                 then I can't get out because it's so steep.
                 I go to the graveyard from where I hear groans,
                 I'm made to get beetles from under great stones,
                 and bats from the belfry and all those old bones.
                 Stewing up frog's legs makes me feel sick.
                 I have to work hard and be very quick.
                 If I don't do it right, he gives me a kick.
                 The spiders make webs as fast a I sweep.
                 I thought when it's dark away I would creep,
                 but he keeps one eye open when he's asleep.
                 ___________________________________

(Mr Beetle enters followed by Mrs Beetle.)
Mr Beetle:        For God's sake woman, stop following me around.
                  I've got work to do.
Mrs Beetle:       Where's Annie blossom?
Mr Beetle:        How the hell should I know.
Mrs Beetle:       I know there's someone in here. I'm not deaf.
                  What's that noise?

(She goes over to the cauldron from which the noise comes and Jo-jo pokes his
head out. She falls back screaming with fright. Mr Beetle laughs.)
Mrs Beetle:       What is it? What is it?! That stupid monkey. What d'yer want to keep that
                  thing for?


Mr Beetle:        Mind yer own business. I know what I'm about.
Mrs Beetle:       Are you sure Annie's not here?
Mr Beetle:        She's at work, isn't she, stupid?
Mrs Beetle:       It's not fair that a silly young thing like that should have a posh job at Major
                  Modes, as soon as she starts out.
Mr Beetle:        She won't keep the job. It's only a Yops scheme.
Mrs Beetle:       They should have chosen someone really smart who understands about
                  fashion.


                                          16
Mr Beetle:         (Sarcastically) Like you.
Mrs Beetle:        I could hold down a job like that.
Mr Beetle          My God woman! That'll be the day when you do any work. You've never
                   done a stroke ever since I've known you.
Mrs Beetle:         Well, neither have you.
Mr Beetle:         You stupid old bag. You don't know half the things I'm into. I keep you in
                   gin and glitter. Now off. I've got things to do.
Mrs Beetle:        Does Annie get paid for those dresses she makes?
Mr Beetle:         How should I know.
Mrs Beetle:        You should make it your business to know. Because, if she does then Mrs
                   Blossom must have enough money to pay the rent instead of squandering it
                   on Annie's dance dresses.

(Mr Beetle is getting on with his accounts in a very large book that looks like a
Wizard's book of spells. He is not attending to Mrs Beetle and answers her
abstractedly. Meanwhile, Jo-jo is still polishing pots.)
Mr Beetle:         She gets remnants from the firm.
Mrs Beetle:        So you do know. When did she tell you that? Why are you so interested in
                   Annie and Annie's dresses. You can't fool me. Look how you were with
                   Mrs Blossom and Mrs Swingler. Women old enough to be your mother.
                   But you don't care as long as you can get it for nothing. So you want a
                   young bit of fluff now.

(As she is saying all this, Mr Beetle is gratified by her jealousy but he roughly
pushes her out through the door and locks it. Mrs Beetle beats on the door.)
Mrs Beetle:        Let me in, let me in! You haven't heard the last of this.
Mr Beetle:         Go away woman, or I'll beat you to a pulp.

(Obviously, no idle threat, Mrs Beetle is heard going up the stairs.) (Mr Beetle
starts casting his accounts in a big book and sings his Accounts Song.)




                                           17
                                 Mr Beetle's Accounts song.

                     One and one, a trifling sum
                     add it to a tenner.
                     Two and two, that'll do.
                     I think I have a winner.
                       Faster, faster Jo-jo, silly little ape.
                       Orange peel will do for you if you stay awake.
                     Three and three, my sums agree
                     add it to a fifty.
                     Four and four, wish it were more
                     but it's pretty nifty.
                       Faster, faster Jo-jo, you've got to earn your keep.
                       Pips and peel and apple core if you don't fall asleep.
                     Five and five, look alive
                     add it to one hundred. Six and six, what a fix
                     yet I haven't foundered.
                         If, by dint of fiddling, I can make it middling.
                         Fit to pass the acid test of the taxman's meddling.
                     Nine pounds and nine,
                     throw us a line.
                     I'll add it to a million.
                     Ten pounds and ten. Oh start again.
                     I never will ride pillion.
                       If, by dint of fiddling, I can make it middling.
                       Fit to pass the acid test of the taxman's meddling.
Mr Beetle:            (To Jo-jo) Now you. Come here. It's work time. Real work.

(Mr Beetle ties a long rope onto Jo-jo)
                       This should do the trick.

(He pulls Jo-jo to the window.). Come on up the drain-pipe.
(Mr Beetle has his head out of the window watching Jo-jo.)
                      Higher, higher, I want to see if it'll reach the roof. Up, up, high as you can.
                      Not quite long enough. Jump onto that lamp-post from the window sill. A-
                      ha! The skylight's open. Go into Con's room. Don't wake the silly bugger. I
                      don't want him to know what we're doing. Go along the roof. Get down the
                      chimney; too small. Try. Go on, try.
(Mr Beetle drags on the rope.) No, come back, come back. I don't want you stuck in the chimney
                     and soot all over the place.

(Mr Beetle drags Jo-jo in forcibly.)
                      We'll have another go tonight when it's dark. Get on with the potato
                      mashing for the still.

(Jo-jo starts mashing potatoes with a hand-press. A timid knock on the door.)
                                              18
Mr Beetle:         Come in.
Con:               I can't. The door's locked.

(Mr Beetle indicates to Jo-jo to open the door which Jo-jo does.)
Con:               (Entering timidly) I'm sorry to bother you, Mr Beetle, but there's still
                   someone getting into my room. I see things moved about. It doesn't just
                   happen at night when I'm at work but even in the daytime when I'm in my
                   room.
Mr Beetle:         Aren't there enough fools in this house to keep an eye on your room
                   without keep whining to me?
Con:               Nobody sees the person.
Mr Beetle:         (Delighted to be able to frighten Con) A ghost!
Con:               N-n-no, of course n-not.
Mr Beetle          Overwrought imagination. You need to get more sleep. Go to bed earlier.
                   (Laughs at what he considers to be a joke..)
                   You haven't had anything pinched have you?
Con:               Not yet.
Mr Beetle:         See: imagination.

(Mr Beetle waves Con towards the door.)
(As Con reaches the door, he turns and says)
Con:               Maybe I should tell the police.

(Mr Beetle leaps up and goes across to Con.)
Mr Beetle:         Don't do that. They don't want to know about your schizophrenia. See a
                   Doctor. Go on Chocolate Sauce; off you go and don't bother me about such
                   stupidity again.

(Exit Con.)
Mr Beetle:         (Cuffs Jo-jo, who cowers.) Stupid animal. I told you not to touch anything
                   yet. Not until I tell you to. You do exactly what I tell you or you'll get more
                   than a cuff round the ears.
                   (Talking to himself:) But, next time you go up there, you could move a few
                   things around. That'll frighten the poor little sod something shocking. He's
                   halfway to madness already. It wouldn't take much to push him right in.
                   So, leave that job and come here. Go outside this door and come through
                   that air-vent in the cupboard outside, then open the door for me from in
                   here. Later we'll try doing it from the air vents in the cupboards in the
                   passages upstairs. See how many rooms we can get into when the doors are
                   bolted.

(As he is talking, he gets Jo-jo to follow his instructions.)
Mr Beetle:         A-ha, this should come in useful. I bet none of then have thought of this
                   one before. Once I get it really working, I'm made.
                                           19
(The scene fades as Jo-jo is following these instructions.)
(The same scene appears some time later and the tenants come into the room and
sing their verses of the Tenants' Song, to Mr Beetle - who doesn't care until Jock
comes in.)




Mrs Swingler:
                  Coming home from my class last night, the street was dark and still.
                  Very spooky, suddenly, from a window sill,
                  a thing grasped the lamp-post and, as it swung out wider,
                  it came straight for me, just like a giant spider.
                  I thought I'd have my head knocked off so I couldn't a move my feet;
                  and all the time 'twas Jo-jo and he kept me in the street.
Art:
                  Don't like patterns on my wall. I prefer them plain,
                  white and pure with pastel shades all without a stain.
                  Picture my vexation when arriving home last night,
                  I was greeted in the doorway by a most unwelcome sight
                  the room was patterned everywhere with paw marks end to end.
                  Please return that monkey for I'm going round the bend.
Annie:
                  I was off to a dance last night and went to find my dress.
                  I opened up my wardrobe and: heavens, what a mess.
                  Everything was muddled up and then from out the jumble,
                  Jo-jo in my blue chiffon with a bow, a skip, a tumble,
                  came and danced around me as if to make the claim
                  that, if I thought of dancing, then he could do the same.
All three:
                  (Refrain): That monkey of yours, that Jo-jo:
                                          we insist he leaves this house.
Con:
                  I live in the top floor flat, enjoy the panorama.
                  When the sky is clear and bright I feel I've reached Nirvana.
                  I do not switch the light on when the Sun begins to sink,
                  just a little music I quietly sit and think.
                  Imagine my disgust when, blocking out the view,
                  that monkey's face, a sheer disgrace; and he belongs to you.
Carla:




                                          20
                  I grow tomatoes in my window box.
                  There they ripen on the sill with the drying socks
                  just as I put my hand out to gather in our tea,
                  three tomatoes and a lettuce escaped away from me.
                  A horrible black tail came down and scooped them up on high.
                  Please get rid of Jo-jo; we'll starve and then we'll die.
All five:
                  (Refrain)
                         --
(Jock enters in a fury, and Mr Beetle is afraid.)



Jock:
                  Beetle, if you weren't so small, I'd surely knock you flat.
                  I'd smash all your windows, stamp on your Sunday hat.
                  This is the limit, this the end. Now I've got a flood.
                  And yes, it's Jo-jo's doing. I'm after Jo-jo's blood.
                  There he was, grinning at me and sitting in my sink,
                  with water splashing down and filling to the brink.

(Jo-jo, wet through, has come in during the course of this song.)
All six:
                  (Refrain):
                  _____________________________________________
Jock:              Ah, there he is. You're going back to where you belong.

(Jock darts to grab Jo-jo but Jo-jo leaps into his arms, pleased to be going away
from Mr Beetle. He clings to Jock, kissing him.)
(Scene blacks out.)


                                    Act 1, Scene 3.

The Monkey House at the Zoo.
(The monkeys dance and sing their song welcoming Jo-jo home.)
                  Hooray! He's home once more.
                  Jo-jo, welcome back.
                  Life became a bore.
                  Our keeper grew quite slack
                  when you went away,
                  so, Jo-jo, now please stay.
(End Act with Monkeys' dance.)

                                           21
___________________________________________

                                     Act 2, Scene 1.

[Below: Scene 2]

The four alcoves in Aunty's room much enlarged, so that the pig ornaments are
now life-sized.
                          (Each pig sings its individual song.)

                                         Pigs' songs

Carmen:
                   I stand apart and wonder, where's the heart
                   could boom - a boom for me in warm and kindly sympathy.
                   I'd like a throng
                   of pigs to come along
                   and join me in my song.
                   Where can those piglets be?
                   (Refrain): Where, oh where can those piglets be?
                               They're the piggy pals for me.


Kosi:
                   In this hut,
                   day after day in despair,
                   nobody near me to care.
                   I am shut.
                   Here alone, I moan.
                   I'm in a rut.
                   Heart like a stone.
Spider's chorus:
                   Oh, we can't have that
                   Find a little piggy pal for him.
Wing Hoo:
                   This recess suits me more or less
                    but I'm velee miselable, velee sad.
                   In this niche I'd be velee rich
                   with another pig to share it I'd be glad.
                   Really I could be quite jolly,
                   Might commit a little folly.
                   Happiness without an end
                   with another pig for friend.
Jock:



                                               22
                 Och ay! I'm single but I'd mingle
                 if I only had the chance.
                 Extend a trotter, have a totter
                 with any wee pig who cared to dance.
                 But yet I do nothing but mutter and yawn.
                 can't even make plans when I'm feeling forlorn.
                 I wadna feel bitter if born in a litter
                 but now I just wish that I never was born.
_________________________________________

(Throughout this scene, Aunty's voice is heard off stage through a megaphone.)
Aunty:              Spring cleaning time once more. How the year does fly.

(Two beetles and two spiders run across the stage with a large broom following,
which they have to keep dodging...)
Archie Spider:      Oh, Lord! she's at it again. Does that woman never rest.
Aggie Spider:       Such a lovely home we had too behind the sofa with all that lovely fluff
                    and that bit of tinsel left over from last Christmas.
Archie Spider:      Never mind, Aggie. I know another place almost as good behind the
                    dresser. Come, hurry, before anyone else grabs it.

(Spiders exeunt.)
Bertha Beetle:      Did you hear that, Basil? They've found a place. If we hurry, we might get
                    there first.
Basil Beetle:       (Just dodging the broom) Damn the woman, she nearly got me that time.
Bertha Beetle:      (Whining) Come on, Basil, hurry up or we'll lose it.
Basil Beetle:       Stop whining. Can't you see I'm cornered.
Bertha Beetle:      Run underneath, coward.

(The broom comes in Bertha's direction.)
                    Ouch! That was a near thing. I can't get past. She's after me.
Basil Beetle:       Serves you right for being so clever. "Run underneath," indeed.
Bertha Beetle:      Save me, Basil. Help!
Basil Beetle:       Save you? You must be joking. I'm not coming anywhere near that thing.
                    I'm off.

(The broom drives both the beetles into a corner where they cower. The broom
leaves the scene and the beetles unscathed. Dust Motes drift in as the beetles
scamper out.)
                                     dust motes' dance

                                                  *******
Aunty:              I'll put the pigs on the table while I dust the shelf.

                                             23
(Blackout. When light comes back the four Pigs are on the table. The beetles peer
round the edge of stage.)
Bertha Beetle:      Has that thing gone now, Basil? Can we come out?
Basil Beetle:       Open your eyes and look for yourself, coward.

(Enter beetles.)
Basil Beetle:       (Looking at Pigs on the table) Here, what are those things on the table?
Bertha Beetle.      (Frightened) Oh, Basil, what is it now?
Basil Beetle:       No need to be scared. They're as frightened as you are.
Bertha Beetle:      What; those great creatures frightened of little me?
Basil Beetle:        They're not frightened of you, big head. They don't like each other. Come
                    on, let's cast our spell. That'll get 'em really worked up.

(The beetles circle round the pigs as they sing this.)
                                        beetles' song

                   We are the crew, creepy crawly crew.
                   Our captain's a bug from under the rug.
                   we'll follow his whim, whatever the sin.
                   We don't care what we do.
                   We are the louts, that crawl from water spouts.
                   Crafty and cruel, obeying no rule
                   and we don't care for you.
                   We can wangle you to wrangle
                   and get you in an awful tangle.


(The spell works and the Pigs eye each other fearfully.)


                                         Pigs' songs

Carmen (the Mexican pig looking at Su Wing Hoo):
                   What can it be?
                   It stands and stares at me.
                   Its skin is glossy green,
                   such as I've never seen.
                   Its eyes look mild, but yet, it could be wild.
                   Show no alarm
                   but keep away from harm.
                   Pretend to be quite calm
                   but keep away from harm.
Kosi:



                                            24
                      Filled with dread.
                      Torn from my home and put here.
                      Nobody near me to care
                      I can see what I fear.
                      I groan. Peace has flown
                      like a stone, I'll lie as dead.
Wing Hoo:
                      What is this?
                      Something is amiss.
                      As I look from side to side I can see;
                      a great beast here, a great beast there.
                      The space between us is not wide.
                      Can I flee?
Jock:
                      Now I shiver.
                      Now I quiver.
                      I am filled with great mistrust.
                      I'm suspicious,
                      feeling vicious.
                      I will fight them all, if I must.
                      But yet they do nothing but shudder and stare.
                      While I can do nothing but judder and glare.
                      I'd take them all on if they'd only dare,
                      but three against one in hardly fair.
(The beetles sing their spell song again. As they do so, Su Wing Hoo is so afraid of
Carmen that she runs away, falls over the prone body of Kosi, who jumps up
thinking he is attacked. Su Wing Hoo is catapulted into Jock, who attacks her.
Meanwhile Kosi, thinking that Carmen is his attacker, lays into her, and she gives
as good as she gets. The beetles are delighted. The Pigs' fight involves all of them
attacking all the others. The beetles continue circling and singing till the pigs are
exhausted and fall down. Only Jock is left standing, but hurt.)
(Enter spiders.)
Archie Spider: I tell you, Aggie, this is a bit dangerous to come out here just for a bit of tinsel.
Aggie Spider:          She's stopped for the moment. It was so pretty and I miss it.
Archie Spider:         It's coming back; I can hear it.

(The broom appears again.)
                       Hurry, Aggie. Stick with me. I'll see you through.

(The beetles cower in a corner but the broom goes out again.) (The beetles come
back for another look at the pigs.)
Bertha Beetle:         I say, Basil. They've really made a mess of each other. Don't they look a
                       sight.


                                                25
Basil Beetle:      It was a jolly good fight. I like nothing better than a jolly good fight.

(They spar up to each other in a mock fight -- which becomes real and vicious.
They are so engrossed that they don't notice the broom coming back, and they are
swept into a corner, dead.)

                                    Dust motes' dance

                                           *******

Aunty:             My, those pigs look different. They look as if they've been in a fight. Now,
                   don't fight piggy-wigs. Now you are all together, you could have a pig's
                   peace Conference. Jaw jaw is better than war war, you know.
Jock:              She didn't notice that the paint has been knocked off my snout.
Carmen:            (Rising slowly and painfully) She didn't see my stuffing coming out.
Kosi:              (Rising) . . . or that I've got as deep scratch on my flank.
Su Wing Hoo:       (Rising) . . . or that my ear is broken.
                   I wonder whether we could attract her attention when she comes back.
Carmen:            But how? It's against tradition to leap around when humans are about.
Kosi:              Maybe we could all grunt together?
Jock:              That would surely surprise her into noticing something is wrong.

(Enter spiders carrying a length of tinsel between them. They run across the stage
and out.)
Aggie:             Well, at least we got it.
Archie:            Don't talk now. Hurry, hurry. That damn thing's coming again.

(Enter broom and exit.)
                                    Dust Motes Dance


(At the end of the dance the pigs all grunt together.)
Aunty:             That's strange. I could have sworn I heard those pigs grunting. Let's have a
                   look at them. I seem to remember they were lying down last time I saw
                   them now they're standing up again.




                                           26
                                      aunty's Pig song

                    Goodness me, what do I see?
                    The pigs are all askew.
                    They're all broken, bashed and torn.
                    I'll see what I can do.
                    Has someone nasty been around
                    or have they had a fight?
                    My gorgeous Carmen, pretty Sue,
                    you really look a fright.
                    I'll get some thread of your poor head
                    and where's the pot of glue?
                    Will plastic wood make Kosi good
                    and, Jock, some paint for you.
Aunty.               I'll put the pigs back and go and find the paint and glue and everything.

(Pigs struggling as if stuck to table.)
                     Why, I do declare, these pigs refuse to move. How extraordinary. Ah, bless
                     them, they want to stay together. They must have taken me seriously about
                     the Pig's Peace Conference. I'll put them all together when I put them back.
                     But I must put up the curtains first. I wish Jo-jo was here to help.

(Enter spiders)
Archie.              That tinsel was too heavy but have it you would.
Aggie.               Oh, Arch! It looks so lovely. It makes the new place look like home.

(Spiders dance and sing to the tune of "The Hokey Cokey".)
                                       spider's dance

                    You put your first leg up.
                    You put your second leg down.
                    Third leg left and you shake it all about.
                    You do the spider's crawl
                    and you make the punters scream.
                    that's what it's all about.
                    (Refrain): All do the screamy bawly.
                               All do the screamy bawly.
                               All climbing up the wally.
                               That's what it's all about.
                    You make the fourth leg shake.
                    You make the fifth leg twirl.
                    Sixth leg tap and you make the punters whirl.
                    You carry on tap dancing till you've got them into fits
                    using seven and eight, you do the splits.
(Chorus: Pigs and Spiders. )
Aggie:               Now Pigs, it's your turn.


                                            27
(Pigs sing the songs they sang at the beginning of the scene but with different
words and feelings.)
                                       Pigs' songs.

        PIGS' CELEBRATION
Kosi:
                  This is fine.
                  Now that our warfare has ceased,
                  we'll have a dance, hold a feast.
                      (Refrain) Oh, we do like that: a little piggy pal for him.
Wing Hoo:
                  Oh what fun 'tis for everyone
                  all together on this table, full of glee.
                  Not aloof, for the tluth
                  is that all of us are able to aglee.
                       (Refrain):Really she could be quite jolly,
                     Might commit a little folly.
                     Happiness without an end
                     With another pig for friend.

(Spiders dance tango as Carmen sings.)
Carmen:
                  so now a throng of pigs has come along
                  to join me in my song.
                  They are the pigs for me.
                  At last I've found the heart
                  to be a happy part
                  of this community
                  of warmth and kindly sympathy.
                  They are the piggy pals for me.
Jock:




                                           28
                      We are merry, very merry
                      now that we have got the chance.
                      extend a trotter
                      have a totter
                      with any wee pig that cares to dance.
                      For now we'll dance jigs, and now we'll dance reels,
                      our trotters so nimble,
                      so stirring our squeals.
                      We'll grunt all together
                      and dance hell for leather
                      for that is how everyone of us feels.

                                            Finale dance.

         Pigs, Spiders and Dust Motes.

(Dance interrupted by crash and scream from Aunty. Blackout.)

                                         Act 2, Scene 2.

Aunty's living room.
(Annie sings a song as she sorts and folds some laundry.
Annie:
                      This needs ironing, that does not, that looks rather grey,
                      a button here, a stitch or two and that can go away.
                      I must rush and catch my bus before it gets too late.
                      There's work till six, then dancing class, all this will have to wait.
                      That monkey of ours, that Jo-jo, he seemed to have the knack
                      of doing things so cleverly, I'd like to have him back.
                          (Refrain) That monkey of ours, that Jo-jo I'd like to have him home.
                      ____________________________________

(Art enters)
Annie.                 Have you found it yet?
Art.                   No, but I'm sure it's around somewhere.
Annie.                 But where?
Art.                   Still in his room, I'd think.
Annie.                 You didn't go in there?
Art.                   Yep.
Annie.                 Oh, do be careful.
Art.                   Don't worry, I've got a super excuse. I'm painting a portrait of Mrs Beetle's
                       poodle.
Annie.                 Clever!

                                                 29
Art.               But even more clever. I found this.

(Art holds up a brooch.)
Annie.             Why, that's mine. It's been missing since...
Art.               Since the day that Jo-jo annoyed us all and got taken back to the Zoo.
Annie.             More's the pity. Aunty misses him so terribly. I'm sure she'd recover more
                   quickly if she had Jo-jo with her.
Art.               Well, I found this in his room but I'd like to keep it a bit longer for a special
                   purpose. I mean to catch him with it.
Annie.             That's okay. How?
Art.               I shall need Mrs Swingler's co-operation. Everyone takes notice of her; so I
                   want her in his room when I suddenly discovered this brooch. You can be a
                   witness too if you can find an excuse to be down there too.
Annie.             Only too easy, I'm afraid.
Art.               Oh God! He's not up to his old tricks with you?
Annie.             Unfortunately, yes.
Art.               What does your mum say about it?
Annie.             Good lord! I haven't told her. She'd be worried stiff. She's got enough
                   worries as it is.
Art.               Well, you be careful.
Annie.             I'm not stupid.
Art.               Neither is he. Look out for yourself. But I haven't told you everything yet.
                   Come up on my landing and you'll see how Jo-jo got into our rooms.
Annie.             I can't come now. I've got to work and I just want to put some of this away
                   for Aunty.
Art.               Ah yes! How is Aunty this morning?
Annie.             Not well at all. She's very weak.
Art.               That was a very bad fall for an old lady to sustain. I only hope she recovers.
Annie.             I think she will, she's got so much spirit but it'll probably take some time.
Art.               I know the thing that would put her well on the way to recovery.... Jo-jo!
Annie.             Art, you don't listen. That's what I said to you just now.
Art.               Well, I agree, not that I approve of a monkey round the place, too much
                   mess. Where's that duster? I better start on my job before I have to get off
                   to the poly.
Annie.             Look, Art, as you're so clever at solving mysteries, there are some funny
                   marks on the table again this morning.

(Art carelessly rubs them out and starts to dust the shelves.)
Annie.             But, Art, you've rubbed out evidence.

                                           30
Art.                  I've seen it before; it doesn't mean anything. Just some careless person spilt
                      a bit of sugar. It was jam yesterday and salad cream the day before. Some
                      people are just messy.
Annie.                Art, it looked like it said something. You shouldn't have been so quick with
                      the duster. I'm sure it looked like writing.
Art.                  It's a kind of hieroglyphics I don't understand.
Annie.                It's always in the same place and makes a pattern.
Art.                  I know, I know, and gets bigger every day.
Annie.                I haven't time to spend arguing with you.
                      I'm off. I won't say cheerio to Aunty. I think she's asleep.

(Art sings his song as he does the dusting.)
                     Art:
                     dusting here and dusting there and dusting all the day.
                     Till gewgaw, knick knack, bric-a-brac are dusted clean away.
                     The pigs are washed behind the ears with polished trotters bright.
                     When Aunty's well and comes in here, she'll gasp with sheer delight.
                     can't stop now, I've got to rush, other things to do.
                     I wish that Jo-jo could come home, he'd clean the ceiling too.
                              _______________________________

(Enter Jock.)
Art.                  Good morning, Mr McGonagle.

(Jock just grunts and looks at a broken ladder. He has brought hammer and nails
with him and begins banging.)
Art.                  Please, Mr McGonagle, excuse me but I believe Aunty was trying to sleep.
Jock.           You just get on with your job laddie and let me get on with mine.

(However, he picks up the ladder and carries it out. As he does so, he knocks a pile
of books out of the arms of Mrs Swingler who is just entering.)
Jock.                 Can't you look where you are going, barging in like that? (Exit)

(Art helps Mrs Swingler pick up the books.)
Art.                  Mrs Swingler! Just the person I wanted to see. I wanted your help in a plan
                      I've got to trap Mr Beetle. If I can prove that it was he that got Jo-jo to get
                      into our rooms and steal things...

(Mrs Swingler doesn't take Art seriously and interrupts.)
Mrs Swingler.         Yes, very interesting but I can't stop now. I've got to get Aunty's breakfast
                      and get to the shops, before I take the little Blossoms to the Zoo.
Art.                  But don't you see Mrs Swingler; we'd have a hold over him then?

(Mrs Swingler ignoring him goes into kitchen.)
                                              31
Art.               (Angrily) Yes, she needs breakfast immediately. she's been waiting ages.
                   (Suddenly suspicious, Art puts his head round kitchen door.) You did say
                   you were getting her breakfast? She hasn't had it already?
Mrs Swingler.      (Also annoyed with Art for speaking to her rudely) I'm getting it now. Give
                   us a chance, boy. I've only just got here.
Art.               Did you give her a cup of tea this morning?
Mrs Swingler.      (Angrily) No, not even cup of tea.
Art.               So, you didn't spill the sugar on the table?

(Mrs Swingler comes out of the kitchen with the teapot in her hand. She looks as
if she could bash Art with it.)
Mrs Swingler.      Get on with what you're supposed to do or get out!
Art.               I'm sorry, I'm sorry. It's a mystery, that stuff spilt on the table. That's what I
                   was on about.
Mrs Swingler.      (Realising that Art isn't criticising her, calms down.)
                   Oh yes. That is strange. I wondered about that.
Art.               That's all I meant, Mrs Swingler. I've got to go now anyway. Cheerio!

(Exit Art. Mrs Swingler goes back into kitchen. Con enters with tele which he
begins to set up humming the tunes of either his Love song or his Morning song,
or both.) (After a while, Mrs Swingler comes back with breakfast on a tray.)
Mrs Swingler.      Hello, Mr Custard. You fixed it then?
Con.               Oh. Good morning, Mrs Swingler. I didn't know you were here.

(-- a lie. He came down specially.)


Mrs Swingler.      (Going towards Aunty's bedroom)Would you like to go in and tell her
                   you've done it?
Con.               Not until I'm sure it works.

(Mrs Swingler looks at tele which is working.)
Mrs Swingler.      But it is working. Better than before.
Con.               Well, you can tell her if you like. I'll just stay here for a while to make sure
                   it keeps working. (This is an excuse to stay.)

(Mrs Swingler takes breakfast into Aunty's room.
Con.               What a funny old World this is; everything topsy-turvy. It would have
                   made more sense if Mr McGonagle had mended the tele and I had mended
                   the ladder. Just like life, everyone doing the wrong things at the wrong
                   times.
                         Well, it seems to work all right. I surprise myself sometimes. I


                                            32
                  wonder what books Mrs Swin... -- Susan [a pause] Susan has got for
                  Aunty.
Con:              (looking at the books) My word, not exactly light reading for an invalid.
                  What an intellectual person that (more confidently) Susan is; intellectual,
                  artistic...

(Con is interrupted by the re-entrance of Mrs Swingler. He steps away from the
books quickly.)
Con.              How is she this morning?
Mrs Swingler.     Not very good, I'm afraid. I wish we could think of a way to rally her.
Con.              She's depressed isn't she? It's not just broken bones but a broken heart as
                  well. I know. It's Jo-jo she's thinking of.
Mrs Swingler.     You're absolutely right Mr Custard -- which reminds me I'm taking the little
                  Blossoms to the Zoo today. I promised them ages ago before Aunty had her
                  accident. You must always keep your promise to children.
Con.              You are good.
Mrs Swingler.     Which means I can't be with Aunty but "Carla will cope". Aunty was
                  pleased about the tele but do you think you could fix it in her bedroom?
                  You were clever about the tele. I didn't know you knew about that.
Con.              Nor did I. Shall I do it now?
Mrs Swingler.     Yes, if you've got time. While she's having some breakfast. If she'll eat any
                  breakfast.
Mrs Swingler.     (Looking round Aunty's bedroom door) Can Mr Custard fix it now?
                  -- Yes, that's okay.

(Con carries tele into Aunty's bedroom.)
Mrs Swingler.     When on earth I'm going to find time to get this shopping, heaven only
                  knows. I shall be at the Zoo all day today.

(Mrs Swingler sings her shopping song as she marks off a list.




Mrs Swingler:




                                         33
                  Bread and butter, tea and porridge, sugar, cocoa, jam.
                  Yes, I think I've got it all. How about some ham?
                  Bananas, grapes and oranges. Can I find a treat?
                  Surely something here will make poor Aunty eat.
                  If only she had Jo-jo to amuse her and to tend,
                  her broken bones and broken heart would soon be on the mend.
                  _______________________________
(Con has been standing at the door watching Mrs Swingler for a while. He is
embarrassed when she sees him, rooted to the spot.)
Mrs Swingler.      You fixed it then?
Con.               Yes. I'd best be going now.
Mrs Swingler.      Are you still on night work?
Con.               Mm! None of the others will have it. You know, youngsters wanting a bit
                   of social life. It doesn't matter for me. I haven't any friends.

(Mrs Swingler makes a gesture of impatience.)
Mrs Swingler.      I'm off! (As she goes to the door to passage) Don't forget to bring the
                   Mozart Piano Concerto back to me. You've had it long enough.
Con.               I'm sorry, very sorry. Can I have...
Mrs Swingler.      Yes, I know. You want the 'Four last songs' again.
                   My goodness, Mr Custard, you always choose the saddest things. Yes, I'll
                   look it out for you.

(A lot of noise is heard from outside: children rushing up the stairs with exited
voices and Carla calling after them.)
Con:.              Thank you very, very much and I won't keep them so long this time.
Mrs Swingler.      That's what you always say. My Goodness, those kids are here already and I
                   haven't even got my coat on.

(As Con exit, the Blossom children rush in shouting. Rob and Rosa are struggling
with a shopping bag which they dump as soon as they get into the room and run
over to Mrs Swingler.)
Rosa.              I'm ready, I'm ready.
Rob.               Can we go now?

(Enter Carla with a bunch of flowers.)
Carla.             (Shouting) Rob, Rosa, stop shouting. Remember Aunty's ill.

(The children immediately quieten looking shamefaced.)
Mrs Swingler.      I'm ready. I've got the sandwiches and a flask ready. I've just to get my coat
                   on. You've got Aunty's shopping then? I'm so relieved. I didn't know how I
                   was going to fit that in.


                                           34
Carla.                 Got it late last night. Knew you'd be too busy with the kids today. How is
                       she? Shall I go in?
Rosa.                  Can we go in?
Rob.                   Let's go.
Mrs Swingler.          Not too good. Could you collect her breakfast tray and give her another cup
                       of tea.
Carla.                 Are you sure you can take Roy? He's only a baby.

(Roy starts to cry.)
Mrs Swingler.          Good Lord, Carla! I've had four of my own. Come on children, let's collect
                       the picnic.
                       And don't worry, Carla.

(As Mrs Swingler and the children go towards the door)
Rob.                   Shall we see Jo-jo first?
Rosa.                  We'll give him Aunty's love.

(Mrs Swingler and children exeunt. as Carla is putting the food away in the
kitchen, she is rushing backwards and forwards and singing.)
                                   Carla.                 Song.

                   Oh, I can't remember, 'cos I'm always on the go.
                   Did I plait Rosa's hair again and set her bow just so?
                   Did Rob take a hanky and were his socks up straight?
                   I hope that Roy won't grizzle if the bus comes rather late.
                   And will they all be sensible on the top deck of the bus?
                   When they get excited, they make a lot of fuss.

(Carla goes into Aunty's bedroom and can be heard talking to Aunty.)
Carla.                 Hello, Aunty. Have you eaten any breakfast? Oh dear!
                       Would you like a fresh cup of tea? Are you sure? Let's make you more
                       comfy. Up a bit. That's it. Let me punch your pillows up. Is that better? Do
                       you want anything else? You're quite sure? It's no trouble. All right, I'll
                       leave you in peace.

(Carla comes out of the room with the tray, shaking her head sadly. She starts
arranging the flowers in her usual rush, then suddenly stops in wonder because
everything is so quiet. She stands still for a while enjoying the calm, and then
arranges the flowers much more slowly appreciating them as she does so she
begins to sing her Garden Song.)




                                               35
                                  Carla's Garden song

                  Was it a dream or was it true?
                  The sunny wall mellowed with age,
                  golden and secret and footed with sage, thyme and rue. Spiky and feathery,
                                            yellow and blue.

                  Was it for real or did I dream?
                  The gate through the wall to the path with the roses
                  heavy with perfume where the Sun dozes.
                  A path by the pool where the lilies gleam
                  then there's a stream.

                  Was it a dream or was it true?
                  Where the lake welcomed the stream
                  I welcomed the people who sat on the green.
                  Water so cool as I trailed my hand through.
                  Was it a dream?
                  _______________________________

(Jock enters with the mended ladder. He speaks as he takes it out to kitchen. Carla
follows him out with the breakfast tray.)
Jock.              Where are the kids?
Carla.             Susan Swingler has taken them to the Zoo.
Jock.              I never see you without those kids, Carla.

(Giggling and laughing is heard from the kitchen).
Carla.             Nobody seeing your miserable face would ever guess what an old goat you
                   are.
Jock.              But you never take me seriously.

(Carla and Jock re-enter, Carla laughing, Jock serious.)
Jock.              It's peaceful without those kids around. I bet you'll be glad when they are
                   all old enough to go to school.
Carla.             I don't know. They're not that age for long. Look at my Annie and Peter,
                   grown up already and I never seemed to have time to see it happen.
Jock.              But don't they get on your nerves sometimes hanging around you all the
                   time.
Carla.             Get on your nerves, you mean, you old misery. Typical old bachelor.
                   You've never had children, that's plain to see.
Jock.              How do you know I haven't?
Carla.             You married then?
Jock.              I didn't say I was married but I've been around a bit.
Carla.             A wife in every port, so to say.

                                           36
Jock.              Something like that.
Carla.             Go on. You're kidding. Who'd want you?
Jock.              You, for a start.
Carla.             Now you're really off your rocker.
Jock.              (Imitating her) "Carla can cope".
Carla.             And what do you mean by that? I can cope a lot better than most people
                   and I don't notice that you're such a hot shot a coping. You'd be helpless in
                   the kitchen without me around.
Jock.              I know only too well how much I need you around.
                   Isn't it about time you recognised that I might have my uses, too?
Carla.             Don't start all that again. It doesn't ring true. You're sweet as honey one
                   minute, when you want something, and then you go back to being like a
                   bear with a sore head, which, I must say, suits you better. Leave it, Jock.
Jock.              Well, we have our bit of fun sometimes. (He grabs her.)
Carla.             (In his arms.) Not much. Just about as much as I reckon you can stand
                   without blowing up, with your stupid petulance.
Jock.              (Stroking her) Well, my dear, it's just that I don't think that Carla can cope.
Carla.             (Struggles away from him very angry.)
                   You..., you bastard! I've managed to bring up five children all on my own.
                   Children a credit to me. Nobody ever complains that I sell them short when
                   it comes to helping out or working. I pay my way.
Jock.              Ah, but you don't.
Carla.             What do you mean? Don't talk to me about that rent. I can't get a proper job
                   with three babies.
                   (Hysterical by now) I was going to enjoy myself today and you come along
                   and spoil it all. Rent: I work to pay that. Feeding the kids is the most... the
                   most... the most. (Breaks down.)

(Jock tries to comfort her but she shakes him off.)
Aunty.             (From the bedroom.) What's happening out there?
Carla.             (Still gasping to control sobbing) I forgot Aunty.

(Jock goes to Aunty's bedroom door.)
Jock.              Sorry, Aunty. I brought the ladder back; it's mended. I'm afraid I've upset
                   Carla.
Aunty.             (From the bedroom.) Again! don't do that. she's such a good woman. We
                   all love her very much.

(Carla was going out of the room but stays to hear this.)
Jock.              I know a good woman when I see one, Aunty.
Aunty.             You should do more to show it. Now please go away. I didn't sleep very
                   well last night.
                                           37
(Jock slips quietly across the room and grabs Carla. Bidding her "hush", he
whispers to her:)
Jock.              It's because I know your problem and how hard you try to cope against
                   odds that I said that. Only a super-woman could cope in your situation and
                   you'll grant me you're not that.
                   (Carla giggles.) You need help. You've always helped me and everyone
                   else too, so why shouldn't someone help you?
Carla.             Well, you know my terms; we've got to get out of this place.
Jock.              I'm willing to do that.
Carla.             You're too mean.
Jock.              Have I ever been mean to you? I can well afford to move and it's about time
                   I did.

(Carla is visibly weakening throughout this dialogue. Jock is stroking and kissing
her.)
Carla.             You're too strict with the kids.
Jock.              And you're too soft with them.
Carla.             About that, we'll never agree. But they're my kids. You promise you'll
                   always remember that and never interfere. I'm bringing them up my way.
Jock.              It's a promise. And I promise to remember that you are yours and that you'll
                   bring yourself up in your own way. But that's an easy promise as I like the
                   way you are anyway.

(Carla starts to reciprocate Jock's endearments.)
Carla.             And what do I have to promise to you?
Jock.              Nothing; you're perfect as you are.
Carla.             If we had a proper house, you could have your own room so that you could
                   get away from the kids for a bit. They do get a bit much at times.
Jock.              Preferably, a room down the bottom of a long garden.
Carla.             (Excited.) Oh, what I wouldn't do for my own garden. I'd even marry you.
Jock.              (Passionately aroused) So you'd do anything for a garden?
Carla.             (Reciprocating in kind) Wouldn't I just.

(Carla and Jock get too engrossed in their love making to speak for a while. Then
they surface.)
Jock.              So, it's a deal.(Carla nods, "Yes".) For me, it'll certainly make a change
                   from loneliness.
Carla.              (Recovering rapidly) Loneliness! All you deserve you bumbling old
                   bugger!

(They both stifle laughter and look over to Aunty's bedroom.)

                                             38
Carla.                I suppose its worth a try. Third time lucky, maybe.

(They kiss passionately to seal the bargain.)
Jock.                 (Anxious to make this official.) Shall we tell Aunty?
Carla.                She's probably asleep by now.

(Jock goes across to the door of Aunty's bedroom.)
Jock.                 Aunty, are you still awake?
Aunty:                Of course I'm awake how could I sleep when there's something important
                      happening in my sitting room.
Jock.                 More important than you could imagine, Aunty.
Aunty.                Want a bet? Give me three guesses.

(Carla picks up the vase of flowers, looking like a bride she runs towards Aunty's
bedroom.)
Carla.                Oh, you can't fool Aunty. I'm getting married again, Aunty.

(Carla runs into Aunty's room.)
Jock.                 (Hanging round the door of Aunty's bedroom.) We thought we'd let you be
                      the first to know.
Aunty.                Come in and let me congratulate you both.
       (Aunty's sitting room is left empty except for some movement from the Pig's Alcove. The
pigs will be so small from the point of view of the audience that some attention will have to be
drawn to their movement, as by lights flashing.)

                                       Act 3, Scene 1.

[Below: Scene 2; Scene 3; Scene 4; Scene 5]

One of the Pig's Alcoves.
(All the pigs are together in the one alcove.)
Su Wing Hoo.          I wish we could go down there and see how the spiders are getting on.
Kosi.                 It's far too steep for us and we couldn't jump that far.
Su Wing Hoo.          I'm sure I'd break. You'd make a soft landing, Carmen.
Carmen.               I'd be too frightened of that drop. It's miles.
Jock.                 No, we can't do anything as stupid as that. The spiders will be back soon
                      and they'll tell us what they did.
Su Wing Hoo.          I wish we could see that far.
Jock.                 Don't talk nonsense. You wouldn't see that far even with a powerful
                      telescope. We'll just have to have patience.
Kosi.                 Ah, here they come.

                                              39
Su Wing Hoo.      Only Aggie.
Carmen.           God! I hope Archie's all right.
Kosi.             He's all right. Aggie's dancing.

(Enter Aggie doing her Spider's Dance and Song. The Pigs move to the rhythm and
allow her to finish.)
Carmen.           Now, tell us the news. What did you do?
Aggie.            I'm sorry, I don't know about that. I left it to Archie last night. I had to make
                  a web in the garden.
Carmen.           The garden? Where's the garden? I didn't know we had a garden.
Aggie.            Oh yes we have. You have to drop down to it from a very great height on a
                  very long thread, but I can do it.

(As she says this, Archie comes in and gives her a quick peck on the side of her
cheek.)
Archie.           And who's a clever young spider then?
Carmen.           This garden, this garden. Is it big?
Aggie.            (Impatiently, as she wants to hear how Archie has got on)
                  Small, only two tomato plants and a few lettuces, but it serves.
Jock.             Forget the garden. Let's hear what Archie got up to last night.
ALL:              Yes, yes. What did you do?
Archie.           (To Aggie) Well, even without your help, I made the message bigger.
Aggie.            How on earth did you do that in the time? You must be exhausted.
Archie.           Not at all. I persuaded the dust motes to stand in formation.
ALL:              How clever!
Aggie.            Why on Earth didn't we think of that before? (Aggie kisses Archie.)
Archie:           Mind you, they took a bit of organising.
Jock.             I bet they did! But will they stay in formation?
Archie.           Of course they will. Have you ever known them to move except when
                  disturbed?
Jock.             Hm! Art with that duster. Anyway, it won't make a bit of difference. Those
                  people out there are so incredibly stupid and blind. They'll rub it out again
                  without reading it.
Aggie.            Jo-jo was always pretty nifty with a duster in his hand.
Su Wing Hoo.      You're not serving your own interests by what you're doing, then. Had you
                  thought that through?
Archie.           We have. We're pretty nifty too... on our feet.




                                          40
Aggie.             A bit of danger adds spice to our lives. (She laughs.) No, seriously. Aunty
                   likes us. She leaves us alone so we are concerned for her welfare and she'd
                   be happier with Jo-jo.
Archie.            Anyway, Jo-jo is scared stiff of us. He runs a mile when he sees us.
Kosi.              All the same, I think you spiders are incredibly brave.
Carmen.            But Kosi, you knew already how brave these spiders are. Hanging over
                   chasms and risking their lives every time they leave their nests.
Su Wing Hoo.       We have a great respect for you spiders. You are going against your better
                   interests for the sake of Aunty, who misses Jo-jo so much and would be
                   better more quickly if she had him around.
Kosi.              Well, I don't know about you lot; but Jo-jo frightens the life out of me. I
                   don't know why I'm going along with this plan. Must be stupid.
Su Wing Hoo.       . . . or brave.
Kosi.              (Incredulous) Brave? Who, me?
Su Wing Hoo.       Who knows? You might be brave if you were in a situation where you had
                   to be. Anyway, Aunty won't let Jo-jo touch any of us. don't worry.
Jock.              I've got to hand it to Aunty. She had more control of that animal than ever
                   Mr Beetle had.
Archie.            Ah, but we know that the mischief that Jo-jo got up to was not without
                   motive as far as Mr Beetle was concerned.
Aggie.             We've been down as far as the basement to visit our cousins on a number of
                   occasions and we saw Mr Beetle training Jo-jo to do those things.
Archie.            Well, we've told you all that before. What concerns us now is what is going
                   to happen this morning when they see the writing on the table.
Su Wing Hoo.       You're sure you spelt it properly this time?
Aggie.             My goodness, Su Wing Hoo, what do you take us for? You told us often
                   enough and we've been doing it now for a fortnight. (To Archie suddenly.)
                   You did spell it right?
Archie.            Of course.

(A booming sort of noise is heard, gradually getting louder. This noise fluctuates
in volume and stops occasionally throughout the rest of the scene until the end of
the Dust Motes' dance.)
Su Wing Hoo.       Keep still, they've come into the room.
Jock.              Well, if we can't see them, we can always hear them.
Kosi.              It's more than two people.
Aggie.             Yes, I sense three or four. Can I hide behind you Kosi?
Carmen.            Archie, you can hide behind me. You'll be quite safe there.
Su Wing Hoo.       I wonder if they'll read that message.
Archie.            Should do, I made it big enough.

                                          41
Su Wing Hoo.      They may be reading it now. If only we could understand what they are
                  saying but all they do is boom. Such a racket!
Kosi.             Maybe they don't speak the same language.
Su Wing Hoo.      It is the same language; I've understood it when they whisper.
Carmen.           Sometimes Mrs Blossom and Mr McGonagle whisper. I've understood
                  them. They seem to like each other.
Jock.             Whisper! Not often. They shout and scream at each other most of the time.
                  I bet they hate each other.
Kosi.             I think Art's in the room with that wretched duster.
Carmen.           We'll soon know when the Dust-motes start to dance.
Jock.             That'll mean they haven't read the message again.
Su Wing Hoo.      Not necessarily...
Jock.             What did I say? Here they come.

(The Dust-motes begin to swirl round the stage. When they exit the booming has
stopped. The Spiders come from behind Carmen and Kosi.)
Archie.           Foiled again. Damn it!
Aggie.            Never mind, we'll try again tomorrow.
PIGS:             Bravo! Good for you! (etc. etc)
Jock.             All that effort for nothing.
Su Wing Hoo.      At least we've tried. We wouldn't be true pigs and spiders if we didn't try to
                  do what's right.
ALL:              Quite right! Here's to the next time! (etc. etc.)
Carmen.           Cheer up, folks. They've left the room. Now's our chance to sing and dance.

(The Pigs sing any combination of Carmen and Jock's songs, while the Spiders and
Dust-motes dance.)




                                           42
                                        pigs' song

                  So now a throng of friends have come along and joined me in my song.
                                             They are the friends for me.
                  At last I've found the heart to be a happy part
                  of this community of warmth and kindly sympathy.
                      They are the best of pals for me. (4 times)
                  We are very very merry, now that we have got the chance,
                  extend a trotter and have a totter
                  with any old pal that cares to dance.
                  For now, we'll dance jigs and now we'll dance reels
                  our trotters so nimble, so stirring our squeals.
                  We'll sing altogether and dance hell for leather,
                  for that is the way every one of us feels.
                  They are the best of pals for me. (4 times)


                                    Act 3, Scene 2.

(Dust-motes dance front stage to allow time for the actors to change. )



                    Act 3, Scene 3. Aunty's living Room

(Mrs Swingler is bringing Aunty through the door from the passage. Aunty is in a
wheelchair.)
Aunty:             Thanks, Sue, that was lovely. Isn't the plum blossom beautiful at this time
                   of the year? You are good to me, Sue.
Mrs Swingler.      Well, it was my turn, after all. Where did you go yesterday with Mr
                   Custard?
Aunty.             Only as far as the recreation ground. I insisted that Con get home for his
                   sleep. I love watching the children playing. Rob is too daring on those
                   swings. Con stopped him from having an accident, only just in time.
Mrs Swingler.      Mr Custard is scared of his own shadow. Children must develop a bit of
                   daring.
Aunty.             But Su...
Mrs Swingler.      I know what I'm talking about, Aunty. I brought up four.
Aunty.             (Half joking) And a bit too daring, I'd say. There they are drilling oil rigs
                   and putting out Forest fires without a thought for their poor lonely mother.
Mrs Swingler.      And what would I do with them hanging round me and making constant
                   demands?
Aunty.             Well, what was the point of having them then?


                                          43
Mrs Swingler.   Now that's a real mystery. I thought I knew at the time. Which reminds me,
                did you know that that stupid woman, Carla, is actually, contemplating
                marriage again? You'll never guess in a thousand years with whom. It's
                really too ridiculous.
Aunty.          June the 3rd.
Mrs Swingler.   What's that?
Aunty.          June the 3rd. Wedding day. You'll get your invitation in due course. They're
                inviting everyone in this house plus most of the patrons of the "Dog and
                Duck".
Mrs Swingler.   Aunty!
Aunty.          What have I done now?
Mrs Swingler.   You know.
Aunty.          Of course, I know. Naturally, I was the first to be told.
Mrs Swingler.   I might have known. Well, since you're so clever, can you solve this one?
                It's right across the table this morning. It looks as if it means something.
Aunty.          What it means is that Art didn't have time to do the dusting this morning.
                Just take a duster and rub it off and stop worrying about trifles. Which
                reminds me, Art asked me to remind you to go down to Mr Beetle's room
                tonight about six.
Mrs Swingler.   Yes, he told me himself this morning. He's finishing Mrs Beetle's poodle's
                portrait and he wants me to be there when he finds Annie's brooch in the
                same place where he found it before. It's one of the articles that we believe
                Mr Beetle got Jo-jo to pinch. I'm to be a witness but I think he should have
                got the police onto it.
Aunty.          No, no, Sue! Don't you see? We want a hold over Mr Beetle to stop him
                tormenting everyone. We can force him to stop bullying Con and making a
                slave of Carla.
Mrs Swingler.   Well, she's chosen her own slave-master now.
                I'm worried about his attitude to Annie.
Aunty.          Oh, no!
Mrs Swingler.   'Fraid so.
Aunty.          Poor Annie! Well, bless me, that's Annie coming up now. I recognise her
                footsteps. Come in, Annie.
Annie:          (Coming in with Art) Art's here, too.
Art.            (To Mrs Swingler) I've come to remind...
Mrs Swingler.   Don't worry, boy. I'll be there. Now since you've become our resident
                detective, have you found out what all this mess means? (Pointing to
                table.)
Annie.          Art found that out days ago. We didn't tell you because we wanted it to be a
                surprise. Go on, Art.



                                        44
Art.                It just said Jo-jo. We can't make out how it got there but we assumed it
                    meant we had to get Jo-jo back.
Aunty.              (Overwhelmed) Oh! Oh! Oh!
Annie.              So, Mr McGonagle has gone this morning to get him back.
Aunty.              Ah, my happiness is complete.
Annie.              In fact, (giggling shyly) Uncle Jock has gone already. We were hoping to
                    have made it a surprise for you.
Aunty.              I don't think an old lady of my age could stand such a surprise. I'm glad you
                    told me. I've never been so happy in my life.
Art.                I'd be happy if I could find the final clue to fix Mr Beetle.
Annie.              We are both sure that Mr Beetle used a rope to get Jo-jo back and forth in
                    his burgling activity.
Art.                A rope with the collar that you had, Aunty, and lost.
Mrs Swingler.       Well, you won't find it now. Mr Beetle wouldn't be stupid enough to leave
                    that around.
Aunty               My only worry at the moment is: are you all sure you can bear to have Jo-
                    jo round this house again?
Mrs Swingler.       We've all agreed to have Jo-jo back. He was good with you.
Art.                And do you realise that if we find all the evidence and confront old Beetle
                    with it he can't refuse his permission either?

(Tentative knock on the door.)
Aunty.              I recognise that knock. Come in, Mr Con.

(Con comes in with some chicken wire attached to wooded frames.)
Aunty.              Good morning, Con.

(They all greet each other.)
Con.                Have you heard that Mr McGonagle...
Aunty.              . . . Is bringing Jo-jo back.
Con.                Oh, you know? Who told you?
Aunty.              Don't worry, Con, I'm delighted.
Con.                What I was really going to say is that Mr McGonagle is getting...
ALL:                Married!

(They all laugh.)
Con.                Some folk have all the luck. Anyway, I would have had to tell you about
                    Jo-jo as I've come to fix this chicken wire to your window, Aunty, if you
                    don't mind. Mrs Blossom doesn't want her tomatoes pinched again.
Aunty.              Certainly fix the wire. But Carla deserves a bigger garden and I think she'll
                    be having one pretty soon.
                                            45
(A terrible racket is heard from upstairs. The sound of slates and bricks falling.)
Art.                 Whatever's that? It's coming from upstairs. It might be from my attic.
Con.                 The roof. I think.

(Art and Con both rush out followed by Annie and Mrs Swingler.)
Aunty.               (Aunty is too happy about Jo-jo to bother much.)
                     They'll sort it out whatever it is. Some slates off the roof. Good thing it's
                     fine weather at present. Mr Beetle ought to get a few repairs done in any
                     case. He always leaves everything until it falls down.

(The noise stops.)
(Aunty sings her song, Jo-jo is my Heart's Delight.)
(When Aunty has finished her song, Art, Con, Sue and Annie come rushing back.)
Art.                 It's Jo-jo! He's stuck in the chimney. I'm going across the roof to rescue
                     him.

(Exit Art.)
Aunty.               Stop him, for Goodness' sake. That's dangerous. Let's phone the Fire
                     Brigade.
Annie.               I'll keep an eye on Art. (Exit Annie.)
Mrs Swingler.        I'll phone the Fire Brigade. (Exit Mrs Swingler)
Con.                 Don't worry, Aunty. He'll get Jo-jo out of the chimney. Art's been up on the
                     roof many times before.
Aunty.               Go up, Con, and see he doesn't do anything foolish.

                                          (CURTAIN)

                 Act 3, Scene 4. On the roof of the House.

Jo-jo's legs are waving out from the chimney. The hatch from the attic can be seen,
plus the small attic windows.
(Art is already crawling across the roof towards the chimney. Annie is watching
from the attic hatchway.)
Annie.               Do be careful, Art. Don't go so fast.

(Con's head now appears through the hatchway.)
Con.                 Come back, Art. I wouldn't risk it. Mrs Swingler is phoning for the Fire
                     Brigade. they'll be here soon.
Art.                 I've got to get him. He choking.
Annie.               Don't risk your life for a monkey, Art. They've got ladders.

                                             46
Art.               (Rushing across the roof.) He's choking to death, I tell you.

(Art slips and just manages to grab the chimney stack. That arm goes limp and he
slides some way down roof before grabbing the stack with his other arm.)
Art.               My God! What have I done? (Moans in pain.)

(Annie begins to climb out of hatchway onto roof. Con pushes her back and climbs
out himself. By this time, Sue Swingler, Carla and the three children are all craning
their necks out of the attic window trying to see what's happening. Also, Jo-jo's
movements are becoming more feeble as rest of scene progresses.)
Con.               I'm coming, Art. Hold on! Annie, pass that rope out I saw on the floor
                   under the bed.

(Con crawls across to Art. Annie throws out a rope with a collar attached. Con
catches the rope and, reaching Art, ties him to the chimney stack.)
Con.               I'll just make sure you're safe while I get that animal out of the chimney.
Art.               (Still moaning in between speech.) I think poor Jo-jo's dead. He's stopped
                   moving.
Con.               (Still securing Art) What have you done to yourself?
Art.               Feels like I've broken my arm. What will poor Aunty say about Jo-jo?
Con.               She'll be worried that you've broken your arm.
Art.               Hurry, Con. Get him out. You may be able to resuscitate him.
Con.               Hang on, I've got to make sure you're safe first.

(Con finishes tying Art and begins to get Jo-jo from the chimney. When Con gets
Jo-jo out, Jo-jo is comatose. Con carries him back across the roof and hands him
down to Annie.)
Con.               (To Annie) Finished, I'm afraid. Poor beast!
Annie.             Poor Aunty.

(The children have heard this and they all begin to cry.)
Art.               (Shouting.) Eureka! I've found it. This is the same rope I've been looking
                   for for days. Its even got Jo-jo's collar on it.

(Con starts back across the roof.)
Con.               God! I hope he's not delirious. Whatta you on about now?
Art.               Annie! Ouch! My God! that's painful. Annie, it's that rope. The rope with
                   the collar. (to Con) Where did you find it?

(Con begins to untie Art)
Con.               Calm down, calm down, I'll have you safe in no time. Don't worry. We'll
                   soon get a doctor.

                                          47
Carla.            I'll go and ring the doctor now.
Rosa.              And a vet.
Carla.            And a vet. Come on.
Annie.            (Calling through attic hatch) No need for a vet. Jo-jo's breathing. He's all
                  right.

(Exeunt Carla and the children.)
Art.              This rope, where did you find it?
Con.              (Still untying Art and only answering to humour him)
                  It's been under my bed for some time. Don't know where it came from.

(Con begins to help Art across the roof. Art still moaning as he moves.)
Art.              Well, I'm glad you found it. That ties up the case.

(Sue Swingler has now put her head through the attic hatch alongside Annie. They
watch the rest of the rescue operation in silence and are there to help Art through
the hatchway.)
Art.              (Sliding through hatchway with help) Is Jo-jo all right?
Annie.            Fine. Look at him sitting up and taking notice.
Con.              (As he slides through hatchway helped by Sue Swingler) My goodness;
                  what a relief.
Mrs Swingler.     Are you all right, Con?
Con.              A bit shaken, Sue.

(They disappear from view but their voices can be heard.)
Mrs Swingler.     Come and I'll give you a nice hot drink, Con.

(Scene ends with Fire Engine bells coming nearer.)



                 Act 3, Scene 5. The Beetle's Best Room.
Mrs Beetle.       What on earth possessed you to allow them to have their wedding reception
                  in our room?
Mr Beetle.        No choice.
Mrs Beetle.       Whadyer mean -- no choice? Since when have you allowed anyone to
                  dictate to you?
Mr Beetle.        Shut up, woman. I know what I'm about.
Mrs Beetle.       Oh, one of your famous schemes. Hope it doesn't go wrong this time.
Mr Beetle.        I said shut up.



                                         48
Mrs Beetle.   I'd like to know what yer about. We don't have to have all the hoi-poloi
              using our room for receptions, do we?
Mr Beetle.    Possibly.
Mrs Beetle.   Well, I'm just not having it.
Mr Beetle.    You'll just shut up and do as you're told.
Mrs Beetle.   But why, why, why?
Mr Beetle.    I told you. no choice. They've got something on me.
Mrs Beetle.   What, all of them?
Mr Beetle.    Yes.
Mrs Beetle.   All of them?
Mr Beetle.    Don't keep repeating yourself. Yes, yes, yes.
Mrs Beetle.   But how on earth did you let that happen? You're unusually careful to keep
              up your guard.
Mr Beetle.    Jo-jo.
Mrs Beetle.   Jo-jo. I might have known it. Why did you ever have that animal here in the
              first place? I always said it was a stupid idea. What were you using him
              for?
Mr Beetle.    Exactly. That's what they found out; what I was using him for.
Mrs Beetle.   Who found out.
Mr Beetle.    Art and Annie.
Mrs Beetle.   What?! You let those kids fool you?
Mr Beetle.    Shut up. The situation's bad enough without your whining.
Mrs Beetle.   (Suddenly enlightened) Ah! I see what you were using him for. Clever.
              Very clever.
Mr Beetle.    That's what I thought.
Mrs Beetle.   You wouldn't have had to divide loot. Very clever -- except that you had to
              go and get found out.
Mr Beetle.    Shut up, shut up, shut up. You don't think I wanted them to find out, you
              stupid cow.
Mrs Beetle.   Have they got proof? That's the thing.
Mr Beetle.    Of course they've got proof. You don't think I'd be worrying about nothing
              do you? Proof they could take to the police. I don't want the police
              involved. They might find out a few more things.
Mrs Beetle.   So, they're blackmailing you. Where will it end?
Mr Beetle.    They could have a party in our room every Saturday, if they wished.
Mrs Beetle.   (Forgetting herself for the moment) Oh, lush! Sorry, I mean 'lousy'.
Mr Beetle.    I don't want them hanging around here. I've got too many irons in the fire.
              Fortunately, Mr and Mrs McGonagle are buying a house and leaving. If I

                                       49
                   could get rid of the rest and start from scratch with a new lot, that would
                   solve our problem. We couldn't get rid of Swingler too easily. She knows
                   too much about her rights, and as for Aunty -- quite impossible. Nobody in
                   the street would allow that. I'm afraid we're stuck with it now.
Mrs Beetle.        You could keep Mr Custard. He always toes the line.
Mr Beetle.         Not any more, after that fabulous roof-top rescue we keep hearing about.
Mrs Beetle.        I never realised you were such a fool.

(Mr Beetle is about to attack Mrs Beetle when the noise of the approaching
wedding party is heard.)
Mrs Beetle.        (Unable to contain her excitement) Oh, here they are!
Mr Beetle.         Put a brave face on it. Act the hosts. It might fool them.

(Enter Aunty, perfectly fit again, with Art and Annie. Art has his arm in a sling.)
Art.               Hello, Mr and Mrs Beetle.
Annie.             You missed a perfect wedding. Mum looked absolutely gorgeous.
Art.               In a dress made by Annie.
Annie.             Oh, Mum did look lovely.

(Enter Jock and Carla.)
Jock.              Carla always looks lovely. She looks just as beautiful to me in an old
                   apron.
Carla.             And, no doubt, that's the way you'll be wanting me to be dressed from now
                   on . . . in an old apron.
Aunty              (Hurrying across to the 'grand' piano) I've been dying to try your Bechstein
                   for years.
Mr Beetle.         Bechstein is it?
Jock.              You could have fooled me. Must have fallen off the back of a lorry. Sounds
                   as if it's got pennies rattling about in it.
Aunty.             Suits my style. Won't have to put the pennies in myself.

(Aunty starts to play, with all her own verve and bounce. Jock starts handing round
drinks. Enter Jo-jo marshalling his guests, the monkeys from the Zoo and the three
Blossom children. He keeps them in order, gets them seated at the table where they
all immediately start on the food under Jo-jo's watchful eye. As the children and
monkeys are engrossed in the food, they are quite well behaved, only throwing a
few buns about and slipping one or two trifles down other folks' necks.)
(Enter Sue Swingler and Con in quiet conversation.)
Aunty.             (Shouting across) Ah! Here's our wonderful singer.
                   Come on, Con, give us a song.
ALL:               Yes, yes, come on Con.
                                          50
Aunty.             One of your own songs.

(She begins to play Con's morning song, which he sings.)
Con:
                  Some mornings when I go to bed
                  I cannot get to sleep.
                  A skittish wind above my head.
                  Makes tiles and birdies leap.
                  If I had the daylight hours
                  could savour sunshine and the showers,
                  I might find I have the flair
                  to fly with birds and float on air.
                  Across the rooves, I think I'll skate
                  with the breezes up my jumpers,
                  and if the wind does not abate
                  I'll also cause a rumpus.
                  Flying with birds, floating on air
                  then down to earth with a bump.
                  No sleep, but now I must prepare
                  for night work at that dump.
ALL:               (With applause, cries of "lovely", "bravo", etc.) Now let's have our
                   favourite.

(Aunty begins playing Con's Love Song. Even the monkeys and children become
quiet as Con sings his love song once more. After it, there are bravos and applause
and the children and monkeys resume their bun throwing and lemonade squirting.)
(Aunty starts to play music for dancing. Art and Annie dance together. Also Jock
and Carla. Con bows to Sue and persuades her. She is a little stiff but he is good
and she is enjoying it.)
Enter the patrons of the"Dog and Duck", and they join in the dancing.
The monkeys and children dance on the table. People keep swapping partners and
there is general jollification. Play ends with Aunty playing as powerfully as ever
and everyone going mad.




                                           51

				
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