The Penny Dropp'd

A LOCAL MEDIA PRODUCTION
in association with
THE DELUSIONAL LOCALS
Presents
The Bristol Old Vic Theatre Company Players
with The London Luvvies
in
THE PENNY DROPP’D

ACT II

A provincial 18th Century theatre lies in darkness. Just the faintest ripple of whispered conversation reveals a buzz of expectation …

The curtains slide open.

A single spotlight picks out a gnomic figure sat hunched on an old crate. Dick Penny (for it is he) reaches slowly into a pocket and pulls out his fag packet. He momentatrily regards it quizzically and then begins to count clumsily on the fingers of his right hand. He pauses:

Penny: (addressing the audience) The refurbishment should cost £9m but I’ve got a mate in South Bristol who’ll do it for £6.5m cash. We’ve got £1m from the council, another £1m from a trust, £3m from the Arts Council and er, another, er £1.5m from somewhere. If we follow my radical reinvention reform plans acknowledging the need for change in which expenditure relates to income – I say we can do it. By jove! I say we can do it. Throw open the doors! Let the entertainment begin.

Just silence.

A wizened old man with a flowing white beard rises slowly from the audience …

Wizened old man: ‘Tis a revelation I tell ye. ‘Tis the second coming. (Shouts) We are saved!

  • Slowly applause breaks out, then cheers; flags are unfurled, banners unrolled, young scamps swing from the chandeliers as dogs begin to howl. The brass band strikes up a rousing version of ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ and fireworks are heard in the night outside as the audience dance in the aisles chanting “We are saved”.

  • Enter stage left Stephanie Cole (for it is she).

  • The band stops. The audience take their seats. Flags are furled, banners rolled, young scamps climb off chandeliers. Silence.

  • Stephanie Cole: I think I’m going to burst into tears (bursts into tears).

  • Slowly applause breaks out, then cheers; flags are unfurled, banners unrolled, young scamps swing from the chandeliers as dogs begin to howl. The brass band strikes up a rousing version of ‘Don’t Cry for me Argentina’ and fireworks are heard in the night outside as the audience dance in the aisles chanting “We are saved”.

  • Exit Stage left Stephanie Cole.

    Enter stage left right a rotund buffoon clutching a golly. Richard Eddy (for it is she) attempts to address the audience.

    The band stops. The audience take their seats. Flags are furled, banners rolled, young scamps climb off chandeliers. Silence.

    Eddy: Whatever the hell’s going on here I completely agree with and it has cross party support.

    Slowly applause breaks out, then cheers; flags are unfurled, banners unrolled, young scamps swing from the chandeliers as dogs begin to howl. The brass band strikes up a rousing version of ‘Food, Glorious Food’ and fireworks are heard in the night outside as the audience dance in the aisles chanting “We are saved”.

    Exit Stage left right Richard Eddy.

    Enter stage left the man from the Arts Council (for it is he) waving wildly.

    The man from the Arts Council: (shouting and gesticulating wildly) Stop this! Stop this immediately.

    The band stops. The audience take their seats. Flags are furled, banners rolled, young scamps climb off chandeliers. Silence.

    The man from the Arts Council: This is nothing but a ridiculous circus (audience gasps) … Which is absolutely fantastic because that perfectly fits our new funding criteria for street arts. Have three million quid on me!

    Slowly applause breaks out, then cheers; flags are unfurled, banners unrolled, young scamps swing from the chandeliers as dogs begin to howl. The brass band strikes up a rousing version of ‘The Hokey Cokey’ and fireworks are heard in the night outside as the audience –with Penny atop their shoulders – are led out dancing by The Evening Post’s Mike Norton and Points West’s David Garmston into the cool night to be greeted by the ecstatic peasants of the borough.

    THE END

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    4 Responses to The Penny Dropp'd

    1. I only caught a snippet of this on the news but I got the impression that the man from the Arts Council was being very careful not to say they’d help.
      Something along the lines of – we really want to be able to help – or something else that wasn’t really a commitment to actually help.
      I wonder if anyone got a more definite statement off camera something along the lines of ‘we’re in for £2 million’…

    2. thebristolblogger says:

      No. The whole thing’s underwritten by a complete lack of any written and/or firm commitments from anyone.
      Us old-fashioned people, for instance, who like to see business plans and financial information clearly stated in writing before forming a judgement have no information at all from the Old Vic and Arts Council have made no firm commitments at all.
      So it’s rather and strange and very slack for the press to be cheereleading in the way they are.

    3. Straw Hat Man says:

      Ha ha. Nicely done B-Blogger! 😉

      A question – Is Dick’s new role paid or voluntary?

    4. thebristolblogger says:

      It should be voluntary, with the caveat that currently the Old Vic is essentially a bankrupt organisation in need of huge amounts of money.
      In reality, then, it’s a full time job – or at least maybe 3 days a week – which means that the Chair either needs significant private means or a very understanding employer.
      I believe it’s the latter case with Dick, which makes you wonder why he’s currently paid a lavish full-time salary from the public purse for a job he can apparently perform in two days.

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