By Peter Travel
Marmaduke Muffet, a rich man and the owner of a pickle factory, has a daughter, Molly who is in love with Peter Piper (Chief Pickle Blender). Widow Black and her son Jethro Black arrive in the village. The widow has a magical pendant necklace, which makes old men fall in love with her. She sets her sights on Marmaduke.
Darren and Davey Rotter are two market traders who fall in with Jet who cons them into getting Peter sacked. Dazzer and Davey discover Widow Black’s secret. With the help of Peter, Polly, Molly and Willy they expose her evil plan.
Peter and Molly marry. Marmaduke retires. Peter takes over as MD of the Pickle Factory. Widow Black is made to be the Cleaner and Tea Lady while Jethro becomes the Odd Job Man.
Cast – 3 Female, 5 Male, 2 M/F
Molly Muffet (F), Marmaduke Muffet (M), Peter Piper (M/F), Polly Piper (M/F), Widow Black (F). Jethro Black (M), Willy Whittle (M), Dazza Rotter (M), Davey Rotter (M), Joan Lewis (F), Factory workers, chorus and ghost.
Outside the Pickle Factory, The Pickle blending room.
An excerpt from Little Miss Muffet & The Black Widow
Outside The Pickle Factory
Song 1 – (Chorus)
Elsie Oh it’s another lovely day. I really enjoy working in the Muffet Pickle Factory don’t you?
Lily Well I don’t know about that but I enjoy being with all my friends every day.
Jenny Yes it’s OK here but it’s a pity about the smell. That’s the trouble with working in a pickle factory the smell is so strong it gets up your nose and into your clothes. You just can’t get away from it. I even take it home with me and my old man can’t stand the smell of pickle. Still it does act as a deterrent. On a Saturday night I use it as a perfume and the old man has to sleep on the sofa. (laughter from the other girls)
Elsie Oh go on! You do not! He’s a lovely man your Jim.
Jenny You should try living with him. Anyway, let’s not hang about, the hooter’s gone, it’s time we went in before we’re late.
Willy Whittle enters SR paint pot in hand.
Flo Oh hello Willy. Nice day isn’t it?
Willy Whittle Hello girls. Yes it’s another lovely day. Ooh! You’d better get in and start filling jars or those pickles will never get out the door. I hear Peter Piper is taste testing a new batch today. It’s his latest recipe. I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s conjured up now.
Flo Yes his last mix was mango chutney wasn’t it? I haven’t tried it yet have you?
Willy Whittle Oh yes I had it last night with my cheese platter. It was lovely but I think I shouldn’t have eaten the whole jar as it’s repeating on me a bit this morning.
Jenny Oh dear. Come on girls let’s get out of here before Willy starts to waft!
The girls all giggle and laugh as they move off USR into the factory.
Willy Whittle (to audience) Oh hello. I didn’t see you there. How are you alright? (subdued response from audience – Willy hand to ear) Strange I didn’t hear a thing. I know the acoustics in here aren’t up to much but I expected some response. I said How are you alright? (audience response) Oh that’s much better it makes my life so much easier when the audience isn’t asleep.Let me introduce myself. I am William Whittle. Yes my parents did have a good sense of humour either that or they were a bit stupid because everyone calls me Willy Whittle. I suppose that’s better than Whittle Willy but not by much.Anyway, welcome to Little Waltham (or other local town) – home to Muffet’s Pickle Factory. (He points out the factory backdrop) Most of the villagers are employed here. We are lucky to have the factory right on our doorstep so to speak although sometimes when the wind’s from the West the smell of the pickles – well shall we say it permeates – that means it smells a bit, (to audience member) I saw you looking a bit confused. Anyway, we’re a happy bunch of souls. We have jobs, families and friends who could ask for more?
Willy Whittle I’m employed as an odd job man and right now my job is to paint the black railings that go around the outside of the factory. They have to be painted once a year and I quite enjoy doing it. I get a real sense of satisfaction to see them gleaming brightly in the sunlight once it’s done. But right now I need to visit the little boys room, that Mango Chutney I ate last night really is repeating on me and I don’t want to disgrace myself in front of you – I’ve only just met you after all. I’d be so embarrassed. Now I need to leave my paint pot and brush out here so will you keep an eye on it for me? (small audience response) I said will you keep an eye on it for me? (louder response) Good. I’m just going to put it down here next to the railings. (Proscenium arch DSR) Now if anyone comes near it you’ve got to shout out Willy Whittle, Willy Whittle someone’s poking your paint pot. Can you do that? I said Can you do that? (Audience response) Right let’s give it a try. I’ll go over there then come back and pretend to poke my pot and you shout. Ready?
(Willy walks SL and comes back DSR as he approaches the paint pot the Stage Manager holds out a sign (CALL WILLY WHITTLE) and the audience shout Willy Whittle, Willy Whittle someone’s poking your paint pot. This is repeated until they manage to do it properly)
Oh thank you. Well done. Now I really must go but I’ll be back in a minute.
(Willy runs off USR clutching his stomach and bum).
Molly Muffet and her father, Marmaduke come on through the auditorium SR.
Follow spot picks them out as they walk through and on to stage then cuts.
Molly Oh please Father, slow down, I can’t keep up with you. What’s so urgent?
They reach the stage and go up SR and stand centre stage
Marmaduke I’ve told you Molly my dearest, I have an urgent meeting with a very important person who I hope, will soon become a customer of Muffet’s Pickles. Her name is Joan Lewis and she represents an upmarket food store called Wallrose. If we can get them to take our pickles our factory will become known throughout the land. That’s why it’s so important that the new pickle blend that Peter Piper is working on is a success. An extensive range is what this Joan Lewis lady is looking for. Not just standard pickles and chutneys, she wants quality and a taste that no other pickle factory currently produces. She’s coming along later this week and I want to talk with Peter Piper so that I have a very clear understanding of what this new pickle will be. I know you think a lot of Peter and it’s all very well having a good product but it’s got to be sold and that’s my job, that’s where our success comes from – my ability to run the factory and to sell the pickles we produce.
Molly I know how important your job is Father and how important the factory is to you and it means as much to me honestly. I need you to understand how much Peter Piper means to me and how much Muffet’s Pickles needs him.
Marmaduke Now Molly we’ve had this conversation often enough now. Peter Piper is a very good Pickle Blender, in fact one of the best, but he is just an employee. You my dear are the daughter of a very successful businessman you need to marry someone of equal or greater status. You cannot throw your life away on a Pickle Blender.
Molly Oh but Father!
Marmaduke That’s enough now Molly I don’t want to hear another word!
He turns and walks away to the factory USR
Song 3 – (Molly Solo)
After the number, Molly leaves USR wiping a tear from her eye.
Polly Piper (Dame) enters SR.
Polly Oh hello! (limited response from audience) I said Hello! (bigger response) My name’s Polly Piper I work here in the pickle factory. I am the factory cleaner and tea lady (quite proud of this lowly job). That means I clean up when there’s a mess, make tea and sandwiches and wheel a trolley around at tea break. Well the factory girls work so hard they need a cup of tea and a sandwich just to keep them going. We all do, don’t we? (no response from audience) I said we all do, don’t we? Is there anybody there? Knock once for yes and twice for no. (drummer knocks twice) I thought so. No come on there has to be somebody out there we’ve sold a lot of tickets and I can see that some of you are still awake! We all do, don’t we? (proper response from audience) Do you like my pinny? (she is wearing an overly large pinny decorated with something to do with pickles, she pirouettes) Yes isn’t it lovely? I wear a different pinny every day and they all have pickle ingredients on them. I’m quite proud of my job even though I’m only a cleaner and tea maker it’s still a very important job. Somebody has to look after the factory and the workers. Anyway, my son Peter works here, he’s the Pickle Blender you know and that’s a very senior and important position. Since he started blending the pickles and inventing new recipes the factory has gone from strength to strength but I’m not sure his skills are properly appreciated by Mr Muffet. Molly seemed to be quite upset. I wonder what’s happened. She and Peter are in love (she squeezes herself) Aaah! (audience join in)Oh it’s much nicer than that. Aaah! (bigger aaah from audience) Oh I’m forgetting myself. I’m looking for Willy Whittle, have you seen him? You have oh that’s great because I need to tell him that the sink in the Ladies Lavvie is blocked. I went in there to wash my hands and the sink was overflowing so I had to go into the Gents to complete my ablutions – but aren’t they funny little sinks in there? I’ve never been into a Gents before. I don’t understand why the sinks are shaped like that (indicates the shape of a urinal with her hands) with a great big back and a small shallow bowl. What’s that all about? It must break your backs gentlemen standing there bending down trying to wash your hands, and I couldn’t find a tap. The water seemed to squirt down without me doing anything, mind you, there’s no plug either so it runs away as quickly as it comes out. I was lucky though I found a bowl that someone had left some water in so I washed my hands in that. Still I need to find Willy and tell him to get his plunger out and go to the Ladies. One of the girls said she’d seen his plunger and he’s got a very big one and according to Delilah, he knows how to use it, she says he got her unblocked in no time. So where did he go? (audience response). Where? Oh I know he’s around because he’s left his paint pot here.
She walks to the paint pot DSR, and pokes it with her foot – Stage Manager holds out sign, audience shout, Willy comes rushing on to DC pulling his trousers up
Willy Oh thanks folks I heard you from the Gents. Funny though I thought I heard a woman’s voice while I was in there, very strange. Was someone poking my paint pot?
Polly Poking your paint pot! I was not poking your paint pot. I was trying to find you. The sink in the Ladies is blocked. You need to get your big plunger out and unbung it, toot sweet! (to audience) That’s French you know. I’m quite a polyglot really! At least I think that’s what they called me. Now come on Willy get yourself off and sort out that sink.
Willy Alright Polly keep your wig on. (to audience) Don’t forget to call me if anyone pokes my pot!
Willy exits USR
Polly moves to DC and Peter Piper comes on from SR