Skipton Players commissioned me to write a pantomime for eleven people in Summer 2002, with the intent of performance in Spring 2003. In the event, another pantomime script was used instead, and my Aladdin was unused. I have received enquiries about performing this from places as far away as the Phillipines.
Widow TwankeyA Laundress - Aladdin's mother
Shah KhanA Ruler - Jasmin's father
LlamekcufA Thug - The Shah's Bodyguard
Genie of the LampA Genie
The play opens in WIDOW TWANKEY's Laundry - a lower class, run-down establishment in downtown Samarra. The door to the street is CENTRE REAR, the other door is STAGE RIGHT.
WT Aladdin! Oh, where is that lazy goodfornothing so and so? He's never around when you want him. Aladdin! Here I am, a poor widow-woman, [the next bit should be said as if quoting from a "lonely hearts" ad] (attractive, prime of life, own business, photo required), trying to run a thriving laundry, and my staff are never around! ALADDIN!
ENTER from the street LOBSANG and RUMTIDDLYPOO, a pair of con-men.
Lobsang Keep it down, Mrs. T! We can hear you right down the other end of the street.
Rumtiddlypoo Yeah, it's so bad we can hardly hear ourselves conning... er, convincing the punters to buy our wares.
WT Oh, really? And what is it you're selling today? Is it anything along the lines of some of your past merchandise?
Lobsang Sort of.
WT Really? What is it then? A minaret polisher? That went down very well with the Shah, didn't it? What with him having all those shiny minarets on his palace.
Rumtiddlypoo Well, how were we to know they were only copper instead of gold?
Lobsang Right! I mean, any ruler worth his salt should have gold minarets - they don't tarnish. Whereas copper, on the other hand...
WT Turns green when you scrub it with vinegar!
Lobsang Well, you've got to admit, it is a unique palace.
WT It is now! It's the only one in Persia with green minarets! Oh, and that's another thing - your salt diviner.
Lobsang What about it?
Rumtiddlypoo It worked didn't it?
WT Yes, a device to seperate the salt from seawater, invented by Messrs Lobsang and Rumtiddlypoo, that actually worked!
Lobsang So what are you complaining about?
WT We're 700 miles inland!
Lobsang Good point, well made.
Rumtiddlypoo The basic idea was sound though...
WT Yes, just like your automatic pointing device.
Lobsang What was wrong with that?
Rumtiddlypoo That was a proper mystical device to show people the way to their destiny.
WT It was a pointed stick that you threw in the air and hoped it didn't hit anyone on the way down!
Lobsang Yes, we should have thought more about the advertising for that...
WT Yes, you should have marketed it as a javelin!
Rumtiddlypoo Oh, we've made a few of those!
WT Surplus stock, are they?
Lobsang We don't have to divulge trade secrets to you, you know.
WT You do if you ever want to see your underwear again!
Rumtiddlypoo Yes, okay, they're surplus destiny pointers!
Lobsang (Angry) Rum!
Rumtiddlypoo Well, it's the only pair of underpants I've got!
WT Yes, and until you pay your bill, they're staying firmly under lock and key!
Lobsang Keeping them in your wallet, are you?
Lobsang Nah, if you want to see a cheek, just ask Rum to drop his trousers!
WT So what are you selling this time, then? No - let me guess. Magical soap powder, that when correctly scattered, can summon demons from Hell?
WT Well then, is it... an automatic foot? Something to do your walking for you?
Rumtiddlypoo No. It's a map.
WT A map?
Rumtiddlypoo Yes, a map.
WT A map of what?
Rumtiddlypoo A treasure map.
WT (Suddenly interested) Treasure map? [She checks all exits for eavesdroppers, then grabs LOBSANG and RUMTIDDLYPOO, and pulls them into a huddle CENTRE STAGE] Go on.
Lobsang Well, you know that Fakir who lives a couple of streets away?
WT Wazir the Fakir, yes.
Lobsang Well, he told us a legend about this magical lamp that was home to a powerful djinn...
WT How powerful was this gin? Because the really strong stuff can do to brass what vinegar does to the Shah's minarets!
Rumtiddlypoo No! Not gin the drink. Djinn, as in genie!
WT Oh! Go on.
Lobsang Well, he told us that the lamp was hidden away for safe keeping by a powerful sorceror, somewhere in this area, in a secluded cave, guarded by traps and powerful magics.
WT Which cave?
Rumtiddlypoo He doesn't know.
Lobsang So what we did, was get a few Ordnance Survey maps of the area, and draw a big "X" on a different cave on each one.
WT And how exactly does that help?
Rumtiddlypoo Idiots pay us money for the map, then go off looking for the lamp where we marked X!
Lobsang There's never any truth in these legends, they'll keep looking for a while, then give up when they don't find anything!
WT (Stands up straight, looks smug) And what happens when they come back looking for you, and asking for their money back?
Lobsang (Straightens up) Oh, my goodness, is that the time, must be off, got to go and visit my aunt in, er, Asyut.
Rumtiddlypoo Yes, and I've got to, er, go and see, er, a man about a camel in the Persepholis derby.
They EXIT hurriedly
WT Pair of idiots! Honestly, they're so thick, it's a wonder people don't mistake them for walls. You know they say "two heads are better than one"? Well, their two heads are definitely better than one anvil, from what the blacksmith tells me. Oh! Where is that blasted boy? ALADDIN!
ALADDIN and IMRAN ENTER from the street, laughing. ALADDIN is carrying a newspaper, and IMRAN an Ordnance Survey map.
Aladdin Oh, no, that can't be serious!
Imran It is, otherwise it wouldn't be in!
WT What wouldn't be in if it wasn't serious? And just where have you been you layabout? I've been yelling myself hoarse looking for you!
Aladdin It's the "lonely hearts" ads! They're so pathetic!
Imran You can tell they're sad, desperate people, can't you?
WT So why are you looking in the "lonely hearts" section then, if they're all so sad and desperate? Trying to find a girlfriend?
Aladdin (Defensively) No! I could pull any time I want! We were, just having a laugh, that's all! Here, listen to this one: [Reads from the newspaper] "Lonely widow seeks husband. Attractive, prime of life, own business, photo required". It's pathetic, isn't it?
WT That's my advert!
Aladdin Er, well, when I say pathetic, I mean...
WT Quiet you! I'm going to make sure you don't go out for a week! Now get in the back and start washing!
Aladdin Yes, mother.
He EXITS RIGHT, dejected. WIDOW TWANKEY notices IMRAN has one of LOBSANG and RUMTIDDLYPOO's maps.
WT What's that you've got?
Imran Nothing. Just a map.
WT What do you want a map for? You never go anywhere!
Imran Ah, but with this map, I'll soon have the means to go anywhere.
WT What do you mean?
Imran Well, keep it to yourself, but it's a treasure map!
WT A tresure map? Really?
Imran Yeah - it shows the location of a secret hoard of treasure, including a magic lamp that's home to a powerful spirit.
WT Turps or vodka?
Imran A genie! A friendly spirit who has to use his magic to fulfil your every wish!
WT And where did you get it from?
Imran There was a couple of old Fakirs selling it just down the street.
WT Was one [describe LOBSANG], and the other [describe RUMTIDDLYPOO]?
Imran Yes, how did you know?
WT You fool! That was just Lobsang and Rumtiddlypoo trying to make some money out of mugs like you!
Imran You what? Are you saying they tricked me?
WT Why are you surpised, it's not that hard to achieve? You bought a rock last week, didn't you? What did the man say it was again?
Imran A tortoise.
WT Imran, here's a little hint. Rocks are grey or brown. Tortoises are green, and they occasionally move if you leave them out in the sun, because they've got legs, whereas rocks don't.
Imran It did move!
WT Only because it was a round rock, and you left it on a hillside! Now get out of here! Aren't you supposed to be helping Singhiz Thing at the tavern?
Imran No, he fired me for messing up the chilli con carne.
WT How can you mess up chilli con carne?
Imran Well, I thought it was supposed to be chilly - you know, cold. And, I didn't know what con carne meant, I didn't realise it was "with cream" until after his daughter slapped me for asking to see her...
WT Yes alright, I get the picture! And it's one I could do without, to be honest. Go on, be off with you, find someone else to annoy!
ALADDIN ENTERS, excited, with the paper
Aladdin Mum, Imran! Guess what it says in the paper!
WT I dunno! "Aladdin is a lazy boy who's more interested in getting a girlfriend than earning his keep" by any chance?
Aladdin No! Look, it says here, that Shah Khan will be touring the city today, in order to see if anything can be sold to pay for repairs to his palace!
WT What! Where does it say that? [She snatches the paper from him] Ooh! Look! It says he'll be passing through this part of town any minute now!
Imran Let's go out onto the street and cheer him!
WT Cheer him? Why? It'll be our properties he'll be selling, not those of his rich friends on the other side of the river.
Imran He's our leader! He's the one who gave everyone a loaf of bread last month!
WT No he's not! The palace bakery blew up! It was far easier to say "let the people have it" than to try and get 5000 ballistic buns back to the bakery!
Aladdin Aw, please, can we at least go out and watch him?
WT Oh, all right! But you get straight back to work the moment he's gone, do you hear?
Aladdin Yes, mum.
WT And you, Imran, you get lost and bother someone else as soon as the Shah's gone, understand?
Imran Yes, Mrs. T!
They EXIT, and the TABS CLOSE.
The street outside. ENTER SHAH KHAN, ABANAZAR, PRINCESS JASMIN and LLAMEKCUF in that order. They do not go far onto stage.
Abanazar But, sire, I did apologise for destroying the bakery.
Shah Khan I know. But that still doesn't alter the fact it was your fault. It still hasn't been rebuilt, and that means, Abanazar, for the past month I've had to buy in all our bread, and it looks like I'll need to keep buying it in for another month at least!
Jasmin Father, couldn't Abanazar use his magic to supply us with bread? After all, if it was his magic that blew up the bakery, he should bear the cost of it.
Abanazar I have explained this! I cannot create bread for long enough to feed you! I do not have the power - no-one does.
Shah Khan Then perhaps I should hire a court sorceror who is less reckless with his spells.
Abanazar Sire, if you wish to rule all Persia, you will need the help of the spirits.
Shah Khan And I keep telling you, I only drink wine!
Abanazar Spirits of the underworld, sire! They have much more power than any man living - their only drawback is they are hard to control!
Shah Khan And so you decided to summon a bad tempered demon to my bakery.
Abanazar I was merely practicing!
Shah Khan Abanazar, while they do say "practice makes perfect", I think we would be best served if you did not practice in the city.
Abanazar As Your Majesty commands.
Shah Khan Llamekcuf! What part of the city are we in now?
Llamekcuf Downtown Samarra, oh Shah. A very poor area.
ENTER WIDOW TWANKEY, ALADDIN, IMRAN and WAZIR on the opposite side of the stage to the SHAH and his party. IMRAN still has the map.
WT Ooh, look at him, doesn't he look nice?
Wazir No, he looks like a greedy fool advised by a power-mad magician.
WT You're just jealous, Wazir, because your magic's not strong enough to be useful to the Shah!
Imran Who's the girl?
Aladdin It must be his daughter. Cor, she's pretty!
Imran Oh yes. Beautiful.
Aladdin I saw her first!
Imran You did not!
Aladdin Well, I knew who she was first!
WT Will you two shut up! I'm trying to eavesdrop!
As we turn our attention back to the SHAH and his party, IMRAN and ALADDIN have an argument about who saw PRINCESS JASMIN first
Shah Khan Abanazar! How much will it cost to re-gild the minarets on my palace?
Abanazar Thirty thousand sheckels, sire.
Shah Khan And how much will it cost to rebuild the bakery?
Abanazar Ten thousand sheckels, sire.
Shah Khan And how much is it costing me to import bread every day?
Abanzar One thousand sheckels, sire.
Shah Khan And I'll be buying bread for a total of sixty days! That's a hundred thousand scheckels, Abanazar. A hundred thousand sheckels I don't have. That is why I need to sell off some property.
Abanazar But instead of losing rent, why not let me search for the Hoard of Orlan?
Shah Khan Because, Abanazar, it does not exist! My great-to-the-fifteenth-power-grandfather never even knew what a lamp was, let alone a genie. And if he ever did amass such wealth, he wouldn't have hoarded it in a cave somewhere!
Abanazar But sire, I believe I may be close to finding it! Just a little more time!
Shah Khan No! The Hoard does not exist! If, by some miracle, you do find it, then you can have my daughter's hand in marriage!
Jasmin Oh, father! You know I don't want an arranged marriage! And certainly not to this creep!
Shah Khan Don't worry, dear Jasmin, he'll never find it, because it doesn't exist.
At this point, ALADDIN and IMRAN's argument breaks out into a fight
Llamekcuf Sire, the locals are revolting!
Shah Khan Oh no, some of them are nice enough chaps.
Llamekcuf No, sire, they are in revolt!
Shah Khan Oh dear. Quickly, Llamekcuf, lead us out of here!
Llamekcuf At once, Your Majesty!
LLAMEKCUF ushers the SHAH, JASMIN and ABANZAR OFF, the same way they came on. As JASMIN EXITS, ALADDIN wolf-whistles
Aladdin Hey Princess!
Imran Who loves ya, baby?
But PRINCESS JASMIN has gone.
WT Now look what you've done! You've scared him away! Honestly, you two! Can't you even keep your libidos in check for ten minutes?
WIDOW TWANKEY and WAZIR EXIT. ALADDIN and IMRAN move to CENTRE
Imran It was you who scared her off.
Aladdin Don't be stupid, it was you!
Imran Yeah, right! You were the one who wolf-whistled.
Aladdin You were the one who pretended to be Kojack!
Imran What have cameras got to do with it?
Aladdin Not Kodak! Kojack! Juh, Juh! He was a TV detective in the 70s.
Imran Oh, well, who remembers the 70s anyway?
Aladdin Well not my mum for a start, she watches it all on UK Gold.
Imran I didn't know you had Sky!
Aladdin We don't, we just bounce the signals of Wazir when he's in one of his trances.
Imran Hah! Here, fancy going over to the palace tonight to try and get another look at the Princess?
Aladdin Yeah, why not? Yeah, I'll come, if I can get away.
Imran Ah, you never have any problems getting out of work! I'll see you at eight by the bridge.
They EXIT on opopsite sides. After a short pause, ABANAZAR ENTERS through the TABS.
Abanazar Do this, do that! Honestly! That Shah thinks just because he's ruler he can tell me what to do! Well, I'll tell you something! He can! But not for long, oh no, not for long. You see, I know the Hoard of Orlan exists, and I know it's buried somewhere close. I just need one last clue, one last hint, as to its' whereabouts. I know, I'll cast a spell as soon as I get back to my workshop, to give give me a little bit of extra luck, for the clue to just fall into my hands. And when I've found the Hoard... Yes, marrying the Princess Jasmin and becoming the next Shah doesn't sound too bad - especially if I accelerate matters slightly. Say, by having my genie kill the Shah! Hahaha! [He starts to EXIT LEFT] Oh, and in case you haven't guessed, I'm the bad guy!
He EXITS, laughing insanely.
TABS open to reveal WIDOW TWANKEY's Laundry again. WIDOW TWANKEY and WAZIR are sitting relaxing on stage.
WT Oh, thank you Wazir, that was so nice.
Wazir A pleasure, Mrs. T.
WT You know, I don't know how you do it!
Wazir Oh, it's easy when you know how.
WT I mean, it's not everyone who can bounce TV signals off their head when they're in a trance, is it?
Wazir Oh, any good Fakir could.
WT You sure you don't want a drink?
Wazir No, thank you, Mrs. T. I drank only last week, I won't be needing anything else for a while yet.
WT Something to eat then?
Wazir No thank you, I ate a whole sandwich last month, it quite filled me up!
WT Ooh, well, if you insist. I hate to see a grown man go off his food.
Wazir Mrs. T, by your terms, I have been off my food for forty years! Whereas by my terms, you eat enough for a regiment of cavalry, horses and all!
Wazir Not a bit of it! Just the honesty of my calling.
WT Like you calling that nice magician Abanazar "power-mad" this morning, you mean?
Wazir Exactly! And, I hate to tell you this, but he may soon be even more powerful.
WT Really? Do tell.
WAZIR beckons WIDOW TWANKEY, and they huddle together.
Wazir I heard him metion the Hoard of Orlan. That's the same legend I told Lobsang and Rumtiddlypoo the other week to stop them pestering me for ideas. I thought it would get them off my back, but I may have accidentally let Abanazar know it exists as well!
WT You mean this map and treasure stuff with the lamp could be real?
Wazir Not could be, is! The Hoard of Orlan is real, and it's buried somewhere locally. No-one's sure exactly where of course, after all this time, but if Abanazar stumbles across it, it could mean disaster for us all!
WT Disaster for us all?
Wazir Disaster for us all! Yes! The Genie of the lamp in the Hoard is reputed to be the most powerful ever, and with Abanazar in control of it - I shudder to think what he could do with it.
Wazir Shudder! Yes!
WT You know, that idiot boy Imran's got one of Lobsang's maps...
Wazir Hah, well, there's a faint chance it could actually mark the real location of the Hoard. But anyone who gets to the Genie before Abanazar will have to be very careful, and very lucky!
Wazir Lucky! Yes!
Wazir Because, Abanazar will stop at nothing to get control of the Genie. He'll cast as many spells as he thinks he has to, in order to take the lamp. But apart from that, the power of the Genie is not to be used lightly. I can just imagine what that boy Imran will do with it - we'll be up to our necks in dancing girls before you can snap your fingers! And Abanazar's not the sort of person who'll be stopped by a simple wish - he'll have made arrangements so that he can only die by the blade of one sword, and that's the one he'll own, or something.
WT Or something?
Wazir Or something! Yes!
WT What if I send my boy along with Imran when he goes treasure hunting, and tell him what you've told me?
Wazir No! Don't do that! You'll only make matters worse if you tell them the truth. By all means, allow Aladdin to go with Imran, but let me know the moment they get back with anything!
WT Of course, Mr. Wazir.
The bridge. IMRAN ENTERS through the TABS, reading his map. After a few moments, ALADDIN ENTERS from the RIGHT.
Aladdin Imran! You're not still messing about with that map, are you?
Imran Yeah! Why not?
Aladdin You know my mum told you it was a fake, sold by those con-men Lobsang and Rumtiddlypoo.
Imran Yeah, so?
Aladdin So there's no point to it! [He grabs the map from IMRAN's hands, folds it hurriedly and throws it towards STAGE RIGHT] Now, remember. We're going to the palace to try and see the Princess, right?
Imran Right. Any idea how we find her?
Aladdin I'll think of something on the way. Oh, by the way, now that you've got the weekend free, do you want to do anything? My mum gave me the weekend off.
They start to EXIT LEFT
Aladdin Something to do with old Wazir, probably. You know, I think she's trying to marry him.
Imran Really? As if!
They EXIT. After a short pause ABANAZAR ENTERS from the same direction, muttering to himself.
Abanazar Rhubarbrhubarbcluerhubarbmagicrhubarbrhubarb [etc. As he is about to EXIT RIGHT, he notices the map] What's this? [He picks it up, unfolds it, looks at it] A map! A map with an "X" on it! A map, that, due to my spell earlier today, shows me where the Hoard of Orlan is hidden! At last! Fame, glory, money, power, and Princess Jasmin await! [He starts to EXIT LEFT hurriedly. He is almost gone when he stops] Wait! The legend says that the cave is a maze of traps and dangerous magics. I'm not fool enough to try and get it myself - I'll get some condemned prisoners from the palace cells to do it for me!
This time, he does EXIT LEFT.
TABS OPEN to reveal PRINCESS JASMIN's room at the Palace. There is a large arch with a balcony outside in the REAR LEFT wall. The only door is STAGE RIGHT. The SHAH is lecturing his daughter.
Shah Khan And another thing! If Abanazar somehow does find this non-existant Hoard, you will marry him! You are my only child, and I have made a promise, in public - in public mark you - that he will have your hand in marriage if he finds the Hoard of Orlan!
Jasmin I thought you were just taunting him!
Shah Khan Daughter, you must learn that when a ruler speaks, it is law!
Jasmin Right then! I'm speaking now, and I say I will not marry Abanazar, or anyone else you choose for me!
Shah Khan You are not ruler yet! And unless you marry a nobleman, you will not be ruler after me, either!
ALADDIN's and IMRAN's heads appear looking over the balcony rail.
Jasmin I will marry for love, or not at all!
Shah Khan Love? What's love got to do with it? Rulers rule! We don't have time for love! We marry for power, for land, for money, not for love! Poor people marry for love!
Jasmin Then I shall marry a poor man, or not at all!
ALADDIN's and IMRAN's faces light up when they hear this.
Shah Khan Not at all it is, then! I will have you locked in your rooms until you come to your senses!
The SHAH storms OFF, RIGHT. PRINCESS JASMIN sits on her bed, dejected.
Aladdin (Sotto) Did you hear that? We're in with a chance, aren't we?
Imran (Sotto, nervous) Aladdin, I think the trellis is coming away from the wall.
Aladdin (Sotto) Oh, a minor problem. Come on!
As ALADDIN starts to climb onto the balcony, we hear a creaking noise. IMRAN's head disappears downwards with a scream as the trellis he's on collapses.
Jasmin What was that? Who's there?
ALADDIN ducks down again. JASMIN makes a half-hearted investigation of the balcony, then sits back on her bed again.
Aladdin (Sotto - Off) Are you alright, Imran?
IMRAN makes an inaudible, but clearly negative, reply.
Aladdin (Sotto - Off) Good.
ALADDIN climbs onto the balcony and enters JASMIN's room. She notices him and jumps to her feet.
Jasmin Who are you? I shall summon the guard!
Aladdin No don't! I'm a poor man, seeking love.
Jasmin Then you're in the wrong place. My father has decreed that this is a rich man's house where love has no place.
Aladdin Then your father is a fool, for who could not love one as pretty as you?
Jasmin My father is the Shah, and as my beauty is to be kept within these four walls from now on, I will not be able to find the answer to that question.
Aladdin But you have found an answer already - or an answer has found you.
Jasmin Impossible! I am forbidden to love. I must marry whoever my father tells me, for the good of Samarra, and without love.
Aladdin Then leave Samarra! If you must marry for the good of the city you live in, but never see, why not live in another city, that will welcome you with open arms?
Jasmin Leave with you? Huh! Where would you take me?
Aladdin I... I have an uncle in Asyut! He runs a bakery! We could go there!
Jasmin What, and work all day? No thanks!
Aladdin You won't have to! Your father has been making him rich for the last month.
Jasmin It's tempting... But I cannot leave my rooms! My father has decreed I am to stay here until I come to my senses and agree to marry that vile sorceror Abanazar.
Aladdin Then I'll kidnap you!
Aladdin Look, it'll be easy! You pack a few things, I'll make a rope out of your sheets. We tie the rope to the bed and let it out over the balcony. I throw you over my shoulder and climb down the rope, we steal a horse, and we can be in Asyut by the day after tomorrow!
Jasmin Why can't I climb down the rope?
Aladdin You wouldn't be able to carry me.
Jasmin I meant, why can't I climb down the rope after you?
Aladdin Because that would be elopement, not kidnap, and only people who are in love elope, and you can't be in love until we leave Samarra.
Jasmin Well, alright. But hurry, I have a feeling my father will send someone up to check on me soon.
ALADDIN nods and begins stripping the bed. JASMIN goes to the wardrobe and starts putting clothes in a bag. Before they can get very far, there is a knock at the door, and LLAMEKCUF ENTERS.
Llamekcuf Your father the Shah has... [He sees ALADDIN and draws his scimitar] Stop there!
He runs across to ALADDIN, who manages to dodge the first two swipes of the scimitar. ALADDIN runs round behind LLAMEKCUF and takes the heavy object (bust, vase, candlestick) that JASMIN is holding out to him. LLAMEKCUF turns and runs straight into a blow from the heavy object, and collapses.
Aladdin Quick! No time for the ladder, down the rose trellis!
They are just about to climb over the balcony when ABANAZAR ENTERS. He raises his hand and casts a spell at them:
Abanazar Hold! [Lights dim/SFX of lightning. JASMIN and ALADDIN freeze] To be caught in the Princess' chambers without permission means death, boy.
He snaps his fingers and ALADDIN collapses.
Abanazar To defy your father is foolish, girl. To run away from your destiny - that was worse.
The palace dungeons. There is one door on the RIGHT, and a grating low down on the LEFT. From time to time, a VOICE shouts through this grating, in the manner of "Monty Python's Life of Brian". LOBSANG and RUMTIDDLYPOO are already chained to the wall. The door opens, and LLAMEKCUF shoves ALADDIN in.
Llamekcuf Get in there!
ALADDIN staggers in, and falls to the floor, CENTRE. His hands are tied.
Voice Lucky boy!
Lobsang Well, well, well. If it isn't Aladdin.
Rumtiddlypoo Oooh, Mrs. T.'s not going to be too impressed when she finds out about this!
ALADDIN raises his head. During the next few lines, he climbs to his feet.
Voice Jailor's pet!
Lobsang No, not impressed at all.
Rumtiddlypoo At all.
Lobsang I wonder who's going to tell her?
Rumtiddlypoo Tell her.
Lobsang Maybe it'll be a guard she does washing for.
Rumtiddlypoo Washing for.
Lobsang Or maybe it'll be Wazir, that Fakir.
Rumtiddlypoo That Fakir.
Aladdin (On his feet by now) That Fakir?
Lobsang That Fakir. Or it might even be one of us two.
Rumtiddlypoo Us two. [Worried] Us two?
Lobsang Us two.
Rumtiddlypoo Us two? Are you mad? She'll kill us!
Rumtiddlypoo She'll think we got him in here, she'll go ballistic! You tell her!
Rumtiddlypoo She will, she'll go absolutely ballistic! You can tell Mrs. T. that her son's in the Shah's prison!
Voice Running free in the prison! Luxury!
Lobsang Rum! How many times have I told you? Let me do the thinking!
Aladdin It'll probably be a guard.
Rumtiddlypoo A guard, see? We don't have to tell her anything.
Aladdin He'll be on official business.
Lobsang Official business?
Aladdin I'm to be executed.
Voice Executed, eh? Who did you bribe? How much?
Lobsang What for?
Aladdin For being caught in the Princess' chambers.
Rumtiddlypoo Caught in Princess Jasmin's chambers? What were you doing there?
Lobsang Rum! Behave! The lad's got a right to privacy!
Aladdin It's all right, Lobsang, nothing happened.
Lobsang Well something must have happened, otherwise you wouldn't have been caught.
Aladdin I mean, nothing, y'know happened. I mean, yes, something happened for me to get caught, but nothing, y'know, happen happened.
Rumtiddlypoo So how did you get caught?
Aladdin I heard the Shah confine the Princess to her rooms because she didn't want to marry that wizard Abanazar.
Lobsang Where were you at this point?
Aladdin Hanging off the edge of the balcony, trying to get a look at her.
Lobsang Ah, the balcony. Such possibilities.
Rumtiddlypoo (As Juliet) Aladdin, Aladdin, wherefore art thou Aladdin? Deny thy mother and refuse thy name. Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I'll no longer be a Princess.
Lobsang (As Del Boy) Oh shut up you tart! Wrong play!
Lobsang Right. [Back to ALADDIN] Then what happened?
Aladdin She swore she would marry a poor man, or not at all.
Lobsang (Rationally) Poor man.
Rumtiddlypoo (Pityingly) Poor man.
Aladdin Then the Shah left, and Imran fell off the balcony...
Lobsang Did he fall, or was he pushed?
Rumtiddlypoo Oooh, jealousy already!
Aladdin He fell! Anyway, I climbed over the balcony and talked to her. We decided to elope.
Rumtiddlypoo Elope. What does elope mean?
Lobsang They were going to run away with each other.
Rumtiddlypoo Aaaaah! Isn't it sweet?
Aladdin Shut up! Do you want to know what happened or not?
Lobsang Sorry. Do go on.
Aladdin Well, then she said she couldn't come with me, because of her father's orders not to leave her rooms, so I said I'd kidnap her instead.
Aladdin Kidnap. So I was about to carry her over the balcony and climb down the wall, when a guard came in. I managed to knock him out, and I was about to carry the Princess to safety again, when Abanazar came in and cast a spell.
Lobsang A spell?
Rumtiddlypoo A spell?
Aladdin A spell.
Voice Oooh, a spell! Aren't we the lucky one!
Lobsang A spell.
Rumtiddlypoo A spell.
Aladdin A spell, yes! I couldn't move. Then he told me that to be caught in the Princess' chambers was death, and he cast another spell, and I passed out!
Lobsang Passed out?
Aladdin Yes, passed out! I woke up halfway down the dungeon stairs, and the guard told me I was going to be executed within a week!
Rumtiddlypoo Within a week!
Voice Jailor's favourite! Bootlicker!
Lobsang Shut up you two! This is serious!
Aladdin What are you two doing here, anyway?
Lobsang Ah, well, we, er, we were just leaving the city on a business trip to, er...
Lobsang Asyut, when one of the gate guards recognised us as the men who had turned the Shah's minarets green, and arrested us.
Rumtiddlypoo They said we'd be here until the gold leaf gets delivered so we could re-gild the minarets.
Aladdin When's it going to arrive?
Lobsang Day after tomorrow, or so they told us.
Aladdin Would you let me swap with one of you?
Voice You want to swap with one of them? Isn't being condemned to death good enough for you?
Lobsang (Through grate) Shut up! (To ALADDIN) What?
Aladdin Would you let me swap with one of you? If I help re-gild the minarets, they won't execute me. And when they come to execute whichever of you takes my place here, they'll let you go because you're not me!
Lobsang Oh dear, Aladdin, you have a lot to learn about government, my lad!
Rumtiddlypoo They're not going to let a prisoner go just because he's not the right one to be executed!
Lobsang Of course not! They've said they're going to execute someone, so execute someone they will. They won't care who.
Lobsang Useless as Rum is, he is my partner, and I couldn't run the business without him.
Rumtiddlypoo You what? What makes you think he'd swap places with me?
LOBSANG and RUMTIDDLYPOO are just starting a heated argument when ABANAZAR ENTERS.
Abanazar Silence! [Pointing to LOBSANG & RUMTIDDLYPOO] You two will be quiet, and all of you wil listen!
ALADDIN has backed up against the STAGE LEFT wall, but all three prisoners are silent. ABANAZAR closes the door.
Abanazar I have the power to save your miserable lives.
Voice "Miserable"? Elitist scum!
Abanazar Quiet you! Or I'll string you up next to these two!
Voice Suits me! I've been here ten years and they only hung me the right way up yesterday! I could just do with a move to the luxury suite!
He blasts some magic through the grating (lights dim/lightning SFX again)
Voice Aaargh! You're just doing that to butter me up!
Abanazar No, I'm doing it to shut you up!
Lobsang And people wonder why there's so much crime...
Abanazar Talking of crime, you three are here on serious charges! You two for fraud and criminal damage, and you for trespass, assault and treason!
Abanazar Yes, treason. That's what you get charged with when you try and kidnap the Princess, the only child of the Shah.
Rumtiddlypoo If it helps, he was only planning to elope with her.
Aladdin Will you shut up!
Abanazar Do you want to know the punishments that will be meted out to you, when you are found guilty of your crimes?
Lobsang Not really, but since you're the kind of person who gets pleasure out of this sort of thing, you may as well tell us.
Abanazar Thank you, I will. The punishment for fraud is repayment of a sum of money equal to the value of that defrauded from the victim, and a fine of equal amount.
Lobsang How much would that be?
Abanazar Thirty thousand sheckles... Each.
Rumtiddlypoo We can't pay that!
Abanazar Good! Because if you can't pay, they chop your hand off!
Voice You lucky... [ABANAZAR zaps him again - lights & sound] Aaargh!
Abanazar The penalty for criminal damage is also to chop your hand off. Now since chopping both your hands off would be a tad unfair on you, that means we'll have to chop your heads off instead.
Lobsang Chop our...
Rumtiddlypoo ... heads off?
Abanazar Yes! Now, for you, my young regicide...
Rumtiddlypoo Regicide, what's that?
Lobsang "King-killer", literally. It's derived from the word "regal", meaning "royal", "ruler" or "stately", and from the Latin verb "cide", to kill.
Voice Oi! What is this, "Open Univeristy"? Get back to the plot!
Abanazar The penalty for trespass in the palace is death. The penalty for treason is horribly painful death. But you may be relieved to hear that the penalty for assualt is merely a stoning.
Aladdin Oh, good.
Voice And no-one's to throw anything until I say so, even if they do say "Jehovah"!
Abanazar Unfortunately, you assaulted a palace guard, and the penalty for assaulting a palace guard - wait for it - is also death.
Abanazar Obviously you cannot be killed three times, but it would be perfectly possible to commute two of your sentences...
Rumtiddlypoo Now there's a nice chap!
Abanazar ... onto these two.
Abanazar So between the three of you, you have amassed five death sentences. And as I said, I can save your miserable lives.
Lobsang So... What's the deal?
Abanazar I am going on a little expedition to a nearby cave to retrieve something that I desire greatly. Unfortunately, many other people desire it greatly, so the cave abounds with traps and protective spells.
Lobsang I think I can see where this is going.
Rumtiddlypoo I can't.
Abanazar And so, I will need you three to go on ahead and defuse the traps and activate the spells.
Rumtiddlypoo But we don't know anything about trap-breaking!
Lobsang What he's saying, Rum, is that we are going to walk right into the traps and set them off, while he stays well out of the way until the cave is safe.
Aladdin But, that'll be just the same as executing us!
Abanazar No it won't. You might be lucky. If you manage to survive, I promise you your freedom.
Abanazar Yes, freedom. As long as you don't return to Samarra, you will stay out of prison, in full possession of all extremities.
Lobsang Well, we might have to think about that. [He pauses for about half a second] You're on! Rum?
Rumtiddlypoo Yeah, okay. Why not? It'll be better than hanging around here all day.
Abanazar Excellent! And you, boy?
Aladdin What have I got to lose?
Voice (As the TABS CLOSE) Your head!
The scene is lit in bright yellow-orange, suggesting a desert in the middle of the day. Faint background noise of cars/lorries/etc going past at speed. ENTER ALADDIN, LOBSANG and RUMTIDDLYPOO through the TABS, herded by ABANAZAR with a spear. ABANAZAR carries the map.
Rumtiddlypoo It's a bit hot, in't it?
Lobsang Yes, well, that's what tends to happen in the middle of the desert - it being hot. It's pretty much their defining feature.
Aladdin Where are we heading anyway?
Abanazar (Points OFF LEFT) Over there somewhere. Near those hills.
Aladdin You don't know where we're going?
Abanazar Of course I know! I just can't remember the name.
Aladdin So what is the name?
Abanazar Just a second.
He tries to hold the spear and unfold the map at the same time - it can't be done. He hands the spear absentmindedly to RUMTIDDLYPOO to hold while he deals with the map. He unfolds it, peers at it, turns it the other way up, then announces proudly:
Abanazar Kilnsey Crag!
... before folding the map up again, taking several attempts to manage it successfully. He then takes the spear back from RUMTIDDLYPOO, and absentmindedly hands him the map in return.
Aladdin And where are we now?
ABANAZAR swaps map for spear again, unfolds it, turns it the right way up, looks round, examines the map, looks round again, peers at the map again, then says:
Abanazar According to this, just south of Rylstone!
He does the map-folding business again, swapping spear for map with RUMTIDDLYPOO again at the end of it.
Aladdin That's miles away!
Abanazar Well, you'd better get walking then, hadn't you!
Lobsang There's a main road not a hundred yards away [The SFX volume goes up briefly to highlight the point], why don't we get the bus?
Abanazar Do you think it's normal to find desert in North Yorkshire?
Rumtiddlypoo Depends which part.
Abanazar The whole landscape's gone strange, and you want to risk relying on public transport?
Rumtiddlypoo Better off not risking it anyway. Round here, there's a bus once every three days, if you're lucky!
Abanazar Right - all the more reason to get moving then! We don't want to be stuck out here after dark.
Abanazar Well - we might get mugged or something.
Aladdin What, round here? Where are they going to jump out at us from? Under a grain of sand? From behind a sheep?
Lobsang If they're behiind a sheep round here, they'll be too busy to jump out at us!
Abanazar Enough of this! Onward!
He strides OFF LEFT. ALADDIN, having nothing better to do, shrugs and follows. LOBSANG starts to do the same, but RUMTIDDLYPOO stops him.
Rumtiddlypoo Here, Lobsang - do you notice anything special about this map?
LOBSANG takes it and gives it a cursory examination
Lobsang Not really. Why?
Rumtiddlypoo It's one of ours.
Lobsang What? Are you sure?
Rumtiddlypoo Of course I am! [He unfolds the map in one go and shows it to LOBSANG] Look! See - there's the X I drew in marker pen!
Lobsang Oh yes, so it is! [He LAUGHS] I wonder if our wizard friend knows it's about as reliable as a government promise?
Rumtiddlypoo (Folding the map) If he did, do think we'd still be alive?
Lobsang Probably not. I think it would be best if we took advantage of his generous offer to run away and live somewhere else, rather than die here.
Rumtiddlypoo Good idea!
Lobsang Come on, this way.
He starts to go back through the TABS, but RUMTIDDLYPOO stops him
Rumtiddlypoo Wait! That's west! I'm not going to Lancashire!
Lobsang All right, this way, then!
They EXIT RIGHT. BLACKOUT, SFX FADE OUT.
The TABS stay closed, and ABANAZAR and ALADDIN ENTER from the LEFT. The light is dimmer, indicating evening.
Abanazar Here it is, boy!!! We've arrived!
Aladdin At last! I'm knackered!
Abanazar Where have the other two gone?
Aladdin Oh, they left ages ago.
Abanazar What!? Why didn't you tell me?
Aladdin Well you were enjoying yourself so much I didn't want to spoil it for you.
Abanazar Right! Well, in that case, you'll have to brave the traps all by yourself!
Aladdin Why can't you go in there yourself and disarm the traps with your magic?
Abanazar My magic won't work so close to such a powerfully magical object as is contained within.
Aladdin You mean you're not powerful enough!
Abanazar Of course I'm powerful enough to wield it! This is... [He is making up an excuse] ancient magic! That cannot be altered by today's lesser magics. Not that my magic is lesser, you understand, just... not the same quality as the ancients' magic!
Aladdin Uhuh. And has the dog eaten your homework as well?
Abanazar Help me open this cave!
They "force" open the TABS, as if there were a huge slab of rock blocking the entrance to a cave, and ABANAZAR "jams" himself in the doorway, as if holding the massive door open. He pushes ALADDIN inside.
Abanazar Get in there!
Aladdin (From just behind the parted TABS) It's all dark in there! I can't see a thing!
ABANAZAR takes a torch from his pocket, switches it on, and hands it to ALADDIN
Abanazar Here! Now get going! You're looking for a lamp.
ALADDIN ducks back out
Aladdin A lamp? What sort of lamp?
Abanazar An oil lamp, an old one. Probably surrounded by other treasure, and definitely protected by traps.
Aladdin And this will lead me to this fabulous object you're after, will it?
Abanazar It is the fabulous object I'm after!
Aladdin Oh! And you want me, scrawny little Aladdin of Widow Twankey's Laundry, with no special skills, no magic powers, and no protection whatsoever, to go in there, in the dark, the rat-infested, trap-laden, dangerous dark, and fetch you this fabulous lamp, yes?
Aladdin Naff off!
Abanazar Get in!
He shoves ALADDIN through the "doorway" into the "cave" beyond.
BLACKOUT. ABANAZAR nips through the TABS and OFF RIGHT, where he can peer over the top of a half-door to make it look as though the cave floor is lower than outside.
TABS OPEN. It is dimly lit, but with comparatively bright light coming in from the RIGHT. This is the interior of the cave, and the floor is lower than outside, so ABANAZAR is now peering over a half-door (as if lying flat on the ground), down to where ALADDIN is sprawled on the floor, just inside the door.
Abanazar Are you alright?
Aladdin There's a dirty great drop just inside the door, and you just shoved me through it. What do you think?
Abanazar I think you'll live long enough to bring me the lamp. Get moving!
Aladdin Through here? It looks right dangerous! I think I'll try another cave, thank you.
Abanazar It's in this cave!
Aladdin How will I get out?
Abanazar I've got some rope.
He dangles a length over the half-door into the cave.
Aladdin Alright. I'll see what I can do. [He picks up the torch and turns it away from the door.] Er... What kind of traps exactly?
Abanazar Fiendishly cunning ones, I'm sure.
Abanazar Interestingly lethal ones, I have no doubt.
Aladdin Ah. Right. I don't suppose there's any chance you want to do this while I hold the rope, is there?
Abanazar None whatsoever.
Aladdin Thought so. Well, here goes.
ALADDIN takes a cautious step forward. Nothing happens. He takes another step, more confident. Nothing happens. He becomes more confident and walks forward. Before he goes two paces, there is a twang (like a bow being fired), and he is hit by a custard pie. He recoils a few steps. Then he lowers his head and charges through the STAGE LEFT EXIT, as more pies fire at him and (some of them) miss.
Aladdin (Off) Eurgh! I can see it!
Abanazar Get it!
Aladdin (Off) It's on a pedestal! I've got it! [There is a grinding sound. ABANAZAR looks round to see the door closing.] Uh-oh.
ALADDIN comes back on with the remains of a pie on his face, holding an old, dirty brass lamp. He makes a dash for the far door. The Indiana Jones music plays. ALADDIN stops CENTRE STAGE and looks up at the BRIDGE
Aladdin Oy! Oy! Oy! [The music stops] Do I look like Indy? [A hat and whip are dropped from the BRIDGE to land next to him.] Oh, ha ha!
He puts on the hat, picks up the whip, and cracks it, then turns to face ABANAZAR, and backs away.
ALADDIN makes another dash across stage, accompanied by the Indiana Jones music and followed by another fusilade of custard pies. Just as he reaches the rope and makes a grab for it, ABANAZAR jerks it out of the way.
Abanazar Hand me the lamp, and I will haul you out!
We can hear the sound of the door grinding closed again.
Aladdin Why? What's so important about the lamp?
Abanazar It's none of your concern!
Aladdin You said it was powerful! What does it do!
Abanazar It's none of your business! Give it to me!
Aladdin Pull me out, then I'll give it to you!
Abanazar You are in no position to bargain! Give it to me!
Aladdin No! Not until you tell me!
Abanazar (With a final look at the closing door) Then stay and rot, fool! Stay and rot!
He withdraws from the doorway just as the massive stone door closes with a reverberating clunk, plunging ALADDIN into darkness.
Aladdin Oh smeg. Now I'm trapped! [He moves to CENTRE STAGE, where he sits and puts the lamp on the floor on his LEFT side] Trapped! And for what? A lousy lamp that's supposed to be really powerful. There wasn't even any treasure! [He looks at the lamp] Manky old thing, isn't it? I wonder what it does? [He picks it up and holds it in front of his face] I command you to show me Shah Khan and the Princess Jasmin! [Nothing happens] Huh! I command you to show me my future wife! [Again, nothing] Chuh! I command you, get me out of here! [Still nothing] Useless piece of trash! [He puts it back down on his LEFT] Dirty an' all! [To the AUDIENCE] I wonder what I should do now?
Audience Rub it!/Polish it!/Whatever!
Aladdin Rub it?/Polish it? What good's that gonna do?
Hopefully the AUDIENCE will now shout something about the GENIE, or being able to get out. In any case, ALADDIN says:
Aladdin You think so? Oh, okay!
He leans down and polishes the lamp with his sleeve. There is a sudden crack of thunder and a flash of light. The GENIE appears in the STAGE LEFT doorway.
Genie I am the Genie of the Lamp, O Master! Your wish is my command!
Aladdin (Startled) What?
Genie I am the Genie of the Lamp, O Master! Your wish is my command!
Aladdin Oh! Right! Oh. Well in that case, get me out of here!
Genie You've got to wish for it.
Genie It's the rules. I can't do anything for you until you wish for it to happen.
Aladdin Oh! Well, in that case: I wish to get out of here!
Genie Your wish is my command!
The GENIE points at the STAGE RIGHT door and there is the sound of a gun firing. The entire door falls inward, letting the last sunlight in, and leaving a level floor for ALADDIN to walk out on.
Genie (Grinning) Done!
The Throne Room of the SHAH's Palace, one week later. SHAH KHAN is once again berating ABANAZAR. PRINCESS JASMIN looks on.
Shah Khan ... And another thing! If you can't even look after three petty criminals on your own expedition, perhaps you shouldn't be my court magician!
Abanazar All three were under sentence of death - one of them for treason. I'd hardly call that petty crime.
Jasmin Treason? You mean that boy who wanted to elope with me last week? He escaped?
Abanazar Yes... He did!
Shah Khan And if you can't even keep your eye on a scrawny peasant, I don't see why you should be in such an exalted position in my court!
Jasmin (Sighs) And I never even knew his name.
Abanazar His name was Aladdin.
Jasmin What do you mean "was"? Has he died?
Abanazar I'm sure he has, by now.
Shah Khan His name and whether he is alive or dead is immaterial! The fact is that...
He is interrupted by the ENTRANCE of LLAMEKCUF from the RIGHT
Llamekcuf Your Majesty! There is a rich man outside to see you!
Shah Khan A rich man? What sort of rich man?
Llameckuf I think he's a nobleman's son, Sire.
Shah Khan Really? Send him in, by all means, send him in.
Llameckuf At once, Sire.
He bows and EXITS. The SHAH once again turns on ABANAZAR
Shah Khan Perhaps a rich nobleman will be of more help to me than a mere wizard!
ALADDIN followed by the GENIE and LLAMEKCUF ENTER LEFT. ALADDIN is now dressed in fine clothes with many deep pockets. He also wears a blatantly false beard. The GENIE carries a strongbox.
Aladdin Thank you, my man, you may leave.
He takes a bag of coins from a pocket and hands it to LLAMEKCUF, who grins and bows out again.
Shah Khan (At LLAMEKCUF's disappearing form) Yes, er, thank you, Llamekcuf. And, er, who exactly are you, and what can I do for you?
Aladdin Who are these people?
Shah Khan Allow me to present my lovely daughter, the Princess Jasmin.
He pushes JASMIN forward. ALADDIN bows and kisses her proffered hand, then looks at her face and pulls down his beard so she can see his face. He winks at her, and she gasps in recognition. ALADDIN replaces his beard and stands up.
Aladdin Delighted. And who is that pile of discarded laundry standing beside you?
Shah Khan Oh, that's just my court sorceror, Abanazar, don't worry about him.
Aladdin I won't. I wish he had something better to do than gawp at visitors.
The GENIE nods
Abanazar Er, actually Sire, I do have to help clean out the privies. If you'll excuse me?
Shah Khan Of course.
ABANAZAR EXITS LEFT, somewhat puzzled at what he's just said.
Aladdin Good. I do so like to see people being usefully employed.
Shah Khan Ah, yes, indeed. I don't believe I caught your name?
Aladdin I know you didn't. Now, Shah, I would like to get straight to the point. I want to marry your daughter!
He takes out another bag of coins and holds it out invitingly. The SHAH cannot take his eyes off it.
Shah Khan Er, yes, that's a very... interesting proposition. But I think I'd like to know something about you first.
Aladdin I'm the man asking permission to marry your beautiful daughter, and offering you a dowry of whatever you want.
Shah Khan Really! Can you make me ruler of all Persia?
Aladdin I was thinking of more monetary terms, O Shah.
Shah Khan Oh. In that case, I suppose enough money to repair the palace minarets and bakery would be out of the question?
Aladdin It depends on how much it is.
Shah Khan A hun... Two hundred thousand sheckles.
Aladdin I wish I could give you that much money... [The GENIE nods again] And do you know something? I can!
He turns to the GENIE and opens the strongbox. It is full to the brim of gold coins. The SHAH's eyes pop out of his head in greed.
Shah Khan Er, yes, that will do nicely.
Aladdin You can count it if you want. You can borrow my servant to help you.
Shah Khan Certainly! Thank you! Yes. I'd, er, better leave you to talk to your fiancé, then.
The SHAH beckons the GENIE, and they both EXIT LEFT. JASMIN checks the coast is clear, then rushes up to ALADDIN. He pulls his beard off
Jasmin Aladdin? Is that really you?
Aladdin Yes! How did you know my name?
Jasmin Abanazar told me. He said you and two others escaped when he was checking the map on his treasure-hunting expedition. He said the map was useless, and he couldn't find the right cave.
Aladdin No! Lobsang and Rum ran away, and he did find the right cave. But I got trapped when I tried bringing some of the treasure out, and he left me to die.
Jasmin But you got out!
Aladdin Yes! I found another exit, and I took as much treasure with me as I could carry.
Jasmin How much?
Aladdin The amount I just gave your father - that was a drop in the ocean!
Aladdin So. Your father thinks I'm rich and respectable - will you marry me?
Jasmin Can I stay in Samarra and live in a big house?
Aladdin If that's what you wish!
Jasmin Then of course I will!
They kiss. TABS CLOSE. SFX of wedding bells for a few seconds.
The bridge, mid-morning. ABANAZAR ENTERS LEFT.
Abanazar So, the Princess Jasmin is married to that mysterious nobleman with the false beard, eh? Hah! Did he think he could fool me? It took me a while, but I remembered where I'd seen him before. That was Aladdin! And if he's out of the cave and suddenly rich, that means he must have found out how to command the Genie. The Shah promised me the hand of Princess Jasmin, on the condition that I recovered the Hoard of Orlan. Well, that lamp is the centrepiece of the Hoard, and whoever has the lamp controls the Genie. So all I have to do is get the lamp, and Jasmin will be mine! One way or the other!
He laughs evily as he EXITS through the TABS. A couple of seconds later he shoves his head back through and treats us to another quick burst of maniacal laughter.
The entrance hall of ALADDIN's mansion, late afternoon. The lamp is on a pedestal at CENTRE REAR. ALADDIN and JASMIN are admiring the decor.
Aladdin So, how do you like your new big house?
Jasmin It's wonderful! Did you have to put that dingy old lamp there?
Aladdin Why not?
Jasmin It's horrible. It's old, it's dirty and it doesn't work.
Aladdin I like it. It was the first piece of treasure I grabbed.
Jasmin Huh! All right then. Is it safe there?
Aladdin What do you mean?
Jasmin Well, isn't it part of the treasure Abanazar wanted?
Aladdin You think he might try and steal it?
Jasmin He's very greedy. If I was him, I'd try and steal it.
Aladdin He won't try and steal it - he thinks I'm dead, trapped in the cave. He thinks the lamp is there with me.
Jasmin Well, that's a relief. I'm going to have a bath.
Aladdin Alright. I need to go to the bank anyway, I'll see you later.
IMRAN ENTERS LEFT, dressed as a butler.
Imran Yes, boss?
Aladdin I'm just off out - don't let anyone in!
Imran Okay, boss.
Jasmin Bye, dear.
They kiss each other goodbye and EXIT through opposite doors, ALADDIN RIGHT, JASMIN LEFT. IMRAN walks to CENTRE STAGE and talks to the AUDIENCE
Imran This is good, isn't it? Aladdin's stolen a load of treasure, set up house, married the Princess, and hired me as his butler. Fantastic! [He looks round] Can't say I think much of the decor, though. He never did have much taste, did Aladdin. [He goes to the lamp] And look at this! He's got a mansion-full of beautiful ornaments, and in pride of place he puts this manky old thing! He even forbids anyone to polish it as well! The money's gone to his head, I tell you!
There is a knock at the door. IMRAN answers it, and a heavily-disguised ABANAZAR ENTERS RIGHT, pushing a small cart laden with modern torches, table lamps, lightbulbs and so on.
Abanazar New lamps for old! Swap your dirty, old, inefficient, smoky oil lamps for new, bright, clean electric lamps!
Imran Sorry, no admittance!
Abanazar Is the master of the house home?
Imran No, and the mistress is unavailable. So go away.
Abanazar But I'm here to trade! I take away your old, dirty, oil lamps, and give you a nice new electric light in exchange.
Imran (Glancing at the GENIE's lamp) Really?
Imran What's the catch?
Abanazar No catch! Straight swap - new lamps for old.
Imran Hmm. Alright then! I've got one here for you.
He goes to the GENIE's lamp and hands it to ABANAZAR, ignoring the protests that the AUDIENCE wil hopefully shout.
Abanazar (To AUDIENCE) Quiet you! What do you know of trade!
IMRAN gives ABANAZAR the GENIE's lamp, snatches it from him and rubs it. There is a crack of thunder and a flash of light, and the GENIE appears in the STAGE RIGHT doorway.
Genie I am the Genie of the lamp, O Master! Your wish is my command!
Imran -kin' 'ell!
Abanazar I wish that this idiot was out of my way!
The GENIE points at IMRAN and makes a swift gesture. IMRAN is "thrown" to the STAGE REAR wall, where he lies dazed. ABANAZAR throws off his disguise.
Abanazar I wish I could find Princess Jasmin!
Genie She's in the bathroom, through that door, up the stairs, and it's the third door on the left.
ABANAZAR starts to stride OFF LEFT.
Abanazar And I wish I had some decent kidnapping music!
Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" starts playing, from "Easy come, easy go/Will you let me go?" (3m33s into the track), and continues until ABANAZAR has left with JASMIN over his shoulder. At the point where the guitar starts (4m7s into the track, 34s into the clip), ABANAZAR arrives at the bathroom and JASMIN screams. After "Oohh baaaaby!" (4m26s track, 53s clip), ABANAZAR ENTERS LEFT with JASMIN over his shoulder. He sings along with the "Just gotta get right out of here" line, then EXITS RIGHT with the GENIE. The clip fades out after the guitar solo (4m55s track, 1m22s clip), and ALADDIN ENTERS RIGHT.
Aladdin Imran! What happened?
Imran (Groaning) Some mad pedaller stole your favourite lamp! It was a magic lamp, he conjured a genie from it! Then he kidnapped Jasmin!
Aladdin Did he take the lamp?
Aladdin Which way did he go?
Imran I didn't see.
Aladdin Damn! Listen, get yourself to a doctor, I'm going to get my wife back!
TABS CLOSE. During the scene change, ABANAZAR comes through the TABS, still carrying the lamp in one hand and PRINCESS JASMIN over the other shoulder. He laughs, she screams, he carries her off LEFT.
WIDOW TWANKEY's Laundry, early evening. WIDOW TWANKEY is holding a basket of laundry, and WAZIR is reading a newspaper, when ALADDIN bursts in, out of breath.
WT Aladdin! Where have you been? I haven't seen hide nor hair of you for nearly a fortnight!
Aladdin Long story! I need some help!
WT I'll say! Let's start with a belt round the ear 'ole for giving me such a worry.
Aladdin My wife's been kidnapped!
WT Your wife! Oh, it's worse than I thought, he's got married! What's her name, and why didn't you think to introduce me?
Aladdin Princess Jasmin.
WT Princess Jasmin! A likely story! Who is it really?
Aladdin It really is Pricess Jasmin! I found treasure, and I bribed the Shah into giving us permission to marry!
Wazir Treasure? Where?
Aladdin Up in the hills. In a cave.
Wazir Was there a lamp amongst this treasure?
Aladdin How did you know about the lamp?
Wazir I've sensed it being used.
WT Ooh, you are getting good, Mr Wazir, if you can detect when someone lights a lamp.
Wazir A magic lamp. The lamp from the Hoard of Orlan, am I right?
Wazir And did whoever kidnap your wife take the lamp as well?
Aladdin Yes! Come on! We've got to rescue her!
Wazir Who kidnapped her?
Aladdin I'm not exactly sure, but it was probably Abanazar.
WT Abanazar? The Shah's sorceror?
Wazir This is bad, very bad. You remember what I said would happen if ever Abanazar got hold of the Hoard of Orlan?
WT Terrible things, terrible things!
Aladdin Then the sooner we stop him, the better!
WT But what can we do? Abanazar's a powerful magician, and now he's got control of a supernatural spirit!
Wazir Oh, there are ways, Mrs T, there are ways.
Aladdin Well, let's go then!
He runs out
Wazir After you, Mrs. T.
WT Can we do it, Mr Wazir?
Wazir You just leave Abanazar to me, Mrs. T, and you look after that lad of yours.
The SHAH's Throne Room again, dusk. ABANAZAR is standing near the STAGE RIGHT door holding the lamp. JASMIN is cowering behind her father on the other side of the stage. LLAMEKCUF is standing halfway between the SHAH and ABANAZAR, with his scimitar drawn, and pointing it towards ABANAZAR.
Abanazar You promised me the hand of your daughter once I recovered the Hoard of Orlan.
Shah Khan And what have you brought me? A lamp!
Abanazar The lamp that was the whole point of Orlan's Hoard!
Shah Khan You say so, but I've seen no proof! Where's this all-powerful genie that's supposed to be in there?
He rubs the lamp. There is a crack of thunder and a flash of light, and the GENIE appears behind ABANAZAR in the doorway.
Genie I am the Genie of the lamp, O Master! Your wish is my command!
Abanazar I wish to present the Shah with the world's largest ruby.
The GENIE takes a massive ruby out of its' pocket and tosses it to the SHAH, who catches it. LLAMEKCUF sheathes his scimitar.
Shah Khan Amazing! Is it real?
Abanazar Of course! This Genie will do anything I wish of it.
Shah Khan I wish to be ruler of all Persia!
Genie The only one who commands me is the one who rubbed the lamp.
Abanazar And the only way to usurp command of the Genie is to speak its' real name. So, Your Majesty, am I to marry your daughter as promised?
Shah Khan Yes, of course!
Jasmin Father, you can't! I am already married to Aladdin!
Abanazar Aladdin the traitor who tried to kidnap you from your room? Aladdin the escaped prisoner? Aladdin the man who asked for your hand under a false identity?
Shah Khan You cannot marry a traitor, Jasmin. That marriage is annulled. I hereby pronounce you married to Abanazar!
Abanazar Thank you, father. And now, I think, it's time for me to ascend the throne. Today Samarra, tomorrow all of Persia, and on [THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW], the world!
Shah Khan What do you mean, Abanazar? You cannot inherit my throne until I am...
Abanazar Dead, yes. Genie! I wish Shah Khan to be dead!
Genie Yes, Master!
The GENIE points at SHAH KHAN, who tries to run. There is the sound of a gun firing. The SHAH screams, and is thrown out of the STAGE LEFT door by the force of the spell. ABANAZAR turns on LLAMEKCUF, who is drawing his scimitar again.
Abanazar I rule now! You are the ruler's bodyguard! Serve me well, and you will be rewarded. Otherwise, I shall make a wish...
LLAMEKCUF sheathes his scimitar
Llamekcuf Yes, Your Majesty. What are your orders?
Abanazar Escort my wife to her bedchamber. I have one last matter to attend to.
Llamekcuf Yes, O Shah!
He takes JASMIN's arm and leads her out LEFT. ABANAZAR turns to the GENIE.
Abanazar I wish to know where Aladdin is.
Genie He is coming here.
Abanazar Excellent! Straight into the lions den! I will devise something especially nasty for him. To my workshop!
They EXIT LEFT. After a few moments, ALADDIN, WAZIR and WIDOW TWANKEY ENTER RIGHT. WIDOW TWANKEY is armed with a heavy rolling pin, ALADDIN has got an axe.
Aladdin Well, Wazir? Where are they?
Wazir Just a second! [He closes his eyes and presses his fingers to his temples for a second] They were here recently.
WT How can you tell?
Wazir The Shah's body's over there. I'm guessing no-one's had time to clear it away yet. That means Abanazar must have demonstrated the Genie's power and married Jasmin.
Aladdin Then I'll have to kill Abanazar and marry her again.
Wazir Yes, but leave Abanazar to me.
WT Are you sure you can handle him, Mr Wazir?
Wazir Trust me.
Aladdin But where is he? And where's Jasmin?
Wazir Alright (He closes his eyes and presses his fingers to his temples again) Jasmin is in her bedchamber...
Aladdin Then there's no time to lose!
He runs out LEFT
Wazir Wait! Someone's with her, and it's not Abanazar. He's in his underground workshop with the Genie.
WT What's he doing there?
Wazir Devising something nasty to welcome us, I daresay. You get after Aladdin, I'll deal with Abanazar.
They both EXIT LEFT as the TABS CLOSE. BLACKOUT.
The Workshop. When the lights come up, we see ABANAZAR and the GENIE STAGE RIGHT.
Abanazar I need to devise something spectacular for Aladdin's end - I want people to know he lost - lost to me, and that means horrible consequences.
Genie Why not Wish me to do it for you?
Abanazar No - it must be seen to be me that does it. The people must know it was me that beat him. You must be a secret. The best secret ever kept.
Genie I see. You Wish my assistance in devising a suitable end for him?
Abanazar Yes. I also wish to know where he is.
Genie He is approaching the door to Princess Jasmin's bedchamber.
Abanazar What? You didn't tell me he was that close before!
Genie You didn't Wish to know how far away he was.
Abanazar Damn you! Take me there!
Abanazar Jasmin's bedchamber!
The GENIE does nothing.
Abanazar Well, get on with it then!
Genie You haven't Wished yet.
Abanazar All right! I wish...
WAZIR ENTERS LEFT
Abanazar What? Who are you?
Wazir I am Wazir the Fakir, and I am your nemesis.
Abanazar What? You think you can destroy me? When I have the world's most powerful Genie at my command?
Wazir Who said anything about the Genie? Methanol! Back to your lamp!
Genie (Disappointed) Do I have to?
Wazir I have spoken your name! Obey!
Genie (Sullenly) Yes, Master!
The GENIE EXITS as rapidly as possible.
Wazir And now it's just you and I, Abanazar.
Abanazar Yes, it is. You - a street Fakir of no importance; and I - a powerful sorceror, recently made Shah of Samarra in place of the man I served!
Wazir And killed.
Abanazar I did not kill Khan!
Wazir No - it was the Genie on your orders, I have no doubt. But the Genie can help you no longer.
Abanazar I do not need help to destroy you!
ABANAZAR hurls a spell at WAZIR, who calmly waves an arm and it dispells. (The FX crew can have all the fun they want depicting the spells. Green strobe? Bexhill's Batter Pudding?) ABANAZAR tries the Thunderbolt spell, and again, WAZIR calmly deflects it. Then WAZIR snaps a spell at ABANAZAR, who dodges. It goes on - ABANAZAR angrily throwing vast destructive spells at WAZIR, who calmly blocks or dispells them, and returns fire with short, snappy spells, that ABANAZAR only just dodges. This goes on until the AUDIENCE are cheering for WAZIR and shouting for him to finish ABANAZAR, or until the actors get bored.
At the end of the duel, WAZIR simply catches the last of ABANAZAR's spells and throws it back at him. It catches ABANAZAR full in the chest, and he is thrown back onto the wall. He slides to the ground groaning. WAZIR walks over to him.
Wazir Do you want to know how I beat you?
Wazir I used your own magic against you. I absorbed your spells, until I had enough power to bounce one back at you. That was your undoing, you placed too much faith in raw power, and not its' application.
Abanazar Oh, piffle! You just wanted to show off!
Wazir That too.
BLACKOUT. WAZIR and ABANAZAR remove themselves from the stage.
TABS OPEN onto PRINCESS JASMIN's room. It is night outside. JASMIN is sitting crying with her head in her hands on her bed. LLAMEKCUF is standing with sword drawn facing the STAGE RIGHT door. We hear one or two axe blows, then the door smashes open. ALADDIN bursts in, wielding the axe.
Llamekcuf Hold there, and surrender!
Aladdin You surrender! I want my wife back!
JASMIN looks up.
Aladdin Don't worry, Jasmin! I'll save you from Abanazar!
Llamekcuf You'll have to get past me first!
Aladdin If you insist!
There is a brief fight, during which ALADDIN maneouvres LLAMEKCUF round so that his back is to the door. ALADDIN drives LLAMEKCUF back, and has nearly forced him out of the door, when LLAMEKCUF catches his weapon arm and socks him across the jaw, hurling ALADDIN back.
LLAMEKCUF is just bringing his scimitar up to administer the killing stroke, when WIDOW TWANKEY ENTERS through the door immediately behind LLAMEKCUF.
WT I hope that's not my son you're threatening!
LLAMEKCUF spins round and gets clobbered in the stomach with the rolling pin. He doubles over, and WIDOW TWANKEY hits him across the back with it, and he falls to the ground. ALADDIN gets up and embraces JASMIN.
Voice from the Dungeon (Off) Oh, chaining him up are you? Going soft, are you? You're even putting the boot in! Luxury! Luxury I tell you! Why don't I ever get beaten up? Too common, am I? Come on, let me out of these chains and I'll show you real suffering! Oh! You spat on him! You never spit on me! Come on, spit on me, just once! Just once! Where are you going? Leaving him there to rot are you? Oh, I wish! Why d'you never leave me to rot? Oh, if only you'd just leave me alone to rot! Go on! Leave me to rot! See how you like it!
Abanazar (Off) Will you shut up!
Voice from the Dungeon (Off) Oooh! "Shut up" he says! "Shut up!" What I'd give to be able to shut up! Jailor's pet! Thinking that just anyone can shut up! Do you realise what some of us have to go through to shut up? There are whole streets out there that would give anything to shut up!
Abanazar (Off) Jailor! Jailor!
Voice from the Dungeon (Off) Running to mother, are we? Getting scared by the nasty boys who live here?
Abanazar (Off) Jailor! Please! Is there any chance I can be executed tonight!?
LIGHTS UP, CURTAIN CALLS.
© Brian Wakeling