Something else penned for yet another Skipton Players Christmas Show (the 2004 one). I did it mainly to prove how easy and quick it is to choreograph a decent swordfight, so that panto goers don't have to suffer a fight apparently choreographed by a horse. The whole sketch lasts about 2 minutes, of which there are only 17 seconds of actual swordplay.

Dastardly Dick

Voice Off Clear the stage! Evil Genius coming through!

Everybody gets off the stage as quick as possible. ENTER STAGE LEFT, the VILLAIN, wearing a black suit, cloak and top hat, with huge moustache for twiddling. He has a sword.

Villain Aha! My name - and I know that some people in the wings are going to laugh at this - is Dastardly Dick. And the person you can hear sniggering is my faithful sidekick Lee Mutt. Now, as I am an Evil Genius of the old school, not only do I get to wear a special commemorative tie, I also get to tie people to railway tracks!

He looks round - nothing.

Villain As there donít appear to be any victims, or indeed, railway tracks, I guess Iím going to have to be - dare I say it? - original!

Strikes dramatic pose with one finger in the air and a wild stare.

Villain I'll just lop someone's head off!

Drops pose. Looks around again.

Villain Still no victims though. Volunteers, anyone?

Someone vulnerable-looking gets pushed on stage.

Villain Ah, excellent! Just step over here, please.

The VICTIM does so, nervously.

Victim I, er, I only came here for a haircut.

Villain Thatís excellent! Todayís special is a once in a lifetime offer of a completely free short back and insides. Just stand still and lift your chin please, we donít want this to be messy, do we?

The VICTIM stand still with eyes clenched shut, CENTRE STAGE. The VILLAIN is standing to the VICTIMís RIGHT, and is just winding up to take a huge swing, when the HERO ENTERS LEFT, with sword.

Hero Stop!

Villain Who the Hell are you?

Hero Iím J. Random Hero, rescues a speciality!

Villain And I suppose youíre here to save this person from decapitation?

Hero Thatís right! I'm also available for weddings, christenings and bar mitzvahs!

VILLAIN lowers his sword.

Villain All right, then. You - hoppit. But donít go too far, this wonít take long.

VICTIM runs off stage. Both VILLAIN and HERO raise their swords.

Villain Right, letís get this over with!

2 1
3 4
4 3
1 2
2 1

They break and circle. The VILLAIN is now STAGE LEFT, the HERO is STAGE RIGHT.

Villain Youíre better than I expected!

Hero Youíre just as bad as I thought youíd be!

1 2
4 3
3 4
2 1
1 2

They cross swords and hold.

Hero Look! A spaceship!

They break as the VILLAIN looks round. He sees no spaceship.

Villain Hey! Itís my job to cheat - Iím the villain!

Hero Yeah, but thatís boring. Everybody knows bad guys have more fun.

Villain And Iím not even blonde!

5L 6
5R 6
5L 6 Wide
Spin and change  
3 Die

Villain Curses! Foiled again!

VILLAIN dies. HERO EXITS in triumph.



If you are familiar with stage combat notation, you may not recognise what I have done here. As the fight was written for a novice, I decided to simplify hugely. The blade actions are shown as odd numbers being attacks, and even numbers being parries.

With a sabre as the weapon, and assigning numbers to an attack that corresponds to the parry necessary to defend from it:

1corresponds toA5(Attack to head)
2corresponds toP5(Parry Quinte)
3corresponds toA4(Attack to flank)
4corresponds toP4(Parry Quarte)
5 is a double handed attack in the direction of the suffix, with an almost vertical blade
6 is the corresponding parry, not really meant to hinder the passage of the attacking blade

Click to see a video of the fight