Saturday, 27 October 2012
by Ashley Lister
A radio play with costume changes.
This is a one act play for three actors.
Actor #1: Sherlock Holmes [wearing a deerstalker and holding a pipe].
Actor #2 plays Mr Oldman and The Ghost.
Actor #3 plays the following characters using the following props and voices:Miss Marples [holds a handbag/has an old lady voice]; Hercule Poirot [Wears a moustache/has a Belgian/Frenchman voice]; Philip Marlowe [Wears a hat/has an American accent]; Scooby Doo [Wears dog ears/does a Scooby-Doo impression] and Dr Watson [No props/has a Scot’s accent].
Mr Oldman: Ah! Sherlock Holmes. I’m so pleased you could come here to help me with my little problem.
Sherlock Holmes: Mr Oldman. I look forward to solving your mystery – the case of the Haunted Fairground – by using my logical reasoning and my intelligent processes of deduction. To illustrate my prowess: I have already deduced that you own this fairground.
Mr Oldman: [Unimpressed] Yes. It says Fairground Owner on my name badge. You’re not really that great, are you? [beat] I was worried that this case might prove difficult. Consequently I’ve enlisted some assistants for you.
Sherlock Holmes: No. I’m the great Sherlock Holmes. I don’t need assistants.
Mr Oldman: [ignoring him] There’s Miss Marples.
Miss Marples: Good afternoon, young man.
Sherlock Holmes: No. Chuff off.
Mr Oldman: There’s Hercule Poirot.
Hercule Poirot: Bonjour, mon ami.
Sherlock Holmes: I don’t need any help.
Mr Oldman: There’s Philip Marlowe.
Philip Marlowe: Here’s looking at you, kid.
Sherlock Holmes: Go away.
Mr Oldman: And there’s Scooby-Doo.
Sherlock Holmes: A talking dog?
Sherlock Holmes: A barely literate, talking dog. Honestly, I prefer to work solely with my bromance colleague, Dr John Watson. [Hastily] Not that I’ve got anything against working with dotty old women, dodgy foreigners or barely literate talking dogs.
Mr Oldman: I’m afraid Dr Watson can’t work with you on this case. He’s dead. That’s why I asked you to investigate this crime.
Sherlock Holmes: Watson’s dead! Good Lord. How did that happen?
Mr Oldman: Well, since you’re the detective, you’re supposed to tell us. However, I can tell you that he was found pecked to death at the bottom of a chicken coop.
Sherlock Holmes: A chicken coop? [beat] I suspect [waggles pipe] foul play.
Hercule Poirot: I suspect it was a disenfranchised lover.
Philip Marlowe: I think it was the drop-dead blonde with the big tits.
Miss Marples: It was probably a darkie in the library.
Sherlock Holmes: [Sherlock Holmes stares at Miss Marples in disbelief.] A darkie in the library? For chuff’s sake. Are you solving crimes on behalf of the BNP?
Mr Oldman: Don’t be distracted by Miss Marples’ generational racism. There’s a case for you to solve, Holmes. I’ll leave you detectives to solve your case whilst I go and attend to Haunted Fairground business.
Exeunt Mr Oldman
Sherlock Holmes: I should really go and check on the body of my poor old friend, Dr Watson. I see his hand is reaching into the soil and pushing up daisies. There’s a receipt in his other hand to show that he’s cashed in his chips. His lips are closed hard, as though he’s bitten a mouthful of dust. And I can see that there’s a bucket by his foot. It looks like it’s been kicked, in another attempt to write a really shitty pun.
Ghost/Mr Oldman: Woo Hoo Woo Hoo. I am a scary ghost. Chuff off you bunch of detectives. Go away.
Sherlock Holmes: Egads! A ghost!
Hercule Poirot: Mon Dieu!
Philip Marlowe: Holy-Moly!
Miss Marples: What colour is this ghost?
Sherlock Holmes: [Sherlock Holmes stares at Miss Marples in disbelief.] What colour is the ghost? Chuffing hell. You really are a bigoted old battleaxe, aren’t you? How many black blokes have you sent to the gallows in your books, you racist old cow?
Ghost/Mr Oldman: Woo Hoo Woo Hoo. I am a scary ghost. Chuff off you bunch of detectives. Stop focusing on the racist old bag and focus on the murderous ghost. Be scared of the ghost.
Miss Marples: I never sent any black blokes to the gallows in my stories, Mr Holmes. Black blokes have never been allowed in St Mary Mead. Well, not unless they’re servants.
Ghost/Mr Oldman: Woo Hoo Woo Hoo. I am a scary ghost. I’m trying to give you a clue that your great detective minds can work out.
Miss Marples: Ah! I see it’s a black ghost. Never mind. We should still listen to what it has to say.
Sherlock Holmes: Scooby. Be a good dog and piss on that racist woman.
Miss Marples: Mr Holmes! There’s no need for rudeness. We have a mystery to solve.
Sherlock Holmes: I’ve solved it. The ghost is Mr Oldman. He killed Dr Watson. Mr Oldman is a serial killer.
Hercule Poirot: Le plume de ma tente!
Philip Marlowe: Howdy-Doody
Miss Marples: It’s one thing to make an accusation, Mr Holmes. But what makes you think the ghost is really Mr Oldman?
Sherlock Holmes: It wasn’t difficult to work out. He’s still wearing his name badge.
Miss Marples: But why would Mr Oldman kill Dr Watson?
Sherlock Holmes: I suspect Watson had already worked out that Mr Oldman was the ghost haunting this haunted fairground. Watson was always very good at reading name badges.
Hercule Poirot: But why would monsieur Oldman want to haunt his own fairground? Sacre Bleu? It makes no sense.
Sherlock Holmes: I don’t know. Insurance I suspect. A weak plot structure, more likely. Or maybe he just likes wearing sheets whilst he’s out so he can interfere with himself in public.
Hercule Poirot: [reflectively] Ah yes! Which of us can honestly say we do not enjoy that particular pleasure?
Philip Marlowe: But you said he was a serial killer. That suggests he’s killed more than one person.
Sherlock Holmes: There’s not much slips past the vast intellect of you Americans detectives, is there?
Philip Marlowe: Who else has he killed, Sherlock Holmes? And why are you pointing that gun at me?
Philip Marlowe: Holy-Moly. I’m shot.
Hercule Poirot: Chanson D’Amour! I am also shot.
Miss Marples: Ouch. You blackguard. You popped a cap in my ass.
Scooby-Doo: Shaggy! You bastard.
Ghost/Mr Oldman: What the hell are you doing, Holmes?
Sherlock Holmes: I’m enhancing my reputation. No one would care if I discovered a creepy weirdo was dressing up like a ghost and tugging one off whilst he floated around the fairground. But now I’m going to be credited with having brought down the serial killer who knocked off four legendary detectives.
Ghost/Mr Oldman: I’ll tell the truth. Everyone will know you’re a fraud.
Ghost/Mr Oldman: Ouch.
Watson stands up from the floor.
Sherlock Holmes: Watson! You’re not dead.
Dr Watson: No, Holmes. Don’t you remember? It was part of our plan that I should pretend to be dead so we could kill Mr Oldman and then buy his land cheap, demolish the fairground and build a private school on the land.
Holmes: Of course.
Dr Watson: And what sort of school do you think we should build here, Holmes?
Sherlock Holmes: [waggles his pipe] Elementary, my dear Watson.