Judy & Punch (2019) Script

(WHIMSICAL MUSIC PLAYS)

¶ Aah! ¶

(PANTING)

(PANTING)

(CROW CAWS)

(HORSE NEIGHS)

(SHEEP BLEAT)

(MAN SPEAKS IN THE DISTANCE)

(PANTING)

MAN: ..His fist shall thunder down upon those who have strayed from the path.

Those of you who kneel at the foot of the Devil.

(CONTINUES PREACHING IN THE DISTANCE)

(RAT SQUEAKS, CHICKENS CLUCK)

(MEN GRUNT)

(LAUGHTER)

Hey, little fella, you look almost man enough to come in for a nurture.

(WOMEN LAUGH)

(DISTANT LAUGHTER)

(HUBBUB)

(BOTH ARGUE) Fuckin' hell!

No guinea too big. No... Thank you kindly, sir.

No penny too small.

Come, now. Thank you, sir.

Come, now, don't be cheap.

Come, now, coin in the tin.

Come, now.

Thank you kindly, sir.

Thank you, sir.

No penny too small. (CONTINUES SPRUIKING)

Here, darling. Thank you, sir.

Ladies and gentlemen, the show is about to begin.

Sit down!

The show is about to begin.

(DRUM ROLL)

(BANG!) (APPLAUSE AND CHEERING)

Come now, come now, you cheap little asses.

Coin in the tin afore payin' time passes.

Don't slag us off, don't turn your head.

For friends we are, not foe! (LAUGHTER)

But if you dirty little fuckers don't cough up your bread, we won't be showing you a show!

You've heard the talk from far and wide of Punch's puppet play.

"Best in the world", "The greatest show", is what the critics say.

The congregations of St Paul's grow thinner every day.

They're coming to the show of shows, not kneeling down to pray.

(ROARS OF LAUGHTER)

Professor Punch is back at last!

Town's most truthful preacher.

So sit your arse down, don't fuck around, and enjoy the theatre feature!

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

We love you, Punch!

¶ BACH: TOCCATA AND FUGUE IN D MINOR ¶


(SCATTERED LAUGHTER)

(CROWD EXCLAIMS)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(UPBEAT ELECTRONIC MUSIC)

(ELECTRONIC VERSION OF BACH'S TOCCATA AND FUGUE IN D MINOR)

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(AUDIENCE EXCLAIMS AND LAUGHS)

(CHEERING) -Knock 'em out! Knock 'em out!

OK, move across, move across.

(AUDIENCE BOOS)

(ELECTRONIC MUSIC CONTINUES)

(AUDIENCE EXCLAIMS)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(SHOUTS)

(CHEERING AND LAUGHTER)

That's the way to do it!

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(WILD CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

Ladies and gentlemen, the one, the only, the greatest puppeteer of our time -

Professor Punch!

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

You all best be spreading the word that the Punch show is back.

One show a week, catch it while you can.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

Tell friends, foes and neighbours alike.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE CONTINUE)

PUNCH: Thank you, thank you so much.

Surely you spilled some?

I'm afraid not, honey.

A more niggardly town than Seaside'd be hard to find.

But what was lacking from their pockets they made up for in applause.

You think it went well, then? You think they liked us?

Liked us? They loved us!

(LAUGHS) We killed it, honey. We did.

Yes! We smashed it to bits and pieces, didn't we?

We slaughtered them!

(LAUGHS)

A main stage awaits us, my love.

I can hear the applause already, Jude.

I close my eyes for a moment and I can hear it.

The greatest puppeteer of his generation.

(CANNED CHEERING)

So?

Scouts? Any scouts?

I saw none.

We'll just make sure each show is a smasher.

Yeah. They'll be in soon enough.

Yes, yes. Soon enough. Soon enough.

Now is our time, Jude.

The big theatres are opening again.

Our show is the best.

It won't be long before we're whisked away to brighter things with fanfare unimaginable.

I promise you that.

I was just wondering, honey, the show seems to be getting punchier all the time.

Very punchy, in fact.

Do you think it needs to be quite so smashy?

Well, that's what the people like.

They like punchy, and they like smashy.

You've heard them, Jude. That's what they want, my love.

I'm an artist. (CHUCKLES)

It is not for me to question my gift, I can only surrender to it.

If my gut tells me to be punchy and smashy, I guess we're doing the punchy and smashy.

Come here and give Punch some love.

What?

Oh. (CHUCKLES) Come on.

There's another promise I'd sooner have you keep.

My sweet and talented wife!

So blessed I am to have ya.

JUDY: Sweet and talented indeed.

(CANNED CHEERING) (SCOFFS)

PUNCH: (LAUGHS) Wahoo!

There you go! Look at you.

PUNCH: Look at you. One more time.

One more time. Let's go higher.

Whoo! (LAUGHS) (BABY CRIES)

(SINGS) Happy stoning day. (CRIES)

You've gone and turned her stomach upside down.

That thing does nothing but bellow.

It's you who does nothing but bellow, and as a grown man, it's harder to fathom.

And before I knew it, I was falling... ooh, right down, past the clouds, past the branches.

I thought for certain I was about to meet my end.

But as the ground came up to meet me, it wasn't the hard clay, but a giant pillow of autumn leaves that broke my fall.

(CHUCKLES)

I sank into it.

And when I awoke, I was near suffocated in my own pillow.

(LAUGHS) (BELL RINGS)

PUNCH: Maid!

Sounds like the devil's awake and wants his sausages.

Now, you stay put like I told you, and when I'm done with the day, we can stroll.

Am I fit for a visitor should one arrive unannounced?

More handsome now than the day I met you.

(BELL RINGS)

(BELL RINGS) Maid!

Maid! Morning, Master Punch.

Won't be too long, just got to get this pan sizzling.

Sausages?

Would I risk a hiding serving you anything but?

Any more sausages and you'll likely turn into one.

Morning, Judy. How was the show, then?

It went well.

The crowd was... Slaughtered them!

Smashed it to bits and pieces!

(SNIFFS)

We'll be done with these worn-out loitersacks in no time.

The big smoke awaits us.

MAID: I quite got used to you being back.

PUNCH: Well, get unused to it.

I have to change the baby before we go.

Make sure you get a better one.

BOTH: I never liked that one anyhow.

Your jokes are getting hoary, honey.

You might want to dream up some new ones.

MAN: Happy stoning day.

Rock, madam?

Rock, sir?

First in, best rock.

I'll catch up.

No need to rush. But it helps. (CHUCKLES)

Happy stoning day.

(GASPS) Mr Punch!

Oh, Mr Frankly!

Oh, so very glad you made it, Punch.

We were hoping perhaps you'll do us the honour of casting the first stone?

Oh, why, thank you.

I hear you've netted some good ones.

Oh, yes, we've been saving them up for today.

That Goodbuckle woman, I always had a feeling about that one.

I'll be happy to cast the first.

Excellent.

Glad to hear, Punch.

Glad to hear it!

It seems some folk are getting squeamish around here.

"Stop stoning women!", all that nonsense.

The good old values are slipping.

'Tis left to men of strong will such as you and I to bring these acts of heresy to an end.

Do you agree? I do.

Very good. Well, I'll see you after at McDrinky's for a celebratory ale.

Actually, I...

I've promised the old missus to lay low-ish on the booze on account of my hot liver.

Oh.

Oh, hello. (CHUCKLES)

Right you are. Well...

Happy stoning day!

(COW LOWS)

PREACHER: We seek out the vile and the unholy and the wanton and we will destroy the evil demons and lovers of Satan.

(CHEERING)

And when they... (HORN BLOWS)

Thank you.

Good people of Seaside, today I present to you three fresh, filthy examples of the wave of evil that is sweeping across our fine land.

(CROWD MURMURS ANGRILY)

All have confessed to their crimes and shall die on account of them.

CROWD: Yeah!

Harriet Slibber, whose chickens all died on the same night due to obvious sorcery.

CROWD: Shame! Glenda Putts, who tried to conceal a rash upon her back which was patently some kind of Devil marking.

(CROWD EXCLAIMS) MAN: Devil's whore!

And Esther Goodbuckle, whose husband, Rodney Goodbuckle, found her staring at the moon for a suspiciously very long time.

MAN: It's terrible!

Yes, it is, Rodney!

It's terrible!

And though we have three whole witches standing before you today, we must remain vigilant.

We must continue to hunt them down until we have expunged each and every one!

(CROWD ROARS APPROVAL) Those that lurk among us and those that have fled to haunt us from the black forest yonder.

(EERIE ANIMAL CALLS)

(SILENCE)

Anyway...

..to the stoning!

(CHEERING) (HORN BLOWS)

Good dying!

ALL: Good dying!

Mr Punch.

Good one.

(CROWD ROARS) (WOMEN SCREAM)

(WOMEN WAIL)

(CROWD CHEERS)

Happy stoning day!

(UPBEAT FOLK TUNE)

(CROWD YELLS AND CHEERS)

That's a mighty strong stone-hurling arm you've got.

Thank you for noticing, Poll.

Such a robust appendage must prove very useful.

Very useful indeed.

I take it you're well?

I'm very well, thank you for asking.

And, Pancake, Flea, I trust you're both well?

Fine show last night.

We three enjoyed it aplenty.

So few cultured men like yourself in Seaside.

I'm glad you liked it.

And it's a very lucky town for having one as pretty as you residing in it.

Haven't seen you around McDrinky's in a while.

We were just on our way.

Why don't you join us for a nip or two?

I would love to, Poll, but I'm trying to keep on the straight and sober while the show's on the up.

Hoping to get scouted by the bigwigs.

McDrinky's, with all its...

..offerings, as you know, is my major weak spot.

Well, you know where to find us, should you change your mind.

Come on!

JUDY: Now, watch very closely.

This bag is empty, yes?

CHILDREN: Yes. Coin in the bag.

CHILD: Here.

(CHILD SPEAKS INDISTINCTLY)

CHILDREN: Wow!

CHILDREN: Oh! CHILD: That's good.

(CHILDREN LAUGH AND GASP)

(CHILDREN EXCLAIM)

CHILD: Please.

JUDY: Gently.

CHILD: Oh, wow!

CHILD: Ready?

(CRACK!) (CHILDREN SCREAM)

CHILD: Oh!

Alright, run along now. That's enough.

(CHILDREN WHINGE) Show's over.

(CHILDREN CHATTER)

Oh, good day, Judy.

JUDY: Constable.

Wonderful show last night.

Wonderful. You really have your way with the puppets.

A way! You really have a way with the puppets.

(BABY COOS)

Well, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Just one word, Judy.

You might wish to keep those magic tricks a little on the lowdown.

So convincing they are they'll be taken for sorcery and the last thing I would like to see is a woman such as yourself before the stoners.

Of course my personal opinion is that you're wonderful.

It's wonderful.

The tricks, I mean, the magic is wonderful.

But it seems some folk in Seaside are...

..prone to superstition.

More and more by the day, it would appear.

Well, thank you for the warning, Derrick.

I should continue my patrol.

All the breast.

All the...very breast.

(CHUCKLES)

Have you seen Punch?

Thank you.

(DISTANT LAUGHTER)

(WILD CHEERING AND LAUGHTER)

MAN: One more, one more, one more.

(SHOUTS INDISTINCTLY)

(WOMAN LAUGHS) (CHEERING)

MAN: That's the way! That's the way!

(WILD CHEERING)

JUDY: You'll grow strong and able with a sturdy constitution just like your papa.

But all the best bits you'll inherit from your mama.

Those will be the bits that count the most.

The very bits that made your papa love her at the start.

(SIGHS) (BABY GURGLES)

(DISTANT CHEERING)

(MUTED CHEERING)

(GIGGLES)


(MAN MURMURS)

(MUTTERS TO HIMSELF)

This way. (MURMURS)

This way.

Watch your step.

(SNORING)

How's the world looking outside that there window this morning, my love?

It seems the weather has turned and storm clouds are gathering.

Where's that thumb-twiddling maid of ours?

She should mind I don't give her a whacking.

Maid!

(BANGS) Maid! That's enough!

I'll not go down this road again, Punch.

If your true want is to resurrect our show, you have to stay on the straight and sober.

Can you do that?

Punch?

Can you do that?

It's one small slip, my love.

I got excited.

From now on, only good decisions.

That's a Punch promise.

You've made your share of promises already.

Promises aren't the hard part.

It's the keeping of them you seem to find so difficult!

PUNCH: Well...

I will try to keep...

..the promises...

..I've already promised.

That's a Punch oath.

That's even...

..even better than a promise.

'Cause, you know, it's an oath.

It's even better.

(DOG BARKS)

(BARKS)

PUNCH: Want some?

(DOG BARKS)

PUNCH: Yeah? You want, yeah?

Now, go on, have a little. No.

(LAUGHS)

(DOG YELPS AND PANTS)

JUDY: I'm to go clean the theatre.

Maude is off to the market.

We'll be no more than an hour.

There are more sausages for your lunch.

You'll have to skin those rabbits, I can't stomach it.

And help Scaramouche stack that wood, like you promised me. Yes?

PUNCH: Mm-hm.

And, Punch...

..no boozing with the baby.

(SIGHS) You better stack the wood and don't lose the baby, and blah, blah, blah, blah.

What good is a servant if he's too old to serve?

(BABY CRIES) Hey.

Hey, what's the matter?

Whee! (BABY CRIES)

Whee!

Look at that! Whee! (BABY CRIES)

There you go.

(DOG BARKS)

Look! Look at the little doggy.

What's the matter, Toby?

Doesn't the old man feed you proper? Is that the story?

(DOG BARKS) Where is old Scaramouche?

Whistling away in the servants' quarters, no use to anybody?

Hey!

Get back here!

Stay there.

(DOG WHIMPERS)

Your damn rat dog ate my breakfast!

Took it clean off my plate!

He can be a snappy little pup, that one.

But no harm done.

(STUTTERS) He really is a good little boy, is Toby.

(DOG WHIMPERS)

Can I offer you a drink, Master Punch?

(SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC)

And they named the town Seaside because they believed that one day the sea would lap right at our doorsteps.

Right at the bottom of the hill there.

What gave them that idea, I don't know, seeing as how the sea is a good three-day mule ride from here.

Oh, and they all built fishing boats in anticipation too.

You're not making any sense at all, old man.

I'm telling you, I can't understand a single word you're saying.

I don't know where all those old fishing boats went.

Anyway, how is that little baby of yours this morning, Master Punch?

What? Your baby.

How is the baby?

(PANTING)

You can't be crawling into every blazing stove you see, you hear me?

One of these days you're going to find yourself all burnt to a crisp.

(PANTING)

(BABY WHINES)

(DOG WHIMPERS)


Hey!

(DOG BARKS)


(PANTING) (DOG BARKS)

Hey!

(BABY WHINES) (GRUNTS)

(SCREAMS)

(BABY WAILS)

(THUD!)

(PANTING)

(DOG BARKS)

(BIRD CHIRPS)

JUDY: Punch!

It's too hot a day to have the house all locked up like this.

What hell has broken loose here?

Where is the baby?

You can't keep up with this behaviour, Punch.

I can't trust you alone with her for even an hour.

Where is she, Punch?

You can't just put her down and leave her, she's too small!

Not two minutes in the door, and straight to poor Punch with your nagging.

Punch! Where have you put her?

Where is she?

Please, Punch.

Punch, try to remember what you've done with her.

She's lost her shoe, Punch.

We have to find her.

Her little foot will be cold.

That baby just couldn't keep itself put.

I'd sit her down in one place and turn for a moment and she'd have wound up in another.

And you told me no boozing but the dog stole my breakfast and then Scaramouche made me have a tipple.

He's like an evil wizard, that old man -

I never trusted him.

And anyway...

..I accidentally dropped the baby out the window.

But what's done is done and I suppose we just move on with our lives.

What do you mean you dropped her out the window?

(GLASS BANGS ON THE TABLE)

It's time we moved on with our lives.

What do you mean you dropped the baby out the window?

(BREATHES HEAVILY)

What do you mean you dropped the baby out the window?!

Pull yourself together! What do you mean?!

No!

(SCREAMS)

JUDY: No!

JUDY: No!

(GRUNTS)

That's the way to do it!

(PANTING)

Judy?

Judy!

My love?

You can go ahead and get up now.

(PANTING)

(ELECTRONIC VERSION OF BACH'S AIR ON THE G STRING)


(ELECTRONIC MUSIC CONTINUES)


(ELECTRONIC MUSIC FADES)


That's the way to do it.

(DOOR CREAKS)

(CLATTER)

Is it morning time already?

Are we to stack the wood?

(ARMCHAIR CREAKS)

(SIGHS)

(LIGHT SNORING)

(EXHALES)

(TOBY GROWLS)

Hello, Toby. (TOBY GROWLS)

That's no welcome reception for your old friend Punch now, is it?

(TOBY GROWLS)

How about you come down here and keep me company?

(TOBY YELPS) (BONES SNAP)

(EERIE MUSIC)

(CHICKENS CLUCK)

Ye did it again!

Onie chance ye gie ye, take a swatch at mah cards.

Yer a cheat ben an' ben.

Gonnae-no accusin' me!

I wasn't lookin' at yer glaikit cards, Ah was checkin' on mah cuddie which happens tae be tethered ower yer shoolder.

Ha! That's the most glaikit excuse I've ever heard!

Ah don't loch yer accusatory tone.

Ah think it's shan. Ah''ve ne'er cheated in mah life!

If ye tois ur gonnae keep fightin', Ah don't want tae play anymair!

Where's the new constable?

Ah dunnae ken.

Most likely daein' his make-up, Ah imagine.

(MEN LAUGH) What?

Aye, or gaitherin' wildflowers tae decorate th' watch hoose!

I need to speak with him immediately to report the missing of my dear wife and baby.

RUFFIANS: The watch hoose.

Mr Punch?

I'm sorry to disturb you, Constable, but I've come to report a crime.

Right. Excellent.

Er, it's just it's been a quiet few days.

Still trying to convince the town to trust me with their grievances rather than take the law into their own hands.

I'm looking forward to having something to sink my teeth into... so to speak.

How can I help, sir?

My dear wife and tiny baby are missing, Constable.

It's hardly cause for celebration.

Missing? Judy and the baby?

Vanished into thin air!

Some act of foul play has befallen them, I'm sure.

Get your coat, Derrick. Get your coat.

I'm sure there's some reasonable explanation.

Lead the way, Mr Punch. Hat, Derrick!

Hat.

(SIGHS)

DERRICK: It does indeed appear as though some struggle has taken place.

(SOBS) My poor sweet wife and child.

However, I can find no evidence of foul play.

(CLEARS THROAT) Wee swatch tae the fleer, sir.

What?

O'er there.

Blood on the fleer.

DERRICK: How did you miss that? Idiot, Derrick.

I'm afraid this doesn't bode well, Mr Punch.

(SOBS LOUDLY)

(SOBS) I don't understand it.

I was gone for just a moment.

The only one with access to the house is the old maid.

She's strange, there's no denying it - childless recluse...

..but whether she's capable of murder...

Maude! The unexpected visitors have arrived!

Good day, gentlemen.

Is there something I can be assisting you with?

(GLASS BREAKS) Easy, men.

Perhaps some tea?

When was the last time you saw Judy, ma'am?

Not since yesterday, sir.

I went to the markets, Judy went to the theatre.

And after that, what did you do?

I was here at home, sir.

And your husband - he was at home with you?

Yes, sir.

MAN: Constable!

A wee bairn's bootie!

DERRICK: Dear God. What?

She's roasted the baby in the stove.

Heretic!

Check her for the mark of the Devil!

Let us not jump to conclusions, Mr Punch.

Could you tell me what this is, ma'am?

That's the baby's shoe, sir.

And how do you suppose it got inside your stove?

Is there anyone who can verify your whereabouts late yesterday between the hours of 2 and 6 in the pm?

My husband can, sir.

Where were you yesterday between the hours of 2 and 6 in the pm?

I...

I got dressed, and... and had my breakfast.

Please, sir, forgive my husband his hazy recollections.

His mind and memory are not what they were.

When was the last time you saw the lady of the house?

I can't rightly remember, sir.

No, I can't rightly remember.

Oh, but she's a fine lady, that lady.

Oh, yes, she is so sweet.

And so pretty, yes.

Her name... Her name...

I just can't recall her name.

But I remember Mr Punch, though, because I...

Clearly his want is to confuse you, Constable.

He's most certainly involved in the disappearance.

They both got the Devil's look about them, clear as day.

For God's sake, look at them!

Unless someone can provide me with fresh evidence to the contrary, I'm left with little choice but to place you under deep suspicion and take you in for further questioning.

No! Please!

My husband's a good, kindly man.

He loves Judy and that child. MAN: Move yer arse!

Please! Take me but leave my husband.

See! That's all but a confession from the witch.

Hang them both!

We are taking them for questioning.

(SCOFFS) Questioning!

They've roasted my baby!

(CROW CAWS)

Looks dead. Yep.

Dead.

Wait! Look at that.

CHILD: What?

Fingers just did some moving.

CHILD: It's the same like with a turkey, Scotty.

You cut the head off and it still writhes and twitches to make you think it's living when it's clearly dead.


Incoming!


(WHISTLING)

(CHILDREN CALL)

We got a dead one!

(ALL MURMUR)

WOMAN: It's a girl. Jesus...

WOMAN: Her face.

Found her 'tween here and town somewhere.

Thought Goodtime could take a look.

Scotty says she's a puppeteer. Tank!

How would Scotty be knowing she's a puppeteer unless Scotty herself has been sneaking into them puppet shows in town?

Did you forget about them stonings?

Did you?

Well, you want to be next?

Or worse, you want this whole camp discovered when one of them follows you back here?

You've gotta be smart.

What did I always tell you is the most important thing of all the things?

CHILDREN: Smarts.

She's had herself a good beating, the poor thing.

(SIGHS) Looks proper dead.

Can we keep her and take her to Dr Goodtime for a looking-over?

You and I both know what Goodtime's gonna say about it.

DR GOODTIME: Clearly the lady ain't dead.

You lunatics!

That's good news.

Depends on how you look on it.

I can't promise she'll stay that way for long.

From over here, her injuries look death-dealing.

Once I get over there, I'll be able to give her a better looking-over.

Sorry, Dr Goodtime, but when do you think you might come over here to take a closer look?

Don't rush me, small 'un!

I move at my own pace, no quicker.

I don't mean to rush you but she could expire any minute.

I don't know what you're thinking bringing her back here to begin with.

We're about to be on the move.

We can only take what's useful.

We don't got no space for nothing more.

But this one's a good one.

She's got skills in the theatre.

(LAUGHS AND COUGHS)

Skills in the theatre...

..ain't no use to us.

This witch fever gains any more momentum, and we'll have outcasts enough to build a city.

What a city that would be!

What? Nothing.

(SIGHS)

Poor Mrs Punchy-face.

Make way for the murderers, the killers of babies and wives! Make way!

WOMAN: What have they done?

They ate my baby!

They bashed my wife to death, and they roasted and ate my child!

(CROWD EXCLAIMS)

Hold your babies close tonight, lest they be eaten by witches like these!

Get out of here! You're disgusting!

(CROWD EXCLAIMS) (WOMAN SPITS)

MAN: Must have done something heinous, these ones, eh?

DERRICK: Good folk, I urge you to be calm and reserve your judgement.

It does appear a violent crime may have taken place.

But at this stage... Murder! (SOBS)

My wife and child dead at the hands of these heathens!

CROWD: Oh! (GASPS)

At this stage, they are but suspects.

And I will continue to investigate.

WOMAN: Will there be an 'anging? We are due an 'anging!

MAN: We are due an 'anging. (CROWD CHEERS)

First, a thorough investigation must be conducted, and then...

Evidence has been found that the old man cooked my baby in the kitchen oven for the old woman to eat!

(CROWD EXCLAIMS) MAN: What?!

Justice should be swift and merciless!

They are cold-blooded killers.

They should be hanged by the neck as quickly as hanging ropes can be strung!

MAN: Send them down the trapdoor!

WOMAN: Put them in the halter! MAN: Break their necks!

(ANGRY CHATTER) I can assure you that...

..crime in this town will not be tolerated, and the full fist of the law shall come down on any who feel they are above it.

However, we should be guided by reason and justice.

(CROWD SHOUTS) MAN: We want a hanging!

CROWD: Yeah!

MAN: Send them back to the Devil where they belong!

Constable! Get them inside!

(CROWD SHOUTS) Get back! Oi, you!

Constable, Constable, please!

I think it wise you give the people what they're demanding or risk this mob running riot.

Justice and punishment should be determined by the law, Mr Frankly, not hearsay and an angry mob.

And I appreciate your forward thinking, Constable, but this is neither the time nor the town to conduct these outlandish social experiments.

Do what you must to obtain a confession.

Aye.

I can try her on the stronger stuff, but if she comes good, she'd better be making herself useful.

Can't guarantee it'll work. Never does.

Mm.

(GASPS) (CHILDREN GASP)

Mm. It's more effective than I thought.

(GROANS)

(GROANS)

(PANTING)

JUDY: Where am I?

Heretics' camp.

Are you to kill me?

Kill you? (CHUCKLES)

If it hadn't been for these small 'uns, you'd be dead already.

Do you remember what happened to you?

Do you know how you come to be all mashed up, half-dead and buried in a hole in the middle of the forest?

(BREATHES HEAVILY)

(TENSE MUSIC)

(SCREAMS)

(SCREAMING ECHOES)


GIRL: Them theatre people, they eat different stuff.

WOMAN: How come if she's so fancy she's not more famous?

What's she doing in old dingy Seaside?

I'll tell you what she's doing in Seaside.

Her ma and her pa owned that manor she lives in on the edge of the forest.

They bred like fucking rabbits.

There was a whole big bunch of them.

And the whole load of them was wiped out by a plague when Judy was just a little 'un.

Left behind just her and the two servants, who had to raise her up.

And then one day, Punch passed through town with his magic show or whatever it was he was doing.

Charmed the pants off everyone, especially her.

So she ran away with him, learned puppets, and they travelled all over and they got sure and famous.

They even had a show in the big smoke and everything.

But it all went bottoms up when that arse-worm husband couldn't control his boozing...

..or his temper.

And they got booted out of near every town.

Flat broke when he knocked her up.

So they had to slink back here, tails 'tween legs.

He thinks he's too good for Seaside.

I'd say he pretty much fits right in.

(EERIE MUSIC)


(FAINT GROWLING)

(GROWLING)

(HEARTBEAT)

(ETHEREAL MUSIC)


(PANTING)

(GASPS)

(BREATHES HEAVILY)

(BREATHES HEAVILY)


(CHOPPING)

(WOMEN CHATTER)

(SCOFFS)

(DISCORDANT VIOLIN MUSIC)

WOMAN: Morning, Judy.

Are you alright?


(BREATHES HEAVILY)

Morning, puppet lady.

This lady's got a real problem staying awake.

(BIRDS CHIRP)

I thought your puppet show was pure dead brilliant, the way you made them puppets come to life, like, and that double somersault, and all them explosions at the end.

I didn't quite like one bit, though.

Does that little punchy guy always win?

Given he done so many beastly things!

He won't be winning anymore.

What?

He won't be winning anymore because I'm going to kill him.

(GASPS)

This place is good, but.

Ain't no-one gonna stone us to death!

I'm gonna steal me a full-sized horse soon, and then have everything I need for the rest of my damn life.

Once you get cast out, you can't go back, you know.

(GATE CREAKS)

Hurry up!

(PUNCH MUTTERS) Brought you some supplies.

(MUTTERS) Over there.

Sausages, sausages.

Sausages.

Ah, a carrot.

And the stuff of greatest import.

Lots of folk at McDrinky's send their regards.

There's a couple of gentlemen in town from the big smoke.

They was asking 'bout when the next show was scheduled.

Did they give names? What did they look like?

Them's a lot of questions. Which one do you want me to answer?

(BANGS) Answer them all, woman!

I'm sorry, Poll.

But they could be scouts.

Now, please, think very clearly and tell me exactly what they looked like.

POLLY: Well...

..one was kind of medium in height, not too fair, not too dark.

The other was pretty much the same as the first.

And they both wore real nice clothing, both looked to be very serious-like, and they both had pencils.

Pencils?

Only scouts have pencils.

Scouts for sure!

Oh, God.

What's the matter?

They're here to see my show and now that Judy has been so brutally taken from me, I don't rightly have a show to show them.

Damn it!

This was my ticket out.

(GRUNTS)

Maybe I could help.

I've not got any experience with puppets, but I'd sure be grateful for the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of theatre.

I can sing and dance a little.

And I've always been mad keen to learn the trombone.

Alright, alright. Time is of the essence.

We gotta get you mastering them marionette strings.

We can discuss trombones at a later date.

(LAUGHS)


(BONES CRACK)

(GRUNTS)


Best you get that revengey look off your face.

It doesn't suit you.

I think you know that.

Ain't going to do no good you charging back there, killing him.

I have to go back.

I can't let him get away with it. It isn't right.

(SCOFFS) Since when does what's right make any difference?

What do you think we're all doing out here? Hm?

You think we're out here because what's right is important to anyone in that town?

Every one of us is wanted for some made-up reason or other.

Most done nothing to warrant it.

We gotta let it go, let it all go, let all of it go, all of it.

Everything we had before we were cast out.

Just keep moving forward and hope the rest of the world catches up.

What do you think's gonna happen, you go traipsing back into town ranting and raving?

They already think you're dead, and now suddenly you're not.

That's gonna make you a witch or some kind of devil in their eyes for sure.

Doesn't matter what you say, don't matter what actually happened.

You'll wind up dead.

All of us heretics are moving soon.

So you've got a choice to make.

You can stick with us, forget Seaside, or leave now.

If I don't go back, he wins.

I have to run away.

I have to leave my home.

He wins.

(GROANS)

I just said a whole lot of important stuff just then.

Were you even listening?

Forget about him.

Forget about all of them.

You can't fix that town.

Use your smarts.

Assuming you even got any.

You can't hunch her over like you would the maid.

This one's built proud and upright.

You have to keep a straight spine with her or you won't get the right movements through her arms.

Relax the arms and get her straight through the spine!

She'll tangle again if you pull up so quickly.

This puppet is broken, Punch!

I'm telling you, it won't do a thing right!

(CLATTER) Hey!

You can't be dropping the puppets.

They're mighty delicate.

If you break this one's face, I'll be tempted to break yours!

You're of simple mind.

You're a simple-minded dimwit!

You've got to listen when I tell you things.

Unless you get this show right, you'll be stuck in Seaside whoring yourself out to stinking Welshmen for eternity.

I might not be as smart as you, Punch, but it don't take a big brain to know it was Judy who held this show together anyways.

I'm sorry. (SOBS)

(SCREAMS)

(SOBS)

(SHOUTS)

Pull yourself together, woman.

I've had an idea.

(MEN LAUGH)

Constable Fairbrother, you've just missed the announcement.

Announcement?

You'll be relieved to hear that a full confession has been elicited from both prisoners and an announcement made that they shall hang before the month is out.

I would have thought I should be asked to attend, given my position as constable.

Oh, never mind that.

No doubt you had more important matters to concern yourself with.

The ruffians are more than experienced in the taking of confessions.

And an announcement already...?

It all seems rather hasty to me, Mr Frankly.

No need to worry, Constable.

The townsfolk are relieved to have them off the streets.

Er, perhaps there's some redecorating you could do in the watch house.

(MEN SNIGGER)

(SNIGGERS) Constable.


LEONARD COHEN: ¶ And who by fire

¶ Who by water

¶ Who in the sunshine

¶ Who in the night-time

¶ Who by high ordeal

¶ Who by common trial

¶ Who in your merry, merry month of May

¶ Who by very slow decay

¶ And who

¶ Shall I say

¶ Is calling

¶ And who in her lonely slip

¶ Who by barbiturate

¶ Who in these realms of love

¶ Who by something blunt

¶ Who by avalanche

¶ Who by powder

¶ Who for his greed

¶ Who for his hunger

¶ And who

¶ Shall I say

¶ Is calling

¶ And who by brave assent

¶ Who by accident

¶ Who in solitude

¶ Who in this mirror

¶ Who by his lady's command

¶ Who by his own hand

¶ Who in mortal chains

¶ Who in power

¶ And who

¶ Shall I say

¶ Is calling? ¶

(YELLS)

(CHEERING)

Legs and feet in the left box.

Hands and arms in the right.

Jumble the extremities - I'll cut off your head.

Come on, now.

It's a hand!

Judy!

Drink?

To celebrate new beginnings.

(CHUCKLES)


(DISTANT CONVERSATIONS)

WOMAN: Hurry up!

Hurry up!

Oh, good evening, Law Enforcement.

A fine night, isn't it?

So still and pleasant.

A drink on the eve of your hanging, as is customary?

Oh, that's nice, that is.

Thank you.

I don't rightly mind a nip before bedtime.

It puts one's troubles at ease.

Thank you, thank you very much.

For you, Maude?

Sleep evading you, is it, Law Enforcement?

It's not a trouble I've had before.

If one thing ever came easy to me, it was a good slumber.

But the simple pleasure is totally eluding me now.

Oh. Well, sit, sit.

I've had patches of restlessness like that myself, young man.

Oh, yes.

When you've lived as long as I have, you've come to realise the cause.

When things tilt off in a way they shouldn't, when the world gets crooked, and it has no choice but to right itself -

Yes, that's when it's hard to slumber.

I feel it too.

Someone is close to rousing the Devil.

(MUTTERS) The greatest puppeteer of his generation, the greatest puppeteer of his generation.

(EXHALES)

Pass that bottle, Poll.

Punch is a touch nervy tonight.

Are you sure that's a bright idea, Punch, darling?

Well, you're full of opinions suddenly, aren't you?

I just don't know that I got a good feeling about this plan of yours.

If I were you, I'd be expending my energy making sure you don't turn the night into a fiasco!

If you had any talent, if you had any talent, maybe I wouldn't have to be having this idea.

But talent scouts are in the talent business!

They're looking for one thing - talent!

And you, my dear, got none!

I...

Roll up, roll up, dearest audience!

Sit your arses on a seat instead of sitting on the fence!

(HUBBUB)

Put your money in the tin if you want to see the puppets.

The show will begin...

They let you out of the whorehouse, then?

(WOMEN LAUGH)

..momentarily.

Take off your corset and I'll give you a penny!

(ROARS OF LAUGHTER)

You quit your job at the cathouse, Poll?

Or is this just a sideline?

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

All... (EXHALES)

All the way from the big smoke Mr Punch has come with brand-new puppets that Mr Punch has brung.

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

More lifelike are these puppets than any you've yet seen.

You'll wonder how it's possible to make...

Your regulars will miss ya if you run away with the circus, Poll!

(RAUCOUS LAUGHTER)

And now for the puppet extravaganza!

Ladies and gentlemen, the one, the only, the greatest puppeteer of his time -

Professor Punch!

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

Here within we now begin the history of Punch.

So dark it is and full of woe, you may just lose your lunch. (TAPS)

(CROWD MUTTERS)

There's people claim their show's the best, their puppets great and tall...

But Punch's lifelike puppet show is the punchiest of them all!

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

The scouts are in. I saw them.

Just hang on to them handles, that's all you gotta do.

OK, bring her in.

¶ VERDI: RIGOLETTO, ACT II - SCORRENDO UNITI REMOTA VIA ¶

WOMAN: Are they...

OK, you.

Get moving.

Get over there and whack her.

(CROWD BOOS) MAN: Judy!

WOMAN: What?

Money back!

Get your one moving. Mine one's stuck.

(WHISPERS) Flea, darling...

Psst! Darling.

Get over there, do something.

PUNCH: OK, now whack her.

(CROWD EXCLAIMS) Not that hard.

PUNCH: Hey! Stop that! Hey!

(CROWD LAUGHS)

Fuck! They're fighting for real!

Hey, stop it! Stop it, you two!

(CROWD LAUGHS)

I'll stop them.

Stop it! Stop fighting now!

Stop it!

(CROWD EXCLAIMS)

Come on over here, pretty Polly, and show us your real talents!

(CROWD LAUGHS) Someone's angry!

(CHEERING)

(GLASS BREAKS)

(SOBBING)

(MAN CRIES)

Are you alright?

(MAN WEEPS)

(STUTTERS) Yes, fine.

I...I'm fine.

Why do you ask?

Because you're weeping.

(LAUGHS) No, no, no.

You've mistaken my laughter for tears is all.

If you laugh, others will laugh with you.

If you stop laughing, you die.

(WEEPS)

See you at the hanging. (WEEPS)

There's to be a hanging?

Has your head been buried underground these past few weeks?

They're hanging the two old servants, Maude and Scaramouche, what killed Punch's wife and wee baby.

(WEEPS)

And when are they set to hang?

First up tomorrow, of course.

I prefer a good witch burning myself.

I suppose they've got to mix it up a bit...

..save us all from getting bored.

(WEEPS)


(HORSE SNORTS)

(HORSE NEIGHS)

Hey. Shh, shh, shh.

Hey.

Where did you come from?

(TWIG SNAPS)

(HORSE NEIGHS)


(FAINT WHISPERING)

(FAINT WHISPERING)

(DISTANT HOWLING)

Who's there?

(HOWLING)

(BREATHES HEAVILY)

(RATTLING)

(EERIE WHISTLE)

(FAINT WHISPER) Hello, Punch...

Just the wind, Punch. It's just the wind.

(BREATHES SHAKILY)

(THUNDER CRASHES)

(GASPS)

(THUNDER RUMBLES)

Where are you?

(EERIE WHISPER)

(VOICES OVERLAP) I'm right here. Over here.

I'm your friend. Over here.

Don't be scared.

I have a proposition for you.

(GASPS) Leave me!

I've no business with ya.

Why don't you torment someone else?

Boo! (SCREAMS)

(PUNCH BREATHES HEAVILY)

(RASPY VOICE) Punch...

Who are you?

The Devil knows what you've done, Punch!

And the Devil is much enamoured of your work.

I don't know what you've heard, but it isn't true.

So impressed is he that the Devil wants you on his team.

(THUNDER BOOMS) (SCREAMS)

He wants you to join with him in the down below.

What do you say, Punch?

Want to team up with the Devil?

I'm just a puppeteer, sir.

I'm just a puppeteer.

You'd have no use of me in the down below.

You have blood in your house!

You have blood in your house! Stop it! (SOBS)

What do I have to do? Tell me what to do!

You have blood in your house!

Please, just stop! You have blood in your house.

Do you want to go to Heaven or do you want to go to Hell?

Heaven?

Only good men go to Heaven.

Are you a good man, Punch?

I can't hear you!

Are you a good man?! Yes.

Louder! Yes.

Yes, I'm a good man.

Then you must right your wrongs.

Confess to the people, Punch.

Tell the people what you've done.

Only you can fix this mess you've made.

Can you do that, Punch?

Can you right your wrongs?

I can.

Because if you do not, I will come back for you and I will not show you the mercy I've shown you tonight.

(THUNDER BOOMS) (GASPS)

(PANTING)

(HORSE SNORTS)

(DISTANT CHEERING)

ALL: ¶ Singing "Bide, lady, bide

¶ Your lust for me won't hide

¶ This dusty smith will be your love

¶ So lay aside your pride"

¶ So lady she turned into a horse

¶ Dark as the night is black

¶ So he became a hairy saddle for to ride onto her back

¶ Singing "Bide, lady, bide"... ¶

(SINGING FADES)

¶ I was riding over from far as what I've seen

¶ Feel me riding home again

¶ Home on a valiant steed

¶ I was wandering by

¶ Far in an open field

¶ I...

¶ Waking all alone again

¶ Riding in my sleep

¶ Waiting for the time, my friend

¶ Gaily circling

¶ Feel me riding home again

¶ Far in an open field

¶ See me riding home again

¶ Far as what I feel

¶ Ah-ah

¶ Ah-ah... ¶

MA: Scotty!

Why are you still awake?

Should get some sleep.

We got the big move tomorrow.

Ma... Yeah?

Where are we even going?

I don't know, Scotty. We'll find somewhere.

We always do.

Do you think one day we might not have to move anymore?

I'd like to just live somewhere proper.

¶ I was riding over, friend

¶ Far as what I see

¶ Feel me riding home again

¶ Home on a valiant steed

¶ All is still till day turns night

¶ Far on an open field

¶ And I'll be riding home till I'm

¶ Far as what I feel

¶ Ah-ah

¶ Ah-ah. ¶ PREACHER: And you shall fear the Almighty, for the Almighty Lord has come for you today.

(CROWD CHEERS)

And we will be rid of the filth!

(CHEERING) Of the vermin!

The vile, the unholy, ungodly!

The incarnations of the Devil will hang!

(WILD CHEERING) Yes, yes, yes!

Come on.

(BLOWS HORN)

Right.

(SILENCE)

Good people of Seaside, in our continuing effort to rid this land of those marked by the Devil, we present these two heathens.

(CROWD BOOS)

Two who have worked in unison to commit an act of unspeakable violence and whose necks will be snapped on account of it!

(CHEERING)

Thank you, sir.

And now I call on Mr Punch, the aggrieved victim in these here circumstances, to deliver his final statement.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

Thank you kindly, Frankly.

MAN: You're our man, Punch!

(CLEARS THROAT)

CROWD: Shh, shh.

My friends...

..these two who stand before you on the gallows...

..these two...

..these two...

..did not kill my wife and child.

(CROWD GASPS AND EXCLAIMS)

(CLEARS THROAT)

People of Seaside...

People of Seaside...

MAN: We love you, Punch!

(CHEERING) MAN: Seaside loves you, Punch!

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Mr Punch!

(WILD CHEERING)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE FADE)

These two who stand before you did not kill my wife and child.

They are mere conduits for the work of the Devil!

(CHEERING)

And it is the Devil we confront in the act of their hanging.

CROWD: Yeah!

These two infidels know not what they do!

They are representatives of His evil ways and in the act of their hanging, we say to the Devil, "No!"

CROWD: No!

We, the people of Seaside, are stronger than you!

CROWD: Yes!

We, the people of Seaside, will eradicate you!

CROWD: Yes!

So hang they must! CROWD: Yes!

WOMAN: Hang 'em! Hang 'em!

(CHEERING)

And as I am the man who has had his family so brutally taken from him, I should have the privilege of dropping them to their deaths.

(CHEERING)

I stand before you, a proud resident of Seaside, the greatest puppeteer of my generation!

(CHEERING)

Father to a murdered daughter, husband to a murdered wife, and I will have my vengeance in this life or the next.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

Good dying!

(CROWD CHEERS)

(MAUDE SOBS)

Good dying!

(CROWD MUTTERS)

(CONFUSED MUTTERING)

Someone's tampered with the hang ropes.

(CROWD MURMURS)

(RUMBLING)

(HORSE NEIGHS)

Witches!

(CROWD GASPS) MAN: What's going on?

WOMAN: Look over there. (ALL GASP)

(HORSE NEIGHS)

(SCREAMING)

(HORSE NEIGHS)

Get her! Stop right there.

(CROWD MURMURS)

(GASPS)

Hands in the air.

(PUNCH GASPS)

(CROWD EXCLAIMS)

(PUNCH BREATHES RAGGEDLY)

I am no witch.

This man here, my husband, killed my baby and tried to kill me.

(SHOCKED MURMURS) MAN: Terrible!

It seems to me something is very wrong with this town.

You kill and cast out your best souls!

Here you are trying to off two of the kindliest, gentlest folk this town has ever known.

And based on what?

A suspicion?

A false accusation by this man?

You've all been sick as pigs since you cast out Dr Goodtime with her medicines and such.

You're all dressed like hobo street monkeys since you chased sartorial Alice here into the forest.

You call us witches, but what is a witch but a person who sits just outside your blinkered view of the world.

And by that reckoning, you should all be afraid.

Because I know you all live daily with the fear of your own difference.

Today the witch is me...

..but I think you all know, you all fear, that tomorrow the witch might be you!

No great crime should go unpunished.

I'll not continue to stand aside and watch you lauded.

You are a puppeteer no more, Punch.

My sweet and talented wife...

(GRUNTS)

(THUD!) (CROWD GASPS)

(PUNCH SCREAMS)

(EXHALES)

(CLATTER)

(PEACEFUL HARP MUSIC PLAYS)


(MUTTERS FEVERISHLY) Shh! I've told you.

Hello!

Where's the rest of ya?

Are you the only ones?

Well, you'll have to do.

Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I am the Professor, and this is the Punch and Judy show!

This is the Punch and Judy show!

(LAUGHS) That's better.

(CANNED AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)

Here within is the story.

It's a very violent story, with a great many interesting characters, including...

..Punch, and Judy!

(MUMBLES)

(MUMBLES AND GRUNTS)

(GRUNTS)

(CONTINUES MUMBLING AND GRUNTING)

(WHIMSICAL MUSIC PLAYS)

(HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER)

(MAJESTIC MUSIC)

SONG: ¶ Life

¶ Life is life

¶ Life

¶ Life is life

¶ When we all give the power

¶ We all get the best

¶ Every minute in the hour

¶ We don't think about the rest

¶ When we all get the power

¶ We all give the best

¶ When everyone gives everything

¶ Then every soul

¶ Every soul will get life

¶ Life is life

¶ Oh, life

¶ Life is life

¶ When we all feel the power

¶ Life is life

¶ We all feel the pain

¶ Life is life

¶ It's the feeling of the people

¶ Life is life

¶ It's the feeling of the land

¶ Oh-oh

¶ When we all get the power

¶ We all get the best

¶ Every minute in the hour

¶ We don't think about the rest

¶ When we all give the power

¶ We all give the best

¶ When everyone gives everything

¶ And every soul

¶ Every soul will get

¶ Life

¶ Oh, life is life

¶ Oh, life

¶ Life is life

¶ Life


¶ We're glad that it's over

¶ We thought it would last

¶ Every minute of the future

¶ Is a memory of the past

¶ 'Cause we gave all the power

¶ We gave all the best

¶ And everyone lost everything

¶ And perished with the rest

¶ Life

¶ Oh, life is life

¶ Oh, life

¶ Life is life

¶ Life

¶ Life is life

¶ Life

¶ Is

¶ Life. ¶

¶ BACH: AIR ON A G STRING ¶