David Lewis Paget
The Little Withering Rep. - Poem by David Lewis Paget
The Little Withering Rep. had met
To rehearse their pantomime,
They’d left it a little late for Christmas,
Could it be done in time?
‘We have a choice, we can do Snow White,
Or Peter Pan would be good,
But we have the sets for another play,
‘The Wicked Witch of the Wood! ’
Their hands went up for ‘The Wicked Witch, ’
They thought it would be the best,
For Meryl Rose had a wart on her nose
And another one on her chest.
‘Meryl can play the wicked witch
As I think it’s understood! ’
But Meryl pouted, she wanted to play
Little Red Riding Hood.
‘I’m always cast as the ugly bitch, ’
She cried, ‘But what about her?
She always gets the plummiest parts,
The ones with a bit of flair.’
But Helen stuck her nose in the air
And sniffed, ‘I’m younger than you.
You get to play the character parts,
I’m sweet, and innocent too.’
‘Now let’s not fight, it’s a Gala Night, ’
The Director said, ‘Let’s cast!
Norman, you’ll be the noble prince,
And Fred can be Gormenghast.
Julia, you can be the Page
But you’ll have to improvise,
We’ll have you girt with the shortest skirt
For you have the longest thighs.’
‘We’ll have to steal from the other tales
For the script is not yet writ,
Helen, you get the sleeping part
For the apple that you’ve bit,
The littlest ones can play the dwarves
And run around on their knees,
Don’t worry, Matt, you can play a bat
And hang from one of the trees.’
They all got into their costumes,
Fancy cloaks with a funny hat,
But Albert Hook had been overlooked,
He dressed as a giant rat.
‘We’ll write in a part for everyone, ’
For some had been looking glum,
‘You can be Jack and the Beanstalk, Mac,
And Tim can be ‘Fi-Fo-Fum! ’
The curtain raised on the opening night
To reveal a darkened wood,
A giant bat fell out of a tree
To land where the Page was stood,
She shrieked, and clung to the wicked witch
Who was straddling broom and stick,
It knocked the apple out of her hand
That rolled in the orchestra pit.
‘Please can I have my apple back? ’
She whispered over the lights,
The cellist was shaking his head at that,
He’d already taken a bite!
The sleeping beauty was not asleep,
The dwarves were looking dumb,
And Jack had shaken the beanstalk then
To the sound, ‘Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum! ’
Nobody seemed to know what to do
The rat ran over the floor,
The cellist in the orchestra pit
Then flung back the apple core,
The Witch ran over to Helen then
Who screamed in a long, high note,
‘You’re mad if you think I’m eating that! ’
But the Witch rammed it down her throat.
After they’d called the ambulance
And carted Helen away,
The police came in for the errant Witch
And said, ‘You will have to pay!
A joke’s a joke, but you tried to choke
The lead with an apple core! ’
While the dwarves were rolling around in fits
As the audience fled for the door.
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