Who are they?
Episode Guide
The Gallery


LS - Lee Simpson
PM - Paul Merton
CQ - Caroline Quentin
JL - Josie Lawrence
JS - Jim Sweeney
PD - Phelim McDermott
A - Audience
C - Cast in general

" - This is used when one person is doing more than one character at once, e.g. having an argument with themselves!

********** - I can't hear this phrase, any ideas?

(Italic in brackets) - This marks where I have felt the need to make some kind of explanatory comment, such as sound effects, accents, possible explanations for unexplained laughter, and mistakes made by the cast! (Nobody's perfect)

(Audience applause)

LS – Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to the fourth episode of the Masterson Inheritance, an improvised historical saga of a family at war with itself.  Tonight, our team of performers will attempt to spontaneously dramatise the chronicles of the Masterson family as they deal with the convulsions of the Industrial Revolution.  No script, no rehearsals; just an audience and a couple of microphones.  To bring you this story of grime, greed and grandeur, tonight we have Josie Lawrence, Phelim McDermott, Paul Merton, Caroline Quentin, Lee Simpson and Jim Sweeney!

(Audience applause)
 LS – Now, er, our story we think is set in Victorian, er, London this week, and what we need are some ideas from our studio audience to help us tell the story, so the first thing we need from you is a reason to meet under a cloak of secrecy; any ideas… sorry?

A – Pregnancy.

LS – Pregnancy… what, to, to cause pregnancy, or to (audience laughter)…because one of them is pregnant, alright, so… pregnancy.  (presumably he hears more from the audience) And blackmail as well?  We’ll link the two then, alright, pregnancy and blackmail, very good.  A suggestion, just quite simple this, of a London landmark, a famous place or building, or…

A – Big Ben.

LS – Big Ben, okay…

A – Canary Wharf .

(Audience laughter)

LS – People have been asked to leave radio shows before now… oh yeah… er.. we’ll go, we’ll go for Big Ben as that was the first one… and most sensible!  Alright, Big Ben.  Okay, er, now, a Victorian business, a business that a Victorian might run – come to the back now.

A – Pawnbrokers… haberdashers…

LS – Haberdashers!  Very good.  Haberdashers.  And what we also need now – this is quite important – is a title, er, that contains the word Mastersons, so, the Something of the Mastersons, or the Mastersons Something Something, any ideas, like that?

A – The Sweat of the Mastersons.

LS – The Sweat of the Mastersons!  I like that very much indeed!  Tonight, we have: pregnancy and blackmail; Big Ben; a haberdashers; in “The Sweat of the Mastersons”.

(opening music)

LS – The Masterson Inheritance – Book Four – “The Sweat of the Mastersons”.  Masterson Hall, the ancestral home of the Masterson family, stands tall amongst the verdant countryside around it, like a jewel on green velvet cushion.  But it stands almost empty, for the heir to this great house is far away, far away in a fast-growing metropolis that is London, a London, centre of a great empire, but a London of dark streets and dark alleyways.

C – (London background hubbub)

JS – Hubbub, hubbub…

JL – Knives to grind! Get your knives to grind! 

CQ – ‘ello darlin’, fancy a bit? 

PM – Yes please!

JL – Strawberries, who’ll buy my strawberries!

PM (news stand) Another Ripper murder!

CQ? – ‘Ello darlin’

LS – And in one of these dark alleyways, in a dark, dark doorway, stands a young woman; attractive, well-dressed but with a sad look in her eye.  She is gently weeping to herself.

JL – (sobs gently)

LS - …in a very attractive way.

JL – (attempts to sob more attractively)

LS – Then along comes a slightly mysterious figure, a dark figure, a figure of the shadows…

JS – (sinister)  Hello.

JL – It’s you, you’re late. 

JS – Yes, I’m sorry, it’s so dark I didn’t know where you were.

JL – (anxious sobs) I, I brought the money.

JS – Oh well done.  Hand it over while I count it.

(jangling money)

JL – How do I know I can trust you?

JS – You have no choice.  I know things about you, ah ha ha ha! (sinister music)

JL – You won’t tell, will you?  You will help me get away?  You will help me have this child in secret?

(sound of baby crying, audience laugh)

JS – Ah, I think the game’s up! If…

LS – So real was it she could almost hear the baby…

JS – That’s a damn good impression.

JL – Please, I beg you, you must stop doing this terrible thing to me!

LS – She pleaded with him…

JS – (laughs) I’m sorry…

LS – …she pleaded with him, she tried to appeal to his better nature.  She told him of the terrible plight she was in, and the harm it would do if anybody found out about this.

JL – If my mother and father find out about this, then the King himself will find out about this…

(LS bursts out laughing)

LS – …and then I will surely be in terrible, terrible trouble!  I’m an innocent girl…

(LS bursts out laughing again)

LS – I didn’t realise that that’s what he meant when he said “Would you like to play a game of cards?”.  I’ve never played cards like that before…

LS – And so…

JL - …not even Snap!

LS – But we leave this sorry scene, we leave this sorry scene, to go to a brighter scene – a cosy drawing room where the parents of this young girl, the young girl named Elizabeth are in their drawing room.  It is a contented scene of happy… (audience start to laugh – I think they can see PM and PD stepping up to the microphone, and are wondering who is going to be Mother)

…of happy Victorian life…

(Lee stresses the next line as if to say “one of you is going to be her mother?”)

…and they chat, they chat of their pride in their sweet daughter – the mother and the father…

(grandfather clock ticking)

PM (jumping in quick to force PD into the female role) – Hello Emily, how are you?

PD – (timid upper class woman) I’m very well, thank you?

PM – Have you had another child since this morning?

PD – (laughing) No, not… recently.

PM – Well, you really must pull your finger out.

PD – Well… perhaps you could help me in that line?

PM – Ah, I don’t go below the waist you know that, that’s woman’s work.

PD – Not nowadays, anyway.

PM – You’re a fine figure of a woman Emily, I think it’s rhomboid, isn’t it?

PD – Why you have such a way with words!

PM – God you know how those geometric shapes drive me crazy!  Do you fancy twins before dinner?

(LS snorts)

PD – Very well…

LS – And so you can see, you can see for yourself what a happy home Elizabeth had come to, or come from, and how unhappy she was now, back, back in that dark alleyway, she was handing over the cash to this, this dreadful fellow, this fellow known only as… Clive!

(shovelling money noises)

JL – Thirteen gold sovereigns. 

JS – Yes, that’s it

JL – That’s all I have.

JS – All you have?!

JL – Yes…

JS – Well it’ll have to do.

JL – I had to sell my hair to get those sovereigns!

Click here for soundbite

JS – Very well, then I’ll take this thirteen sovereigns – your secret is safe with me as long as the money keeps coming in; they don’t call me Clive for nothing!

JL – But I haven’t any more money!

JS – Then you’d better find some – ha ha!

JL – How can you be so cruel?! I appeal to your good nature, kind…

JS – No you don’t!  Not even close.  More money!  Keep finding it or your secret’s out.  Goodbye!

(JL exclaims)

LS – And so he left her.  Meanwhile, in another part of London a young man, a young man is looking at the Thames .

PD – Oh, if only I had a real profession, a noble profession, one that people admired me for. 

(water splash, Big Ben begins to chime)

LS – He looked up at Big Ben.

PD – Oh look.. (laughs slightly at the obviousness).  Big Ben.

LS – And as he was looking up a gentleman came along, a round-faced, red-faced sort of gentleman with whiskers upon him, a kindly look in his eye, and he could see that the young man was troubled.

PM – (hoarse old man voice) Hello young man.

PD – Hello!  I’ve come to London I’m… looking to find employment, could you help me?

PM – Yes, there’s always plenty of work for a female impersonator. (poking fun at PD’s stint as Emily, Elizabeth ’s mother)

PD – Well, er, it wasn’t quite the sort of work I had in mind, but I’m willing to try anything!

PM – Then you must come with me, but not now.

(LS sniggers again)

PM – I’ll come back in about an hour, and then we’ll go somewhere. 

PD – Very well…

LS – But the young man…

PD – I’ll wait here, by Big Ben.

PM – Alright.  I’ll see you in an hour.

LS – Meanwhile, somewhere else, while that hour was elapsing, is a young, keen medical man in his laboratory.  He is experimenting on several things, he wants to push forward the boundaries of science but, it is so difficult with so few subjects on which to experiment. 

(bubbling liquid noise)

LS – His young assistant is in fact his young wife, Alice, and she helps him in his tasks but does not always agree with his methods.

JS (earnest young middle-class man) Alice , quickly, pass me the rabbit.  Quickly!

CQ (“common as muck” cockney) – Oh it’s Alice this, Alice that, pass me the rabbit, ‘and us that tube, bung over a bit of litmus paper”.  Anyfin’ else?  “Dissects it Alice , dissects it”… I’ve got other things to do, I should be sewin’!

JS – Thank you dearest.  (straining) Now if I can just get this rabbit’s head off, uh, stick it on the cat’s head here…

CQ – Oh no don’t, that’s yucky!

JS – Don’t you understand, I’m trying to make leaps and bounds (he pronounces it very posh – “bainds”) through the world of science – improve things for mankind.

CQ – Wot, putting the head of a rabbit on a cat is gonna be better for mankind?  Do me a favour!

JS (laughing) Where did we meet, Alice?!  And was I sober?

CQ – We met… you were stoned out of youread, we met in that opium den, don’t you remember?

JS – Don’t talk to me about the opium den!

CQ – Oooh, you gone all funny!

LS – He went to ******…

JS – Oh I hope so!

LS - …because he could not forget the opium den, yes, Doctor Henry Woodcourt

(strange hallucination-type noises)

LS - …was addicted to opium.  It was a substance he had first tasted at medical school, and suddenly he had a flashback to that opium den.

JS – The opium den, the opium den…

LS – Beside…

CQ – Allo darlin’, fancy a puff on this?

JS – My word, thank you very much!

(puffing and straw-sucking noises)

JS – What is this place?

JL – (decadent) This is the opium den.  This is where all your troubles will go far away…

PM – (also decadent) They will disappear into a cloud of yellow smoke.

JL – Can you feel it working on your brain, young man?

JS – Why yes I can!  Wow, this stuff’s good!

PM – Can you look over into that corner and see a giraffe on a pair of roller skates, balancing a milk crate on its head?

JS – My God, yes I can!

PM – He’s another customer. 

JL – Enjoy it, young man.

PM – Yes, enjoy.

JL – You’ll be enjoying it for the rest of your life… a ahahhaaaa! (PM joins in the manic laughing)

JS – Enjoy it, enjoy it, enjoy it, oh, oh GOD!

(flashback ends)

CQ – That’s right, now you remember, it’s all coming back innit?

JS – Yes.

CQ – Mmm.

JS – Those wind chimes helped.  It’s because I’ve got nothing decent to work on, I need bodies, I need… cadavers.

CQ – I beg your pardon?

JS – Just chancing my arm that was the right word.

CQ – Yes, I suppose it’s “ Alice go down the, down the graveyard” now, is it?”

JS – If it’s not too much to ask.  Go and get me a stiffy.

(big audience laugh)

LS – And so we leave this happy couple and go to a swisher part of London town – Sloane Street , and just off Sloane Street , a very, very high-class emporium indeed.  Clarendon’s Haberdashers.  Haberdashers to the higher class of person.  And we see a young lady going into the haberdashers.

(shop door bell)

JL – Helloooo!

LS – Yes, it is Elizabeth .  Elizabeth , looking for something.

CQ (doddery old lady) – Hello?

JL – Ah, madam.

CQ – Yes?

JL – Could you help me?

CQ – I don’t know, what d’you want?  If it’s bananas I can’t, no.

JL – Well, could you measure me please?  I’m about to put on a lot of weight, I believe, and, and…

CQ – Oh, really?

JL - …and I don’t want the weight to show, you know how vain women can be!  Aaaah

CQ – Oh yes, of course.  So you want something… nice and tight round your middle, to hold in an ensuing bulge.

JL – An ensuing bulge, yes.  (bursts into tears)

CQ – Oh there, there, dear.  Don’t cry!  Tell me your problem.

LS – And it was there that Elizabeth opened her heart to the kindly lady…

(noise of cups and saucers)

LS - …and the predicament that she was in.

(sad violin music)

(JL starts mid-conversation, as if she has already explained a great deal of what happened)

JL – And I said “I’ve got four queens too.”. 

(audience laughter)

JL – (getting more upset) And he said “Oh, then you have to pay a forfeit!”.

CQ – Really, yes?

JL – “Lift up your petticoats and pay a f…forfeit”

CQ – Oh no!

JL – And then…

CQ – No…

JL – Then it all went sort of black and clammy, and… sort of wet and squelchy.

CQ – Ghastly.  Did you win?

JL – I don’t know.  All I know is, that I am with child.

CQ – Oh no…

JL – And I can’t tell my parents.

CQ – No!

JL – They’re very important people in the City.

CQ – No!

JL – And it would bring terrible shame upon the family.

CQ – Terrible shame!

JL – And also…

CQ – What?!

JL – The man, you see…

CQ – Yes?

JL – I didn’t even know his name.

CQ – Wow, this is a tricky one!

JL – I’m also being blackmailed.

CQ – Oh good Lord!  Not having much luck…

JL – There was a third card player, you see.

CQ – What, (beginning to laugh) oh dear yes…

JL – His name is “Clive for Nothing”.

CQ – Clive for Nothing?  I know that name… I thought they didn’t call him Clive for Nothing?

JL – Only on Tuesdays.

CQ – Oh, I see.

JL – He’s blackmailing me.

CQ – Yes?

JL – I’ve got to give him thirteen gold sovereigns tonight.  I’ve already given him thirteen, I don’t know where to get the money.

CQ – Another thirteen sovereigns by tonight!

JL – How can I make money so quickly?

CQ – Well, I have an idea…

JL – Yes?

CQ – I’d have to talk to Mr Peplum about it…

JL – Oh please do anything, I’ll do anything…

CQ – But, we need a gown sewed for the Princess and if you stayed up all night I’m sure we’d pay you thirteen sovereigns but it’d be very hard work…

JL – I will.  I’m not much good at sewing but I’ll try.

CQ – That’s right, you’re not much good at sewing but you’re up the duff and you’ve got no choice.

(LS sniggers)

LS – Back at the river Thames , the young man we left tossing stones into the river is still there, and the hour is almost up…

(stone splashes into water)

LS - …and the kindly gentleman will return.

PD – So, you want me to put that on?!

PM – Yes I do… I’m quite prepared to strap you into it, because tonight is cabaret night down at the old opium den, and there’s nothing that the old opium-head likes more (LS sniggers as PM gets stupidly gravelly) than a good piece of female impersonation.

LS – Yes indeed – this was the infamous Sir Lester Marwood! (crashing dramatic chords) Procurer of female impersonators from the streets of London

PM – Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Sir Lester Marwood! (same crashing dramatic chords again)  Here’s my card.

PD – Ah, Sir Lester Marwood (waits expectantly for crashing chords, none occur, audience laughter)

PM – Don’t forget(he waits for laughter to die down).  I’m sorry, that one hasn’t got the tune on it, here’s another one.

Click here for soundbite

PD – Sir Lester Marwood! (crashing chords, audience laughter).  Thank you, ah, I’ll keep that for later.

PM – Good, make sure you do. 

PD – Well, I’ll put this on then. 

(tearing noises)

LS – So Charles, for that was his name…now… slipped on the pink chiffon number. 

PM – That’s better!  Worthy of Sir Lester Marwood (another expectant silence).  I’m sorry, it must be their tea-break.

PD – Here, use this card!

PM – Ah, Sir Lester Marwood! (crashing chords, audience applause)  I shall see you at this address… tonight!

LS – Meanwhile, back at the haberdashers, Elizabeth was starting work on the dress; she, she had been brought up as a young lady, she had never had to work hard before…

(tearing noise (again))

LS - …never had sweat beaded on her brow.

JL – (panting with exertion) Why that’s, that the top part of the gown almost finished, and I did it!  Me, little old silly Elizabeth­ – little old silly Elizabeth who can’t do anything!  I’ve done it, I’ve made the top half of a gown (she’s getting more excited) and soon I’ll make the skirt, a beautiful skirt fit for a princess, and I’ll have sewn it just me, me Elizabeth and nobody else has done it but me!! (draws breath and composes herself, door opens).  Oh, hello!

PM – Excuse me.

JL – Yes?

PM – I will give you five guineas for that lovely lady’s gown.

JL – But this is a gown for the princess; I can’t possibly sell it, unless (sensing an opportunity)… you give me… sixty…gold…sovereigns. 

PM – No.

(Door slams)

PM – Wait!

(Door opens again)

JL – Yes?

PM – I will give you sixty guineas for this elegant gown, but you mustn’t tell anybody who you sold it to.

(clanking coins)

JL – Who did I sell it to, kind sir?

PM – I’m not going to tell you.  Suffice it to say it’s got a five-bar beat at the end of it. 

JL – There you are.

PM – Thank you.  And here is your money.

JL – Thank you!  (to herself) Sixty gold sovereigns! (door slams) But what am I going to do if the old lady comes back?  I’ll have to make another one…

(door opens)

CQ – Elizabeth?

JL – Yes?

CQ – How’s the gown going?

JL – It’s coming on very well.  It’s a wonderful gown, isn’t it, it’s over there on the model.

LS – She looked, but she could see nothing.

JL – Only clever people can see it.

CQ – It’s charming.

JL – Thank you! 

(door slams, JL pants with effort)

LS – But now she had to work doubly hard, for she had made money; she had made money in an honest way, something a Masterson had never, ever done before.

JL – Ah, oh it’s finished.

LS – Meanwhile, through the dark streets of London , the dark, fog-filled streets of London , runs… Alice, the wife of the experimenting doctor (owl hoots) toward the graveyard – a graveyard where she is to commit a heinous crime.  (chiming clock bells).  The ever present Big Ben chimed above her.

CQ – HELLO!! S’like a graveyard in ‘ere.

LS – And she heard a voice, a voice heard before by a young woman in disgre.. disgress? Distress.

JS (as Clive for Nothing) Hello…

CQ – Hello? 

JS – My name’s Clive.

CQ – Clive?

JS – Correct, well remembered. 

CQ – And what can I do for you, sir?

JS – More the case what can I do for you.  Are you looking for…bodies?

CQ – I might be. Who’s aski.. oh, Clive, yes, that’s right.  Can you ‘elp me out in that department then Clive?

JS – I have a shovel…

CQ – Well that is helpful, yes, and erm… ‘ave you dug up graves before, Clive?

JS – Yes.  Like this one here in front of you.

CQ – (dramatic intake of breath)

JS – Sorry about that…

LS – He took his hand from off her rear end. 

JS – Yes, I dug up this grave earlier.

(shovelling and straining noises)

LS – Between them they lifted the body, they lifted the body and they carried it back (sinister music) through the foggy streets of London .  In another part of London , an even more mysterious scene is taking place for, in the opium den, a young man, Charles, is making his debut.  (strange hallucination-type noises as before)  Standing in the wings is Sir Lester, giving him a few choice words of advice on how to carry himself as a female impersonator in an opium den in 1851.

PD – Er… could you give me a few, hints?

PM – No.

PD – Very well, I…er…I’ll…I’ll do my best.

PM – I suggest you open with that popular song, “I May be a Man, But Not So Much as You’d Know It”.

PD – Very well, er.. I’ll… go for it.

PM – I shall be in the corner, tappin’ away.

PD – Ah, er, ahem.  Good evening ladies and gentlemen.

(cast clap and cheer)

PD – Um, how do you do, erm, I’m going to start with, er, an opening number, a little s…song, er, I’m, er…. Oh dear, this isn’t going very well, is it?

(Cast boo – JL – Boo, come on, get off!  CQ – Show us yer ankles!)

PD – No, no… no, really, I, I… I... I am, ah, well, I..I’m… I know how to pretend to be a woman.. ah..er (dissolves into confusion) Oh, oh God! (tearful)

(cast boo again CQ – Get ‘im off!  Rubbish, rubbish!)

PM – Ladies and gentleman, we are watching a first time female impersonator here tonight.  Go for it son!  (stirring music begins) This is your

(General cast encouragement – JS – The toff’s right, let’s give the young lad a chance!  CQ – Give ‘im a go, give ‘im a go!  JL – Give him a chance! Give him a go!  JS – Go on son, you can do it!)

(PD launches into warbled rendition of “As Long as He Needs Me”, Nancy ’s song from Oliver!)

PD – As long as heeee… needs… meee!

(cast clap and cheer)

PD – As long as heee

LS – And so we leave Charles, a great hit in the opening [sic] den with a rendition of a song that would be written some 110 years later.  Back at the laboratory, erm, Dr Henry Deadlock is waiting for the cadaver.  (bubbling noises) It is brought in by Alice , and (dissolving into laughter) Clive for Nothing.

(audience laugh, presumably realising that the doctor and Clive are both played by JS)

JS (Henry ) Where the hell have you been, and who’s he?

(Clive) – Hello.

“ – He sounds just like me!

CQ – Yes!  I met him down the graveyard, darlin’, his name’s Clive.

JS (Henry) – You… you mean that you let somebody else know what you were doing?!

CQ – Well I…

JS (Henry) – But that means…

CQ – Wot?

JS (Clive) – Yes, that means I can blackmail you.

CQ - **********

LS – Suddenly there was a fearful argument between the two men.

(JS starts to ouch and aargh in both voices, window glass crash, punching noises)

LS – They fought!

(more crashing, punching, CQ generally ahhs, ohs, oh, don’t do that etc.)

CQ – (as fighting noises cut out) Oh no, that’s made a big mess!  I’ve got to clear that up now.

LS – And lying, lying in a pool of blood, like a red halo around his head, was Clive for Nothing; and standing over him, with a blood-soaked scalpel, was Dr Henry Deadlock.

JS (panting) Look what I’ve done!  (sinister music)

CQ – Oh no!  You’ve killed ‘im!

JS – Yes!  But it means…

CQ – Wot?

JS – I have a fresh corpse to practice on!

CQ – Darlin’ that’s true, and if you cut ‘im up no-one will ever know that he’s died.

JS – It’s not really an experiment though, is it, just cutting him up! 

CQ – Well, then you sew ‘im back together again.

JS – Yes!  With a new brain…

CQ – Ye… don’t look at me like that!  Don’t…!

JS – Yes, darling…yes!

CQ – No, I’ve never been bright, darlin’, you know that!

(knife sharpening)

JS – Yes, yes, yeeeeesssss!!!!!

CQ – No, darlin’ no, don’t, no, unhand me, AAAAHHHH!!!

(a moment of stunned silence, then laughter from audience)

LS – At Clarendon’s, haberdashers to the rich and famous, young Elizabeth was finishing her night’s work.

JL – Ah, that’s the seventieth gown I’ve made tonight!  I now have three thousand, six hundred and forty-two golden sovereigns.  I’m rich!  And I’m going to find Clive for Nothing, and tell him that I don’t care whether he blackmails me!  I’m free now, I’m independent!  Not a girl any more (deep voice) but a woman…

LS – And so she left the shop.  Charles had finished his night’s work as a female impersonator, but he was not happy, as she was happy with her night’s work; he felt soiled.  He felt… dirty.

PD – Frankly Sir Lester, I feel cheap!

PM – You were rubbish.

PD – I did my best!  I did my best for you.  What are you going to do in return?

PM – I’m going to give you my card.  I’ve changed my name, and my theme tune since the last time you saw me.

PD – Ah, Sir Fred Pontin! (Frontier/Wild West style music)  

Click here for soundbite

PM (JL laughing in background) – Cost me a fortune to have that printed up!  Yes, Sir Fred Pontin, I’m going to open a holiday camp up somewhere in Skegness!  Why don’t you come and join me, (trying not to laugh) I could do with a very bad female impersonator!

LS – But Charles was not going to fall for that, he wanted to escape from this world, and so he tore the card up in front of Sir Fred’s face, and walked out, out onto the streets!

(rustling paper)  

PD – This, this is what I think of your card!  And this is what I think of your holiday camps!

(Wild West music faded in and out very fast to imply torn-ness)

PD – There’s your tune, all over the floor!

PM – But if I pick up that tune, those notes, I can get another tune out of it!  See, a little bit of Blu-tac!  So, my name is now Nyer Nyernoo! (Dramatic brass orchestral music) So hang you!  Goodbye and good riddance, you young puppy.

Click here for soundbite

LS – He left and he walked out, he walked out into a new morning, a new morning in a dirty city but, somehow the morning made it clean.  (rippling water noise, general city noises) The sun was coming up, just over Big Ben, and he looked up, he looked up at the clock face and he felt better. 

PD – Oh London !  London , you wonderful place!  I feel renewed!  I feel… well… I feel like… a new woman! 

(Big Ben chimes)

LS – And hurrying by was a new woman.  A woman made new by her experiences.  She hurried by to her family home where she burst in on her parents, having breakfast.

(door opens)

JL – Mother, father!

(cutlery and plates)

PM – Yes?

JL – I have something to tell you.

PM – What is it, my child?

PD – Yes?

JL – Do you want the good news or the bad news?

PM – The bad news.

JL – I’m pregnant.

PD – Good God!

JL – Would you like the good news?

PM – Yes.

JL – I’m rich!

PD – Brilliant!

JL – What do you think of that?!  I was being blackmailed by a terrible, terrible man.

PD – Oh no!

JL – So I went, and I worked like a decent, honest woman, like I’ve never worked before.  I now have over three thousand golden sovereigns; (LS laughing) I am pregnant, but I don’t care!  I’m going to raise the child myself with the money I’ve earned.  What do you say to that, father?

PM – Good.

JL – Yes, I knew you’d be angry!

(audience laugh at the contradicting dialogue)

JL – What do you say, mother?

PD – Well, you seem to have got it all worked out, really.

JL – Oh, please try and understand me!

PM – We can only offer you our best wishes…

JL – Oh yes, typical parents!  I won’t leave, I tell you, I won’t!  I’m going to my room now, stop shouting!

(door slams, audience applause)

LS – And so it was, that she ran to her room, she ran to her room and she flung open the window and she looked at London too; she looked at this great, vibrant city, this city in a changing world, and she knew, (city noises) she knew that she was going to help build this new world, she was part of it, she was someone (LS laughs as a stirring march begins to play) who was going to make it great, England great, and London great.  For she was a Masterson, but a new sort of Masterson, a Masterson who would work for a living, who would sweat for a living, someone who was worthy of… The Masterson Inheritance!

(closing music)