The Prince's Ball or Aladdin Trouble by Jon Keen
This pantomime was written in 1992 and first performed in The Studio Theatre
at South Hill Park Arts Centre, Bracknell, Berkshire by "Visible Panto Line" in
It is designed to be staged in a simple setting, with a single backdrop and
no major scene changes when first performed, all movement of furniture
and props etc. was done with audience present, with the stagehands (Fred,
Bert &Harry) interacting with the audience and even involving them in the
changes whenever possible.
This pantomime mixes traditional pantomime humour with bawdy humour of
an adult nature, and so is not suitable for a junior audience.
CINDERS: The beautiful, virtuous and innocent but flatulent heroine
BUTTONS: her boring, trainspotting admirer
LUCY: The Widow Hardon, new owner of Stoneybroke Mansion
SHELL: Lucy's not so adorable daughter
TRAY: Lucy's other not so adorable daughter
PRINCE: Perfect, the dashing and fearless hero
DANDINI: the Prince's chauvinistic manservant
ABANAZAR: evil but insecure Wizard
SLAP: Policeman of very little brains
TICKLE: Slap's itinerant partner
McGENIE: The Scottish Genie
ALADDIN: Lucy's long-lost son
FRED, BERT &HARRY: Grumpy removal men, scene-shifters and audience
entertainers during scene breaks.
Act One, Scene One
The lights come up to reveal the kitchen of Stoneybroke Towers
On stage is a fireplace, and table (UC), with chairs. There is also a
stove, a telephone, and a whisky bottle
Beautiful pastoral music is heard, and Cinders enters UL, carrying flowers
and a vase
She moves to the table where she arranges the flowers
She drops one, and - bending to pick it up - lets rip an enormous flatulent
CINDERS: (To herself) Oh, what a lovely day it is today. I'm so
happy, father will coming home to Stoneybroke Towers today. He's been
away for a whole six months now, and I'm really looking forward to
She continues flower-arranging. After a short while Buttons enters UR,
carrying two letters.
BUTTONS: Hello, Cinderella.
CINDERS: Hello, Buttons. Where have you been?
BUTTONS: I've been down at the station, train-spotting. Believe it
or not, I actually saw six different class 47's and a class 33 on
CINDERS: Oh, Buttons, I'm not interested in your train-spotting.
BUTTONS: But Cinders, it's so exciting! Six class forty-sevens is
very, very rare…
CINDERS: I'm not interested! It's always the same with you! If it's
not train-spotting, it's accountancy, and if it's neither of them then
it's something even more boring.
BUTTONS: Boring, Cinderella? Do you think I'm boring?
CINDERS: (sees the letters) Oh, never mind, Buttons. What have you
got there? Is that the post?
BUTTONS: Oh, yes. There's a letter for each of us. Here's yours.
He gives her a letter, and he opens his.
BUTTONS: Oh, look! This is interesting. It's from Readers' Digest.
They say their computer has picked out a limited number of very lucky
people who may already have won a million pounds, and that as I'm too
dull and tedious even for Readers' Digest, I'm not one of them. What's
your letter, Cinderella?
CINDERS: It's from the Shetland Isles. That's where father was: it
must be from him. (She opens it) Oh, it's from the Coroner there. I
hope nothing's wrong. (reading the letter) “Dear Madam, I regret to
inform you that your father, Baron Hardon, will not be arriving home
today, following a pervy prank on his stag-night which went wrong. I
will not go into details as they may distress you, but I can tell you
that our surgeons have managed to save the sheep. However, your father
was not so lucky, and is dead. However, I am delighted to tell you
that he did have enough life left in him to attend his wedding and get
married as planned before he died. Therefore, following his death your
new step-mother owns Stoneybroke Towers, and she is now on her way
there. P.S. She's bringing her two daughters with her.
Cinderella breaks down into tears.
BUTTONS: Oh! Oh dear, Cinderella. How terrible! There, there, do
CINDERS: How can I cheer up? My father's dead, and the Towers is
now owned by this woman he married. I wonder what she's like. If
father loved her I bet she's really young and beautiful.
Lucy immediately strides in UL.
LUCY: Yes, you're right first time, dear. Young and beautiful
describes me perfectly. Especially when I'm wearing this lovely little
BUTTONS: Hand-grenade dress?
LUCY: Pull out one pin, and it's every man for himself.
CINDERS: Who are you?
LUCY: My name's Lucy Lastic. I married your father yesterday, so now
I own this place. I would have been here sooner, but I was delayed at
the station. There was a sign on the escalator saying “Dogs Must be
Carried” and it took me over an hour to find a dog. And then I walked
all the way from the station. Why did they build it so far from the
BUTTONS: I think they wanted it to be close to the railway lines.
LUCY: And who are you?
BUTTONS: I'm Buttons. I work here, as handy man.
LUCY: That's good. That will suit my girls. They always like to have
at least one man handy.
CINDERS: (sotto voce) Oh, Buttons. I'm worried about this. I've
definitely got forebodings.
LUCY: Well you're lucky. I've got two, and they keep slipping.
(manipulates bust) Now, where can I rest my feet after that walk? My
bunions are killing me.
BUTTONS: Have you tried soaking them in vinegar? That's meant to be
good for bunions.
LUCY: Yes, I have. All I ended up with was pickled bunions. You see,
it's my shoes that are hurting me.
CINDERS: Perhaps you've got them on the wrong feet.
LUCY: Don't be silly, dear. These are the only feet I've got. But
who are you, dear?
CINDERS: I'm Cinderella. I'm Baron Hardon's daughter.
LUCY: Oh, he didn't say anything about having a daughter.
CINDERS: Daddy didn't mention you in his letters. When did you meet
LUCY: Just the other week. Oh, it was dead romantic. I saw him
across the crowded bar. I cocked an eye at him, he cocked an eye at
me, and there we stood - cock-eyed. Then he picked his way through to
me, one pocket at a time. He bought me a gin and tonic, and schwepped
me off my feet. And a few days later he asked me to marry him, and he
gave me a lovely big engagement ring. He said that it'd previously
belonged to a millionaire - Mr Woolworth. So straightaway I took it to
the Women's Institute so all my friends could admire it.
CINDERS: And did they?
LUCY: Well, five of them recognised it. And do you know what it was
he liked most about me? Last week I asked him that very same question,
and he told me to guess.
CINDERS: And did you?
LUCY: Yes. First I asked if it was my luscious lips, and he said
“no”. Then I asked if it was my exquisite hair, and he said “no”
again. So after that I said was it my voluptuous figure or my gorgeous
eyes, and he said “no” to those. I asked him lots and lots of other
things, and he said “no” to all of them, so in the end I said “I give
in”, and he said “yes, that's it”. (looking around) Still, this does
look like quite a nice place I've got here. Much better than my last
CINDERS: Why, what was wrong with that?
LUCY: Everything, dear. For a start, the walls were so thin that
every time I peeled an onion the people next door started crying, and
the cellar had terrible damp, as well. Do you know, I put a mousetrap
down, and I caught a herring? But anyway, I wonder where my two
luscious daughters have got to. I'll go and look for them.
She exits UL. Buttons moves to Cinders.
CINDERS: Yes, Buttons.
BUTTONS: There's something I want to tell you.
CINDERS: Yes, Buttons.
BUTTONS: Yes. You see, Cinderella, I've wanted to tell you this for
a long, long time now, ever since the time I started working here two
years ago. But you see, I haven't been able to pluck up the courage so
far, except for one day three weeks ago, when I was going to tell you,
but you weren't there, you'd gone down to the shops to buy some sugar.
And then you managed to get it on special offer at five pence off, and
I was so excited that I forgot to tell you, and then…
CINDERS: (interrupting) Oh, for God's sake, Buttons, get on with
BUTTONS: Oh! Alright, Cinderella, I'll try. You see, then I was
going to tell you last Tuesday, but I went down to the Baron's
accountant, because he promised to let me help him with the year end
on his Nominal Ledger. He was trying a special new technique putting
through a balancing journal onto the profit and loss suspense account.
And that was so much fun that by the time I got back you'd gone to
bed, and I didn't want to wake you.
CINDERS: Oh, why do you always have to be such a boring little tit?
Cinderella storms out UR, letting rip one of her anal emissions as she
does so. Buttons continues as though he has not seen her go.
BUTTONS: So you see, Cinderella. What I want to say is (pause as he
builds up his confidence) I love you.
After his moment of high emotion and drama, Buttons looks around and
realises he is alone.
BUTTONS: Where's she gone? It's always the same! Every time I start
talking to somebody, they go and I'm left all alone on my own. I wish
I knew why.
To the sound of a twelve-bar blues backing, Buttons mournfully and
tediously breaks into “The Trainspotter's Blues”.
SONG The Trainspotter's Blues
Well I woke up this morning, Class 47 coming down the line
Oh I love that Cinderella, how I wish she could be mine
Oh, I've got those Trainspotter's Blues
But every time I talk - people start to snooze
Now Cinderella says I'm boring, but I don't think it's true
What's so wrong with trains? They come in lots of colours, my
favourite one is Mallard that one is blue.
I take their numbers, I put them in my little book
But when I show them to Cinders, she doesn't want to take a look.
So I still got them Trainspotter's Blues
How I wish I looked just like that guy Tom Cruise
Then Cinders might say I'm scrummy and so fit
And not tell me that I'm a boring little tit
Improvised section as Buttons talks about the many ways he's
miserable and how horrible everyone is to him.
Yes, everybody hates me, all I get is hate and abuse
So I'm so sure I still got them Trainspotter's Blues
Once he's finished he sits at the table, and bursts into tears.
After a short period his musings are interrupted by the loud and
raucous entry of Shell and Tray, UL.
SHELL: Oh, look!
TRAY: A man.
They walk around Buttons, inspecting him.
GIRLS: Loosely speaking!
BUTTONS: (seeing them) Who are you?
SHELL: We're the new owners of this dump.
TRAY: Yes, Mumsy's just inherited it from some useless fool she
conned into marrying her.
BUTTONS: But what are your names?
SHELL: They call me Shell.
BUTTONS: Why do they call you that?
TRAY: Fill her up, boys! And I'm Tray.
BUTTONS: Why Tray?
SHELL: She's often laid on the table, and she's sometimes got a wet
TRAY: That's not true. I'm very virtuous, and totally chaste.
SHELL: Yeah, last week she was chased by a whole football team, and
she let them catch her.
TRAY: No, I didn't.
SHELL: Yes you did. They don't call you bury me in a `Y'-shaped
coffin Tray for nothing.
TRAY: I'd rather that, than what they call you - “the deckchair”.
BUTTONS: Why “the deckchair”?
TRAY: Everyone finds it very difficult to close her legs.
SHELL: How dare you, you stupid little bitch
TRAY: I'm not stupid.
SHELL: Yes you are! You thought Harvey's Bristol Cream was a massage
TRAY: Well I'm not as stupid as you are. Look at that time you
worked as a secretary. They gave you the sack because you kept putting
Tippex all over the computer screen.
SHELL: That wasn't my fault. The computer kept going down on me.
TRAY: Ooh! I wish I could have one like that.
SHELL: Anyway, I've got a much better job now.
TRAY: What's that?
SHELL: I put the body make-up on the Chippendales before every
performance. Thirty pounds a week.
TRAY: That's not very much.
SHELL: It's all I can afford.
TRAY: Still, never mind about you. What are we going to do in this
SHELL: I don't know. (looking round) Oh, it's all wrong! A woman of
my class and beauty shouldn't be in a shit-hole like this. By rights I
ought to be somewhere exotic like Hollywood, sitting on the sand
looking at the stars.
TRAY: It would be much more fun the other way round.
SHELL: But let's go and have a good look round. We might even find
some decent men around.
TRAY: Oh, I hope so!
SHELL: Yeah, there's such a shortage of hunky men. D'you know, I'm
getting so desperate for a worthwhile man I'm thinking of trying a
TRAY: Oh, no, don't! I tried one once, and I knocked all my fillings
SHELL: Come on, then, let's have a look round.
As they go to exit UL, Cinders re-enters UR.
TRAY: Oh, yes? And who might you be, madam?
CINDERS: I'm Cinderella. I live here.
TRAY: Oh, she lives here, does she?
SHELL: We'll have to see about that, won't we, sister dear?
TRAY: We will indeed. We own this house now, and we don't want
little bimbos like you around.
SHELL: Yeah. When all our men come to visit us the smell of you
might put them off their stroke.
TRAY: Shall we sling her out?
SHELL: Yes, good idea.
CINDERS: No, please don't throw me out. I've lived here so long.
TRAY: Oh, dear, she's lived here so long.
SHELL: Isn't that sad?
TRAY: Yes. Well in that case, we will let you stay here…
CINDERS: Oh, thank you.
SHELL: .on one condition.
CINDERS: What's that?
TRAY: You can do all the cooking…
SHELL: ... all the cleaning ...
TRAY: ... all the washing up ...
SHELL: ... all the ironing ...
TRAY: ... and all the scrubbing. Is that a deal?
CINDERS: But, I ...
SHELL: Well in that case you're out on your ear!
CINDERS: I suppose so, then.
TRAY: Good, that's settled.
SHELL: Now we're off to have a good look round. We want to find
where all the hunks hang out. And I do mean hang out!
TRAY: Yeah. And you'd better get some Clearasil in, 'cos when we
come back we want this place looking spotless.
SHELL: And we're hungry, as well. Make us some lovely food. I want a
great big sandwich, full of lovely greasy bacon, and make it lean.
CINDERS: Which way?
TRAY: That doesn't matter. Just do it!
They stride out UL. Buttons goes to comfort Cinderella.
BUTTONS: Oh, Cinders, how terrible. I'm sorry I couldn't help, but I
just didn't know what to do.
CINDERS: Oh, Buttons. I'm so miserable, what can we do?
BUTTONS: I really don't know. (pause) I say, Cinders, you're not
upset, are you?
CINDERS: I'm afraid I am, Buttons. And you know what happens when I
get emotional, don't you, Buttons?
BUTTONS: Yes, I do. I'd better get going! (running out, UL) Goodbye,
As he hastily exits, UL, Cinderella starts to cry, and as the lights
dim there is a loud anal fusillade from her.
Act One, Scene Two
Once Cinderella has exited in the blackout, the lights come up, and
Fred, Bert and Harry enter. They are surly but good-natured removal
men, and as they change the scene to "outside the palace" they
interact and improvise with the audience, complaining about how
over-worked they are. For instance, they can rope members of the
audience in to hold or carry small items, or give one of them
something to look after. Once the scene change is complete and they
have left, the Prince enters UR, through the palace gates. He pauses,
and gets out a mirror, in which he admires himself, grooming his
PRINCE: (to himself) Hello, my darling. My, you're looking even more
wonderful than usual today. God, you're just so irresistible!
His reveries are disturbed by Dandini, who enters through the
auditorium, carrying a small box.
DANDINI: Hello, your highness. How are you today?
PRINCE: As stunningly attractive as ever.
DANDINI: (not impressed) Yes, sire, whatever you say.
PRINCE: And where have you been all night, Dandini?
DANDINI: I was down at the Women's' Institute, giving all the foxy
chicks there something to hang their towels on before they get too
He thrusts his pelvis forward. When first performed Dandini wore an
illuminated codpiece, operated by a small control hidden in his hand,
which lit upon with every pelvic thrust.
PRINCE: Really? Weren't there some younger women available for you
DANDINI: Not that I haven't serviced twice already this week. And
you know my motto - better laid than never.
PRINCE: Do you think you really should have that sort of attitude to
women, Dandini? You're a bit sexist, aren't you?
DANDINI: Make that sexy, matey. Woof!
Take “Woof!” to be a cue to thrust…
PRINCE: No, what I mean is aren't you worried about meeting any
DANDINI: Not at all. Feminists are only women who haven't met me
PRINCE: Well, I don't think it's very nice. You wouldn't catch me
treating women like that.
DANDINI: I wouldn't catch you treating women at all. You've only
ever hit the sack with one girl, and you haven't seen her since she
got a puncture.
PRINCE: That's not true. I did have another relationship, when I was
much, much younger, but that ended unhappily.
DANDINI: You old dog, you! What happened?
PRINCE: Well, she was heavily into rubbing noses, and I caught
sniffilis. It cleared up after a course of penicillin, but even after
all these years I still haven't got back my sense of smell.
DANDINI: Well, it's about time I fixed you up with someone. I'm sure
I can find you one of my sure-fire slappers - she'll give you a good
PRINCE: No, that's not what I want!
DANDINI: No? Not even with big Gladys. You'd like her - they even
released a song about her. (sings) “I'm feeling Glad all over, feeling
Glad all over”.
PRINCE: No, I'm looking for that special sort of girl: intelligent,
charming, and really attractive. In fact, she's got to be absolutely
perfect. I need to have lots in common with her.
DANDINI: Oh, you're not still looking for your perfect woman, are
you? What was wrong with that girl Delores I introduced you to? She
was stunningly attractive, could cook wonderfully, and was really
interesting and inventive. Wasn't she good enough for you?
PRINCE: Well, she was very nice, but she had a mole on her left arm,
so she just wasn't perfect enough. Any girl must be absolutely
flawless if they want to go out with me.
DANDINI: Well, what about Cynthia from the village, then? She was
like a rabbit on speed, and you could turn her on like an electric
light - with the flick of one finger. Woof! Just thinking of her is
putting a severe strain on my buttons.
PRINCE: No, it's got to be that special, perfect, woman for me, or
nobody. And I want you to help me find her.
DANDINI: Me? How?
PRINCE: I want you to arrange a grand ball, here in the palace. I
want every woman in the kingdom to be invited, so I can see all of
them and choose the most perfect of all. And I don't want you to do
any product testing for me - I want my perfect woman to be pure and
DANDINI: (looking closely at audience) You'll be lucky, around here.