The Adventures of Wombat, Swans Supporter – A Radio Play

Sunday 21 December 2008

To celebrate the Christmas period I present a radio script for you to print out and perform. One of my stronger childhood memories is of wrangling my sisters and nieces (there were no nephews) into performing little shows for the adults at family gatherings. The shows were always Music Hall fare that I must have memorised from school – the one that sits strongly is of a journalist doing a scoop on a group of people committing suicide, it’s still a great routine. I should note that I was something like 10 when I was doing this. 

So here’s a jolly piece that involves the whole family: some get to be actors, some get to be sound effect makers, and the rest get to be the audience who plays a just as important role. Make up large signs for the audience to call out their lines.

This was written for a competition to have your radio play performed live from the Sydney Opera House. Needless to say I didn’t win, but I still think this is most possibly the funniest thing I have ever written. It is highly influenced by the work of Marty Feldmen and Barry Took, who wrote Round the Horne, and it makes me laugh out loud every time I read it.

So on that, Merry Christmas and please enjoy!

Clyde

 

The Adventures of Wombat, Swans Supporter


Characters, in order of appearance

NAR: Narrator

SYD 1: Grumpy Sydney Commuter 

SYD 2: Another Grumpy Sydney Commuter

GUIDE: Taronga Zoo Tour Guide

WOM: Brian the Wombat. The Hero

CRAIG: Brian’s Zoo Keeper

FERRY: Sydney Harbour Ferry Ticket Collector (sounds just like Guide)

INSPECT: City Rail Ticket Inspector

TAXI: Indian Taxi Driver

PARTY: Party Girl at a Nightclub

Also…

SFX: A collection of buzzes, whistles, boinks and dings, with the occasional bit of music thrown in for good measure.

AUD: Everything from a lion to an entire football stadium, and even sometimes a studio audience.

 

Casting

Excluding the Audience and SFX Operator, this play could be staged with a minimum of 3 men and 1 woman.

M1: NAR, TAXI

M2: SYD 1, CRAIG, INSPECT

M3: WOM

W: SYD2, GUIDE, FERRY, PARTY

 

The Play

NAR: It was a typical Sydney day. The sun was shining…

SFX: TRIANGLE DING

NAR: The birds were singing…

SFX: BIRD WHISTLE

NAR: And the people of Sydney were their usual happy selves…

SYD 1: Get out the way!

SYD 2: Watch where ya going!

NAR: It was also a beautiful day at Taronga Zoo, where the daily tour was taking place. Please note that due to budget restraints the animal population has been replaced with a studio audience with too much time on a Sunday afternoon.

GUIDE: Hello, welcome to Taronga Zoo, I’m your tour guide. As we move along, on our left the exotic birds…

AUD: SQUARK!

GUIDE: On our right, the lion’s den…

AUD: ROAR!

GUIDE: and up ahead the wombat enclosure… (PAUSE) He’s asleep at the moment.

NAR: But, dear listeners, our hero wasn’t asleep but out the back with his keeper Craig.

WOM: OK Craig, what’ll it be?

CRAIG: Don’t rush me Brian, don’t rush me!

WOM: Come on Craig, it’s only a friendly.

CRAIG: All right, I think it was Professor Green in the Library with the Candlestick.

WOM: (PAUSE) Craig, this is ten stud poker.

CRAIG: I knew I shouldn’t let you watch late night television.

WOM: New game. Your deal Craig.

SFX: CARDS FLYING EVERYWHERE DUE TO A VERY BAD ATTEMPT TO SHOOT CARDS FROM ONE HAND TO ANOTHER.

WOM: You never could hold your cards, could you Craig.

CRAIG: Sorry Brian.

WOM: So Craig, any plans tonight?

CRAIG: Yeah, I’m off to see the Sydney Swans play –

SFX: BIZARRE HONK

CRAIG: – at Olympic Park Stadium.

WOM: The Swans! I love the Swans! I was president of their fan club, marsupial division, back in uni. Can I come?

CRAIG: Now Brian, you know you can’t leave the zoo. Besides I’ve only got this one ticket.

WOM: Ah, but Craig, I’m their number one fan!

CRAIG: (TEASING) I’ll tell you what, If you can get your hands on a ticket, you can go to the game. Deal?

WOM: Deal! Craig, hand me that ticket.

CRAIG: Hah! You don’t get me that easy!

WOM: Sorry Craig, you’re much too smart for that, but could you pass me that shovel?

CRAIG: Here ya go.

WOM: Thanks Craig. Now, turn around.

CRAIG: (WITH BACK TO MICROPHONE) Like this?

WOM: Perfect.

SFX: BOINK!

SFX: THUD!

WOM: Sometimes it’s that easy.

SFX: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE THEME TYPE MUSIC

WOM: And so, dear listeners, I began my escape. Pausing briefly to roll the unconscious Craig in a brown blanket to look like a sleeping me, I grabbed his keys, unlocked the door…

SFX: RATTLE OF KEYS, UNLOCKING AND CREAKY DOOR OPENING

WOM: …and started on my way, wearing Craig’s keeper’s cap as a disguise.

GUIDE: Hi Keeper Craig, You’re working back late.

WOM: Hi Taronga Zoo Tour Guide, you have a good day now. (Aside) The disguise was a success! So on I went: to my left the lion’s den…

AUD: ROAR!

WOM: On my right, the exotic birds…

AUD: SQUARK!

WOM: And up ahead the gates, the Harbour and the Swannies! With one heave of the rope and hook, which I always kept about my person for moments like these…

SFX: ROPE GOING UP

SFX: CLANK! OF THE HOOK TAKING HOLD

WOM: I pulled myself up over the wall and to Freedom! I could almost taste the meat pies!

NAR: But, dear listeners, fate had chosen otherwise…

SFX: BACKGROUND – SLOSHING WATER

FERRY: (APPROACHING) Ferry Tickets please.

SFX: HOLE PUNCHER

FERRY: Thank you. Ferry Tickets please.

SFX: HOLE PUNCHER

FERRY: Thank you. (TO WOM) Hey mister, ferry tickets please.

WOM: Sorry?

FERRY: Ferry tickets please. You got to have a ticket to ride this ferry.

WOM: Hey, you sound just like the Taronga Zoo Tour Guide.

FERRY: She’s my cousin.

WOM: Small world.

FERRY: Hey, aren’t you a wombat?

WOM: How can you tell?

FERRY: I’ve been on the tour. Ferry tickets please!

WOM: Look, I haven’t got any money.

FERRY: Why not, cos you’re a wombat?

WOM: Na, cos I left me wallet in me other pants.

FERRY: Sorry, you got to have a ticket to ride this ferry.

WOM: Ah, come on. I’ve got a ticket to see the Sydney Swans play –

SFX: BIZARRE HONK

WOM: – at Olympic Park Stadium.

FERRY: What? The Swans are playing –

SFX: BIZARRE HONK

FERRY: – ? I hate the –

SFX: BIZARRE HONK

FERRY: – s. ‘Carn the Swannies. On you get Mr Wombat, you’re travelling first class with me.

WOM: Call me Brian.

SFX: FERRY TAKING OFF

SFX: FADE BACKGROUND SLOSHING WATER

NAR: And so, dear listeners, our hero Brian finds himself at Circular Quay trying to catch a train to Olympic Park.

AUD: HANG ON!

NAR: All right studio audience, the writers are well aware that you can’t catch a train to Olympic Park from Circular Quay, but please go with it for now so we can keep the story moving. OK?

AUD: OK!

SFX: TRAIN WHISTLE

WOM: Is this the train to Olympic Park?

INSPECT: Just a minute. What are you, a wombat?

WOM: A northern hairy nosed wombat to be precise, but my friend’s call me Brian.

INSPECT: Well listen Brian –

WOM: That’s MR Wombat to you mate!

INSPECT: Look, you can’t get on this train.

WOM: Ahh, lemme on, please!

INSPECT: What’s that sign say over there?

WOM: “At night rave near the guard’s compartment naked with a blue light”?

INSPECT: I mean the one under it.

WOM: Looks like a picture of a wombat with a red line through it.

INSPECT: That’s right – No Wombats Allowed. And that means you, MR Wombat! (NASTY LAUGH)

SFX: DOOR CLOSING, TRAIN LEAVES

WOM: Oh woe is me! Oh Studio Audience, what am I to do?

AUD: (HAIL TAXI WHISTLE)

SFX: SCREECH OF BRAKES

TAXI: You call for a taxi Mister?

WOM: No, the Studio Audience did.

TAXI: Sorry, I’m only licensed to carry four passengers.

WOM: Look, I’m a wombat with no money that needs to get Olympic Park to watch the Sydney Swans play –

SFX: BIZARRE HONK

WOM: Can you help me?

TAXI: Hop on board. As luck would have it today is Feel Sorry for Wombats Day. It’s a great Indian holiday.

WOM: I didn’t know India had wombats.

TAXI: It doesn’t. We ate them all, that’s why we feel sorry for them.

SFX: TAXI TAKES OFF

NAR: So our hero reached the Swannies’ game where…

SFX: SOFT THUD OF BALL BEING KICKED

SFX: WHISTLE OF BALL FLYING THROUGH AIR

SFX: UMPIRE WHISTLE

AUD: (GOES WILD!)

NAR: …the Swans’ win!

AUD: (GOES WILDER!!)

SFX: FINAL SIREN

SFX: SWANS’ THEME SONG – CHEER CHEER THE RED AND THE WHITE – FADE OUT

NAR: And finally, dear listeners, Brian the Wombat, through many further adventures, made it back to Circular Quay, only to find he had missed the last ferry home…

AUD: (SAD AHH)

NAR: (ELATED) So he went to a night club instead!

SFX: NIGHT CLUB SOUNDS – HEAVY BEAT MUSIC, GLASSES CLINKING

WOM: Hey little lady, wanna come back to my burrow and see my scratchings?

PARTY: (GIGGLES) Wow! Either a wombat is trying to pick me up or that wasn’t a Panadol I took earlier. Hey Mr Wombat, You’re on!

WOM: Call me Brian.

SFX: CLOSING MUSIC

NAR: That was The Adventures of Wombat, Swans Supporter, starring etc…

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