Wendarella, Act 1
A LONG TIME ago, and far, far away, lived Wendarella, who was the daughter of poor Baron Hardon.
He had recently re-married and Wender’s wicked new stepmother dominated the Baron completely and her two daughters treated Wenders very badly indeed. Of these two stepsisters, one was known as BazTsar, a tyrannical part-time bailiff, the other was called DeeNose, due to the shape of her hooter, the tip of which had been worn away by being shoved up against so many rock-hard pie crusts. Neither sister was exactly attractive, or shapely, and that’s being kind. Not surprising then, that they were soooooo jealous of Wenders, and to punish her for being thin and pretty they made her work all day long, doing the washing and sweeping and cleaning.
When she had finally finished her work for the day, Wenders was locked away in a cold draughty attic, with only rags to wear and left over scraps to eat. She cried herself to sleep most nights and her only comfort was her pet rabbit (batteries not included) and that’s mostly why she was crying. And her only treat was the occasional tiny spoonful of jam that Jeffy the downstairs servant managed to smuggle up to her room.
Jeffy was a simple soul, but he had the right hots for Wenders, although in trying to win her favour, he was falling into the clutches of a mischievous little preserves peddler known as Jamanda. There had been a bit of a turf war on the preserves front, but Jamanda had stood her ground and soon saw off a challenge from a young Midlands upstart called Brummy Wallyams.
Jeffy had an even bigger dose of the hots for Jamanda, and he was slowly getting hooked by her offerings. It started innocently enough when she let him lick her kumquat, but then she had tempted the poor boy with mangos and peaches and in the end the befuddled lad was completely hooked and couldn’t keep out of her thick and chunky, sometimes getting through two jars a day.
One bright morning there was a commotion outside the house and the wicked stepmother sent Jeffy to investigate. He opened the door and there stood Phil Hackatit the town crier who unfurled a parchment scroll and started to read out a declaration:
“It is decreed that all attractive and unattached young ladies of the town present themselves tonight in all their finery to His Royal Handsomeness, the most attractive man to ever hold a rod, Prince Swarthy at Furkham Hall on the occasion of the Annual FM Fish-In”.
On hearing the news the ugly sisters had rushed to the doorway.
Phil then put down the scroll and started going on to anyone that would listen that this was blatant sexism, and inviting only selected people up to the hall was just another example of how class ridden our society was today, and if he had his way the lot of them would be dragged out and hung up by…….
“Stop yer moaning and get on with it!” Shouted the ugly sisters.
Phil looked to the skies then picked up the scroll and continued:
“It is also decreed that HRH Prince Swarthy has to know exactly how many young ladies are coming from each household, to help with the catering, you understand.”
The two ugly sisters were jumping up and down with excitement, “Just us, just us two!” they screeched. Jeffy was on the stairs and piped up, “What about Wendarella?’ The ugly sisters turned and suggested to Jeffy it might be better if he were to shut the **** up, and with that he scurried off. The town crier took a long hard look at the ugly sisters and shuddered inside, he made a note that it would be just the two of them attending, handed over the gilt edged invitations, then left.
The ugly sisters were very excited, and looked at the invitations. Well BazTsar looked at them both, because she had already snatched DeeNose’s card, so no change there. Not that DeeNose had noticed as the meat pie in her other hand was receiving all of her attention at that precise moment.
Lord Paul was known throughout the land for holding his enormous balls at Furkham Hall, but this time it was to be some strange form of entertainment known as an FM Fish-In, to be staged on the boating lake in the extensive grounds. The ugly sisters didn’t care what the occasion was, as it meant food and men and that was good enough for them, so they rushed off to their wardrobes to see what they could find to wear.
Meanwhile Jeffy raced upstairs to tell Wenders the news. She started sobbing her little heart out, again. (Jeffy thought to himself that if Phil Hackatit wanted to give up his job as town crier, he knew someone who would slot straight in).
“Oh Jeffy,” wailed Wenders, “More than anything else I so badly wanted to go to an FM Fish-In, even more than I want a set of hi-power, long lasting, (rechargeable in under 10 minutes) batteries.”
Jeffy understood the first bit of what she said but the second part went straight over his head.
Jiffy told her not to despair because he had read somewhere that if you rubbed something hard enough and long enough and closed your eyes up really tight something good would pop out. Wenders said that’s as may be, but if he was going to do that she would rather he did it in the comfort and solitude of his own room, thank you, and she knew all about the well thumbed copies of ‘Babes in Waders’ that he kept in his undergarments drawer….
A rapidly blushing Jeffy left Wenders alone and she wandered over to her bed and slumped on the end.
“I’ve been a good girl, I don’t ask for much, I wish…. I wish to go and fish!” She sobbed.
Suddenly there was a blinding flash, and as the smoke cleared (the smoke detector didn’t go off, Wenders had taken the batteries out to use them for something else….) a ghostly, glowing figure appeared and announced:
“Fear not, I am your Fairy GodMarzdin, I can grant your wish, and you shall go to the Fish-In, young Wendarella.”
Wenders was wide-eyed, but soon came to her senses, and like all girls, as soon as she was offered the chance to go out, she went off on one: “But I have nothing to wear and I can hear my sisters already leaving in the carriage!”
“No problem, said Fairy GodMarzdin, I can do anything that don’t cost me owt. I’ll have a rummage amongst all the free gear I get sent to try out.”
With a wave of the wand Wenders was clothed in a dazzling gold lame spandex one piece suit (A Nellist spring collection), a pair of very fetching diamante studded barbel skin waders (supplied by Cobblers to Steve Pope) and topped off with the all new otter fur trimmed FM Fedora (R Clay milliners).
“Thanks for that.” said Wenders, “but I haven’t got a mirror to check if my bum looks too big in this suit, these boots aren’t exactly Jimmy Choo’s, and if that’s fake fur on that hat I’ll come out in a rash and how do I get to the Fish In, and what do I do when I get there, I haven’t got any tackle?” Her bottom lip started to wobble big time.
“Now, don’t start bawling again,” said the Fairy GodMarzdin, “You look fine, and you’ll be the belle of the Fish In. Get that Jeffy to round up four rats and a pumpkin and you shall have transport. And don’t bother your pretty little head about tackle, that Peter Creamcracker is supplying all the bits and as there are only 50 people fishing he will have plenty of gear to spare, even if he only brings along his normal amount.”
Wenders gave Jeffy his instructions and made her way downstairs with the Fairy Godmarzdin in hot pursuit. When they got to the front door, the pumpkin had been transformed into a gilded carp barrow, and the rats had been turned into members of the DVSG who would haul Wenders to the Fish-In.
Wenders climbed aboard as it was about to set off when Fairy Godmarzdin issued her with a stern warning. “You go off and enjoy yerself, but this gear has to be back by midnight, or else. It’s raffle prizes for the little kiddies orphanage.” Wenders turned to Fairy GodMarzdin with a tear in the corner of her eye “Ahhh, you big old softie, being nice to the little kiddie-widdies. I’ll bring the stuff back in time, safe and sound.” And with that she was off into the night.
“Nice my arse,” said Fairy GodMarzdin to the fast disappearing Wenders, “I got the gear for nowt, and I’ve sold 500 tickets at a quid apiece, it’s going to be a good Christmas for me!” He was rubbing his hands as he disappeared in a cloud of smoke.
Wender’s entourage pulled up outside Furkham Hall in a cloud of dust, and she made her way to the Fish-In. Peter Creamcracker got his tackle out for her, and she made her way to the lake, with everyone admiring her fine outfit and wondering just who the **** she was. The ugly sisters turned up soon after because although they had left earlier, they had to go the pretty way. This was in order to avoid a Clinton’s shop in the town, so as not to breach a restraining order on BazTsar who had been in and snatched every card they had on his last visit.
“Come on!” Urged BazTsar to DeeNose, “We have to get hold of that Prince Swarthy before anyone else does.” But it was too late, DeeNose had already hitched up her skirts and was making straight to the head of the queue for the buffet, deftly elbowing people out of the way in the manner of a Premiership footballer, with a trail of broken teeth and concussed souls marking her progress.
Wendarella had already attracted HRH Prince Swarthy’s attention, and in his most charming manner, he told her that she was almost the most dazzlingly attractive person at the Fish-In, next to himself, of course, and he offered to show Wenders just what to do, including telling her that if he caught a fish, which he would, of course, he would let her land it, but she would need to grab his rod at just the right time, to which Wenders readily agreed.
The Fish-In was going along nicely, when Prince Swarthy summoned Wenders that the time was right to come and grab his tackle because he had a big one on and he wanted her to have it. Wenders was just about to curl her fingers round his quivering rod and get a firm grip when she heard the bell on the clock tower starting to chime midnight. “Oh, no!” She cried, “I must flee!”
“Don’t leave me like this!” Pleaded the prince, staring down at his throbbing tip, but it was too late, Wenders was running for the gate, and her clothes were already stating to fall off, leaving only a single wader on the stairs. She rushed outside to find her golden carp barrow up on bricks, and a furtive knave known as Sir Scows making good his escape with a bejewelled wheel tucked under each arm. Wenders stood in the road sobbing, but just then Wronklee, (not his real name, but no one could understand his accent, so they thought he was Chinese) happened past in his battered Sitrowan taxi, and offered Wenders a lift.
No sooner had the poor girl got in than he started, “Did you know I’ve ‘ad that Dick Walker in the back of here?” Wenders thought she could well believe that, as it smelt like he hadn’t sponged the seats properly afterwards.
The journey back to Hardon Hall was over all too soon, as Wronklee had only just began telling Wenders his life story, he had offered to go the pretty way to spin out time but Wenders declined his kind offer, being as she was depressed enough already, thanks. Wenders raced upstairs to her room and cried herself to sleep again, it was looking like she had blown her only chance to escape from her life of drudgery, and not even her pet rabbit would help her get over this.
The next morning Prince Swarthy decided he just had to have the mystery girl, and he set off with his most trusted and pious member of staff, the Mank, to track her down, declaring that “Whomsoever the wader fits, I will marry.” Together they trudged round the town and the Mank tried it on with every girl he could find, without any success. When he got to Hardon Hall, Wender’s wicked stepmother told the Mank there were only her two girls here, but Jeffy was having a sugar rush from his forth jar of marmalade that morning and he shouted, “Oh no there isn’t!” (Well it is a panto…) and he rushed off to get Wenders.
The three girls sat down in the hallway whilst the Mank tried to slip on the wader. First up was BazTsar, who couldn’t even get her foot into it. Then Wenders, and to her amazement, it was too loose! The Mank had tried it on with so many girls it had stretched and was all floppy. DeeNose whipped the baggy wader off Wenders, and hitching up her skirt to reveal a thigh like Dolcelata cheese, all pale white and veined, slipped in her leg and it fitted like a glove!
The Prince was somewhat taken aback, but a promise was a promise, and when he took DeeNose free hand, he was impressed with the very firm grip; just what he was looking for in a girl, he thought, and with her face always buried in a pie, a sort of steak and kidney bhurka effect was achieved so he wouldn’t even have to look at it…a right result!
As for Wenders, she too had developed a jam addiction, and decided to go straight to the source so she shacked up with Brummy Wallyams the Deadly Dudley Dealer of preserves. (Now that sounds more like a fairy story than a panto!).
In a twist of fate, BazTsar came across Peter Creamcracker on her bailiffing rounds, and started writing him day tickets for every pair of rods he had bought to the bank side, which ran into hundreds. Peter decided that it would be so much easier if he just proposed to the girl and gave her all his money, like any normal marriage, and it save her from doing all that writing and save him from buying 200 tickets every time he went fishing.
Jeffy finally got his wish and set up home with Jamanda, but his four jar a day craving soon piled on the pounds, and sadly Jamanda ran off with a muffin man, who was much thinner than Jeffy and could be relied on to regularly butter her crumpet.
So they (nearly) all lived happily ever after….