Script samples

beggars opera whores

Here is a short sequence from the beginning of the show, in which Filch  describes Peachum's associates and customers (to the tune of 'I've got a little list' from the Mikado):


     He's got them on the list, 

     He's got them on the list 

     And they'd none of them be missed, 

     They'd none of them be missed. 


     Corrupted politicians, who will promise you the earth, 

               he’s got them on the list, 

               he’s got them on the list. 

     Who make a goodly living, you can see it from their girth 

               They never would be missed, 

               They never would be missed. 

     From taking bribes and perquisites, backhanders, presents too, 

     For services they rendered, power corrupts them through and through. 

     And yet they claim their honesty, they shout it once again; 

     They think that everyone’s the same, aboard the gravy train. 

     And if they’re brought to trial, it’s a cert they’ll be dismissed. 

               They’d none of them be missed, 

               They’d none of them be missed. 


     You may put them on the list. 

     you may put them on the list. 

     And they'll none of them be missed, 

     they'll none of them be missed. 

[Filch exits. Peachum goes back to his desk, and opens his ledger.] 

Peachum: A register of the gang: Harry Paddington, he goes off the next sessions, for the villain has the impudence to want to return to his trade as a tailor, which he calls an honest employment; Matt of the Mint; listed not above a month ago, a promising sturdy fellow, and diligent in his way - somewhat too bold and hasty, but he may raise good contributions from the public, if he does not cut himself short by murder; Bob Booty - a drunken whoremonger!  It’s the noose for him this time. 

beggars opera whores rehearsal

This second excerpt is from the second act, where Lockit, the jailer, bemoans the lack of morals of the times (to the Nightmare Song from Iolanthe):

Peachum: We shall never fall out about an execution.  Brother Lockit, you and I are like great statesmen, for we too encourage those who betray their friends. 

Lockit: Such language, brother, anywhere else, might be misunderstood.  Learn to be more guarded, I beg you. 


When you censure the age, be cautious and sage, lest the courtiers offended should be:

Mention vice, threat or bribe and you’ll find that the tribe cries as one, that was levelled at me. 

Politicians of note make a sound-bite or quote ‘Vote for me and I’ll promise – whatever’. 

But their meaning is plain, once elected again, each one’s promise forgotten forever. 

The government ranks are filled out with blanks, with faces you’ll never remember. 

While the sad opposition’s unpleasant position reflects each unfortunate member. 

The braying buffoons, inarticulate loons, represent the unfortunate voter 

With their self-serving stance and their eye for the chance, and of conscience you’ll find no iota. 

Corruption abounds and incompetence sounds like an talent for all politicians 

But their real skill is found extricating your pound and escaping just like a magician. 

                                                                           * * *

And in Newgate you’ll find those of similar mind, hard confined with their freedom denied ‘em. 

First they go to their trial, then their punishment while they’re condemned to the fetters which bind ‘em. 

For each of their crimes will give them the time to think on their actions offensive, 

While their betters remain free as air, it is plain to find justice will prove quite expensive. 

And all through our hist’ry, there’s never a myst’ry ‘bout who will eat who in the end 

It’s always the rich, with never a hitch, who end up with no charge to defend. 

While the lower your class the more chance it should pass that you pay the price due to society. 

While the rich will walk free just by paying a fee with their names still upheld by propriety; 

With no stain on their name, and no painful disdain, and suspicion removed from their record, 

They enjoy freedom’s air now they haven’t a care, with no hint of a scandal or discord. 

                                                                           * * * 

(and so on...) 

© Katisha Limited 2013