“Quick Morgiana”, shouted the genie, “Al Racheed will be here any minute.” Morgiana looked suitably frightened at the thought of the ‘bad guy’ catching her. Casting his eye round the stage the genie spotted three giant oil jars. “Ah, that would be perfect, quick hide in one of the pots!”
In the audience, Freddie mutter to Gareth, “This is the big magic number to end the first half. Sparks gets to earn his money.”
Gareth looked at the stage. So far, Tracey seemed to have been doing OK. There had been a few fluffs on her lines, but the other members of the cast had covered those up. “How are the Councillors looking?”he asked.
Freddie peered into the darkness. The front row was full of smartly dressed old people, several wearing mayoral regalia. They didn’t seem to be smiling much and he doubted they would be joining in with the singing later. “It’s difficult to tell. They don’t smile much at the best of times.”
“Did they laugh at the ‘Don’t polish my lamp’ lines?”
“Don’t think so. Good job everyone else got the joke. I’ll give Tracey this, she can pull off a smutty line really well.”
On stage, Tracey lowered herself into a jar and pulled the lid down on herself.
“Boo, Hiss” cried the audience as Al Racheed stomped on to the stage waving his wooden scimitar.
“Where is that pesky slave girl?“ he bellowed, “I will find the wench and cleave her head from her body”. To demonstrate he meant it he swooshed the scimitar around.
There was a chorus of ‘ohs’ and ‘boos’ from the audience.
Tracey popped her head up from the jar, wearing the lid as a hat. “Help me genie. Don’t let the evil Al Racheed find me.” She dropped back down as Sparks appeared in a puff of smoke high up on the balcony of a wooden building.
“Don’t worry Morgaina, that evil man will never find you.”
The audience cheered and then booed as Al Racheed snarled at them.
“Be quiet you lot,” he shouted, “I’ll find her and when I do…” he waved the weapon.
“She’s behind you!” called a lone voice from the audience. Freddie groaned.
Playing to the crowd, Al Racheed replied, “Is she really?” and turned to look at the pots. “I bet she is in one of these!”
“Boooo!” called the audience.
With a flourish, he pulled the first pot forward and lifted off the lid. “She’s not in here!” he cried, “She must be in one of the other ones. Putting the jar back on its stand he moved along the row and repeated the examination. “She’s not in this one either!”
Again, the jar went back on its stand and he looked at the final one. “I have you now!” he cried and pulled it forward grabbing the lid. The audience gasped. Inside there was nothing to be seen, yet only moments before, they had seen Morgiana climb inside.
At the other end of the row, Tracey popped her head up out of the first pot. The audience cheered.
“Have you seen her?” bellowed the baddie, “Where is she?”
Running back to the first jar, he grabbed it and looked inside. As he moved, the genie waved his hands and sprinkled some glitter on the stage. There was nothing in the pot. Tracey appeared briefly in the middle jar. The audience cheered.
Again, the genie sprinkled glitter and Al Racheed looked in the pot. Nothing. He tried the end of the row and again, nothing. This time Tracey appeared in the first jar.
Time and again, they repeated the game. Once, the baddie slipped on the growing pile of glitter. Each time, the audience clapped and cheers. Sparks beamed from under his genie turban.
Suddenly there was a scream from inside a jar. Tracey appeared out of the top but her face was covered in goo. Coughing and spluttering she tried to climb out.
“What on earth…” gasped Freddie, “what the hell is she doing?” Grabbing a radio, he spluttered, “Get the curtain ready. Something’s gone wrong!”