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Punch And Go: A Little Comedy
by [?]

VANE.Once for all, what I want is the orchard in full moonlight, and the room dark except for the reading lamp. Cut off your front battens.

[ELECTRICS withdraws Left. FORESON walks off the Stage into the Right wings.]

Mr Foreson!

FORESON.[Re-appearing] Sir?

VANE.See this marked right. Now, come on with it! I want to get some beauty into this!

[While he is speaking, HERBERT, the call boy, appears from the wings Right, a mercurial youth of about sixteen with a wide mouth.]

FORESON.[Maliciously] Here you are, then, Mr Vane. Herbert, sit in that chair.

[HERBERT sits an the armchair, with an air of perfect peace.]

VANE.Now! [All the lights go out. In a wail] Great Scott!

[A throaty chuckle from FORESON in the darkness. The light dances up, flickers, shifts, grows steady, falling on the orchard outside. The reading lamp darts alight and a piercing little glare from it strikes into the auditorium away from HERBERT.]

[In a terrible voice] Mr Foreson.



[FORESON mutters, walks up to it and turns it round so that the light shines on HERBERT’S legs.]

On his face, on his face!

[FORESON turns the light accordingly.]

FORESON.Is that what you want, Mr Vane?

VANE.Yes. Now, mark that!

FORESON.[Up into wings Right] Electrics!


FORESON.Mark that!

VANE.My God!

[The blue suddenly becomes amber.]

[The blue returns. All is steady. HERBERT is seen diverting himself with an imaginary cigar.]

Mr Foreson.


VANE.Ask him if he’s got that?

FORESON.Have you got that?


VANE.Now pass to the change. Take your floats off altogether.

FORESON.[Calling up] Floats out. [They go out.]

VANE.Cut off that lamp. [The lamp goes out] Put a little amber in your back batten. Mark that! Now pass to the end. Mr Foreson!


VANE.Black out

FORESON.[Calling up] Black out!

[The lights go out.]

VANE.Give us your first lighting-lamp on. And then the two changes. Quick as you can. Put some pep into it. Mr Foreson!


VANE.Stand for me where Miss Hellgrove comes in. FORESON crosses to the window. No, no!–by the curtain.

[FORESON takes his stand by the curtain; and suddenly the three lighting effects are rendered quickly and with miraculous exactness.]

Good! Leave it at that. We’ll begin. Mr Foreson, send up to Mr Frust.

[He moves from the auditorium and ascends on to the Stage, by some steps Stage Right.]

FORESON.Herb! Call the boss, and tell beginners to stand by. Sharp, now!

[HERBERT gets out of the chair, and goes off Right.]

[FORESON is going off Left as VANE mounts the Stage.]

VANE.Mr Foreson.

FORESON.[Re-appearing] Sir?

VANE.I want “Props.”

FORESON.[In a stentorian voice] “Props!”

[Another moth-eaten man appears through the French windows.]

VANE.Is that boulder firm?

PROPS.[Going to where, in front of the back-cloth, and apparently among its apple trees, lies the counterfeitment of a mossy boulder; he puts his foot on it] If, you don’t put too much weight on it, sir.

VANE.It won’t creak?

PROPS.Nao. [He mounts on it, and a dolorous creaking arises.]

VANE.Make that right. Let me see that lute.

[PROPS produces a property lute. While they scrutinize it, a broad man with broad leathery clean-shaven face and small mouth, occupied by the butt end of a cigar, has come on to the stage from Stage Left, and stands waiting to be noticed.]