Every Friendship has a Beginning

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Thirteen Girls for Seventy One Boys

Nick was pacing around in front of the Common Room frantically.

There was only a month left until the Christmas entertainment, and they had to get it right, this was his last year. He had arranged an meeting for the whole house to discuss what they were going to do that year.

Most of the students were already there and chatting excitedly, Mr Mitchell was sitting down at the back. Athene and Anthony came running breathlessly into the room at five o’clock exactly, just as his second hand reached five o’clock.

“You two are late,” he said firmly.

“Now come on Nick,” said Mark who had only shone up thirty seconds earlier.

“Very nearly,” he muttered.

“Uncle David took us to the cinema!” said Athene.

“We had to queue up to get the album!” said Anthony showing a large paper envelope.

“I’ll let you off this time,” he sighed, smiling slightly.

“Thanks Nick,” beamed Anthony as they went to go sit down.

“Right now, everyone’s here, has anyone got any ideas?”

“Can’t we just pretend to be the teachers,” said one of the sixth formers.

“Like we do every year,” nodded one of his friends.

“My Dragon’s getting pretty good,” beamed Harry.

There were many murmurs of assent from throughout the room from those who had seen Harry’s true to life impression of Mr Davies on the parade ground.

“I’m sure it is Harry,” said Nick, “but isn’t that exactly what all the other houses are going to do?”

“And so?” asked Graham.

“What’s so wrong with that?” asked one of the fifth formers.
“Because,” interjected Nick, “if everyone’s going to be doing it shouldn’t we try something different, something current?”

The others all looked confused.

“Well what have we got lot that the others haven’t?”

“Ladies!” shouted Malcom.

“Spot on that boy!” laughed Mr Mitchell, “there are your greatest asset.”

“Whereas the other houses have around a hundred boys in each house, we have seventy boys and thirteen girls,” said Anthony.

“Thank you for the statistics Mr Brian of Britain,” smirked Harry.

“Anything else?” asked Nick.

Charlie and Harry stood up and walked to the front both grinning mischievously.

“Fred and Ginger spinning madly!” said Charlie dramatically holding out her hand for Harry’s.

They then span around the room exaggeratedly together to great applause and laughter.

“Ha ha very funny!” said Mark with his arms folded.

Julie merely rolled her eyes at them.

“No actually they’re right,” said one of the fifth formers, “he have got Mark and Julie.”

“Can’t we just centre our whole show around them and the rest of us can just back down this year?” asked one of the sixth formers.

“Nobody is going to put up with watching Mark and Julie prancing around the stage on their own for forty minutes,” drawled Lizzie.

“Besides it would be no fun for the rest of us,” sighed one of the third form girls who had been looking forward to being in her first Christmas entertainment.

“Why don’t we do a musical?” asked Julie.

“Or more specifically a parody of one,” agreed Rupert.

Nick nodded, he was starting to like the sound of things.

“Which one?”

Mark leapt up onto his feet and started singing and tapping around the crowded room, dancing his way around people.

“I’m singin in the rain! I’m just singin in the rain! Come on with the rain!”

“No,” said Nick, “no Gene Kelly impressions.”

Mark looked slightly mutinous.

“Maybe next year Marky,” said Anthony patting his brother on the back as Mark sat back down grudgingly.

“If you lot want to do a musical we should probably get Mr Wells involved,” said Mr Mitchell.

“We’ll go see him once we’ve picked a show,” said Mark.

“Any other ideas?”

“The Wizard of Oz?”

“Not current enough.”

“And not enough parts,” sighed Julie.

“Unless we’re going to have a chorus of sixty munchkins,” smirked Charlie.

“We represent the lollipop guild!” sang several of the fourth form boys shrilly.

“I think I’ve got it,” said Anthony fishing in his bag.

“What is it?” asked Nick.

He handed Nick the record they had bought in the cinema.

“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers?” muttered Nick reading off the front cover.

“Yeah it’s really good,” said Athene, “we’ve seen it three times.”

“We’ve seen it ten times!” added Mark.

There was a point during the Summer holidays when Mark and Julie had gone to go and see that film three times in one week.

“It could work,” muttered Nick.

“We could do Thirteen Girls For Seventy-One Boys,” suggested Mark, “but instead of looking for brides, they’re looking for girlfriends.”

“You know I think we’ve got it,” said Nick beaming.

“We’re going to have to dance aren’t we,” sighed Graham.

Thirteen Girls for Seventy-One Boys-
Cast list-
Julie- as Jane
Mark- as Michael
Charlie- as Artie
Graham- as George
Anthony- as Adam
Athene- as Diana
Lizzie- as Rachael
Lucy- as Emma
Malcom- as Benjamin
Rupert- as Reggie
Nick- as Mr Mitchell
Harry- as Mr Davies
Eight boys as other main boys
Eight girls as other girls
Fifty-six boys as background actors/ chorus

Opening-
Adam comes out in front of screen that is pulled down over the stage.

Adam-

Our tale this afternoon takes place in the fine House of Mitchell. There has been a problem recently because there are several girls in the house but far more boys than girls. We proudly present to you the tale of Thirteen Boys for Seventy-One Boys.

Adam walks backstage, and the Main Title from Seven Brides for Seven Brother’s is played. A spotlight is shone on the closed curtain, and you can see the shadow of thirteen couples dancing to the music.

At the end of the song, the curtain is raised, and Michael is standing on stage alone. Michael is standing on the stage alone with his hands in his pockets and looking thoroughly miserable.

Michael- Oh woe is me! Sighs dramatically. What is the point in being as handsome as me when I can't find my true love!
I need to find my perfect dance partner, for Fred is useless without his Ginger.

Jane enters the stage and looks over at Michael.

Michael sings Bless Your Beautiful Hide to the audience, singing about Jane.

Michael walks over to Jane at end of the song and takes Jane’s hands in his.

Michael- You have beautiful eyes!

Jane looks the other way on purpose, trying to tease him.

Jane- Yes I know I’ve been told!

Michael- Whats your name?

Jane- Jane.

Michael- Jane what a beautiful name!

Michael- Dance with me!

Jane- I’m sorry what?

Michael holds his hand out for hers.

Michael- Dance with me Jane!

Jane smiles at Michael and takes Michael’s hand. They waltz around the stage to the tune of Wonderful Wonderful Day. By the end of the song, they are looking lovingly into each other’s eyes. The song ends with a deep kiss between Michael and Jane.

Jane- I love you, Michael!

Michael- I know! (somewhat pompously.) Oh yeah, I love you too Julie.

Jane- It’s Jane!
Michael- Sorry (grinning innocently.)

Jane looks somewhat unimpressed for a moment before smiling at Michael again.

Enter stage George, Adam, Benjamin and Reggie, and several other boys

George- looking incredulously at Jane Who’s this?

Jane- laughing Have you never seen a girl before?

Benjamin- Not such a beautiful one no

Reggie- Or one who looks into Michael’s eyes quite so lovingly.

Michael- proudly This is Jane, she’s my girlfriend.

George, Benjamin and Reggie- Your girlfriend!

Reggie- Where do we get one of those?

Adam- looking up from his book Why don’t you try talking to her?

George- What about?

Adam- returning to his book having had enough of the conversation- I don’t know a book?

Benjamin- Why is your answer to everything a book Adam?

Michael- It’s easy, tell her she’s pretty, and then dance with her.

Adam- Not everyone likes dancing Michael- leaves stage still reading
Jane- Ignore him boys, ignore all of them. The key to getting a girl to notice you, is to compliment her and then dance with her.

Jane explains to the boys about dating rituals by singing Going Courtin. The eleven boys on stage join in with song towards the end.

(Change to end of song) Keep your readin, and writin, and addin, and shootin, and rugby, and Latin, cause we’re going courtin!

Reggie- So when you going to teach us how to dance Jane?

Jane- Right now if you want

Boys look at each other excitedly.

Mr Davies yelling from offstage- where are my cadets!!

Boys- Bloody hell! It’s the dragon!!

Mr Davies marches onto the stage- over the top. Cadets gather on stage, already twelve boys in second row. Artie standing impatiently in the front row waiting for the boys to arrive. The other eleven boys run breathlessly onto the stage and take their places in the line.

Mr Davies screams- And where the bloody hell have you lot been?

Boy 1 cowering- We meant to be here on time!

Mr Davies- Meant to! Meant to!

Walks over to boy and lifts him in the air.

Mr Davies- Well that’s not good enough is it boyo?

Boy trembles and doesn’t answer.

Mr Davies- Is it boyo?

Boy 1- No dragon. I mean sir!

Puts him back down on the ground and mutters at him and he gets back into line.

Mr Davies- So why were lot late then?

Reggie- We had a dancing lesson.

Artie who is standing next to Reggie looks slightly impressed.

Mr Davies screams and face goes red- Dancing lessons! Dancing lessons! Are you ruddy kidding me!

Comic drill scene follows, more Mr Davies shouting and being bad-tempered prat.

At end of scene, eleven girls enter stage as Mr Davies leaves.

Benjamin- look out lads, here’s our chance!

Benjamin walks up to Rachael.

Benjamin awkwardly- Um hello, I’m Ben

Rachael smiling slightly- Rachael

Benjamin- You have lovely um breasts. No no! Your nose it’s perfect.

Rachael completely dumbfounded- Um thank you?

Other ten boys catch on and start flirting with the girls

Reggie- Hey Artie, you were really good today

Artie laughing- Thanks Reg, so you’ve been learning how to dance have you, what ballet or Charleston?

Reggie- You’ve got beautiful um feet; they look great in your boots.

Artie- Are you trying to compliment me?

Reggie smiling foolishly- Um maybe?

Artie smiles at him.

The other eleven boys who had been standing at the back of the stage realise that they are trying to get the attention of the girls and decide to give it a go themselves.

Boy 2- Hi Emma, you’ve got lovely hair.

George- Leave her alone! She doesn’t want to talk to you!

Boy 2 somewhat threateningly- Says who?

George equally threateningly- Says me!

Many fights break out around the stage, and there are soon eleven pairs of boys fighting each other about the girls.

All the girls but Artie leave the stage as they fight.

Benjamin stops fighting his partner and realises that the girls have left

Benjamin getting up- Where’d they go?

Artie nonchalantly- I don’t know what you’re talking about

George also getting up- The girls, where did the girls go?

Artie- Oh they left. Surprisingly they didn’t like you lot fighting over them.

Reggie enthusiastically as he walks over to her- But you’re still here!

Tries to put an arm around her waist.

Artie pushing him away - Leave off!

Artie- Look I don’t like being fought over either Reg, I’m only still here because it was too hilarious to miss watching you idiots rolling around on the floor wrestling each other.

George- Well that went well

Scene change- Mr Mitchell stands at the front of a Latin class, twelve of the boys look bored and unimpressed, Adam takes notes keenly.

Mr Mitchell- Right today I’m going to tell you all about The Rape of the Sabine Women from Plutarch

Loud groaning from Michael, Benjamin, George, Reggie and other eight main boys, Anthony looks overjoyed.

Mr Mitchell- Another approach perhaps. Well here goes nothing.

Mr Mitchell gains interest of the class by singing about the Sobin Women. The other boys apart from Anthony join in enthusiastically.

Mr Mitchell dances off the stage at the end of the song, and Anthony leaves the stage after him with his book.

Michael- So how did it work for the Romans?

George- They just took what they wanted.

Reggie- And screw the consequences!

The others murmur in assent.
Michael- I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that. See you guys later!

Reggie, George, Benjamin and other eight main boys, track down Artie, Rachael, Emma and eight other girls in the girls Common Room.

Benjamin- Well hello ladies!

Emma- Are you going to try fighting over us again?

The boys all walk over to their girls.

George- Well, we’ve tried war.

Reggie- So we thought we’d try love!

The boys hold their girls close, and try kissing them. The boys all get slapped across the face.

Rachael- You lot must be crazy if you think we’d ever want to go out with any of you.

The girls all rush off the stage, leaving the boys dejected and confused.

Benjamin- What did we do wrong that time?

Jane comes on the stage looking thoroughly disappointed. Michael follows her laughing after hearing about the boys all getting slapped.

Jane- I hear you lot have been fighting?

George foolishly- Maybe

Jane- And trying to force yourselves on the girls?

Reggie- Artie hit me across the face! She’s got a mean right hook!

Jane shaking her head- She wouldn’t have hit you if you’d asked before you tried kissing her!

Michael- Don’t any of you lot remember the golden rule?

All main boys- No

Jane and Michael whilst demonstrating- Dancing!

The boys nod their heads in realisation.

George- But It’s too late for that! They hate us!

Michael- They don’t hate you!

Jane- And you’re in luck, the school dance is tonight.

Scene change- Adam is sitting alone in the Common Room reading, on the other side of Common Room Diana is also reading alone.

Adam- Stupid school dance, just a chance for them all to show off.

Diana still reading- I know what you mean, I like dancing but not in front of loads of people.

Adam looks up from his book- What’s your name?

Diana also looks up from her book- Diana.

Adam gets up and puts a record on the record player. He then walks over to Diana

Adam- Well seeing as there’s no one else here? May I have this dance?

Diana smiles at him and Adam turns on the record- Diana by Paul Anka plays. Adam and Diana dance around the common room not particularly elegantly, but its cute.

Adam- Tell you what Diana, why don’t we go to the dance together.

Diana seems slightly uncertain.

Adam- We can just watch if you want?

Diana smiles at him and they leave for the dance together.

Scene change- the whole cast is on stage, mostly boys dancing with boys, Diana and Adam sit on the edge of stage watching, Michael and Jane dance together, the other eleven girls stand at the front of the stage looking agitated.

Emma- Maybe we were too harsh with them earlier.

Rachael- Maybe they wont come.

Artie- Well if they don’t come we can always dance around our handbags!

At this moment the eleven boys enter the stage and walk up to their girls. They each take their girls and start dancing at the front of the stage.

Benjamin to Rachael- I’m sorry about earlier, I was acting stupid, but you’re so pretty!

Rachael blushing- That’s ok

George to Emma- My folks are taking me to cinema next weekend. Want to come with?

Emma- I love the flicks.

Reggie to Artie, melodramatically- Forgive me sweet lady, but Eros had struck his hero and I was hit, I have fallen head over heels in love with you!

Artie- Don’t be stupid, where’d you pick up lines like that?

Reggie- Michael taught me.

Artie- Well ignore Michael, I like just regular Reg, not Reginald the poet!

Show ends with the cast taking their bows to End Title from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

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