or 'Merlin to the Rescue’
Winner of the Oxfordshire Drama Network Pantomime Competition 2017.
Mrs Tickleme, housekeeper to Sir Jikal-Trusse, sets the scene. The King is dead and a successor must be found. The Knights of the Round Table suggest various ways to settle the succession, but are eventually persuaded by Merlin to hold a tournament to decide who will try to pull the sword from the stone, with whoever succeeds becoming King. Sir Jikal-Trusses's son, Sir Loin briefs Arthur his squire, as to all the equipment he needs for the tournament and sends Arthur to fetch it, with the final instruction not to forget a thing. Of course, Arthur forgets something crucial - Sir loin's sword; seeing one seemingly abandoned in the stone, he takes it and brings it to Sir loin, who realising it is not his, asks Arthur where he found it.
When Sir Loin realises what this means, he takes the sword and sends Arthur away into the forest so as to keep the secret to himself, much to the disgust of Mrs Tickleme and Margaret, his beloved.
All this is witnessed by Morgan, the witch, and her son Robin; Morgan plans to put Robin on the throne and decides to eliminate Arthur by sending Robin and her wraiths to capture him and throw him into the deepest dungeon.
We find Merlin making potions with his owl, Bubo, and discussing the need for someone to do the chores. Who should turn up but Arthur, who is promptly made an apprentice and put to work practising spells.
Robin returns and confesses to Morgan that he abandoned the chase when Arthur arrived at Merlin's hut, but he is sent off to make another attempt with a flea in his ear. In the meantime Sir Loin has realised how mean he has been to Arthur; he vows to find him and confesses to the other Knights what he has done. Morgan arrives demanding the sword, but Sir Loin has put it back in the stone. Enraged, Morgan turns them all to stone. Mrs Tickleme has seen this and sets off to Merlin to ask for help; meanwhile Robin has surprised Arthur and dragged him away.
Act Two opens with Arthur in a dungeon, where he is soon joined by Mrs Tickleme; however, Merlin with the help of Bubo, releases them and all head back to the castle. Morgan and Robin, unaware of the escape, decide that Robin helped by Morgan's magic, must be seen by the populace pulling the sword from the stone in order to be accepted as King.
Merlin and the others arrive back at the castle and free those turned to stone. Sir Loin explains that Arthur is the true king and it is decided that Arthur must free the sword once again. They find Morgan and Robin at the stone, with Robin trying desperately to pull it out but failing miserably despite the magic. Of course, in the end, with Arthur's courage and Merlin's magic, Morgan is defeated and Arthur takes his rightful place.
Twelve principles, twelve speaking and non-speaking cameo parts, plus a chorus of squires, servants and animals.
Fourteen scenes, with three main settings augmented with other items of scenery to create the necessary effects.