Script for BOOKED, BBC Radio 4
Recorded in Jersey Oct 5th 1996
ENTER GUARD TO QUEEN GERTRUDE
GUARD: My lady Gertrude, may I have your ear?
QUEEN: Who dares to interrupt our revelry
As all the Danish royal court here gathered
Prepares to watch my son, the princely Hamlet,
Engage in swordplay with his friend, Laertes?
Who are you and what is it you want?
GUARD: Your royal guard, your majesty, with a prisoner,
We found this trespasser in the royal palace
Stealing food inside the royal kitchen…
BUNTER: I say, you beasts, let go! Leave go of me!
I only took a biscuit I saw lying there!
GUARD: Not so, my lady, for he hath consumed
The best part of the banquet that’s prepared
To celebrate Prince Hamlet’s skill at swordplay.
Roast turkey, rib of beef, side of venison,
A whole roast swan with all the feathers on –
All has been eaten by this greedy rogue!
BUNTER: Yaroo! Let go my ear! That hurts! I say-
Don’t stick that sword in me or else I’ll bleed,
And if I get some blood on my translation,
Old Quelch will blow his top and give me lines!
QUEEN: What is your name, you walking bowl of grease?
BUNTER: I say, old girl, what way is that to talk?
GUARD: Answer her Majesty’s question, or feel my sword!
BUNTER: Yikes! Put it down! Point not that thing at me!
GUARD: Then give your name unto her Majesty!
BUNTER: My name is Bunter, or Billy to his friends…
QUEEN: A boy like you can boast of having friends?
BUNTER: Oh yes, whene’er my postal order comes…
QUEEN: So strange a youth I have not seen before
So monstrous fat and ugly that the earth quakes
And dogs and cats do hide as he goes past.
You walking sausage, lump of lard on legs,
You frightful football, spherical like the moon
-It makes me thirsty just to look at you.
Hand me a glass of wine to slake my thirst.
BUNTER: Oh yes! Of course! Whatever you say…
That someone’s left behind them in the sun.
QUEEN: Thank you, fat Bunter. So let me drink your health.
(She dies noisily)
GUARD: Alas, you wretch, you now have killed the Queen!
You gave her the glass with poison, meant for Hamlet!
BUNTER: Oh no! I never meant…! I didn’t know, I mean!
I never would have meant to kill the Queen!
GUARD: And here comes Hamlet, her son, across the ring!
I wouldn’t be in your shoes for anything!
BUNTER: Oh Lord! Yaroo! Oh Crumbs! My dizzy goat!
I’d best leave now… You couldn’t lend me a groat?
HAMLET: Alas, oh heavens! What is this I see?
My Queen, the mother dead? Who did it?
HAMLET: Him? The fat boy? Then I shall run him through
If I can find a sword long enough so to do!
BUNTER: Oh, here’s a sword, your Maj, that’s lying here!
I’m sure you can borrow it, never fear!
No, not that end – take hold of the other!
(A cry and a yell)
Oh, dear. He’s dropped dead, like his mother.
GUARD: You fool! That sword was poisoned on the tip!
It was meant to pierce young Hamlet in the hip!
BUNTER: Oh Lord. I’m very sorry, so I am!
GUARD: And so you should be. Guards. Arrest this man!