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It's anybody's guess

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This sketch provides an excellent opportunity not only to introduce an element of mime, but also for improvisation at rehearsal stage.


The stage is set for a TV game-show.  GUS GUSSET is seated centrally with his three guests to left of stage, leaving right of stage free for the MIME.


MILTON KEENSVILLE is ageing but trying to stay trendy.  BIMBI BLOWDRY is blonde, giggly and brainless.  CLAUD FRAUD is keen to impress.



Good evening!  This is Gus Gusset welcoming you to "It's Anybody's Guess"; the quiz-game in which your guess is as good as mine as our panel of guests try to guess the occupation of our mystery mimer.  This week's guest guessers are Milton Keensville, the pop world's answer to the frontal lobotomy; Bimbi Blowdry, the delightful but dreadfully dim doyen of the middle-page spread; and Claud Fraud, the MP for somewhere or other, desperate to carve out a career in entertainment before being booted upstairs to obscurity in the House of Lords.


Now let's see this week's mystery mimer - and remember ... "It's Anybody's guess!"

  As the mime performs, the others call out their guesses.  BIMBI is perpetually excited, flustered and bubbly.  GUS GUSSET is disinterested but smiles broadly at the audience.  



Relaxes back against a rock.

CLAUD Looks like a fairly sedentary occupation.

Gazes into distance.

BIMBI No, I don't think he looks like a sentry.  He looks too relaxed

Twiddles thumbs.

CLAUD Doesn't appear to be doing much at all.
  MILTON Must be a politician.

Smiles contentedly.

BIMBI No ... he's smiling.



Sits up with a start!

MILTON You're right; he's not a politician: he's woken up.

Notices something far off - peers into distance.

BIMBI Ooh look!  He looks like he's looking.
  MILTON He's a watchman!

Grabs (imaginary) sling and starts whirling it.

CLAUD He's a cheer-leader?
  MILTON He's at a football match.

Looses off a stone.

BIMBI He's thrown something.

Annoyed at missing.

MILTON Probably a bottle.

Grabs (imaginary) stick.

CLAUD He picked something up, there.
  MILTON He's a litter-collector?
  BIMBI A taxi-driver!  They pick up fares.

Runs towards problem.

MILTON But he's running, not driving.
  BIMBI He could be running someone to the station.

Attempts to scare off bear.

CLAUD He's obviously annoyed.
  BIMBI Yes!  Yes! ... What's an "oyd"?
  CLAUD (Shakes head in despair)

Jabs at bear with a stick.

MILTON He's a lollipop man on school crossing patrol.
  BIMBI Mmm!  I like lollipops.

Is attacked by bear.  Boxes bear.

CLAUD I know ... he's a boxer.
  BIMBI He's too tall for a boxer.
  CLAUD You can have tall boxers.
  BIMBI Well ,why do they call them "boxer-SHORTS"?

Is thrown onto floor.

MILTON I think he's a wrestler.

Gets up.  Fights bear.

CLAUD He's a footballer.

Tries karate.

MILTON Is that semaphore?

Finally defeats bear.

BIMBI What's semaphore?

Chases off bear.

MILTON Talking with flags, my dear.

Wipes brow.

BIMBI Sounds silly to me.  Who wants to talk to a flag?  "Hello, flag.  How are you?" - "Oh! I'm all of  a flutter!"

Looks around.  Looks puzzled.

CLAUD He's looking a bit puzzled.
  MILTON (Glancing at Bimbi)  Aren't we all?

Calls out to sheep.

BIMBI He's a bingo-caller!

Counts sheep into fold.

MILTON Looks like he's counting something.

Shock!  There is one missing!

CLAUD Can't be a teacher, then.

Trudges off, seeking sheep.


Scans horizon, looking left and right.

BIMBI (Loudly)  Lookout!  (MILTON and CLAUD both duck ... then realise.)

Cups hands to ears.

BIMBI It's Prince Charles!

Listens intently.


Something to do with ears?

A pioneer?

Starts to run.

  An orienteer?

Climbs cliff.


A mountaineer?

I've no idea.

Pushes through undergrowth.

MILTON "And all because the lady loves ..."

Spots sheep.  Looks happy.


Runs towards sheep.

CLAUD Is he athletic?

Look of despair.  Sheep has fallen in river!

BIMBI No, he looks like he's breathing alright.

Watches sheep as it bobs downstream.

MILTON He's just standing doing nothing.
  CLAUD Perhaps he works for the Council.

Holds nose and leaps into river.

BIMBI Looks like he works on a pig-farm.

Swims - crawl.

MILTON Anything to do with bowling or bowlers.
  BIMBI Is he a City gent?
  BIMBI They wear bowlers.

Swims - breast-stroke.

CLAUD Is he pushing through a jungle?
  MILTON Perhaps he's pushing through a crowd?
  BIMBI He could be a drug-pusher!

Swims - back-stroke.

MILTON I've got it!  I've got it!  He's a swimmer!

Reaches sheep and grabs it.

CLAUD He's rescued someone.

Struggles ashore.

MILTON He's a life-guard.

Pulls sheep up the bank.

CLAUD He's doing something to the person he's rescued.

Dries the sheep.

BIMBI Is it artificial perspiration?

Hoists sheep onto shoulders.

MILTON Is he lifting someone?

Treks home, smiling.

BIMBI Isn't he strong?
  GUS I'm going to have to hurry you, panel.  Any last minute guesses?
  MILTON He was watching something.
  CLAUD Guarding it.
  BIMBI That's rather brave.
  MILTON Protecting it, maybe.
  CLAUD Fighting for it.
  BIMBI He was very brave.
  CLAUD He was concerned about something that had gone missing.
  MILTON He went looking for it.
  BIMBI He looked ... very brave.
  CLAUD He found it.
  MILTON Rescued it.
  BIMBI That was brave!
  CLAUD He seemed to care for it.
  MILTON And brought it back, rejoicing.

(Both MILTON and CLAUD realise together.)

MILTON & CLAUD Of course!
  BIMBI Of course!

(The others look at her, surprised.)

GUS Yes, Bimbi?
  BIMBI Is he ... the good shepherd who gives his life for the sheep?

(Mildly astonished.)

  BB That's in the gospel of John, chapter 10 verse 11.

(Very astonished!)

MILTON & CLAUD That's right!
  GUS How did you get that, Bimbi?
  BIMBI It's anybody's guess.
  GUS It is indeed!  Join us again next week - when once again it will be "Anybody's Guess".  Goodnight.