Dusk at Speaker’s Corner, Hyde Park. A dishevelled trotskyist is addressing a small band of ne’er-do-wells. He gesticulates wildly, calling for revolution. Several tramps and vagrants are congregated around a park bench.
Captain Morgan stands to one side, sturdy as the oak tree that shelters him. He is draped in his travelling cape, eyes are alert.
Carrie enters, a hood drawn up over her head as though in disguise. She looks about her, spots Captain Morgan and approaches him, removing her hood as she nears him.
Carrie: Captain Morgan I presume?
Captain Morgan: Yes?
Carrie looks the Captain up and down, screws up her nose and gives an indifferent shrug.
Captain Morgan: And you are?
Carrie: I come on behalf of Lady Muck. She received your note and asked that I deliver one in return.
Captain Morgan (looking crestfallen): Oh. I had rather thought she would come herself.
Carrie (eyes flashing with rage): Yes, well a man of such staggering arrogance as you would think that.
Captain Morgan: I’m sorry?
Carrie slaps the Captain sharply.
Captain Morgan: Right. Well. You’re certainly a spirited little thing. Perhaps it would be wise for you to deliver my beloved’s message, before I have call to draw my musket…
Carrie (scoffing): You’re beloved indeed! Very well, Captain Morgan. As you wish. I shall read your Lady Muck’s words…
Glaring at the Captain, Carrie unrolls a piece of Lady Muck’s headed stationery, clears her throat and begins to sing.
(to the tune ofYou Outta Know – Alanis Morrisette)
Dear Captain Morgan
You have done me wrong
But I’ve found the strength
To say to you…
Quite simply you’re not all that
In fact you’re kind of a prat
And you’ve a bad case of halitosis
Your ear lobes are far too fat
Penchant for ugly cravats
Our union had a disappointing prognosis
Carrie’s voice is rising as she sings, attracting the attention of those gathered at Speaker’s Corner.
And when we did fornicate
It wasn’t great
How I hate
When I’m forced to pretend that I’ve wholly been satisfied
Though how can I assign you blame
When you can’t help
That your manhood
Is so very undersized
His manhood’s undersized?
No I never
Want to see you
Not next week
Or ten years from now
Am I clear?
Go to hell
I’ve found another love
Kindest regards, Lady Muck
Carrie passes the letter to the dejected Captain Morgan, flashes him an angelic smile, clicks her heels and turns to leave. The trotskyist runs up to her.
Roberto: Miss, Miss, I say, that was mightily impressive. The revolution could really use someone as vociferous as you. What do you say?
Carrie (looking Roberto up and down in disgust): I’m afraid red simply isn’t my colour.
Captain Morgan: Wait!
Captain Morgan: You think I don’t know pain?
Carrie (rolling her eyes): Oh god…
Captain Morgan: In my time I’ve been digested by a giant squid; had every bone in my body shattered tumbling off the end of the Earth; endured five successive bouts of scurvy; and been chained up and repeatedly sodomised by a gang of Antiguan pirates. But this! To have my beloved Lady Muck reject me? Never before have I felt a pain as profound. I beg of you, please, you are clearly her confidante. Won’t you give my Lady a message in return? I will respect her wishes, but she must first know how I truly feel.
Carrie: I’m afraid I really don’t have time to…
Captain Morgan begins to sing. As the music starts, the tramps and vagrants start to gather around him, listening to his words.
(to the tune of St Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion) – John Parr)
Not long ago
I didn’t think a girl could steal my heart
Then she did
And suddenly it felt like life could start
Of course just when it all
Seemed to feel so right
I put out my foot in it
Saw my bliss ignite.
I’m no longer a man
I’m just a husk
And every smell
Reminds me of my Lady’s unique musk
Without her I’ll go mad
It’s worse than dysentery
I try so hard to move on
But her face won’t stop haunting me!
Lady Muck’s there when I’m dreaming
When I’m eating food that’s fried
Someone’ll belch and I think “is that my bride?”
Muck’s beside me when I’m slouching
Staring vacantly, slack jawed
I can feel her paunch against me – hang on that’s yours!
A portly tramp has rubbed up against the Captain
Marvin the Tramp
I beg of you
Please let my Lady know just how I feel (Homeless chorus: Just how he feels)
She deserves the truth
I can separate the lies from what is real
Sure this may just be
Obsession so sick
But from my heartbreak I’ve con-tracted a facial tic
When I’m out harpooning whales
Lady Muck is in my sight
One hit of opium, she’s there bathed in light
When comparing ‘power bottoms’
Down the pub with all the lads
I can say with hand on heart she’s the best one I’ve had!
I will give up being Captain
Give up sailing seas
Just to feel Muck’s Fire burning in me (Homeless chorus: You need a cream!)
Captain Morgan dances with the tramps before leaping up onto the park bench as all the onlookers crowd around.
I cannot deny it
A chord has been struck
I must shout from the roof tops
I love Lady Muck!!!
Company (to Carrie)
Here’s a man crazed with desire
Only Muck can bring him peace
Won’t you take his message…
You mean call the po-lice…
Maybe give the berk a break now
Take his message we implore
He won’t rest until he sees her
Of that we’re sure!
Everything reminds me of her
She’s in all the sights and sounds
And she’s worth her weight so I’d pay hundreds of pounds
Just to have her stand before me
Beg forgiveness on my knee
My heart is bleeding - bleeding for my Mucky!
He would give up being Captain
Give up sailing seas
Just to feel Muck’s Fire burning in me
Captain Morgan crumples to the floor. The crowd looks at her expectantly.
Carrie turns and leaves. The crowd disperses. Captain Morgan puts his head in his hands. Marvin the Tramp puts a comforting hand on Captain Morgan’s shoulder.
The stage goes dark.