Acorn Antiques

 

 

Episode Twelve

 

 

Scene one. The sitting room. Berta ironing a shirt. Clifford, Trixie and Derek are all jammed on the sofa.

 

Berta

So you and Derek weren't having an affair after all?

 

Trixie

Oh, no. He was just lying on top of me to get the creases out of my negligee.

 

Berta

I knew there must be a perfectly reasonable explanation.

 

Trixie

(struggling up from the sofa) Anyway, I have to get back to the convent.

 

Berta

The convent? Why?

 

Trixie

I forgot my teapot.

 

Derek

I'll give you a lift.

 

Trixie

Well all right, but don't crash through a grocer's window this time. Those tinned pears really hurt me. Bye!

 

 

Exit Derek and Trixie.

 

Berta

Bye! (having completely mangled the shirt).

 

Berta

There, that looks a bit better.

 

Clifford

Perfect. Berta - I've been meaning to -

 

Berta

Just unplug the iron for me, could you?

 

Clifford

A pleasure (he bends to do so).

 

Berta

Only don't touch it with your bare hands because …

 

Clifford

Argggh!

 

Berta

Because … it's faulty …

 

 

Enter Mrs Overall with a tray.

 

Mrs Overall

Whatever was that heartrending scream, Miss Berta? I thought somebody was being electrocuted.

 

Berta

Look!

 

Mrs Overall

Oh, my good golliwog!

 

 

She drops the tray on Clifford's foot.

 

Clifford

Ow!

 

Berta

Is he - dead?

 

Mrs Overall

Well, put it this way, Miss Berta, I needn't have bothered rinsing out the extra mug.

 

Berta

No, Clifford will never touch your macaroons again!

 

 

Enter Babs

 

Babs

What was that terrible noise? It sounded like a tray of coffee being dropped on someone who's just been electrocuted.

 

Mrs Overall

(nearly together) Look!

 

 

Berta

Babs

He's dead. (Bursts into tears.)

 

Mrs Overall

Crying won't bring him back, Miss Babs.

 

Babs

(cheering up) No, that's true.

 

Mrs Overall

Why don't we all have a mug of my delicious home-made sherry and a couple of sausage dumplings?

 

Babs

Yes, Mrs O, why don't we?

 

 

They all laugh. Music

 

 

 

Film. Street. Derek and Trixie bring out from the back of the Acorn Antiques van a large cardboard carton labeled 'Venus de Milo. This way up. Use no Hooks' etc. They take it into the shop.

 

 

 

Scene Two. The shop. Extras leaving as usual, Babs on the phone.

 

Babs

(waving goodbye to extras) Ah oui, bien sűr, j'aime beaucoup le World Cup, aussi. Naturellement. Au revoir.

 

 

Babs puts the phone down. Derek and Trixie come in with carton, now upside down. Next dialogue at high speed.

 

Derek

We've brought the 'Venus de Milo', Miss Babs.

 

Trixie

And we want to say goodbye.

 

Babs

Goodbye? But why?

 

Derek

We're going away.

 

Babs

Away? Where?

 

Trixie

Together.

 

Babs

Together? When?

 

Derek

We're going overland to Morocco.

 

Babs

You're going overland to Morocco? Why?

 

 

Enter Berta from street.

 

Berta

What's wrong Babs?

 

Babs

It's Derek and Trixie; they're going away traveling overland to Morocco, together.

 

Berta

Derek and Trixie are going overland traveling away to Morocco, together. But why?

 

Trixie

Everyone says you can get really nice jumpsuits. Bye!

 

 

Trixie and Derek leave.

 

Babs

Right - back to business - these antiques.

 

 

Babs draws Berta away to one side as the focus of the scene changes to Mrs Overall, who enters stealthily from the street and tiptoes past them. We are not supposed to hear their dialogue but the mike is in the wrong place.

 

Babs

I'll just go blah blah blah blah.

 

Berta

And I'll just nod back blah blah blah blah …

 

Babs

Give the blithering old nuisance time to get to the table. Chippendale

 

Berta

Mahogany.

 

Babs

Da da de dum. Right. Mrs O! We never heard you come in. What happened to the body?

 

Mrs Overall

Mr Clifford? He's gone nice and stiff, so I've propped him up by the ironing board.

 

Babs

How lovely.

 

Mrs Overall

Well he was that tall, there was no room to hoover.

 

Berta

Mmm, what's that delicious smell?

 

Mrs Overall

That must be my macaroons. I've had them on a low light since Wednesday.

 

Berta

I'll get them.

 

 

Exit Berta.

 

Mrs Overall

Slice them finely, or someone might choke to death … I don't think she heard me. (Pulls face to indicate sudden worry.)

 

Babs

What's wrong Mrs O?

 

Mrs Overall

The tea-leaves in my cup this morning, something's wrong somewhere.

 

Babs

Why?

 

Mrs Overall

It was a cup of Horlicks.

 

Babs

It's strange to think of Clifford lying in the sitting room, all alone.

 

 

Clifford seen in outdoor clothes crossing the back of the set with a bag, waving goodbye to someone unseen, miming 'Let's have a drink', etc.

 

Mrs Overall

Not to worry. When Mr Overall (no relation) was dying, he said, 'Well, Boadicea, I shall never have to play another game of Travel Scrabble.'

 

Babs

Why did he call you Boadicea?

 

Mrs Overall

He was barmy, Miss Babs.

 

 

Berta comes in with the tray.

 

Berta

Your macaroons smell delicious.

 

Babs

Yes, Mrs O, you sample the first one.

 

Mrs Overall

Well, I will, but just in case anything should happen when I bite into it (music) I just want to say what I feel for Acorn Antiques and the folk who work there. I'm only a simple women, I haven't any 'O' levels or life-saving certificates, I've never been abroad or participated in a Summit Conference, but I have feelings …

 

 

Babs and Berta gradually stop acting and get bored.

 

 

… and what I feel for Acorn Antiques and you Miss Babs and you Miss Berta (turns macaroon over, it has a few scribbled lines pasted on it) is nothing more or less than plain simple (squints at macaroon) cove - love.

 

 

She bites into it, chokes to death, and carefully lowers herself to the floor, avoiding the furniture and pulling down her skirt.

 

Babs

She's only choking on her own macaroon. Quick, get Dr Wimley, the family doctor!

 

Berta

I can't, he's being blackmailed in the Sudan.

 

Babs

Oh, darn. Well, quite frankly Berta, as far as Mrs O is concerned, it's far too late.

 

 

Abrupt change from mood music to theme music.

Credits.

Cut back to Babs and Berta in tears crouched uncomfortably by Mrs Overall.

 

Babs

Mrs Overall - that macaroon you just choked on - I'm going to send the recipe to the Weekly News.

 

Mrs Overall

Oh, I am pleased.

 

 

She dies. Pause.

 

 

(In own voice) Are we off? I though that went quite well, didn't you?

 

Voice Off

Still on air!

 

 

She dies again reluctantly.

 

 

THE END

 

 

Cast

 

Babs

 

Celia Imrie

Mrs Overall

 

Julie Walters

Clifford

 

Duncan Preston

Berta

 

Victoria Wood

Trixie

 

Rosie Collins

Derek

Kenny Ireland

 

Extras

Albert & Michaela Welch

 

 

First shown on Victoria—Wood As Seen on TV (second series), on BBC2 in November 1986.

 

Ó Victoria Wood


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