Thursday, 30 July 2020

All Men are my Slaves/The Prime of Miss G Wilson

It’s the year of our Lord 1599 and our heroes, Wilson McGladdery have arrived in Stratford Upon Avon, to play at ye olde folky festival. It’s not long before they run into their old mate, Billy Shakespeare, who’s lashed up and making a nuisance of himself. It transpires Billy’s out celebrating finishing his new play, ‘Henry V’. ‘Forsooth Gaynor’ slurs Shakespeare, ‘this play’s the dog’s testicles, the true story of the old king set against the unbridled carnage of the bloody Battle of Agincourt.’ ‘Yeh yeh’ replies Gaynor removing Billy’s hand from her knee, ‘my family served in the court of King Harry, I can tell you the true story of Agincourt if you like,’ and she takes a drag on her clay pipe. ‘Please do fair lady,’ laughs Billy, ‘though my Henry will be seen as the definitive text on the subject by future generations without a doubt’. ’Ok’ says Gaynor, gesturing to Paul at the bar that her flagon needs replenishing, ‘I have it on good authority Billy, that the Battle of Agincourt never happened!’ ‘What???’ replies Shakespeare perplexed, ‘what do you mean, never happened?? Thousands died!!’ ‘The truth is, it was all a marketing ploy by King Harry’ says Gaynor. ‘The king had a shed load of long bows in the armoury and a mountain of debt to pay off, yeah?’ ‘So’ she says, relighting her pipe, ‘he concocts a story of a 100 years war with our oldest and most despised enemy the French and then spins a yarn about a great battle, where he’s outnumbered three to one and certain death is on the cards,’ and she dramatically drags a finger across her throat. ’Until........’ she springs to life, ‘up pops the miracle long bow, hardly a new innovation eh?’ she laughs, ‘but on that fateful day in the hands of the English archer, it becomes the most desirable and sexiest killing machine on the planet and hey presto! You can buy the genuine article directly from the armoury!! Thus easing the national debt!’ ‘Nonsense!’ explodes Shakespeare, ‘a more spurious tale, I have yet to hear! Is this true??’ Shakespeare demands of Paul has he places fresh drinks on the table. ‘Oh yes’ smiles Paul, ‘Gaynor, do tell Billy about King Dickie the Turd at Bosworth Field! He survived y’know and ran a pet shop incognito for yearS!