SCENE 1 THE FOYER
It should be quite realistic, not a romanised reception desk. Enter Blackadder. He has long Jewish locks – looks Arabic.
Blackadder: Baldrick! (Enter Baldrick. He looks awful, as usual) Where the hell is that turkey?
Baldrick: What turkey, master?
Blackadder: I told you to buy a turkey for tonight’s special supper. For Jehovah’s sake this is the most important night in the history of this hotel – please our customers tonight and we’ll get them back every year – tonight could be the beginning of something big, something which will change the world.
Baldrick: All right, I’ll go out and get it…
SCENE 2 THE KITCHEN
Baldrick is arriving back. He takes a big turkey out of his sack, clears the table, and begins to pluck it. But as he pulls out the first feather…
Turkey: What the hell are you doing?
Baldrick: Who said that?
Baldrick: Oh, my God.
Turkey: What an incredible way to behave – bring me back here to your house, and then start tearing my bloody feathers out. You little b——!
Baldrick: But I have to do it; you’re the master’s supper.
Turkey: (utter outrage) I beg your pardon?
Baldrick: You’re the special dinner.
Turkey: Wait a second – you mean, not satisfied with tearing my feathers out, you’re actually going to eat me as well?
Baldrick: That’s right.
Turkey: But I’m a talking turkey – with me, you could buy a hundred ordinary turkeys.
Enter Blackadder slightly flappy.
Blackadder: Baldrick – we need some entertainment for tonight.
Baldrick: We’ve already got it, lots of wine and our special feast. Although –
Blackadder: No, come on, come on – entertainments – you know, snake tamers, lion charmers, that kind of thing. Can you think of anyone in that line?
Baldrick: Well, my cousin is a very good all-round family entertainer.
Blackadder: (suspicious) Really?
Baldrick: Well, he’s not a bad magician.
Blackadder: Tell the truth, Baldrick. (Hits him.)
Baldrick: My cousin’s a c— magician, but he’s got a collection of funny hats. (Blackadder just hits him.) My cousin’s got one funny cap.
Blackadder: Then get him round here at once – and finish plucking that turkey.
Baldrick: I can’t.
Blackadder: Why not?
Baldrick: Well, I’ll let the turkey answer for itself.
Blackadder: I’m sorry?
Baldrick: It’s a talking turkey.
Blackadder: Of course it is. (To the turkey.) Tell me, we’re undecided what vegetables to do with you. What do you think? Peas or parsnips? (Pause.) Sorry – didn’t quite catch that. (Pause.) Mmm – Baldrick – do you remember what the punishment for lying and time wasting is under Roman law?
Blackadder: It’s something to do with a hand and a very sharp axe, isn’t it?
Baldrick: Oh, yes.
Blackadder: Now, get that cousin, and round up any other entertainers, or we’re in trouble. And get that turkey in … NOW!
Baldrick: Why didn’t you say anything while he was here?
Turkey: I was shy.
Baldrick: Well, I’m going to have to do it anyway.
Turkey: You cruel b——.
Baldrick: But I’ll go and talk to my cousin first.
Turkey: Phew. At least it gives me time to make peace with God… Oh, and by the way… if it comes down to parsnips or peas, I prefer parsnips.
SCENE 3 FOYER
A bunch of people are checking in. Blackadder is quite thrilled…
Blackadder: Excellent, excellent. (He eventually has to write “No” in front of “Vacancies”) Brilliant. The place is full. Rachel – Baldrick – if anyone else comes – it is full. We haven’t got room to squeeze in a mouse…
He exits, as Rachel potters round the desk. There is a sound of angels vaguely in the background – and Joseph enters, a nice man with a beard.
Joseph: Good evening. Is there any room at the inn?
Rachel: I’m afraid not.
Joseph: What – totally sold out?
Rachel: Totally booked up.
Joseph: Fine. Fine. Oh, god. (He starts to cry.)
Rachel: What’s the matter?
Joseph: Oh, no, it’s fine. It’s just that my wife and I have been travelling for weeks now – and she’s about to give birth, I mean literally it could be at any moment. And, well, I suppose she’ll just have to have the baby in the street.
Rachel: Well, maybe we could find somewhere. Go on, bring your wife in.
Joseph: Oh, thank you very much. (He goes to the door.) Darling – there’s a place!
It turns out that Blackadder is actually returning, and nose to nose with him. Blackadder is not happy.
Blackadder: I’m sorry?
Joseph: I was just telling my wife there was a room here.
Blackadder: Ah – and who told you that?
Rachel: It was me.
Blackadder: And where is this extraordinary room going to magically spring from?
Rachel: Well, I thought perhaps they might stay… (Enter Baldrick.) In Baldrick’s room.
Blackadder: Oh, well, yes, all right. How about I offer you this young man’s room?
Joseph: That sounds excellent.
Blackadder: Yes. It’s not that excellent – less of a room, more of a manger.
Joseph: As long as it’s inside, it’ll do us.
Joseph: It’s outside?
Baldrick: Outsidish. Come on – you’ll be all right.
Blackadder: Great, let’s get on with the evening. And tell her, if she does have the kid, to keep the noise down. We don’t want him crying during the entertainment.
SCENE 4 THE MANGER.
Baldrick leads Joseph in. It is a total hole.
Baldrick: Here we go. Had any thoughts about what you’re going to call the baby?
Joseph: Not really. If it was a girl we thought maybe after its mother.
Baldrick: What’s her name?
Joseph: Mary. We’re having a lot more trouble with the boy’s name. Any ideas?
Baldrick: Well, my name’s Baldrick, but I doubt if you’d want that.
Joseph: Well, it’s not bad. Baldrick. Yes, not bad…