The Banner:
The Banner: jeans on a pole a

Part 3: Effie

Auksford crest: Great Auk with book bearing the words "Ex ovo sapienitia"
-  Auksford, 
2008  -
©  Copyright Robin Gordon 2008

Back to Effie Act I

Back to Effie Act II


    The storage shed under the bridge.  Tommo and Scouse are still bound.  Effie stands irresolute.  Outside Willie is rattling at the doors and the Dragons are cheering and singing.

Dragons:  Hoo-ray!  We’ll have their trousers!
Hoo-ray!  We’ll have their trousers!
Hoo-ray!  We’ll have their trousers!
And put them to the Cou-ount!

    The Dragons charge off into the distance and their cheering and chanting gets fainter.

Tommo:  Come on!  Get me loose!  Effie!  Come on!

Effie:  What …?

Tommo:  Untie me!  Quick!  There’s still time!

Effie:  But …

Tommo:  Hurry up!  There’s still a chance we can all get away!

    Effie hesitates.

Tommo:  Come on!

    Effie suddenly kneels beside Tommo and tugs furiously at his bonds.  Outside there is a sudden commotion and what sounds like a struggle.

Effie:  I can’t …

Tommo:  You’ve got to!  They’re back.  They’re attacking the guards.  They’re gonna get us out – you as well!

    Effie redoubles her efforts.

Tommo:  Don’t jerk at the knots!

    They hear the youths outside pulling away the bar that fastens the door.  Effie hesitates.

Tommo:  Keep going!

    Effie tries again.  The door is flung open.  She jerks away and cowers in a corner.  Two youths enter, dark silhouettes against the light.

First youth (Nelly):  There they are!  Come on!

    They charge in and grab Scouse who begins to struggle violently.

Scouse:  No!  Gerroff!  Aaaargh!

Second youth (Claggy):  Shurrup man!  It’s us.

Tommo:  Claggy?!

Claggy:  Yeah!  We’ve come to get you out.

    Nelly and Claggy untie Tommo and Scouse.

Nelly:  We thought you’d had it then.  We followed them lads …

Claggy:  … all singing about what they were gonna do to you …

Nelly:   … and we thought we were too late …

Claggy:  … but they went charging off somewhere …

Nelly:  … so we jumped the two lads guarding you and took the keys …

Claggy:  … and here we are!

Nelly:  Wank and ’Utch are outside sitting on the guards.

Effie:  Don’t hurt them!

Nelly [grabbing Effie]:  Who’s this then?

Effie:  Gerroff!

Tommo:  Leave her!  She’s on our side.

Effie:  I’m not on anybody’s side.

Tommo:  You’re a peacemaker, aren’t you?  You want us to get away, don’t you?  You’re gonna help us get the Banner – or do you wanna be locked in here with the guards?

Effie:  You wouldn’t …!

Tommo:  I don’t want to … but we’re getting away – and we’re taking the Banner if we can.  It’s the only way we can stop the fights, innit?

Effie:  I suppose so …

Tommo:  So you’ll help us?

Effie:  I dunno what you expect me to do.

Tommo:  Show us where it is.

Nelly:  Yeah, take us there!

Effie:  There’s a building near the engine sheds … it’s in there, but I don’t know where they’ve hidden it.

Tommo:  We’ll find it!  Come on!  [Tommo urges Effie towards the door].  You lot, get them two guards in here and lock it all up like it was before.  Make sure they can’t get out.

Effie:  What d’you want to do that for?

Tommo:  Can’t let ’em go raising the alarm, or leave ’em outside for people to see.  Got to make it look like we’re still here.  Come on.  [He takes her arm and steers her away, turning his head to speak to the others].  Follow us when you’ve shut them in.  Hey, Nelly …

    Tommo beckons Nelly and whispers something to him.  Nelly grins and nods.  Tommo and Scouse lead Effie out.  Nelly and Claggy, follow them out and, together with Wank and Hutch, drag in the guards.


    The old goods yard.  Effie, Tommo, Scouse, Nelly, Claggy, Wank and Hutch come cautiously round the corner of a rusty corrugated iron shed.  Crouching among the weeds at its corner they peer across an open space towards a tumbledown brick building and some piles of rubble where another building has collapsed.

Effie:  They keep it somewhere over there.

Tommo:  Where?

Effie:  I think it’s in that rubble.

Tommo:  What?!

Nelly:  Aw, we’ll never find it in there.

Scouse:  Let’s go home.  We don’t need it.

Tommo:  We’ve come for the Banner and we’re taking it!

Claggy:  We can’t search that lot.

Scouse:  Somebody’ll see us.

Tommo [to Effie]:  Who knows where it is?

Effie:  The boys.

Tommo:  All of ’em?

Effie:  I think so.

Nelly:  Right! Let’s grab a lad and force him to get it for us!

Wank:  Yeah, and if he doesn’t we’ll have his knickers!

Effie:  No!

Tommo:  Don’t be daft, man Wank, with all that lot around.

    Tommo gestures around.  The sound of cheering and chanting seems to be all around them.

Effie:  There’s Sandra.  Mebbe she knows.

Nelly:  Let’s get her!

Tommo:  Wait!  [To Effie]:  Can you get her to come over here?

Effie:  You’ve got to promise not to hurt her.

Tommo:  Course we won’t.  Cross me heart!

Effie:  What d’you want her for?

Tommo:  To see if she knows where the …

Scouse:  Sh!


    Little Willie and the Dragons charge across the goods yard.

Dragons:  Raaaay!
We’re going to take their trousers off!
We’re going to take their trousers off!
-- The Halden lads are wankers,
the Halden lads are wankers,
the Halden lads are wankers,
we’ll have their trousers off!
-- We’ll have their trousers off,
we’ll have their trousers off!
--  The Halden lads are wankers,
the Halden lads are wankers,
the Halden lads are wa-ankers,
we’ll have their trousers off!

    They crash into Sandra and send her sprawling against a wall.

Sandra:  You stupid little sods!  What d’you think you’re doing?

Willie:  You can shurrup, you bitch, or we’ll have your knickers off an’all!

Dragon Boy:  Yeah!  Let’s have a gang bang!

    [The boys nearest to Sandra cheer and begin singing]:
We’re gonna have a gang bang,
we’re gonna have a gang bang,
we’re gonna have a gang bang,
let’s have ’er knickers off!

[while those further away continue singing]:
The Halden lads are wankers,
the Halden lads are wankers,
the Halden lads are wankers,
we’ll have their trousers off!

Willie:  Come on!  Lets get ’em!

    The Dragons charge away following Willie.  Sandra glares after them.  Enter Ronno.

Ronno:  Seen King?

Sandra:  Did you see?

Ronno:  What?

Sandra:  Did you see them little monsters?  Honestly, somebody ought to do summat about Little Willie!

Ronno:  Seen King?

Sandra:  If I was his mother I’d ’a done summat.

Ronno:  I’m supposed to meet him here.

Sandra:  He’s got no respect for anything.

Ronno:  I’ve not seen him since I took Effie to the bridge.

Effie:  If there’s anybody who deserves to have his pants taken down it’s him.

Ronno:  Who?

Effie:  Yes, I’d take his pants down for him – and give him a right good thrashing too, on his bare bottom.

Ronno:  Who?  What are you talking about?

Effie:  With a leather belt!  Or a cane!  Or I’d do what me Auntie Irene did with their Maurice.  He thought he was tough and all: swearing, staying out all hours of the night, throwing his weight about in the house, pushing their Noleen about.

Ronno:  Have you seen King?

Effie:  Yeah, he was just the same at school too, him and that gang of his.

Ronno:  Only I’m supposed to meet him here.

Effie:  Yeah, that was really good, that was.

Ronno:  We’re gonna collect the Banner, an’ then go down to the engine sheds.  Me and King – and Ken and Stan and them.

Effie:  He’ll not hit her again, that’s one thing.  Have you ever heard the like?  Hitting his own mother!

Ronno:  Can’t find Sid, either.  I think he’s gone home.  He’s not much of a fighter.

Effie:  He’s quiet as a mouse now.  Not a peep out of him.

Ronno:  Yeah, whenever there’s fighting to be done he skives off.  Dunno how he caught Nails Palmer.  Must have been a fluke.  I think he’s yellow.

Effie:  Scared of his own shadow…

Ronno:  Yeah.

Effie:  … and polite as anything.

Ronno:  Bit of a nancy-boy.

Effie:  Yeah, she made him go to school in short pants for a week.  Everybody laughed at him.

Ronno:  Who?  Sid?

Sandra:  Me cousin Maurice.  Haven’t you been listening?

Ronno [exasperated]:  Have … you … seen … King?

Sandra:  No.

Ronno:  He’d better show up.  La’al Willie and them are going mad.

Sandra:  That’s what I was saying.  Where’s Effie?

Ronno:  Still in the dungeon I suppose – unless he’s let her out.  Where is he?

Sandra:  Can I go and talk to her?

Ronno:  If you want.  Under the bridge.

Sandra:  I know.  See ya.

Ronno:  See ya.  Hey!

Sandra:  What?

Ronno:  What did she send him to school in short pants for?

Sandra [exasperated]:  Cos he never listened!

    Exit Sandra.  Ronno looks after her, shaking his head pityingly.  Then he climbs onto the roof of the building that is still standing and looks around.  He turns his back on the corrugated iron shed where the Wild Bulls are hiding and looks out towards the engine sheds.


    Effie, Tommo, Scouse, Nelly, Claggy, Wank and Hutch crouching behind the corrugated iron shed.

Tommo:  All clear.

Scouse:  Let’s get out of here.

Nelly:  What about the Banner?

Scouse:  That girl!  She’s going to the dungeon!  She’ll tell ’em we’ve got out!  They’ll be after us!

Nelly:  Let’s get Ronno!

Wank:  Force him to give us the Banner.

Nelly:  If he doesn’t

Scouse:  Look out!  They’re round the corner!

Claggy:  Look out!

    They dive back into shelter and crouch down.


    Ronno is looking round from the roof.  Ken and Stan hail him.

Ken:  Ronno!

Stan:  Hey!  Ronno!

Ronno:  Wha’?

Ken:  Where’s King?

Ronno:  Dunno.

Stan:  Is he comin’?

Ronno:  Yeah.

Stan:  Better had!

Ken:  Willie an’ them’s going mad.

Ronno:  He’s  coming.

Stan:  Better had!

Ken:  He’d better not let her talk him out of it.

Ronno:  He won’t.

Stan:  Better not!

Ronno:  He won’t.  Not this time.

Ken:  Willie and them’s going crazy.

Stan:  Yeah.  If he tries to stop ’em … well, he better not!

Ronno:  He’ll be here.  I’m waiting on him.

Ken:  He better!

    Exeunt Ken and Stan.  Ronno stays on the roof looking towards the road.


    Behind the corrugated iron shed.  Effie, Tommo, Scouse, Nelly, Claggy, Wank and Hutch.

Nelly:  Whew.

Scouse:  Let’s get out of here before they come back.

Tommo:  How?

Scouse:  Eh?

Tommo:  How are we gonna get out?  Ronno’s up on the roof there.  He’ll spot us as soon as we move.

Scouse:  Oh.

Tommo:  There’s not a chance of anybody getting out of here.

Nelly:  We might make it.

Claggy:  We could double back to the main line, through the passage and under the bridge to the allotments.

Tommo:  Oh yeah?  Cross the whole of the old shunting yard with all them Swarrell lads milling about.  You can try it if you want.

Nelly:  It’s better than just sitting here waiting to be caught.

Tommo:  What do you say, Scouse?

Scouse:  I … I dunno …  What about her?  Does she know another way?

Effie:  No.

Tommo:  I do, though.

Nelly:  Eh?
Scouse:  What?
Wank:  Euh?

Tommo:  We can’t get out by running, so we’ve got to use trickery.  Listen, we need a chance to get the van up close.

Nelly:  How are we gonna do that?  It’s just as impossible for one of us to get out as for all of us.

Tommo:  Not if she helps us.

Effie:  Me?!

Tommo:  Yeah.  Listen!  Effie goes and talks to Ronno, distracts his attention.

Nelly:  Yeah?

Effie:  But I’m supposed to be locked up with you lot.

Nelly:  Yeah!

Tommo:  Listen, will ya?  You tell him King let you out.  You all heard him say he hasn’t seen King since he brought Effie to the dungeon.

Wild Bulls:  Yeah.

Tommo:  So, she tells him King came down to look at us and she promised to do whatever he wants, so he let her out.

Nelly:  What’s she doing over here, though?  Why isn’t she with King?

Tommo:  He’s sent ’er for the Banner, stupid!

Nelly:  What for?

Tommo:  Cos he wants it.  What d’you think?

Nelly:  Yeah, but what for?

Tommo:  Him and his mates are gonna make a triumphal entry, aren’t they?  With the Banner.  Right?  So he’s sent her for it.  While she keeps him talking Hutch nips out across the yard – [To Effie]:  You’ve got to keep his head turned, right? – And he brings up the van.  Bring it right into the yard, ’Utch.  And make sure the doors aren’t locked.  Then we rush out and pile in, and we’re away before they realise what’s going on.

    Silence while they digest this.

Scouse:  That’s brilliant!  That’s brilliant, Tommo!  You’re the greatest!

Tommo [modestly]:  Well …

Scouse:  It’s brilliant, innit?

Nelly:  Yeah, I suppose so – if it works.

Tommo:  It’ll work.

Effie:  But what about the Banner?

Scouse:  Sod the Banner!

Effie:  I thought you wanted to take it away to stop the gang-fights.

Tommo:  Yeah, we do … but the main thing’s to get away.  Tell you what: if you can get him to bring the Banner before ’Utch gets back with the van, we’ll grab it and take it with us – but the main thing’s not to let him get suspicious.  Keep him talking so we can get away.

Scouse:  Yeah, we don’t wanna get caught and …

Tommo [to Effie]:  Will you do it?

Effie:  Yeah, orright.

Tommo:  Good lass!  Off you go!

    They watch Effie go off towards Ronno.

Tommo:  Right!  Now she’s gone, listen!

    They gather close around him.

Tommo:  She’ll keep ’im talking. ’Utch brings up the van – and don’t forget to unlock the doors, right?

Hutch:  Right.

Tommo:  Then we rush out, grab Ronno, bundle him into the van and take him back to Halden with us.

Wank:  Hey great!

Tommo:  Right!  Gan on, Hutch!

    Hutch grins and leaves.  They watch him run furtively from the shed to a pile of rubble then to the next hiding place as he makes his way towards the street gate.

Nelly:  Think he’ll make it?

Tommo:  He’d better – or we’re all up for the Count.

Wank:  Is that what they were gonna do to you?

Tommo:  Pay us back for Nails Palmer – only worse.

Wank:  The dirty buggers!  No wonder Scouse was crying.  The dirty buggers!

Tommo:  We’ll pay them back when we get Ronno to Halden.

Wild Bulls:  Yeah!

Tommo:  ’Utch better  ’urry.  If them guards get loose …  Did you do what I said?

Wank:  Yeah.  Them two won’t go looking for anybody.

    Claggy and Wank open their shirts and pull out the guards’ trousers.

Tommo:  Good lads.  Two to us!  And if this works it’ll be four-nil to us.

Scouse:  She’s coming back!

Tommo:  What?

Nelly:  Yeah, and Ronno’s going away.

Tommo:  The stupid cow!

Scouse:  It’s all gone wrong.

Nelly:  What we gonna do?

Tommo:  I’ll think o’ summat.

    Enter Effie.

Tommo:  What’s happened?  Where’s he gone?

Effie:  For the Banner.

Tommo:  What?

Effie:  What are you getting mad for?  I did like you said.  I told him King had let us out cos I said I’d do it and he’d sent us for the Banner.

Tommo:  He never believed you?

Effie:  Not at first, but I persuaded him – and he’s gone for the Banner.  He says he’ll bring it here.

Wank:  Four-nil!

Tommo:  Sh!

Effie:  What’s he mean?

Tommo:  Nothing.

Effie:  Where d’you get those?  [She indicates the jeans].

Wank:  Off the guards.

Effie:  You … you dirty buggers!  D’ya think I’m gonna help ya?  You’re as bad as Little Willie – just as bad.  Worse! You tell me a pack of lies just to get me to help you.  [To Tommo]: You knew they had those trousers, didn’t you?  You knew it the whole time.

Tommo:  No I never!

Effie:  Yes you did!

Tommo:  I didn’t!  I told ’em to make sure the guards didn’t get out and bring the rest of ’em after us.

Effie:  You told ’em to strip them.  You’re worse than any of them!

Tommo:  No I’m not!  I didn’t say strip ’em.  All I said was stop ’em coming after us.

Effie:  You tell me a great long story about wanting the Banner back to stop the fighting – and all you want is our lads’ trousers for more banners.  Tell me you’re a peacemaker!  Think I’d believe that now?  Think I’m gonna help you?   I know what you’re bringing up the van for: you’re after Ronno, aren’t you?  Think you’re gonna take him back to Halden, don’t you?  You’re worse than any of them.  You planned this all along.  Well I’m not going to help you!

Wank:  There’s nowt you can do.

Effie:  Isn’t there?  I just have to open me mouth and yell, and they’d be all round here, the lot of them.

Tommo:  Yeah, then you’d have to explain why you let us out, and why you’re still with us.

Effie:  You’re vile!   I didn’t let you out.

Tommo:  Try telling them that.

Effie:  I will!  I hope they get you.  I hope they do to you just the same as they did to Nails Palmer – and I’m gonna help them! 
[Sings]:  Glory, glory, halleluiah,

glory, glory, halleluiah
glory, glory, halleluiah,
we’ve got Nails Palmer’s pants!
-- Nails Palmer came to Swarrell with a thousand boys or more,
Nails Palmer came to Swarrell with a thousand boys or more,
Nails Palmer came to Swarrell with a thousand boys or more,
but we got his trousers off!

    While she sings Tommo and the others try to quieten her, but without success.

Effie:  Glory, glory, halleluiah,
glory, glory, halleluiah
glory, glory, halleluiah,
we’ve got Nails Palmer’s pants!
-- We sent Nails Palmer running back to Halden in his shirt,
We sent Nails Palmer running back to Halden in his shirt…

    Effie’s song is taken up by the Dragons who come sweeping round the corner.

Dragons:  We sent Nails Palmer running back to Halden in his shirt,
cos we took his trousers off.
-- Glory, glory, halleluiah,
glory, glory, halleluiah
glory, glory, halleluiah,
we’ve got Nails Palmer’s pants!


We’re going to take their trousers off!
We’re going to take their trousers off!


What shall we do with the Halden prisoners?
What shall we do with the Halden prisoners?
What shall we do with the Halden prisoners?
Take their trousers off them!

We’re going to take their trousers off!
We’re going to take their trousers off!


Elsewhere in the goods yard.  Enter King and Ronno from different directions, Ronno moving furtively,
carrying the Banner clasped to him. King is in haste.

King:  Hey, Ronno!
Ronno [simultaneously]:  Hey, man, King.  Where’ve you been?

King:  We’ve got to get after her …

Ronno:  I’ve been looking …

King:  They’ve got out!

Ronno:  … all over for you.  What?

King:  Listen, will ya?  I went down to the dungeon …

Ronno:  She said you’d let her out.  Listen, man, King, you can’t go soft now.  There’ll be a riot.

King:  Will you shut up?

Ronno:  Little Willie and the Dragons.  If you listen to her … If you let the Halden lads go …  Well it’s not just you, its us too, all of us … me an Ken and Stan and Mal and Dek and …

King:  Will you shurrup?!

Ronno:  You’ve got to do it now.

King:  Look, I’m trying to …

Ronno:  If you let them go Willie and them’ll have your pants off!  It’ll be worse than Nails Palmer.

King:  What?

Ronno:  I’m not trying to be funny, King.  Honest.  They’ll have mine off an’all.  I’m only telling you what it’s like.  There’s nothing’ll stop ’em, the Black Dragons.  He’s worked ’em up.  They’re out for blood.  They’re after the Halden lads.  If you listen to her … oh, man. King … it’s not just your pants … I’m not trying to say … anybody ’at gets in their way …

King:  Shurrup, will ya?

Ronno:  Mine as well, King.  Mine as well.  Listen, the way he’s got ’em worked up we’re all keeping out o’ their way.

King:  Will – you – shut – up?

Ronno:  Sorry.

King:  That’s better.  Now listen!  I went down to the dungeon.  They’ve escaped.  They’ve left Mal and Dek there tied up – without their pants.

Ronno:  What?

King:  And they’ve taken Effie!

Ronno:  Eh?

King:  Listen, will ya?  They’ve taken Effie!  We’ve got to rescue her.  If they …

Ronno:  But she’s with them.

King:  I know she’s with them.  They’ve taken her.

Ronno:  She went with them.  I’ve just seen her.  She said you wanted me to give her the Banner.

King:  What?!

Ronno:  I didn’t believe her.  I’ve got it here.

King:  The bitch!  The stinking, bloody, rotten fucking bitch!

Ronno:  Yeah.

King:  All that about peacemaking! – And then she helps the enemy to escape, takes the pants of Mal and Dek, and then tries to steal the Banner!  Bitch!

Ronno:  Yeah.

King:  Come on!

Ronno:  Where?

King:  Where’d you see ’er?

Ronno:  The old office.

King:  Right!

    King rushes off.

Ronno:  Hang on!  Get the others first!  Oh, bloody hell!

    Ronno rushes after King.


    Behind the corrugated iron shed.  Effie, Tommo, Scouse, Nelly, Claggy and Wank are all crouching in hiding while the Black Dragons chant and sing nearby.

Dragons:  We’re going to take their trousers off!
We’re going to take their trousers off!

    The Dragons rush off.  The Wild Bulls are relieved.

Nelly:  We should get rid of her!

Claggy:  Yeah.  She nearly got us caught.

Effie:  I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean it.

Nelly:  What did you do it for then?

Scouse:  Sh!  Quiet.  They’ll hear.

Nelly:  What we gonna do now, anyway?  Make a dash for the van?

Scouse:  No!

Claggy:  It’s our only chance.

Scouse [terrified]:  They’ll catch us.

Nelly:  Better ’n staying here.

Tommo:  No!  Scouse is right.  We haven’t a chance of getting across the goods yard.  If we stay here ’Utch’ll bring the van, and then we can make a dash for it – like I said before.

Nelly:  If he got through.

Tommo:  If he didn’t we’ve no chance anyway.  He’s got the keys.

Claggy:  Yeah.  Tommo’s right.

Scouse:  Look!

Nelly:  Friggin’ ’ell, now what?

    Peering through the weeds they see King and Ronno arrive and begin looking around.

Scouse: They’re looking for us!  They know we’re here!  We might as well just give up!  We can’t get away now!  There’s no way out.  Hey, Tommo … d’ya think if we surrendered … if we handed over our jeans … d’you think they’d let us go?

    Scouse fumbles at his belt.

Tommo:  You must be daft.  Course they wouldn’t let us go.  You saw ’em, didn’t you?  You saw what they were like.  If they catch us, we’re for the Count.

    Scouse moans.

Tommo:  Shurrup, will ya!  They’ll hear.  We’ll get out when ’Utch brings the van.

King:  Effie!  Effie!

Nelly:  Whass’e shouting for her for?

Claggy:  What we gonna do?

Effie:  I’ll go and talk to him.

Nelly:  Stop her!  She’ll tell him.

Effie:  I won’t.  I’ll keep him talking while you get away.

Nelly:  She’ll tell him!

Effie:  I’ll keep him talking – like Ronno.  Mebbe I’ll persuade him to let you go.  Mebbe even give you the Banner.

    They look at Tommo.  He hesitates.

King:  Effie!!

Scouse:  They’re getting nearer.

    Tommo is still hesitating.  Suddenly Effie breaks away.

Nelly:  Stop her!

    Nelly lunges at her.  He is too late.  She hurries towards King and Ronno.

Scouse:  We’ve had it now.

    Scouse clutches his groin and moans.

Tommo:  Let her go.

Nelly:  She’ll tell.

Tommo:  Mebbe not.  Anyway it’s too late.  It might work.  If she keeps him there … the van’ll be here in a minute … yeah: when ’Utch comes with the van, we rush out and grab King.  The Banner too if you can get it – but we’ve gotta get King.  Hey, great, eh?  We come right into Swarrell and snatch their leader right under their noses – and when we get back to Halden … eh?

Nelly, Claggy and Wank:  Yeah!


    The goods yard.  King and Ronno are searching for Effie.

King:  EFFIE!  Where are you, ya bitch?

Ronno:  Let’s get the lads first.

King:  EFFIE!!

Ronno:  There’ll be a whole pack of Halden boys.

King:  EFFIE!!!

    Enter Effie.

Effie:  What d’ya want?

King:  You bitch!  What d’ya help them for?  Why d’ya help ’em escape?

Effie:  Who says I did?  Ronno?

King:  I’ve seen what you did to Dek and Mal.

Effie:  Yeah … well … we had to …

King:  Talk about peacemaking! – And then you help the enemy strip your own friends.  All ladylike when I want you, but you’d do owt for him, wouldn’t you?  Ya randy bitch!

Effie:  I’m sick of you, you foul-mouthed pig!  I’m sick of being pushed around by you!  Well, it’s over!  Finished!

King:  Where’s them Halden lads?

Effie:  Find out!

King:  The gang’s gonna do them!  You’d better tell us where they are, or we’ll do you too!

Effie:  You and that gang!  Think you’re really summat, don’t you?  Well, you’re not leader any more!  Little Willie is!

King:  You’ll do what I say.

    He twists her arm.

Effie:  Gerroff!  Ya great pig!  You think ya can push me around?  You think just cos I’m a girl ya can do what ya like?!

Ronno:  It’s cos you’re a girl that he lets you get away with it.  If any lad had talked to King like you do we’d have had his pants off.

King:  What are you so interested in them Halden lads for?

Effie:  Ow! Cos … cos we’re in the same boat.

King:  Whadja mean?

Effie:  Aargh!  Cos you treat me just like them.  You wanna humiliate them and you wanna humiliate me.  Well, it’s finished!  After what you said you’d do, I’d do anything to put an end to you and your gang and all your filth!  So just listen.  You think I helped ’em escape?  Well, you’re right!  I helped ’em – and I’m still helping ’em.  We’re gonna take that Banner that you’re so proud of!  We’re gonna take it back to Halden!  It’s the only way to stop Little Willie and them jeering at the Halden lads.  It’s the only way to stop the fighting.  I thought you had sense enough to see that, but you haven’t.  Well, there’s nothing you can do to stop us now, cos you’re surrounded.  Look!

    She indicates Tommo’s hiding place.


    Behind the corrugated iron shed.  Tommo, Scouse (still clutching his jeans, rocking back and forward and moaning), Nelly, Claggy and Wank.

Tommo:  The bitch!  She’s told him!

Claggy:  There’s the van!

Tommo:  Come on!  Let’s get ’im!

    They charge out.  Claggy grabs Scouse and hauls him along with them.


    The goods yard.  King, Ronno and Effie.  Tommo, Nelly, Wank and Claggy, who is hauling Scouse, charge out from behind a shed.

Tommo:  Get him!

    They grab King and force him in the direction of the van.  Effie grabs the Banner.  Ronno flees, yelling for help.  Effie sees that they are holding on to King.

Effie:  What …?

    Nelly grabs the Banner from Effie.

Effie:  But …?

    Suddenly the Black Dragons come charging across the goods yard.  They thunder past and surround the van.

Dragons:   Raaay!  Get him!
We’re going to take his trousers off!
We’re going to take his trousers off!
We’re going to take his trousers off!

    The Dragons surround the van which comes to a complete stop.  The Dragons cheer and catcall.

    Suddenly they give an extra-loud cheer as a pair of trousers are thrown up in the air.  Further cheers follow as the trousers are thrown from boy to boy while the trouserless victim stumble wildly after them, trying to catch them and at the same time trying to avoid the clutching and poking hands of the Dragons.

    Tommo and the Wild Bulls stop in dismay.  Effie is totally confused.

     Ronno reappears with Ken and Stan.  They snatch the Banner from Nelly and take back Mal and Dek’s trousers.  The Wild Bulls, demoralised, let King go but make no attempt to flee.  Scouse clutches his groin.  His knees come together and he gradually sinks to a kneeling position on the ground.

King:  Right!  Good ol’ Willie!  Well done, lads.  [To Tommo]: Thought you’d escaped, did you?  We’re gonna have some fun wi’ you lot, like Willie an’ them with your van-driver!  Six lads up for the Count!  And six more Banners for us!  Raay!  We’re the greatest!

    Ronno, Ken and Stan cheer.

Effie:  No!

King:  Then we’ll have a gang-bang!

    The jeering Black Dragons drag their victim away from the van.

Willie:  Raaay!  The Count!  The Count!

Dragons:  Yeah!  Yeah!  The Count!

    As soon as the Dragons are clear of the van its engine bursts into life and it hurtles towards King’s group, which scatters.

    The Wild Bulls hurl themselves into the van.  King, Ronno, Ken and Stan stand open-mouthed.

    Suddenly Effie leaps forward, grabs the Banner from Ronno and races to the van.  The Wild Bulls drag her inside and the van accelerates towards the gate.  Ken makes a half-hearted attempt at pursuit, but it is obviously hopeless.

King:  We’d ’ave ’ad ’em if it hadn’t been for Willie!

Ronno:  Stupid little sod!  What did ’e have to let that lad go for that was drivin’ the van?

Ken and Stan:  Yeah!

    Willie comes up to them with Steve, Pete, Andy and other Dragons.  Willie is brandishing a pair of trousers.

Willie:  Great, eh?  Hey, King!  When are we gonna get started?  They’re all waiting.

Steve:  Yeah, there’s lads from all over Swarrell.

Willie:  Let’s get the prisoners!

King:  See that van?

Willie:  Never mind the van.  Let’s get ’em!
We’re going to take their trousers off!
We’re going to take their trousers off!

    The Dragons join in.


Willie:  What?


    The chanting stops.

Willie:  What?!!

King:  We had ’em cornered, but you let them escape!  What d’you let the van-driver go for?

Willie:  What van-driver?

Ronno:  “What van driver?”  Stupid little cunt!  You were all round ’im pullin’ ’is pants off!

Willie:  I didn’t see any van.

Steve: There was a van there.

Ronno:  Course there was.

Pete:  When we were after Jim Gormley.

Willie:  Yeah!  We got his pants off, didn’t we?

    Willie brandishes Jim’s trousers.

King:  And you let the prisoners escape.  We had ’em all rounded up – all five of ’em.

Willie:  Five?

Ronno:  Yeah, five!

Willie:  And they’ve gone?

King:  Yeah.  All five of ’em!

Willie [dismayed]:  What we gonna do?  They’re all waiting.  They’ll slaughter us!

Ken:  Yeah.  They’ve come from all over.

Stan:  Even the Dock Street lads.

King:  Right!

All:  Eh?

King:  That’s it!  We’ve got an army.  We’re gonna smash Halden before they know what’s coming to ’em – and when we get hold of Effie … there’ll be the biggest gang bang ever!

Willie [impressed]:  Hey!  Ya mean it?

King:  Yeah!  This is war!

Willie:  Raaay!  Buckets o’ blood!  Raaay!  We’ll slaughter ’em! 
We wanna battle!
We wanna battle!

Dragons:  We wanna battle!
We wanna battle!

Willie:  We’ll exterminate ’em!  We’ll liquidate ’em!   We’ll take the pants off ’em!
The Halden lads are wankers!

Dragons:  The Halden lads are wankers!
The Halden lads are wa-ankers!
We’ll take their trousers off!

We’ll take their trousers off!
We’ll take their trousers off!
The Halden lads are wankers!
The Halden lads are wankers!
The Halden lads are wan-ankers!
We’ll take their trousers off!

We’re góing to táke their tróusers off!
We’re góing to táke their tróusers off!

    Exeunt omnes, chanting.

== The End ==

Please remember that this play is copyright.  See Copyright and concessions for permitted uses.  

Effie: Act I

Effie: Act II

Chronicles of Halden: The Banner: Index

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