THE TITANIC HAS STRUCK A ICEBERG AND IS SINKING. A GROUP OF MUSICIANS CONSIDER THEIR OPTIONS
CHARLES(BANDLEADER) : Right lads gather round. Its not looking favorable. I've checked the lifeboat situation, and Its not good. There seems to be a emphasis on women and children.
BASIL(VIOLIN): Surely musicians get some sort of consideration, Its hard to master a violin, Its easy to make a child. Did you tell them of our achievements, our reputation.
CHARLES: Times are changing Basil, Its the twentieth century, children are regarded with great affection these days
BASIL: I have every respect for children. The young man who scrambles up my chimney and cleans it every year is most agreeable, but he is dispensable.
JAMES(VIOLIN): That cant be very pleasant for the child
BASIL: He doesn't mind, Its good honest toil. Anyway it affords him the chance of visiting his late brothers remains, who believe me was not a hard act to follow. Okay people are getting sentimental about children, but did you say women as well?
CHARLES: Women are important. They raise our children, they run the household, they are a great comfort in general.
BASIL: Yes they are splendid to look at and occasionally engage in lightweight banter, but can they do justice to the great composers ?
SYBIL(CLARINET) I can
BASIL: You can , but think of it, there will be lifeboats full of women and children lacking the ability to play the most basic sea shanty. How can one keep the spirit alive without music?
JAMES: I have a wife and child who I am quite fond of. I would like them on the lifeboat. Don't think sea shanties would go down a storm, pardon the pun, in the present situation. Also Sybil, shouldn't you head towards the lifeboats?
SYBIL: Gosh I suppose I should. Well I guess this is good bye. (LEAVES)
CHARLES: That's a shame. Still no need to get too downhearted, we can play and retain our dignity amid the chaos.
BASIL: We are classical musicians, and you want us to start busking. Why don't we find us a dancing monkey to play along to. That should entertain the great unwashed, soon to be washed in icy waters.
CHARLES: Lets not bicker, lets leave a small and lasting legacy and be remembered as men who done our profession proud. That piece we wrote for the voyage, lets try that.
BASIL: I'm not sliding slowly into the water playing FORTRESS OF THE SEA . I think we should go and make our case as distinguished musicians at the lifeboats. Those in charge can't all be immune to culture.
CHARLES: It's pointless. I've already asked. Its women, children. the old, the disabled, medics and god knows what else
BASIL: The more useless you are, the higher the priority.How the human race will survive with that logic is beyond me
JAMES: Charles is right Basil. Lets play and enjoy our last moments doing what we do best.
CHARLES: That's the spirit
JOHN(VIOLIN): I agree
NIGEL(CELLO): I don't. I am thanks to a woman going to take my leave of you. It was my mother who nagged me to take up the cello Basil, or in this situation my new raft. Good bye and good luck (LEAVES)
CHARLES: Not to worry. Three violins and I will accompany you on the piano if we can push it here from the grand ballroom.
BASIL: A piano floats and we can bring our violins, and show up all those non musical lifeboats. Come on chaps, lets get that piano.
CHARLES: Lets not be so undignified, lets just play.
BASIL: Lets not be so dead, and get that dammed piano(LEAVES WITH JAMES AND JOHN)
CHARLES: Suppose I will try locate a monkey and see if he fancies dancing a jig or two