It's Anybody's Guess

By John Fewings

Summary

This sketch is loosely based on the "What's my line?" TV program. "The good shepherd who gives his life for the sheep" is being mimed, while the panel tries to guess his occupation.

Characters

GUS GUSSET is seated centrally with his three guests to left of stage, leaving right of stage for the MIME.
MILTON KEENSVILLE is age-ing but trying to stay "trendy".
BIMBI BLOWDRY is blonde and giggly, but brainless.
CLAUD FRAUD is keen to impress.
MIME

Script

GG: Good evening! This is Gus Gusset welcoming you to "It's Anybody's Guess"; the quiz-game in which your guess is as good as mine, as our panel of guests try to guess the occupation of our mystery mimer. This week's guest-guessers are Milton Keensville, the pop-world's answer to the frontal lobotomy; Bimbi Blowdry, the delightful but dreadfully dim doyen of the middle-page spread; and Claud Fraud, the MP for somewhere or other, desperate to enter the world of entertainment before being booted upstairs to the House of Lords and subsequent obscurity.
Now let's see this week's mystery-mimer, and remember ... "It's anybody's guess!"
(As the MIME performs, the others call out their guesses in a general free-for-all. BIMBI is perpetually excited, flustered and bubbly. GUS GUSSET is disinterested but smiles broadly at the audience.)
MIME: Relaxes back against a rock.
CF: Looks like a fairly sedentary occupation.
MIME: Gazes into distance.
BB: No, I don't think he looks like a sentry. He looks too relaxed.
MIME: Twiddles thumbs.
CF: Doesn't appear to be doing much at all.
 MK:  Must be a politician.
MIME:  Smiles contentedly
BB: No,  he's smiling.
MIME: Yawns.
GG: (Yawns)
MK:  (Yawns)
BB:  (Yawns)
CP:  (Yawns)
MIME: Sits up with a start.
MK: You're right; he's not a politician: he's woken up.
MIME: Notices something far off. Peers into distance.
BB:  Ooh look! He looks like he's looking.
MK:  He's a watchman!
MIME: Grabs (imaginary) sling. Whirls sling.
CF:  He's a cheer-leader?
MK:  He's at a football match
MIME: Looses off a stone.
BB:  He's thrown something.
MIME: Annoyed at missing.
MK:  Probably a bottle.
MIME: Grabs (imaginary) stick.
CF: He picked something up there.
MK:  A litter-collector?
BB:  A taxi-driver! They pick up fares.
MIME: Runs towards problem.
MK:  But he's running, not driving.
BB:  He could be running someone to the station.
MIME: Attempts to scare off bear.
CF: He's obviously annoyed.
BB: Yes! Yes! ... What's an 'oyd"?
CF:  (Shakes head in despair)
MIME: Jabs at bear with stick.
MK: He's a "lollipop man" on school crossing patrol.
BB:  Mmm! I like lollipops!
MIME: Is attacked by bear. Boxes bear.
CF:  He's a boxer.
BB:  He's too tall for a boxer.
CF:  You can have tall boxers
BB:  Well, why do they have "boxer-SHORTS"?
MIME: Thrown onto floor.
MK:  He's a wrestler!
MIME: Gets up. Fights bear.
CF:  He's a Chelsea supporter
MIME: Tries karate.
MK:  Is that semaphore?
MIME: Finally defeats bear (with judo throw?)
BB:  What's semaphore?
MK:  Talking with flags, dear
MIME: Chases off bear. Wipes brow. Looks around.
BB:  Sounds silly to me. Who wants to talk to a flag? "Hello, flag. How are you today?" - "Oh! I'm all of a flutter!"
MIME: Looks puzzled.
CF:  He's looking a bit puzzled.
MK:  (Glancing at BIMBI) Aren't we all?
MIME: Calls out to sheep.
BB:  He's a bingo-caller!
MIME: Counts sheep into the fold.
MK: Looks like he's counting something.
CF: Can't be a teacher, then
MIME: There is one missing! Trudges off to seek sheep. Scans horizon, looking left and right.
BB: (Loudly) Lookout!
M and CF both duck ... then realise.)
MIME: Suddenly cups hands to ears.
BB: It's Prince Charles!
MIME: Listens intently.
CF: Something to do with ears? A pioneer?
MIME: Starts to run.
CF:... an orienteer ...
MIME: Climbs cliff-face.
CF: ... a mountaineer ... ... I've no idea.
MIME: Pushes through undergrowth.
CF: And all because the lady loves ...
MIME: Spots sheep. Looks happy. Runs towards sheep. Look of despair.
CF: Is he athletic?
BB: No, he looks like he's breathing alright.
MIME: Sheep has fallen in river.
MK: He's just standing doing nothing.
MIME: Turns head to follow sheep as it bobs downstream.
CF: Perhaps he works for the Council.
MIME: Holds nose and leaps into river.
BB: He works on a pig-farm!
MIME: Swims - crawl.
MK: Anything to do with bowling or bowlers?
 BB:  He's a City gent. (M and CF look at her,  mystified.)
 BB:  They wear bowlers.
MIME: Swims - breast-stroke.
CF: Is he pushing through a jungle?
MK:  Perhaps pushing through a crowd?
 BB:  He could be a drug pusher!
MIME: Swims - backstroke.
MK: I've got it! He's a swimmer!
MIME: Reaches sheep and grabs it.
CF: He's rescued someone!
MIME: Struggles ashore.
NK: He's a lifeguard.
MIME: Pulls sheep up bank.
CF: He's doing something to the person he rescued.
MIME: Dries sheep.
BB: Is it artificial perspiration?
MIME: Hoists sheep onto shoulders.
MK: Is he lifting someone?
MIME: Treks home, smiling.
BB: Isn't he strong?
GG: I'm going to have to hurry you, panel. Any last minute guesses?
MK:  He was watching something.
CF:  Guarding it.
BB:  That's rather brave.
MK:  Protecting it, maybe.
CF:  Fighting for it.
BB:  He was very brave.
CF: He was concerned about something that had gone missing.
MK:  He went looking for it.
BB:  He looked ... very ... brave.
CF:  He found it.
MK:  Rescued it.
BB:  That was brave!
CF:  He seemed to care for it.
MK:  And brought it back, rejoicing.
 (Both MILTON and CLAUD realise together.)
MK/CF: Of course!
BB:  Of course!
(The others look at her, surprised.)
GG;  Yes, Bimbi?
BB:  Is he ... the good shepherd who gives his life for the sheep?
MK & CP: (Mildly astonished) Yes.
BB:  That's in the gospel of John, chapter ten, verse 11.
MK & CP: (Very astonished) That's right!
BB:  I think he's very brave.
GG:  He is indeed. Join us again next week, when once again it will be "Anybody's Guess". Goodnight.

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© Copyright John Fewings, all rights reserved.
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. He may be contacted at: 50 Howdale Road, Hull, HU8 9JZ, UK. Email: fewings@fewings.karoo.co.uk