Announcer: …and it’s rapidly approaching three o’clock here on Radio Fourply, when we shall be travelling back in time to the cruel North Atlantic Ocean at the height of the Second World War, in this afternoon’s play: Convoy ON 42
SFX The Pips
Voice: Oh, no! The radio has died. Crash Team!
SFX medical noises
Voice: Dial 360. Clear!
SFX defibrillator noises
Voice (over pips): It’s back – good job, team.
SFX sea noises (wind and rain)
Announcer: it is Nineteen-forty-one, we find ourselves on board the doughty HMS Mallard, somewhere in the North Atlantic Ocean.
SFX fade in Morse Code
In the radio room a message is being received
SFX Morse Code (continues for a few seconds and then ends)
Radio Officer: Well, I’ll be- (speaks into voice tube to Captain) Captain; we’ve just received a message from the Admiral.
Captain (with voice tube effect): What does it say, Sparker?
RO: I have no idea, Captain; the Morse is quite correct – I checked it twice – but, the message must also be in code. It just doesn’t make sense.
Capt.: Let me here it, Sparkers; see if we can fathom it out.
RO: Okay. It says… ‘We meet at the edge of the pond… for the sake of the ducks.’
Capt.: The ‘ducks?!’
Capt.: Very strange. The ‘Pond’ could refer to the Atlantic ocean, and ‘we’ could be the ‘sitting ducks…’ Let me have a copy, I’ll work on it.
RO: Aye, aye, Captain.
Announcer: Meanwhile, close by, in the German üntersea-boat, U-471…
German Radio Officer: Herr Kapitän; we haff intercepted a message in ze Morse code from the Englisher fleet.
Kapitän: Ver Gut! Haff you translated it?
German Radio Officer: Yah! Herr Kapitän, I have used our special new decryption methods (unt a pencil and paper); but, I think that zay may haff used ze code words as well.
Kapitän: Ver cunning. Read it out, unt let us see.
German Radio Officer: Ja wohl, Herr Kapitän; it says: (slowly) ‘Ve meet at ze edge of ze pond; for ze sake of ze ducks!’
Kapitän: Ze ‘ducks!?’
German Radio Officer: Ja! Zat is ze message, Herr Kapitän.
Kapitän: Mmm, let me think upon it. These darn cunning Englishers.
Announcer: And that is why the Allies ultimately won the Battle of the Atlantic – with the help of the ducks!
All: The Ducks!!!!
Announcer: That was Convoy ON42; which is now available as a downloadable podcast.
Next on Radio Fourply – The Arts!
2nd Announcer: The Theatre is alive and the Bard is still relevant in this modern age; so let us listen in to a performance at The Rose Theatre, London with eminent thespian, Sir Wanton Thameside upon the stage before an enraptured audience. We find Sir Wanton as Henry V the night before Agincourt…
SD fade into Henry V speech
‘And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother…’
Heckler 1: Rubbish!
Heckler 2: Get off!
Sir Wanton: What do you mean ‘Rubbish!’ It’s the Bard – Shakespeare!
Heckler 1: it’s a bit high-brow; why don’t you do one of the classics?
Sir Wanton: One of ‘the Classics!’ Did you have anything in mind?
Heckler 3: Do ‘The Ducks!’
Heckler 1: Yeah! Do ‘The Ducks!’
Heckler 2: We want ‘The Ducks!’ We want ‘The Ducks!’
SD Heckler 1 and 3 join in as does the rest of the audience.
Sir Wanton: Enough! Enough!
SD: The audience vocalisation of ‘We want ‘The Ducks!’ subsides (with a few ‘quacks!’ here and there).
Sir Wanton: Oh, very well; but, I shall expect a standing ovation at the very least!
SD A quiet descends.
Sir Wanton: We meet… at the edge of the pond… for the sake of the ducks.
Audience: The Ducks!
PS if you have no idea what is going on in the above (and that is quite probable) I shall put Paul ‘Haribo’ Bailey’s ‘We Feed The Ducks’ to help. First performed in 2013, WFtD has become a classic in our concentric circles. Please enjoy. G:)
We Feed the Ducks
We meet at the edge of the pond
For the sake of the ducks
The Ducks must come first
How we love to feed the Ducks
And now the wretched come
THE YOUNG PEOPLE!
With their tracksuits
THE YOUNG PEOPLE!
And their ringtones
They Push Alfred in the pond
They Ride upon Stanley’s mobility scooter
And readjust his adjustable seat
Wendy, bless her she’s not as young as she was
She only succeeds in stabbing and drowning one of the scallywags
The others flee
How they flee
Like the cowards they are
Wendy lets them run
The ducks have their blood offering now