Yes, it’s the Chelsea Panto…

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The Chelsea Blog (very) Amateur Dramatic Society is proud to present its own interpretation of:

CINDERELLA

(A work of pantomime and prose very loosely based upon the above-mentioned work in as many parts as I can string a fairly weak plot with a load of half-arsed Chelsea related puns and poor gags out for.)

All characters appearing in this work are real folk viewed through the eyes of an author with manflu who has consumed too much strong cheddar after 8pm. Any resemblance to a work of vague sense and coherence is purely accidental. Proceeds from the box office to the Rafa Benitez Early Retirement Fund. No running, jumping, blocking the aisles, petting or feeding the cast members.

The Cast:

Carlo – long(ish) suffering coach of Chelsea FC;

Baron Roman Hardup – rich and demanding patriarchal figure, owner of the afore-mentioned Chelsea FC;

The Ugly Sisters, Pini and Roni – the Baron’s ugly, grasping stepdaughters;

Fairy Godmother – unknown, but looks a bit like Carlo’s former assistant Raymond in a wig;

Prince Charming – the club captain with an eye for a princess or three;

Buttons – Carlo’s well meaning but rather clueless new assistant;

Widow Twanky – Rafa Benitez (he doesn’t appear in this particular piece, it’s just my prediction as to what he’ll be doing this time next year);

Messrs. Glover and Bayou – two wise old sages, observing from the theatre in a Statler and Waldorf-esque capacity who’ve seen quite enough of this nonsense before;

Keys and Gray – two mindless buffoons.

ACT 1: The Kitchen, in the depths of Baron Hardup’s palace

Carlo, the loyal but put-upon son of Baron Hardup, is slaving over a hot chalkboard trying to explain the finer points of defensive play to some of the younger members of staff.

(voice from offstage)

“CARLO! WHERE ARE YOU?”

Enter Baron Hardup and Carlo’s two ugly stepsisters, Pini and Roni. The youngsters are quickly ushered out by Carlo’s well-meaning but rather clueless new assistant, Buttons.

Baron Hardup: Have you finished dealing with the issues on the list I gave you?

Carlo: Well, not quite – so much to do…

Baron Hardup: Well, stop dilly-dallying and get on with it. We’re visiting Count Arsene in a few days and then our distant cousins from Lancashire are dropping by. I don’t want you making a fool out of me.

Carlo: No, no – of course not.

Roni: Well, I never – is Arsene really a Count now?

Carlo: Well, there’s plenty that think he’s always been a bit of an old Count…

(A lethargic roll of drums and splash of cymbals rises from the orchestra pit)

Buttons: (enthusiastically) I’ve been helping out a lot, your Baronship.

Carlo: (suppressing a deep sigh) He has, to be fair. He understands the offside rule now, which is progress of sorts.

Baron Hardup: Good, good. I’ll be back later – Pini and Roni have some ideas for the team that I want to discuss with you.

Pini and Roni giggle to themselves, whilst both secretly admiring the impressive bulge in Baron Hardup’s trousers.

(Look, it’s his wallet you bunch of sickos)

The Baron and the Ugly Sisters depart, leaving Carlo alone in the kitchen pondering the magnitude of the tasks facing him.

Out in the theatre itself, Mr. Glover and Mr. Bayou, observing proceedings from their executive box are moved to pass comment:

Mr. Bayou: Hey, you old fool! You slept through the first act.

Mr. Glover: Who’s the fool? You watched it.

ACT 2: The Drawing Room in the Baron’s palace

The Baron and his stepdaughters are in the drawing room.

Pini: (persuasively) I know you’ve not heard of him father, but thirty-eight million for a Lithiuanian international left-back owned by three clubs and two agents with four caps is very reasonable these days…

Prince Charming enters, followed closely by a number of lawyers and press officers.

Prince Charming: (angrily) Alright then, I’ll go to half a fucking million on the condition that the grasping little cow doesn’t squeal to the redtops and keeps quiet about the paternity test.

Pini: Oooh, lock up your daughters, the prince is here!

Roni: Phwoooar! He can sweep into my drawing room any time he likes.

Pini: I don’t think he’s that interested dear…

Roni: Oh yes he is…

Audience: (slowly losing the will to live) Oh no he isn’t…

(Drums, cymbals etc.)

Mr. Glover: I have a good mind to go home.

Mr. Bayou: If you had a good mind, you wouldn’t be here in the first place.

Prince Charming: We all ready for the festive season and the big Christmas party then, girls?

Pini and Roni blush and flutter their eyelids at the prince.

Baron Hardup: Carlo has everything under control. At least, he’d better have…

Prince Charming: I’m sure we’ll be fine. I’ve given Didier his tablets, Frank is in charge of the Secret Santa and Ashley is organising the party games…

(The room falls silent momentarily)

Prince Charming: … Cousin Joe has texted to say that he’d loved to have seen us there, but Great Uncle Roy has grounded him.

Baron Hardup: Fair enough… I’ve heard that Sir Alex’s coach is already on the way. They’re looking to secure the best table for themselves again.

Prince Charming: Not while I have lead in my pencil they won’t.

Audience: Oh yes they will…

(The curtain drops to the relief of all concerned)

ACT 3: The Kitchen

Carlo wondered how he was going to get everyone to the big Christmas party. The carriage, not as reliable as it once was, needed some fresh legs to help it reach its destination.

Carlo: I wish Raymond was here…

(With a slightly dramatic puff of smoke and more drums and cymbals, the Fairy Godmother appears before Carlo)

Fairy Godmother: What’s the matter, Carlo?

Carlo: (startled) Who are you?

Fairy Godmother: (muttering) How soon they forget… Not important right now, old chap. Where are those youngsters you’ve knocking about the place?

Carlo: Erm, they’re around here somewhere…  Buttons, where are you? Are you playing Championship Manager again? I’ve told you, it’s nothing like real… Oh, never mind – just bring Josh, Patrick, Jeffrey and Gael in here and be quick about it.

(Buttons appears with the four youngsters)

Fairy Godmother: Smashing bunch of chaps, they’ll do nicely.

(With a wave of his / her wand, the Fairy Godmother magically transforms the four promising waifs into impressive thoroughbreds, ready for the journey ahead)

Carlo: How’d you do that?

Fairy Godmother: Well Carlo, you see, it’s witchcraft…

(And with that, the Fairy Godmother treats the audience to a smooth, Sinatra-esque musical interlude)

“Those fingers in my, erm, hair… that sly come hither stare, that strips my conscience bare… it’s witchcraaaaaft…”

Buttons: (looking on, jealously) The Baron says that I do a great rendition of ‘Anything You Can Do…’, Carlo…?

Carlo: Oh do shut up, Buttons…

Fairy Godmother: (taking applause graciously) Thank you, thank you, smashing audience. Now, Carlo, just remember to be home by midnight…

Carlo: Why, do the youngsters just turn back into potential stars then?

Fairy Godmother: No, the Baron locks the gates and lets the hounds out to feed. You thought he just released the youth team players and managers that didn’t make the grade, didn’t you…?

Carlo: (nervously) Aaah…

ACT 4: En route to the Premiership Christmas Party

There now follows a brief description of the race between the main carriages heading to the big Premiership Christmas party, filled with glaringly obvious metaphors and yet more weak panto humour. It’s meant to invoke the spirit of the chariot race in ‘Ben Hur’, but is probably closer to ‘On the Buses’ if we’re being honest. Keys and Gray, our two amiable but buffoonish footmen will endeavour to provide commentary and analysis.

Keys: It’s a massive day, isn’t it?

Gray: Massive, absolutely massive with a side order of additional huge massiveness. Doesn’t get any bigger, well, not until the next massively huge…

Keys: (impatiently) Yes, thanks. Right… What’s happened so far?

Gray: Well, the Chelsea coach was going stormingly well but the wheels fell off a few weeks back. Internal strife, sackings, intrigue – nobody knows what’s going on…

Keys: And Sir Alex’s coach has taken advantage?

Gray: Yes indeed it has. It’s an unimpressive but functional vehicle and the driver knows the route like the back of his hand. He’s an expert at negotiating Squeaky Bum Corner…

Keys: How about Signor Roberto’s new vehicle – is it performing well?

Gray: Aye, not bad. If he can just stop the passengers in the First Class seats from fighting with each other and trying to jump out every five minutes, he’ll be OK. Foreign lad though, new to these roads – going to be very tricky…

Keys: The Arsenal coach?

Gray: Probably been robbed by a bunch of ne’er do-wells from the North en route. Happens every season…

Keys: Ah yes… we’re running out of time – a quick word on the Spurs coach?

Gray: Looking at a time penalty, I’d say. Uncle ‘Arry seems to have ahem, ‘forgotten’ to buy a tax disk. Don’t much like the look of the chimp they’ve got navigating either.

Keys: Thanks. A thrilling race in prospect, as you can see. Join us after the break, or on the interactive service via the red button, mobile for subscribers or in HD on Sky Sports HD1, or in 3D on Sky SporAAAAAAGH!

(A shepherd’s crook appears from stage right and hauls the amiable buffoon off by the neck into the wings)

The Christmas Party

The Chelsea coach reached its destination in good shape and only just behind Sir Alex’s party. En route they had passed the wreckage of the West Ham vehicle, smouldering upside down in a ditch with a familiar portly figure at the roadside making a dreadful hash of trying to put some traffic cones out. Eventually his assistant had to take over.

A splendid time was had by all. Mr. Kalou, not usually known for his pinpoint accuracy somehow managed to win the ‘Pin the Tail on the Blatter’ competition and Prince Charming didn’t commit any indiscretions with the female guests.

Carlo himself had dazzled the party. The velvet smoking jacket and cravat he’d borrowed from the Fairy Godmother fitted him perfectly, and although he’d lost one of his suede evening slippers during a particularly raucous rendition of ‘Knees Up Mother Brown’ with the boys, he climbed into the coach a happy man.

Pini didn’t travel back with the group. The last time Carlo had seen her, she was chasing a frightened looking sheikh from Signor Roberto’s party down the driveway, waving what looked like his missing shoe and screaming “No, please, come back – it fits, it really fits!”

Very strange, Carlo thought to himself. No-one really missed her on the journey home, if they were honest.

The next morning, Carlo went to the Baron and asked him for some money to bring in just a couple of new chaps to help keep the carriage on the road during the months ahead. Baron Hardup said that although he was obliged to fund some building work for an old acquaintance which might leave him a bit short, he’d see what he could do.

And, because this old nonsense has frankly gone on long enough with no vaguely plausible end in sight, they all lived happily ever after (or at least until the next injury / confidence / backroom crisis hit).

Up in the executive box, Mr. Bayou stirred from his half-slumber and nudged Mr. Glover who woke up with a start, knocking several empty Guinness cans off the edge of the box down onto the cheap seats below.

Mr. Bayou: Just when you think this show is terrible, something wonderful happens.

Mr. Glover: What’s that then?

Mr. Bayou: It ends!

And with that, the curtain falls, protecting the cast from the barrage of rotten fruit and some of the fixtures from the theatre that were not securely affixed to the walls and floor. As strains of ‘The Liquidator’ drift form the tinny PA system, the remaining members of the audience make for the exits, many of them demanding a refund and proclaiming the whole thing nowhere near as good as last year’s panto. There’s just no pleasing some folk, is there?

THE END




There are 32 comments

Add yours
  1. Anonymous

    Amazing scenes. Congratulations.

    Merry Xmas and New Year greetings one and all from humblest Norfolk. Here’s hoping for a belated surprise from Santa in the shape of 3 points on Monday.

  2. Cunningplan

    I know a man, who knows a man, and a few dogs that might be interested in the screen rights for that masterpeice.

    Forget the Oscars, the Nobel Prize for everything goes to…. JD; take a bow son, take a bow.

  3. Anonymous

    What the hell has happened to the Premier league table over Xmas? Extra points for other teams?

    We’re 6 behind Man U with the same games played. Can only go up to 3rd tonight. WTF is going on?

    • Anonymous

      Fiftee, we took only seven points from the last seven games. It is not about man Utd doing well it is about us doing really bad. Hopefully, really hopefully tonight it’s all going to change and we take our three points from Arsen’s Anal.

  4. FanSinceTheSixties

    Just heading off to catch the game (a bit delayed reading all the good stuff that’s been going on here).

    A bunch of us are meeting to watch in a Croydon pub – not sure how many Chels will be there, so it should be interesting – most will probably be Palace anyway.

  5. Gbelov

    Well, maybe the Man U cancellation was a blessing rather than a curse after all, seeing how clueless we looked in the first half. Being down 1-0 doesn’t help either. Hopefully, Carlo will rally his troops. But who am I kidding? That man is only good for teaching a team to play a certain style. But when things go wrong, when matches need to be won regardless of the fucking possession or whatever else he tries to concentrate on, he’s as useful as my gran. She, at least, can beat some sense into those who are too lazy.

    Here’s to a better second half!

  6. Anonymous

    We are an utter utter fucking shambles with no direction or creativity. I hope to be eating my words in 45 minutes but I doubt it.

    There is little point in half of them (Essien, Malouda, Kalou, Mikel, Ferreira) being there. Absolute waste. We’re so spineless at the moment; opened up at will. Arsenal have so many players I despise but, my God, at least they can pass the fucking ball to each other. What a luxury that would be for us.

    I won’t be surprised to see Carlo given the boot this week. Not his fault there are little options for him, but the kids must be given a chance instead of some of the shit we’re constantly subjected to.

  7. Anonymous

    I was right.

    Fuck off Malouda. Utter disgrace tonight. Utter disgrace.

    Carlo is a gonna. Our season is a fucking write off.

  8. Der_Kaiser

    Christ, I only wanted the panto thing as a brief distraction, not some kind of blueprint for the team.

    Can’t defend any more than we can score at the moment. The only thing worse than tonight’s showing will be the inevitable squealing on here tomorrow.

    • Anonymous

      I believe there maybe some justification for some squealing. Scolari didn’t have this bad a run, we won’t play the kids but will stick to the same ‘senior’ players responsible for this run. Lampard was never as big a miss as made out, after all we’ve played most of the season without him. Can’t or won’t blood the kids? Why persist with that fucking arse Kalou? Anelka missing strangely tonight…..pourquoi? What’s happened to Malouda? And Mikel? And Essien? All look like pub players at the moment. Drogba resembles Heskey more with each passing game.

      And still it’s nothing to do with Wilkins departure because apparently he did fuck all around the place. That’s starting to look a little thin now isn’t ?

      And apparently none of this is Ancelotti’s fault? How can it not be? The buck has to stop with him as it did with Mourinho, Grant and Scolari.

      I don’t want him to go but I do want whatever is causing this malaise fixing otherwise we’ll be lucky to get a draw against Bolton. I already think we’re fighting for 3rd place now.

      Something tells me Romans trigger finger is getting ever so slightly itchy……..

      • Der_Kaiser

        Some bitching inevitable, of course, but its the form it takes – scapegoating and the ‘I’m not getting what I want so I demand hirings, firings etc.’ that I find a little dull.

        Look, no-one is denying that summat is wrong – we played Arsenal the way we always play them, the difference being that we can’t defend for shit and can’t score either right now. The fact that half a dozen players look like they’ve been bodysnatched is just bloody odd – quite what happened to the vast improvement at Spurs is anyone’s guess. All very odd.

        Would agree that somewhere along the line Carlo is going to take some questions from the big cheese; I am sadly starting to foresee knee-jerk lunacy – my real concern is that while we got away with the post Jose idiocy, we might not be as lucky next time. My money is on Carlo having no trust in the resources he has as backup; if he’s being told to deliver challenges for big honours every season without some leeway or indeed financial backing (if he feels he needs it) then we have problems.

  9. Anonymous

    Spineless, clueless, gutless.

    Whoever punted Ray is a twat. Only Fulham are in worse form IN THE WHOLE LEAGUE. Suck that up. How does that feel? About as good as seeing Kalou picked again I imagine.

    I hope it’s a perverse joke and plan to win the Champions League. But it’s not. We’re in shit form (if you can call it that). Destroyed by an average Arsenal. Embarrassed by a host of mid-table mediocrities we make look like Barcelona every fucking week. No strength in depth apparently. I’d like to know where the supposed strength in our starting XI is.

    Carlo will be binned this week and then the real implosion of Chelsea begins. No-one with any sense will touch the job with your bargepole. It’s not a crisis, it’s now more than that. It’s indefensible.

  10. Benjamin

    I am starting to lose confidence in CA now, we seem to be playing 4-3-3 every game and it has the same result and we play the same lack lustre football.

    However I do think he has very few options and money has to be spent on the team if we are to sustain our position with Manchester United.

    We have been ridiculously unlucky the last few games, just seem to concede / gift silly goals away, like the 2 now 😉 Which have practically given Manchester United the title.

    Simple facts, Arsenal will not win the title (nor will we at this rate) and with my bad loser hat on 😀 they will get hammered by Barcelona! Messi es un jugadorazo, vamos Barca!!!

    [b]Centre back:[/b] Selling Riccy without an adequate replacement was a massive mistake. If you don’t trust Bruma to play then you shouldn’t have sold him CA or at least replaced him with a comparable defender.

    Would we have conceded 3 today with JT and Riccy at the centre? (Plus Ivanovic could then play RB where we are also clearly lacking)

    [b]Defensive Midfielder:[/b] Mikel has failed now, we can all sit around and justify him with blue goggles on, but the simple fact is if you ask a Man Utd fan if he is any good they will say no. Essien should have started in that position today.

    [b]Attacking Midfielder[/b] Again we lack creativity, there is an Italian word for the player who sits in the hole behind the 2 forwards. That is what we need CA, and if you read this blog please tell me what it is because I can’t google it 😛 I thought Lamps did well tonight though, he increases our fluidity and link up between Def and Att wonderfully.

    Ramires played OK today, I would have liked him to start today next to Essien in a 2 DM formation, good buy CA great potential for next season.

    We need someone who can pass, create, assist, beat players and score goals. I.e. make something out of nothing when we need it must, when our normal tactics have failed. For example Kaka in his prime (not Kaka now though he is too injury prone). They must also be young with an insatiable drive to win!

    [b]Forwards:[/b] You can have a go at Malouda today, but he is are only player who beats people consistently and then puts in a good cross. I don’t blame Drogba because he isn’t getting the opportunities to score because the service is poor.

    We again clearly need another striker, think of our investment in our frontline over recent years. Anelka was signed practically for free and Drogba joined when Mourinho came.

    Man Utd have bought Berbatov and (sort of) Tevez in that period plus others. Sturridge is the closest we have 😛

    Again need someone who can beat their man, can finish, and of course score goals!

    Then we play 4-2-1-2-1, Essien Ramiries, Lampard, Malouda New Kid, Drogba

    We need Zola as our assistant manager, it is so obvious an appointment!! Speaks Italian, check. Has respect of players, check. Proven quality as a manager, check. Can help us score and create goals, check. Loved by fans, check. Loves Chelsea? Check.

    If you don’t want to spend £50m RA just appoint Zola! Then get Steve Clarke ;x Imagine CA looking behind him and seeing Zola and Clark on the bench. Support would be there!

    If you leave CA tonight before I get to say goodbye at Stamford Bridge (which would be silly) you can hold your head up high!

  11. Anonymous

    I don’t know, if I am minority, or majority here, but I don’t blame Carlo. Seriously, I don’t. He hasn’t got plan B it’s true, but he hasn’t got resources for plan B. Our bench is extremely short, incredibly short. I am not saying we haven’t got good youngsters, but they need another season or two to become a first squad players. Today we had only two strikers Drogba and Kalou and NONE on the bench!!!! Anelka not there Sturridge not there. One can’t have a plan B without players, which can execute plan B!!! Strange really strange way for the club to manage squad. I am not talking about completely out of blue sucking of Uncle Fester, which definitely didn’t help as well. This season is most probably can be written off.

    • Anonymous

      So where were they then, not reported on any injury list. if they were dropped then not having them as bench options is pretty unforgiveable in my view.

      Sorry, but how can Ancelotti not be part of the problem? If Grant was, and Scolari was, and to an extent JM was, then Ancelotti must also be part of the issue.

      We sacked Ray, we announced Arnesen leaving, we promote a fucking nobody and hit a run of form that’s 2nd worst in the league, making medicore teams look great, making good teams (as Arsenal are not matter what you might think) look brilliant, and yet Ancelotti is entirely blame free…..please tell me how that works?

      • Anonymous

        BBC says they (Anelka, Sturridge) were injured, so probably that is the reason. Now one by one although only Grant is important for me. His fault was obvious he inherited great squad and NEVER won anything, while Carlo won double. We let many players old but experienced players let go last season. Generally we cleaned up our bench completely and that is why we haven’t got any plan B. Right now we look like Arsenal 3 years ago.

    • Anonymous

      Ben, we need to shop in order to stay in top four! Seriously what did they (club) think?! Man City buying, Spurs buying and we are going to field 17-19 th year old players in order to win the league. Preposterous!!!

  12. Anonymous

    Shit the bed. Andy Gray has just admitted Kalou is nothing more than a sub. He does know something about football. Which is more than Kalou. No idea what offside is, no first touch, no second touch, can’t pass, can’t shoot and yet we’re still supposed to be grateful for having him.

    Thought the subs did ok. Kakuta showed a few glimpses of trying. Ramires got stuck in but I can’t understand why at 3-1 down with twenty minutes left there was no desire to score more. We just passed it around on half way for periods before giving it away. Again.

    I don’t care what Carlo says post-match. I’m done with his selections. Too many under performers being picked every single week regardless of form. We’re now fighting for third / forth and there’s a huge chance we wont make either.

    This is my squealing JD. Tell me how it’s not valid? Just put up with the anonymous performances again and hope everyone else still has a Chelsea-style blip later on?

    This is last seasons Chelsea being found out week after week. Get under our skin, get us on the back foot and we’ve got no comeback. I’d rather we break the team up and build for next season. The Chelsea we’re used to is dead.

  13. Benjamin

    Maybe in some ways CA won the FA Cup and title too early, he now has nothing to prove and would return to Italy (almost) a success if he was sacked tomorrow.

    The simple fact is last season we beat the top 4 home and away, ok we had some luck with that, but still that shows how good CA can be.

    He is also along with TSO our best chance of winning the Champions League, sacking him would be insanity.

    I hope we appoint Zola/Clarke, sign a solid defender and then place 2nd in the league this season. Purchase a few additional players at the end of the season to combine with our current younger crop to equal a squad strong enough to challenge next season.

    Right now he has no support in the coaching staff, no financial support and yet the players still look to have respect for him. He is well liked, honest, and calm. He is the perfect manager right now.

  14. Anonymous

    Fair play JD.

    I’m part of the ‘have spleen, will vent’ camp as I’m sure you’re aware.

    Would love to know what anyone feels that Emenalo chap offers. Saw him once get a bit uppity with one decision, start to gesture something but realise no-one gives two shits what he thinks so he sat down sharpish.

    At least I have the cricket to nit completely ruin my festive sport. Please tell me I do…

  15. Anonymous

    I feel a bit sorry for Carlo to be honest. There’s not so little choice for him. I don’t disagree with any criticisms of the players set out above, but being honest, who else could he pick. Our squad is far to thin and aging now. If he goes, who else would we get?? Scholari had more (and younger) players to choose from. (I don’t have a problem with most of the players we let go in the summer but we were crying out for someone like Ballack tonight).

    The situation is Roman’s fault. Carlo and the current squad are paying for the largesse of his early days. Because of the incoming UEFA rules he’s not going to be able to chuck money at it now, even if he decides he wants to. Will we get out of this spiral, let’s hope so, but the longer this goes on the more and more worrying the long term looks. There hasn’t been the sort of sensible squad husbandry you see at Man U and even Arsenal.

    One thing that I found myself wondering during the match was how come our losses are still so high? Our wages don’t exceed our turnover, there’s been no real transfer investment (if you look at the net figures for the last couple of years they must nearly be even), there’s no Cobham to pay for anymore. Where is all going.

    If you look at the amount Spurs have spent and they haven’t had Champions League revenue (yet) how can the two be so different.

  16. Anonymous

    Ok report sent off to HQ.

    Needed some time to absorb that. The lack of passion was a disgrace. And only 5 players acknowledging our brilliant away support. The rest ran away to hide in the tunnel.


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