No rent - by James Archer

 

 

(This sketch is difficult to perform.  Ideally it should go at a tremendous pace and be allowed to build up its rhythm.  The difficulty lies in co-ordinating the rhythm between the two narrators (N1 and N2) and the four chorus players (C1, C2, C3, and C4; C means all).  The stylised form should be exaggerated, and there should be sudden changes in volume and mood.  The chorus, who take the part of the tenants, should think through actions, but these must be incorporated into the rhythm and not allowed to destroy it. Their venom is directed at the audience, and there is no-one acting the part of the landlord.

 

At the end, the rhythm is brought to a halt at “His son” by the bewilderment of the chorus, who should be given time to gawp at the narrators.  “His heir” is said with growing greed, and the rhythm resumes until another abrupt pause at “And killed them”.) 

Printable and editable Word version

N1    Jesus said

N2    There was a man

N1    Who built

N2    A block

N1    Of flats

C1    Luxury flats

C2    Expensive flats

C3    Beautiful flats

C4    Fashionable flats

N2    And let

N1    Them out

N2    To tenants

C1    Well-bred tenants

C2    Respectable tents

C3    People like you

C4    People like me

N1    And then

N2    He went

N1    Abroad

N2    To look

N1    At his

N2    Investments

 

N1    The tenants

N2    Saw

N1    Their chance

C1    "Old Moneybags is gone"

N2    They said

C2    "He doesn't need out rent"

N1    They said

C3    "His pocket's lined with silk"

N2    They said

C4    "Wecan't afford the rent"

N2    They said

C1     Only two cars

C2     And a holiday home

C3     Fifty grand

C4     And a private jet

C       "Life's not fair"

N2     They said

C       "We can't afford the rent"

N1     Rent day came

C       "No rent"

N2     The estate agent wrote

C       "No rent"

N1     And threatened

C       "No rent"

N2     And threatened

C       "No rent"

N1     And at last

C       "No rent"

N2     Came round

C       "No rent"

N1     To collect

C       "No rent"

 

N2     So they seized him

N1     Beat him

N2     Struck him

N1     Spat on him

N2     Jeered him

N1     Kicked him

N2     And sent him

N1     Away with

C       No rent

N2     So the rich man sent

N1     Another estate agent

N2     To collect

C       No rent

N1     His rent

C       No rent

N2     To collect

C       No rent

N1     His rent

C       No rent

N2     So they seized him

N1     Beat him

N2     Struck him

N1     Spat on him

N2     Jeered him

N1     Kicked him

N2     Killed him

N1     And paid

C       No rent

 

N2     So the rich man sent

N1     Another estate agent

N2     To collect

C       No rent

N1     His rent

C       No rent

N2     But alas he went

N1     The way of the other agent

N2     So the rich man sent

N1     His son

C       His son?

N2     They will respect my son

N1     He said

C1     His heir

C        No rent

 

N2     So they seized him

N1     Beat him

N2     Struck him

N1     Spat him

N2      Jeered him

N1     Kicked him

N2     Killed him

N1     And paid

C        No rent

 

N2      So the rich man came

C        No rent

N1      And killed them

N2      And found

N1      New

N2      Tenants