After the opening song (‘Welcome’), the wizard Merlin tells the backstory to our pantomime. When old King Uther died, a treacherous knight, Mordred, usurped the throne at Camelot! For his safety, the infant Prince Arthur, rightful heir to the throne, was hidden with a peasant family and brought-up unaware of his royal heritage. Fifteen years later, the time has now come for him to fulfil his destiny, return to Camelot and become king. However, Arthur’s older sister, Morgana, has other plans! With a book of spells stolen from Merlin, she has become a powerful witch and vows to become Mordred’s queen, then do away with him and take the throne for herself!
By the road to Camelot sits a large stone in which a sword is stuck. A poster states that the person who can pull the sword out shall be the rightful royal ruler! After some comical tugs by various peasants, the sword remains unmoved. Enter Arthur, his bestie, Lancelot, and his gloriously-gaudy foster-mum, our dame! More comical tugging ensues, with Arthur releasing the sword, being declared king (song – ‘A Funny Thing Happened’) and setting off to Camelot to claim the throne!
Gathered round a cauldron, Morgana and her cackling coven of evil witches have heard tell of Arthur’s pulling power. After some squabbling about what constitutes being evil, they cast a spell (song – ‘Dark Magic’) that will scupper his return to Camelot. Merlin enters and overhears Morgana’s wicked intentions, then rushes off to assist Arthur.
Stopping at the Good Knight Inn for lunch, Arthur, Mum and Lancelot meet Galahad, Gawain and Percival, banished knights awaiting the return of the true king, ready to help him defeat the usurper Mordred. On learning that Arthur is this true king, they declare their allegiance to him, as does Gobby, a waitress at the inn, who longs for an exciting life away from the frustratingly-complicated list of daily specials she has to read to unappreciative diners! (song – ‘Arthur’s Army’)
In the Gloomy Woods, five trees moan that their role in this pantomime isn’t what they’d hoped for when they auditioned! Never mind – they throw themselves into their parts and, under Morgana’s spell, attempt to trap Arthur when he enters the woods. Following a bit of ‘IT’S BEHIND YOU!’ our hero and entourage manage to evade capture and, now joined by Merlin, continue on to Camelot.
Her first spell foiled, Morgana has a surprise for the gang when they reach the Gurgling River. She conjures up a water monster with a taste for ‘yooman beans’ (song – ‘Monster Munchies’), but with some magic from Merlin, the good guys continue on their journey, shaken but unscathed. During the scene change, our dame has a cheeky chat with the audience, recounting her sixteen previous marriages – four better, four worse, four richer and four poorer!
In a meadow outside Camelot, we meet Guinevere. When her ladies-in-waiting say they’ve heard tell that the rightful king, Arthur, is on his way to claim the throne, Guinevere hopes he’ll be her knight in shining armour and save her from the evil Mordred, who has been relentlessly pestering her to marry him! (song – ‘Rescue Me’) At this point, Morgana arrives. With her own plans to marry Mordred, she conjures a grotesque nose onto Guinevere’s face and kidnaps her. The path is now clear for Morgana to become queen!
In an epic showdown, Arthur arrives at Camelot just as Morgana tricks her way back into Mordred’s affections, declaring herself queen! (song – ‘Morgana The Queen’) In a thrilling magical battle between her and Merlin, wrongs are righted and Camelot is saved! The villains are forgiven for their past deeds and a bright future beckons. As they take delivery of a certain circular piece of furniture, around which to discuss things in a grown-up way, it seems that all will truly live happily ever after. Hurray! (song – ‘A Funny Thing Happened – reprise’)