Miss Broome, Head Mistress
Miss Widdecombe, Head of Upper Third
Miss Nuttall, Matron
Inspector Le Bateau, Chief of Police
Pascal and Gascon: Gendarmes
Madame Bonchance, Housekeeper at Chateau
Harry and Fingers: Robbers
Nicole du Boullay
Extras (Non-speaking roles, can be doubled):
On the Deck of a Ferry
SONG 1, St Tabitha’s Rule the Waves
(The girls drift off in groups leaving a small crowd of Upper Third girls downstage.)
MOLLY: Come on, girls, let’s stick together. This is going to be a long journey so let’s make the best of it.
TRIXIE: How long is the crossing, Mollie?
MOLLY: About five hours, Trixie. (The girls all groan)
TRIXIE: Five hours! My goodness, France must be a long way away.
MOLLIE: The ship will only do 20 knots, Trixie. It’s not an express train.
TRIXIE: What do you mean ‘knots’?
MOLLIE: Nautical miles, Trix. In the olden days, sailors counted knots on a rope to measure their speed. 20 knots is about 23 miles an hour.
MAISIE: Wow, that’s cool!
LILY: I feel sick!
ELLA: Lily! We only just left the harbour. It’s not even rough.
LILY: I don’t care. I want to go home.
ELLA: Why do we have to have a baby in our gang?
DAISY: Leave her alone, Ella. She’ll be fine once we get to France. (She puts her arm around Lily and guides her away from Ella.)
ELLA: Whatever you say, Daisy. As long as she stops whinging.
(CLEMENTINE walks past with her nose in the air.)
NICOLE: What’s wrong with Clementine?
ELLA: She’s a stuck up old boot, that’s what’s wrong with her. Just because she’s Miss Widdecombe’s favourite niece, she thinks she’s the bees knees.
NICOLE: But she’s only been in the school a few weeks.
ELLA: She seriously needs to be put in her place, Daisy, and I have an idea how to do it.
NICOLE: Just don’t do anything you might regret, Ella.
MAISIE: I’m really excited. I can’t wait to show those French girls who’s boss on the hockey field.
MAGGIE: Me too, but we have to play by the rules. We can’t give them a whacking. Last year we put too many of our opponents in hospital.
MAGGIE: Do you think the Old Broome will let us go to the village on our own this time.
MOLLIE: I doubt whether she trusts us that much.
And Maggie – have some respect; Miss Broome is our headmistress now.
MAISIE: (Revving an imaginary motorbike) Broome-Broome.
MOLLIE: Respect, MAISIE!
MAISIE: Sorry, Mollie.
NICOLE: Look out! Here come the teachers now.
(Enter Miss Broome, Matron [Miss Nuttall] and Miss Widdecombe)
MISS BROOME: Good morning, Upper Third.
GIRLS: Good morning, Miss Broome. (Maisie revs an imaginary bike behind Mollie’s back and is given a slap by Ella)
MISS B: (Checks her watch) In precisely 6 hours, we shall arrive at our chateau in La Roche.
TRIXIE: (Whispers) What’s a chateau.
NICOLE: A country house, Trixie.
MISS B: Upon arrival, you will go directly to your dormitories to unpack. Is that clear?
GIRLS: Yes, Miss Broome. MISS B: Good, now Miss Nuttall will allocate you to a dormitory.
(This announcement is greeted with a burst of excited noise.)
MATRON: The girls in dormitory A will form a group on my right, and dormitory B on my left. Dormitory B: Simone, Gertrude, Matilda, Juliet, Charlie, Delia, Emma and Pansy. Dormitory A: Trixie, Mollie, Ella, Daisy, Maisie, Lily, Nicole, Maggie and Clementine.
(Clementine’s name is greeted with murmurs of dismay from the girls and sneers from Clementine.)
Lights out will be at 9.30 and Miss Widdecombe and I will expect you to be silent thereafter. Now do I make myself understood?
GIRLS: Yes, Miss Nuttall.
MISS B: The chateau is run by a Madame Bonchance. You are to be courteous and considerate to her at all times.
MATRON: Now, you are expected to behave yourself on the crossing and do not spend all your pocket money. That is all.
(The teachers sweep off, noses in the air. The girls disperse and exit, leaving a small group downstage.)
ELLA: Why are we being punished?
DAISY: What do you mean, Ella?
ELLA: Clementine Widdecombe! Why does she have to be in our dorm.?
DAISY: Perhaps Miss Widdecombe wants us to look after her. (Ella snorts in derision.)
MAISIE: I think it’s so she can spy on us and report back to Widdecombe.
MAGGIE: That’s a disaster. We can’t possibly behave ourselves for a whole week.
LILY: I don’t feel well!
DAISY: Just keep still and watch the horizon. That should do the trick.
(Lily goes to the rail and stares into the distance. Enter Harry and Fingers, looking shifty.)
MOLLIE: Hey, look at those two. They look very suspicious.
MAISIE: Let’s spy on them.
MOLLIE: Good idea. Girls, look casual and find somewhere to hide.
(Fingers and Harry are deeply engrossed in conversation and looking at a map, and don’t notice the girls as they gradually slip away and hide, some using their hats [and possibly some hockey sticks in lattice shape] to merge into parts of the boat. Lily is still to one side, fixed on the horizon. Nicole, Maisie and Trixie are downstage on one side in full view of FOH.)
HARRY: The Boss says it’s possible, Fingers, so it’s worth a try.
FINGERS: But the security is top notch. We can never get past it.
HARRY: It’s just laser beams and pressure pads. Nothing we haven’t dealt with before.
(He points out features on the map and they mime dialogue.)
TRIXIE: What’s a laser beam?
NICOLE: It’s just a concentrated beam of light, used in an alarm system.
MAISIE: Do you think they’re planning a robbery, Nicole.
NICOLE: We might find out, if you shut up.
HARRY: The diamond is kept in a secure gallery of its own…
MAISIE: Diamond, wow! FINGERS: Why does it need its own gallery?
HARRY: This is not your normal ‘Hatton Garden’ diamond, Fingers. This is the Star of Bengal. (Pointing to a picture torn out of a book) Look, it’s one of the largest diamonds in the world.
(The girls gasp)
FINGERS: Then it’s too big for us. I don’t want a life sentence.
HARRY: You only get sentenced if you’re caught, and we won’t get caught. Now, shut up and listen. The museum is situated in the town of La Roche and the Boss has fixed the date for Wednesday 14th July. There’s a big football match on that night so people will be indoors watching on TV.
FINGERS: But I want to watch the football.
HARRY: If we can pull this off, you can watch football for the rest of your life.
TRIXIE: I think I’ve heard of La Roche…
NICOLE: It’s where our chateau is, Trix.
HARRY: We can’t pull out now. The Boss would never allow it. We’d be hunted down. Now you need to remember the password: it’s BEANO.
FINGERS: Right, Harry.
MAISIE: That’s a pathetic password. Even a Lower Third could pick a better one.
(Lily suddenly groans and makes heaving noises)
FINGERS: Come on Harry, there’s someone there. We don’t want our plans overheard.
(They exit hurriedly, dropping the map in their haste. The girls come out of hiding. Nicole picks the map up [unseen by the others] and exits hurriedly.)
MOLLIE: Too late! Your plans are well and truly in the public domain now.
ELLA: Molly, this is so exciting. A real-life heist taking place right where we are staying.
MOLLIE: Not if I can help it.
ELLA: What do you mean? What can we do about it?
MAGGIE: We could go to the police.
ELLA: We’re in the middle of the English Channel, Maggie. Besides, they’d never believe a bunch of school-girls. They’d say we made it up.
MAGGIE: Tell the captain?
MOLLIE: He’s too busy driving the ship.
MAGGIE: Miss Broome?
MOLLIE: No way, we’d be grounded and have no tuck for a week.
ELLA: Leave this with me. I’ll think of a plan.
(Enter Clementine. Ella walks away in disgust.)
CLEMENTINE: A plan? And what would you need a plan for?
MAISIE: None of your business, Clementine.
DAISY: Steady, Maisie. We should be more welcoming to Clementine. She is a new girl, after all.
MAISIE: A new girl ‘planted’ in our dorm to spy on us.
CLEM: And who would want to spy on you?
MAISIE: Your aunt, Miss Widdecombe, of course.
CLEM: She already knows all about you and your little club.
DAISY: What club?
CLEM: The Sisterhood of Liberated Juvenile Females, meetings in the Spinney after dark, war-paint and ties on heads. Shall I go on?
MAISIE: (Dejected) She seems to know everything about us!
(Mollie and Ella grab Clementine and prepare to escort her away from trouble.)
MOLLIE: Now, you can naff off back to your auntie. We don’t want your type in our dorm.
CLEM: You’ll regret this, Mollie Aherne, I’m warning you…
(Exit Clementine, glaring at Maisie.)
MAISIE: (Positioning herself behind Mollie.) We’re not afraid of you, Clementine.
(Enter Nicole from the same side as Clementine’s exit. Clementine barges her as they pass. Nicole discretely drops the map where she found it. She puts the photocopy down her pinafore.)
NICOLE: Well, this should be a fun week in our dormitory.
DAISY: We could make more of an effort to get on with her.
MAISIE: Waste of time; she’s evil, through and through.
ELLA: Come on team! She’s not important; let’s forget her and concentrate on our new careers.
NICOLE: New careers?
ELLA: Yes, as detectives, of course. We are now members of the Number One St Tabitha’s Detective Agency.
SONG 2, The Number One Saint Tabitha’s Detective Agency
(Exit girls. Enter Fingers, who looks around for the map, grins when he finds it, pockets it and exits.)
End of Scene
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St Tabitha's to the Rescue Score Samples
Portsmouth High Prep School, Southsea, Hampshire, England
Axmouth Children’s Theatre, Axmouth, Devon, England