voice‐​over. Num­ber nine­ty‐​sev­en: a ra­dio.

voice on ra­dio. And now the bbc is proud to present a brand new ra­dio dra­ma se­ries: The Death of Mary, Queen of Scots. Part One: The Be­gin­ning.


man’s voice. Yoo ar­rr Mary, Queen of Scots?
woman’s voice. I am!
[sound of vi­o­lent blows be­ing dealt, things be­ing smashed, aw­ful crunch­ing nois­es, bones be­ing bro­ken, and oth­er bod­i­ly harm be­ing in­flict­ed. All of this ac­com­pa­nied by scream­ing from the woman.]

[mu­sic fades up and out]

voice. Stay tuned for part two of the Ra­dio Four Pro­duc­tion of “The Death of Mary, Queen of Scots”, com­ing up . . . al­most im­me­di­ate­ly.

[sound of saw cut­ting, and oth­er vi­o­lent sounds as be­fore, with the woman scream­ing. Sud­den­ly it is silent.]

man’s voice. I think she’s dead.
woman’s voice. No I’m not!
[sounds of phys­i­cal harm and scream­ing start again.]

[mu­sic fades up and out]
voice. that was episode two of “The Death of Mary, Queen of Scots”, spe­cial­ly adapt­ed for ra­dio by Gra­cie Fields and Joe Fra­zier. And now, Ra­dio Four will ex­plode.


[the ra­dio ex­plodes.]

[two old women are sit­ting on the couch lis­ten­ing to the ra­dio when it ex­plodes. One looks at the oth­er.]

1. Oh dear, the ra­dio ex­plod­ed.

2. Oh, well What’s on the Tel­ly vi­sion then?

1. It looks like a pen­guin.

2. I didn’t mean what was on the tv set, I meant what pro­gram.

1. Oh, well I’ll switch on.

1 & 2. [singing, mum­bled] hhmhmhmhmh . . . mh­mmhmh mhmhm hhmh­mmhm mh­mmhmhmh


1. It’s odd that pen­guin be­ing there, isn’t it, What’s it doin’ there?

2. Standin’.

1. I can see that!

2. If it laid an egg it would fall down the back of the Tel­ly Vi­sion Set [pause] I don’t know.

1. We’ll have to watch that, [pause] un­less it’s a male.

2.oh, I hadn’t thought of that.

1. It looks fair­ly butch.

2. Per­haps it from nextdoor.

1. [in­dig­nant] nextdoor?!, Pen­guins don’t come from nextdoor, they come from the an­tar­tic.

2.bur­ma! [sound of tea spoon be­ing dropped in­to tea cup]

1. Why’d you say Bur­ma?

2. I pan­icked, Per­haps it’s from the Zoo.

1. Which Zoo?

2. How should I know which Zoo?, I’m not Dr. Bloody Burnof­sky!!

1. How would Dr. Burnof­sky know which zoo it was from??

2. He knows every­thing!

1. Oh, I wouldn’t like that, it would take all the mys­tery out of life.

2. Any­way if it was from the zoo it would have “Prop­er­ty of the Zoo” stamped on it!

1. No it wouldn’t, They don’t stamp an­i­mals “Prop­er­ty of the Zoo”!!! You can’t stamp a huge li­on, “Prop­er­ty of the Zoo”!!

2. [res­olute] They stamp them when they’re small.

1. But what hap­pens when they molt?

2. Li­ons don’t molt!

1. No, but pen­guins do, There I’ve run rings around you log­i­cal­ly.

2.oh, in­ter­course the pen­guin!! [throws spoon at dish­es] [the tele­vi­sion warms up: a man is sit­ting be­hind a news desk]

man. Hel­lo It’s just af­ter 8:00 and time for the pen­guin on top of your tele­vi­sion set to ex­plode.

[the pen­guin ex­plodes]

1. ’Ow did ’e know that was go­ing to hap­pen?!

man. It was an in­spired guess. And now:

voice‐​over. Num­ber nine­ty‐​eight: the nape of the neck.