Roper’s opening night.
Happy fluff with Roper, Alternative fact Tom and a few friends.
Roper stared at Pine and couldn’t for the life of him think why Conny had let him back in.
“He’s glaring at me again” Tom yelled at Conny
“Are you surprised, you nicked his bed space, he was sleeping by me till your return” Tom felt guilty all over again and Roper growled at him
“Yes alright you furry demon, I’m well aware I’ve fucked up”
The black cat looked somehow pleased at this confession, gave Tom a look of disgust, a disdainful flick of his tail end and walked out the cat flap.
“With Roper gone it was time for Pine to woo the lady and try his luck”
As Tom said this he turned round to find Conny behind him
“Are you still doing a narrative on that poor innocent cat?” She asked wrapping her arms round his waist.
“He hates me, I look at him sometimes and the see evil intent in those big golden eyes. He’s just waiting for his chance to trip me on the stairs” Tom said as he hugged Conny back.
“Well he remembers all the night I was……..Upset and is plotting his revenge”
“So you admit he wants to kill me then?” the blue eyes sparkling at her
“Oh yes, you’re one cats hair away from death, so you’d better behave. This time Roper will win” she giggled
“On a serious note, he is very jealous of you Tom, even more so since your return, so be nice to him. He had me all to himself and now he’s lost his bed and half his cuddles”
“Oh I’ll try” and with a look that said he felt exactly the opposite, Tom made to leave.
“See you at the theater later?” he asked. Conny had been helping in the evenings with Tom’s latest production. Every time she left to go, Roper had sulked like he knew she was off to cavort with that man.
“Yes I will see you later, may even bring cake and cookies for the cast”
“You know how to get around a guy” he laughed as he picked up his bag, kissed her on the forehead and left.
Conny spent a very messy, happy afternoon cooking for the cast. She had never been a tidy cook and by the end of the day even Roper, who had come back now “Thingy” had gone, was covered in flour. He turned and left her to go clean himself up, making sure he did so on Tom’s favourite chair, leaving as much flour behind as he could.
Conny’s bag stood by the door full of cakes, cookies and books, some she’d promise to lend and two she was giving back to Mark Gatiss. Roper had a good sniff round and rubbed as much of his scent on it as he could, so she wouldn’t forget him.
The cleaning of the kitchen took a lot longer than she had expected, so it was a very quick shower before Conny had to rush out the door, throwing cat food in Ropers bowl and praying he wasn’t to pissed off at her for not giving him a goodbye tummy rub.
Outside she found Tom’s driver Sam, waiting, smiling as ever.
“Tom sent me. My lady your chariot awaits” He told her bowing really low and opening the car door.
“You’re as big an idiot as he is, but thanks this bag is heavy”
Sam took it off her, let her in the car and stowed the booty in the boot.
“Where to my lady”
“Oh take me to my knight in tarnished armour”
When she got to the theater, the front of house had that quiet calm that happens before all hell breaks Loose, the auditorium was empty and silent, the stage had its curtains open, the set with the props all in place, ready for the off.
The dressing rooms however were buzzing with activity as actors were transformed from lowly plebs, to hero’s, villains, kings and servants and all the other members of this somewhat mad production.
Mark Gatiss had written this play himself with Tom, Benedict and David T. in mind. He himself played the old confused priest in this mad old fashioned farce, while the three stars played eager knights jousting for the girl, only to have her ……Well that would ruin the end and we can’t have that.
Safe to say it had a lot of silly nonsense with swords, Armour, hiding behind bits of set, a priest, a medieval torturer, and men trying to impress a girl etc…
The three boys played their parts to perfection, and the audience left to go home each night with sides aching from all the laughing. The play had become a huge hit, with both the critics and general public loving it.
Conny would come in every night and help where she could. If that meant tea making, clearing up, or just fetching and carrying, she would do it. She really didn’t care what she did, she just love how back stage felt before and during the performance.
How the tension would build till the curtain came up. How each actor had their way of preparing before they went on. Some having an almost religious ritual they had to go through, some listened to a particular bit of music, some you had to leave totally alone and others wanted to talk through their part yet again.
She put down her bag in the tiny kitchen, opened it, and was about to take out the cookies and cakes, and other goodies when a head popped out, very quickly followed by the body and tail of Roper. Who after taking one look at the odd surroundings with its even odder smells, shot out the door of the theater kitchen.
Now she had two options. One, tell everyone a cat, a black cat to boot, was running around the theater. Or two, try and find the furry fiend before the little sod caused utter chaos.
She decided on the second but this could only happen if nobody yelled for her help, which of course that night they all did.
Tom had got part of his armour stuck and needed to be helped out and then back in it the right way, which let’s face it, at any other time would have been really good fun as it was the bottom half.
A major prop had been lost, so it was all hands on deck to find it. Conny used the hunt time to also look for Roper but he’d had gone to ground and refused to be found. She discovered the missing prop in the fridge when making tea for a fraught cast.
A male member of cast was convince the loos were haunted, as when he was having a pee, he’d heard strange sounds coming from the old cupboard in the corner. Conny had a clue what that was but on further inspection, she only found an empty cupboard, apart from a decapitated mouse.
She made the decision to tell Tom the news and went off to find him,. She didn’t get further than his dressing room door as he flew passed her with a quick peck on the cheek and said
“And we are off again”
Now all she could do now was pray she’d find him after the performance.
The play went like a dream, Conny could hear Tom and the others frolicking on stage and the audience roaring with laughter.
It carried on that way to the final act where our three knacked knights, having all completed their tasks, rushed into the throne room, on hobby horses, to each try and claim the hand of the maiden fair. Only to find it empty and all hope of romantic entanglements removed as she had ……Well that would ruin it.
There they stood, our three gallant men, ardour cooling in the cold light of day but ready to have one final battle with each other to the bitter end. Swords in hands, they faced each other, when a low menacing sound could be heard loud and clear all across the stage and out into the audience.
Tom, Benedict and David all looked briefly confused then resumed the fight, prowling round the stage, about to do terrible acts of violence on the other two, an armpit killing was due anytime.
The most awful sound of suffering came from the wings, as a scream was heard and two cast members, the Princes and her love interest the milk maid ( sod end ruined) rushed on stage with no cue to do so, quickly followed by the castle torturer looking like he’d just seen death itself.
A sound of scuffling, the growl of a cat, the screech of a dying animal and silence. The audience were gripped as the plot thickened. Our three heroes looked at each other and then back at the wings, our uninvited cast members on stage were now holding on to each other. Tom stared at the burly torturer who decidedly pale, whispered to Tom “Rat…Large" the guy looked about to faint.
At this point on walked a familiar furry lump…He crossed the stage as cocky as you like, passing the surprised looking knights, carrying…Well more like dragging a large dead grey rat in his mouth. Roper looked out at the audience bobbed his head as if to bow and exited stage left, still dragging his spoils of war.
The audience cheered and Ben commented loudly he’d never been upstaged by a cat.
David looked at the happy couple and in his broad Scottish accent said
“Well ya can’t argue with that”
Tom gave up put his arms around his fellow knights saying,
“It seem our plans have been thwarted. We should retire to the tavern men where wenches aplenty wait with ale?” The frustrated suitors headed off stage, along with the happy couple and the torturer still looking nervously around in case ratty had brought mates.
After the applause and bows had stopped, there was just the question to be answered. why was the play change by a unscripted cat?
Tom was strangely quiet as to answers and Conny looked like she’d robbed a bank. But Mark was killing himself laughing and saying he couldn’t have written it better himself.
Conny fessed up to her stow away pal, who was bought out of hiding by David opening a tin of tuna he’d had in the fridge. He said it was for a sandwich but he was known for putting stuff in there by mistake.
On hearing the can-opener Roper strutted into the room rat free and received his reward. Everyone praise the little sod for saving the fair maiden from the nasty rodent that had attacked her, her maid and the big strong torturer in the wings that night. He single handedly had saved the day. He gave Tom a look as if to say
“Who’s the star now Buddy boy?”
Conny fed a very pooky Tom cake, and he began to see the funny side as the cast happily finished all the goodies while giving heaps of attention to Roper. Who as it turnout was quite the spotlight whore!
Mark took loads of photos of cast and cat, and made sure that the opportunity to get some media attention for the play didn’t go a miss. Well it’s not even day a cat graces a London stage and not only upstages the cast, saves the maiden from a large uninvited rat and changes the plot in a good way.
Roper, when all the tuna was gone, and his audience were leaving to head home, got back into the bag to go home himself with no bother at all helped by David, who he seemed to adore.
“Pine was yet again put in his place by Roper as to who was boss” Tom said under his breath
“Oh come on my superhero, just because he prefers a Time lord to a demi god, don’t get jealous” Conny said as she gave Tom a hug.
She went and picked up her coat from the table only to screamed loudly as a large dead, bloody rat fell from its folds onto her foot.
“How lovely, Roper gave you his Kill"
“That cats an arsehole” she yelled shaking her foot vigorously, as Tom graciously removed the dead monster, grinning from ear to ear as it was now his turn to save the maid. And he knew just what to ask for as a reward on getting home!
(Pictures not mine I just played)
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