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Slap And Tickle At The Pig And Whistle

    by John Bartlett



Comedy Play Script: 'Slap And Tickle At The Pig And Whistle' by John BartlettA story concerning the misappropriation of private love letters belonging to Isabella and Lelio and the debauched selfish interest of Pulcinella, the publican of 'The Pig And Whistle'. The crazy antics of Arlecchino, Colombina's quick thinking paramour and the thwarted, elicit love affair between Isabella and Lelio, all add up to a rollicking, uproarious comedy that crashes like a comic avalanche to it's ultimate conclusion.

In this play, the endeavour has been to capture the spirit of the Commedia del'Arte wherever possible. The script for 'Slap and Tickle' (and also that for 'Flumes and Fumes') was initially improvised, the ideas generated were then gradually honed, coerced, nurtured and thrust kicking and screaming into their finished state. The story line is very firmly rooted in the tradition of knockabout, ribald, slapstick humour, and contains numerous sexual references. It is probably not suitable for actors or audiences below the age of 15.

The staging area is very loosely based upon a 'Booth Theatre' concept, which would have been very familiar to the Commedia players of old.

From the beginning, it was never an intention to wear masks as in the original Commedia del'Arte, but rather use the basic Commedia style as a concept to link modern comedy with the past. Hopefully this has been successful and therefore elements of 'Black Adder', 'Fawlty Towers', 'Bottom' and 'Friends' can be plainly discerned, jostling beside the stock characters that make up the fascinating world of Commedia.


60 mins approx


(5m, 3f)

  • Colombina - Pulcinella's daughter, in love with Arlecchino
  • Arlecchino - Pantalone's servant (m)
  • Pulcinella - publican of 'The Pig And Whistle' (m)
  • Pierrot - Isabella's servant (m)
  • Isabella - a countess, in love with Lelio
  • Franceschina - Lelio's servant (f)
  • Pantalone - wealthy businessman
  • Dr Boil - Isabella's private doctor


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