Hickory Dickory Dock is a pantomime for ten men and eight women (with some parts interchangeable) and extras. Unknown to herself, penniless Dame Foxtrot's old Grandfather Clock is a magical possession. Years ago the Fairy Queen locked into it the wicked Black Imp who had menaced Fairyland. If the Clock ever struck one the Imp would become free, so the Queen took away the key. Now, however, the wicked Wizard steals the key, frees the Imp, and seeks to destroy Fairyland by using him to help in procuring the magic Jewel of Miracles. All is set for a terrific battle between the "goodies" (Mary and David and the Sprite) and the "baddies" (the greedy Baron and his henchmen. Slap and Tickle). Mary is kidnapped, the Fairy Queen is threatened, but after riotous adventure, good triumphs and everyone lives happily ever after.
The huge Grandfather Clock that is the central pivot of this pantomine, is very simple in construction, and of necessity, quite light. Our original "Clock" was a kind of huge box-kite, with painted face and moveable hands. It had a large door at the front, and a black cloth back that could be moved aside to let the cast out unseen. Naturally we also had an opening in our backdrops to match, but there is no objection whatsoever to the Clock being placed at an angle to the wings of the stage, when characters either enter or exit through it. In Scene 5, however, it is better for the Imp to be in position when the scene opens. Small handles on the sides helped for lifting it. The sound of the Clock striking is, of course, done offstage.
In our original production, and several subsequent ones, the Fairies were played by men, which added a great deal to the fun, but women have also played them with success. Queen Snowdrift, is, as you will gather, played by a man, but to avoid giving away the surprise, was simply billed in the programmes "Snowdrift."
Music was chosen from popular songs of the day, and this must be left to the individual societies to select. The dialogue gives some obvious ones, but elementary surgery will allow almost anything to be used.
Keep the speed of the pantomime fairly rapid, and above all, enjoy yourselves.
Mary Foxtrot, her daughter
Willie Winkle, the Dame's beau
David, a gipsy boy
Baron Hickory, a real bad lot
Herbert Hickory, their son
Slap, Tickle, the Baron's henchmen
The Wizard of Bong, an evil magician
The Sprite, his deadly opponent
The Black Imp, a nasty piece of work
Fairy Queen Snowdrift
King Neptune, ruler of the Enchanted Lake
Rose, Iris, Dewdrop, fairies
Chorus of Townsfolk, Servants, Spirits of the Clock, Clockwork Soldiers, Golliwogs, Fairies, Water Spirits, Mermaids
Junior Chorus of Mice, Elves, Pixies, Spirits of the Clock, Water Spirits
For Ann and Roy Hudd and John Bedding.