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Monty Python Scripts

The First Underwater Production of 'Measure for Measure'

The cast:

John Cleese
Michael Palin
Terry Jones

The sketch:

Announcer: (his desk now surrounded by sea) The first heart transplant. But this is not the only open-air production here that has used the sea. Theatrical managers in this area have not been slow to appreciate the sea's tremendous dramatic value. And somewhere, out in this bay, is the first underwater production of 'Measure for Measure'.

(Expanse of sea water, nothing eke at air Dubbed over this is muffled, watery Shakespearian blank verse. We zoom in. Two Shakespearian actors leap up. They take a deep breath and go under again. The dialogue carries on muted. Pull out to see a rowing boat. Shakespearian characters are sitting there waiting for their cue. One of the two characters leaps up and shouts:)

2nd Shakespearian Actor: Servant ho!

(He then goes underwater again. The servant in the boat steps into the water and goes under. Cut to announcer, now quite deep into the sea.)

Announcer: The underwater version of 'Measure for Measure', and further out to sea 'Hello Dolly' is also doing good business.

(We see a buoy, on the top of which is a stiff piece of card which reads 'Hello Dolly, Tonight 7.3o ' There is a muffled watery snatch of Hello Dolly. Swing round to a patch of open sea.)

Announcer: and over there on the oyster beds Formula 2 car racing.

(underwater noises of Formula 2 cars. ANIMATION; a racing car moves over a naked lady, going past a sign saying 'Pit Stop'.)

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