The T-Room
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T-Bag Retro Sketch

What T-Bag is up to now...


Before we begin, Lee Pressman has asked me to make it perfectly clear that this sketch was NEVER intended for general release. It was written by Lee, who acts as a tutor at Bournemouth University, as a project for his students in film-making which counted towards their qualifications. Grant Cathro was not involved for this reason.

The students managed (probably with the help of Lee), to interest both Georgina Hale and John Hasler in reprising their roles, and, after a lot of convincing, managed to persuade me to lend them the Pearl Dress for Georgina to wear.

The sketch managed to get as far as pre-production, but unfortunately fell flat on its face before filming on a technicality. Lee has kindly allowed me to publish the script, however.

Keen fans amongst you may notice that the dialogue is more Tallulah than Tabatha (e.g. "You stupid boy" instead of "You idiot"). I raised this with Lee, and he agreed, although it was not intentional - after all, it's been a while. Still, it's great to know that Tabatha is going strong!

T.Bag – The Retro Show

SCENE 1. EXT. TOMMY’S TEA SHOPPE.

CLOSE UP OF HANDWRITTEN SIGN IN WINDOW. IT READS: ‘HELP REQUIRED. FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE. GOOD PAY. MUST LIKE TEA’
A GRUBBY HAND REACHES OUT AND TOUCHES THE SIGN.

CUT TO:


SCENE 2. INT. TOMMY’S TEA SHOPPE

A QUAINT OLD-FASHIONED TEA SHOP. THE COUNTER DISPLAYS A SELECTION OF MOUTH WATERING HOMEMADE CAKES, BUNS AND SCONES. LOTS OF FANCY TEAPOTS ADORN SHELVES AROUND THE ROOM. SEVERAL SMALL TABLES CONTAIN THE REMAINDERS OF DELICIOUS CREAM TEAS.

THE LAST FEW CUSTOMERS ARE BEING SHOWN TO THE DOOR BY OUR HOST – TOMMY, FOR THIS IS ‘TOMMY’S TEA SHOP’. AND TOMMY IS NONE OTHER THAN OUR OLD FRIEND, T.SHIRT.

T.SHIRT:
Thanks for coming. Call again. Don’t be a stranger. Bye now.

AS THE LAST CUSTOMER EXITS T.SHIRT SMILES A SATISFIED SMILE AND FLIPS THE OPEN SIGN ON THE DOOR TO CLOSED. BOLTS THE DOOR. HE MOVES ACROSS TO GRAB A TRAY, AND BEGINS CLEARING THE TABLES.

SUDDENLY THERE IS A LOUD RAPPING ON THE DOOR.

T.SHIRT: (CALLS ACROSS)
We’re closed. Open again tomorrow at ten.

THE RAPPING CONTINUES.

T.SHIRT:
I said we’re shut!

BUT STILL THE KNOCKING CONTINUES. T.SHIRT CROSSES TO THE DOOR.


T.SHIRT:
Ohhh. Hang on…

T.SHIRT UNLOCKS THE DOOR. OPENS IT TO REVEAL A DISHEVELLED OLD BAG LADY, A VERITABLE COMPOST HEAP ON LEGS. T.SHIRT IS TAKEN ABACK AT THE APPARITION.

T.SHIRT:
Oh. Uh…I’m afraid we’re closed.

THE OLD WOMAN JUST GRINS A TOOTHLESS, GORMLESS SMILE.
THINKING SHE MAY BE DEAF, T.SHIRT RAISES HIS VOICE.

T.SHIRT: (BELLOWING)
I said I’m afraid we’re…

T.BAG:
Closed. Yes. I heard you the first time. I’m not deaf.

WITHOUT ANOTHER WORD SHE BARGES PAST HIM INTO THE CAFÉ.

T.SHIRT:
Hoi! Excuse me. You can’t just…wait!

THE OLD WOMAN LOOKS AROUND, TAKING IN THE DÉCOR AND FURNISHINGS.

T.BAG:
Very tasteful. Very salubrious. You’ve done well for yourself.

T.SHIRT:
Look. I don’t mean to be rude, but…

T.BAG:
Tommy’s Tea Shoppe. How droll.

T.SHIRT CROSSES TO THE COUNTER. STARTS TO COLLECT UP SOME LEFTOVER CAKES.

T.SHIRT:
I’ll rustle you up some cakes and sandwiches. To take away. No charge.

T.BAG:
I haven’t come here for your leftover cake crumbs and curled up cucumber sandwiches. You stupid boy.

AT THOSE LAST THREE WORDS, T.SHIRT’S BLOOD RUNS COLD. SOMEWHERE DEEP DOWN IN HIS SOUL ALARM BELLS ARE RINGING.

T.SHIRT: (WARILY)
Uh…do I know you from somewhere?

T.BAG:
Memory like a clapped out colander.

T.SHIRT STRAINS TO EXAMINE HER FEATURES AS THE OLD WOMAN MOVES ABOUT THE ROOM, PICKING UP TEAPOTS AND EXAMINING VARIOUS KNICK-KNACKS.

T.SHIRT:
I just have some inkling that we’ve met before.

T.BAG:
An inkling? I always thought an ‘inkling’ was a baby octopus.

T.SHIRT:
No. Straight up. You didn’t used to belong to my Tuesday Night Badminton Club, did you?

T.BAG:
The only reason I’d pick up a badminton racket would be to whack you about the neck with it! For pity’s sake! What has happened to you, boy?

T.SHIRT:
Look. I’m not a boy, and I don’t like your attitude. I think you’d better leave now.

T.BAG SITS DOWN DEFIANTLY AT ONE OF THE TABLES.

T.SHIRT:
I don’t want to have to get heavy with you…

T.BAG:
Oh sit down and wise up. (BEAT) I see you’re looking for help. What a delicious little coincidence. I’m looking for help, myself.

T.SHIRT:
Okay. Time to go. Enough is enough.

T.SHIRT WALKS ACROSS TO OPEN THE DOOR. HE HAS HIS BACK TO T.BAG AS HE UNBOLTS AND UNLOCKS.


T.BAG: (OOV)
T.Shirt…

AT THE SOUND OF THAT OH-SO-LONG-AGO, YET FAMILIAR NAME, T.SHIRT STOPS DEAD IN HIS TRACKS.

T.SHIRT: (WITHOUT TURNING)
What did you call me?

T.BAG: (OOV)
Oh. So you remember the name, your name, then, T.Shirt. Perhaps you might also remember mine.

T.SHIRT SPINS ROUND TO FIND A TRANSFORMED T.BAG STANDING BEFORE HIM IN ALL HER FORMER GLORY – THE FAMOUS RED COSTUME AND ALL.

T.SHIRT: (HORRIFIED)
T.Bag?!!

T.BAG:
Give the boy a coconut macaroon.

T.SHIRT:
W…w…what are you doing here?

T.BAG:
Searching for you, you little gumboil. I’ve travelled halfway round the world. Questioned every Tom Scrimp, Dick Gherkin and Scrap Harry until I found you. And here you are.

T.SHIRT:
What do you want from me?

T.BAG:
Oh I think you know the answer to that.

SHOCKED AND STUNNED, T.SHIRT SLUMPS DOWN ONTO A CHAIR, HIS HEAD IN HIS HANDS.

T.SHIRT: (WEAKLY)
No. No. This can’t be happening.

T.BAG:
Two old friends reunited. What could be sweeter?

T.SHIRT:
Friends? Ha! That’s rich.

T.BAG SITS HERSELF DOWN ACROSS THE TABLE FROM T.SHIRT.

T.BAG:
Remember all the fun times we had together? I showed you the world. Took you to fabulous places.

T.SHIRT:
Yeah. And made me work like a dog.

T.BAG:
You do exaggerate.

T.SHIRT:
For the first three years you made me sleep in a basket!

T.BAG:
It was a very nice basket!

T.SHIRT:
You robbed me of my childhood. Half my life wasted, rushing about looking for bells and crystals and stupid spoons just to satisfy your crazed lust for power. Call that an education?

T.BAG:
Oh come back to me, Shirty. You and me belong together.

T.SHIRT:
I know where you belong. And it’s not with me. It’s with a couple of big strong men in white uniforms, in a straight jacket.

T.BAG:
Don’t try to fight it. You know it’s the truth. We need each other.

T.SHIRT:
Listen to yourself. Can’t you get it through that bulbous lump you call a head? It’s over. You tried to take over the world. You fell flat on your face. Just leave it, will you? And leave me. I’m happy how I am.

T.BAG:
Oh, Thomas...Tommy…T… Look me in the eye and tell me you didn’t have fun.

T.SHIRT:
Sure I had fun. I laughed like a drain the day you got destroyed.

T.BAG: (DANGEROUSLY)
Once a tea caddy, always a tea caddy!

WITH A FLOURISH T.BAG PULLS OUT A SINGLE T.LEAF WHICH SHE HOLDS UP IN FRONT OF T.SHIRT’S FACE. HE IS MESMERISED BY IT.

T.SHIRT: (SHOCKED)
Agh! But…where? How?

T.BAG: (ENTHUSED WITH EXCITEMENT)
The seeds from which we’ll grow a new world order! Rise to even greater heights! Recapture the glory of the once mighty T.Set! Today Bournemouth, tomorrow the world!

T.SHIRT:
No!

T.BAG:
So what’s it to be? A life spent serving toasted teacakes to deaf old biddies, or action, adventure, and dressing up in silly costumes?

T.SHIRT:
(DEFIANT) I told you! I’m happy here! (LONG BEAT) Although I do miss the dressing up.

T.BAG:
Ah, yes, you always looked good in a doublet and hose.

T.SHIRT JUMPS TO HIS FEET.

T.SHIRT:
(SNAPPING OUT OF HIS REVERIE) No! No! What am I thinking?

T.BAG:
Don’t fight it! The power of the tea is in your blood.

T.BAG STANDS, DANGLING THE T.LEAF SEDUCTIVELY IN FRONT OF HIS FACE. T.SHIRT STARTS TO FALL UNDER ITS POWER.

T.BAG:
I can feel you weakening.


T.SHIRT: (STRUGGLING TO RESIST)
I can’t…I mustn’t…

T.BAG:
Our next quest will be our finest ever!

T.SHIRT:
No! Never!

T.BAG:
There’s no point resisting. You were mine the moment I walked through that door!

A LONG PAUSE. T.SHIRT REALISES HE IS DEFEATED.

T.SHIRT: (GLUMLY)
When do we start?

T.BAG: (TRIUMPHANT)
Welcome home, my treasured lumplet.

SHE CLASPS T.SHIRT TO HER BOSOM.

T.SHIRT:
Oof!

THEN RELEASES HIM ROUGHLY.

T.BAG:
Time to go, Shirty. Things to do. Places to be. Innocent young girls to torment.

T.BAG MOVES ACROSS TO THE DOOR.

T.BAG:
The T.Set is back! And back with a vengeance!

FIRED WITH ENTHUSIASM T.BAG FLOUNCES OUT. T.SHIRT STANDS FOR A MOMENT, LOOKING ROUND NOSTALGICALLY AT HIS TEA SHOP. HE LOVINGLY STROKES ONE OF THE ORNAMENTAL TEAPOTS. HE SIGHS AND MOVES ACROSS TO THE DOOR.

T.SHIRT:
Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in…

HE EXITS. END ON CLOSE UP OF THE CLOSED SIGN ON THE DOOR.
FADE TO BLACK. THE END.

 © Lee Pressman 2004