Bucket on a pole
The following is a routine I used to do for years. I thought you might like it. It makes me laugh anyway! I use to play the MC, rather formal and proper and haughty, high status, and the window cleaner (WC) was played by my old friend Norman Haddock (yes really) as a low status, clown type. If anyone would like to play this lovely routine with me sometime over the summer, let me know and I will bring the important prop, which is a bucket on a platform on a long pole. A really great circus prop, used by many clowns in many circuses for many years.
Window cleaner comes on with bucket on a pole (BP) and a bucket of water. He is looking up in the air.
WC Any windows to clean? Windows, windows!
MC What are you doing here? You’re interrupting the show!
WC Windows ... any windows to clean?
MC There are no windows to clean here. This is a show.
WC There are always windows.
MC Well do you mind going away as I have a show to do
WC (going off) Windows… Any windows to clean?…
MC Excuse me but before you go, do you mind telling me. I’m curious. Why have you got two buckets?
WC High bucket high windows, low bucket low windows
MC I see. But how do get the water from the low bucket into the high bucket?
WC Ho do I? … (various attempts to get the water in, unsuccessfully, splashing everyone in the process. WC looks perplexed)
MC (helpful suggestion) You need more height
WC (shouts) More height! We need more height! (looks around as though height is going to materialise out of thin air)
MC Do you want to borrow a ladder?
WC Oh yes please!
MC Well wait a minute (goes for ladder. WC makes faces at audience)
MC (brings on ladder) Here you are, now please go. I’ve a show to do
WC (looking at ladder) I’m scared of heights
MC Scared of heights?
WC That’s why I’ve got the tall bucket.
MC Scared of heights, you’re a window cleaner!
WC (All sorts of improvisation possibility here eg he was force to do it as a child by his evil stepmother or whatever) (Cries)
MC OK look I’ll help but then you must go I’ve got a show to do
WC You’ll help me? Oh thank you thank you (hugs MC, instantly happier)
MC Alright alright. You you take the low bucket
(business with bucket and steps – WC climbs ladder with BP. Realises he is too tall)
WC You need more height. More height! More height! We need more height!
MC (becoming exasperated) Look you take the high bucket
WC (sings) and I’ll take the low bucket and I’ll be in Scotland….
MC No the other way round
WC (turns round) The other way round?
MC Enough! Now you stand over here.
(business with bucket and ladder – MC climbs ladder shakily (without the bucket of water and WC stands too far away)
MC (getting angry) Over here!
WC Over here, over there, make up your mind!
MC (has forgotten low bucket) Agghhh! Pass me the bucket! (WC gives BP)
MC The other bucket!
WC Make up your mind!
(business with bucket as water is splashed deliberately )
MC (angry) Give me the bucket!
WC OOOooooh Temper temper!
MC (Yoga breathing, trying to calm himself) Stand here!
MC pours all of water into BP (then business with last few drops – asks audience whether to pour over WC head?)
WC (Cries) I’m scared of water!
MC Scared of water? You’re a window cleaner!
WC (same impro as above)
MC Don’t start again! Don’t be such a baby. Now go and clean your windows!
WC Hey did you say this was a show?
MC (suspicious) Yes why?
WC Well I do a trick for a show
MC Oh nonsense! This is a serious professional show!
WC You don’t want me to do my trick? (starts to cry)
MC NO I DON’T
WC (cries more)
MC (to audience) You don’t want him to do his trick, do you?
MC Well I must say I’m disappointed. I thought you were a quality audience.
Alright then what are you going to do?
WC I’m going to balance this pole on my chin.
MC You’re going to…? Oh no (WC starts. The pole is very wobbly. It is going to fall over the audience...
MC (tries to help)
(Climax to routine as bucket falls showering audience with confetti)
MC (chases off WC)
Of course the bucket on a pole is feked so all the water is funnelled into the pole itself and the dry confetti from the bucket showers the audience.
If you’d like to make the prop email me and I will send you the plans…
All the best from a road near you,