A Rainbow Production

Just as the curtain goes up, they realise Orange is missing. Will they find her in time? Will the show go on without her? Find the answer to these questions and more in this week’s episode with Nanny Bea.

A Rainbow Production

by Jules de Jongh

Season 2 Episode18

[opening theme music and strapline]

Nanny Bea:  Why I’m Nanny Bea! Nanny Bea with a lovely cup of tea. Perhaps I should write you a story or a poem at least. But today my neighbour Jules will be bringing a tale any…

[knock sfx]

Nanny Bea:  minute now.

Nanny Bea:  Oh, it’s all go today. Who is it?

Jules:  Hello Nanny Bea, it’s your neighbour Jules with a story.

Nanny Bea:  A story, that is precisely what we need!

Jules:  Well that is precisely what I have for you. Today it’s a very colourful tale. Are you ready for a story?

Nanny Bea:  Oh, yes please

Jules:  Okay then, A Rainbow Production, adapted for radio

‘Okay folks, places in 5!’ shouted the assistant director.  Vincent was new to the job and a tad bit too eager. Before the curtain rises on a production, it normally makes sense to give the cast a ‘places in 5 minutes warning’, but after the ‘places in 10’ Vincent gave them shortly after the ‘places in 15 warning’, it was of little value. That said it did draw attention to the missing member of the cast.

‘Where’s Orange? Anyone see Orange? Orange darling come out, come out wherever you are?’ Red was getting worried. It wasn’t like Orange to be late. Vincent who’s starting position was worried went beyond worried, he was terrorised, beside himself pacing back and forth. ‘The curtains up, the rain’s almost started, what will we do, what will we do?’ he said to the others in a hushed but frantic panic.

‘Take it easy, chill, it’ll all work out,’ said the ever cheerful, often mellow, Yellow. 

Red stepped in, ‘I’ve got an idea!’

‘You’ll use Pink the understudy?’ said Pink the understudy hopefully.

‘Sorry Pink, in spite of that childhood song, Red and Yellow and Pink and Blue, there is no Pink in the rainbow.’ Red said and then went on, ‘Yellow and I will put our big rainbow brushes in one hand, and use our mid sized brushes in the other to swirl the section that should be Orange.’

‘Can you do that? Will that work?’ Vincent asked. Red reassured him that Orange was made up of Yellow and Red combined. ‘Of course, yes, I guess,’ he said, still not convinced but with no other options. 

‘Rain, that’s our cue, come on Yellow, let’s mix it up!’ encouraged Red.

The audience oooed and ahhhed, they didn’t seem to mind the smudgy, squirrelly attempt to recreate Orange but the big boss did and she was waiting for them in the wings when their scene was over.

What a mess, swirling red bleeding through yellow, she thought and was about to tell the colours just that when Red came off distressed. ‘We have to find Orange, you know how much trauma I have to experience day to day, this production should be a message of hope, joy. Not a reminder of the hardest part of my job.’

No one said a word, they all knew what Red was talking about. They started looking again for Orange and made their way to her dressing room, the obvious place to start and for a good reason. Orange had written in lipstick, orange lipstick of course, on her mirror a farewell note. ‘You don’t need me, I’m not original, just a mixture of Red and Yellow. Even my name isn’t original. Goodbye Rainbows, goodbye world.’

Most of the cast was baffled, what was she on about? But then Red remembered, ‘Orange was a little upset when you confused her with the fruit.’

‘An honest mistake, I mean how’s a, how’s a guy to know?’ rebutted Green.

‘Oh, and there was that joke at her expense,’ added Blue. ‘Remember, knock, knock, who’s there, knock, knock, who’s there, knock, knock, who’s there, Orange, Orange who, Orange you glad I didn’t say knock knock again?’

‘Oh yes, that’s a classic,’ said Green. ‘Do you think she was offended by my Oompa, Loompa comment?’

‘Definitely,’ said Purple who had been silent until now. Although he wasn’t particularly upset about it, he knew what it felt like to be a mixture of two colours, not enough Blue to be Blue, not enough Red to be Red. Stuck in the middle but he’d come to like the middle. Purple had the best gig in his opinion. He got to dress royalty, he painted the prettiest flowers and was immortalised by Prince’s Purple Rain, a big fan he was. He turned to the cast, ‘Sounds like she was feeling…’ He caught himself and stopped at once.

‘Feeling what? Go on Purple, what were you going to say, what were you going to say, she was feeling….Blue!’ Purple apologized. Blue went on, ‘Yeah well, try walking around with a name that means miserable and sad. I’d take a fruit any ‘ol day.’

‘Yeah well being as popular as I am is no picnic. Look around, I never get a break,’ Green goes on, ‘I’m always in demand, on the grass, on the trees on the bushes. The only place I can rest is in the desert or Antarctica, I mean who wants to holiday in Antarctica!’

‘Oh boo hoo for you, walk in my paint brush for a day, there’s nowhere to hide, I cover 2/3rds of the earth in water and look up buddy, the sky is a mighty big place.’

‘Okay guys, enough bickering,’ said Red, ‘ we’ve got an Orange to find, sorry I mean Orange herself, not the fruit. Man it’s hard to keep up with the appropriate lingo these days. And did I just say ‘Man’, is that allowed?’ 

Nobody knew. They just headed out. Now where would Orange go…The sun was already setting so that was the first place to look but no joy. This sunset was all sky blue pink, no orange in sight. ‘Well at least the kid’s getting some work,’ said Red of her understudy.

‘What about the pumpkin patch?’ asked Yellow. No, Green informed her that it was too early in the season, the pumpkins were still Green, like the grass and the trees and the…’ Blue stopped him with a look and pointed to the sky. He’d be getting no sympathy so long as Blue was around.

‘Pumpkins turn Orange in the autumn. Oh I do love autumn, when all us girls get together and paint all the trees,’ Red remenessed. 

‘We can’t have a world without Orange! Where next?’ Yellow asked. She answered her own question, ‘why there’s fire and marmalade, carrots and tigers. She could be anywhere.’

Or she could be right here, painting a Monarch butterfly, one of her favourite works of art. ‘Orange!’ her friends shouted. Orange kept painting until the butterfly was done. Orange is a very kind colour and thoughtful, she couldn’t let the butterfly go out without it’s coloured wings. 

‘Orange dear,’ Red said, ‘you must come back, we miss you terribly. Yellow and I made such a mess of things swirling Red, bleeding through Yellow. And you know how I feel about bleeding. I’ve seen more than my fair share.’

Orange hadn’t thought about that when she left her friends to make a rainbow without her. She apologised and promised, she’d never run away again, except in the next forest fire but the other colours understood.

The End

Nanny Bea: Oh, thank you Jules. Why that Orange is something, isn’t she. You know she’s really come into her own since your story. She’s fully embracing her lovely mixture and has even taken to writing her own knock, knock jokes.

Jules:  Really, do you know any?

Nanny Bea:  Of course, now let me see, I start it off don’t I?

Jules:  Yes, with knock, knock.

Nanny Bea:  Who’s there?

Jules:  No, you start with knock, knock

Nanny Bea:  No, you start with knock, knock who?

Jules:  I don’t know, I don’t know the joke.

Nanny Bea:  Well dear, you really shouldn’t have begun if you didn’t know where it was going.

Jules:  That is some good advice. Thank you, thank you very much.

Nanny Bea:  Will you still come back again.

Jules:  Of course I will . I can’t wait to chat with you again next week when I return for more Tales and Tea.

Thomas:  Go to NannyBea.com

Jules:  Go there to find out about all our episodes. You can like and follow us on iTunes or Spotify and get in touch if you’d like to be on the show.

[Be on the Show jingle]

Mr Announcer: This has been a Toad in the Hole production for NannyBea.com.