THE ROMAN INVASION OF RAMSBOTTOM Musical in 3 acts: Music by David Nield, book and lyrics by Jeremy James Taylor SYNOPSIS What would have happened if the Romans had built the motorways? Gaius Julius Agricola, Governor of Britannia, tries to extend the C6 Chariotway to Carlisle but Roman might is defeated by Lancastrian tripe in Ramsbottom. A lively and humorous account of this little-known episode in English history; another gem from the National Youth Music Theatre. The setting is 9th century Roman Britannia, and only two things stand in the way of Sicilian mafia boss Don Baloni's plan to commandeer the new British roads and turn the future England into a bonanza of Italian take-out restaurants and ice cream stands: a quaint pub sitting smack in the middle of the construction zone, and its feisty British patrons. It's an hilarious, anachronistic and very English farce with shades of Monty Python. STORY: PROLOGUE The piece opens in Messina, Sicily 84 A.D. We are in the office of Don Giuseppe Baloni, a Sicilian mafia boss known within the Brotherhood (the Sicilian mafia) as the "Grandfather". He is asking his secretary, Virgil, to escort his next client, the Honourable Conkus Maximus, the Minister of Transport, into his office. Virgil explains that Conkus Maximus is unable to make an appearance and that he sends his apologies. Maximus has travelled to the remote island of Mancunium, Britannia (Britan) to open the new chariot way linking Rome to Carlisle (which is also in Britannia). Gaius Julius Agricola, Governor of Britannia, and a Roman, has been collaborating with Conkus to make the link between Rome and Britannia become a reality. Agricola's plan is to extend chariot ways throughout Northern Europe. Baloni sees this as an opportunity. The Brotherhood has secretly been "planning" to do the same. Baloni sees Britannia as an ideal storage and supply point for the Brotherhood as well as a way to link their goods and services to all of Northern Europe. Baloni and Virgil plan to leave Sicily to find Agricola and "persuade" him to continue to build charioteers for the Brotherhood. The two are interrupted by Momma, a Sicilian matriarch. Baloni tells Momma to pack her bags, they're headed to Britannia. ACT I We are now in Mancunium, Britannia. Standing before the celebratory gateway of the North Western wall of the Fortress of Mancunium are solders, Roman aristocrats, majorettes, and Governor Agricola. This is also where the ribbon ceremony is to take place, marking the opening of the new chariot way leading to Carlisle. While the people wait for Conkus Maximus to arrive, they also begin to celebrate the completion of the chariot way. Agricola is quite popular and loved by many. While Agricola is mingling with the majorettes and aristocrats, the Roman solders Acrimonius and Parsimonius, two rather unscrupulous characters, begin to sneak around the party, eavesdropping on various conversations. They begin to guests that the road linking Rome to Carlisle has not been finished but stops at the Roman's Return Public House in Ramsbottom, Britannia. Agricola cuts the two off and threatens them with a transfer if they continue to gossip. Agricola then explains his reasons, both sentimental and practical, for not demolishing the Roman's Return when building the chariot way. Agricola declares the Roman's Return will never be demolished, regardless of what Conkus Maximus may think. The solders begin to tease Agricola. They know Agricola's real reason for keeping the pub open; Gracie the barmaid. Conkus Maximus has arrived. The majorettes greet him. He is appalled. There should be no celebrating at an official governmental ceremony. Conkus reminds Agricola that Roman's are a superior race and that he, Conkus Maximus, is indeed more superior then them all. Acrimonius and Parsimonius soon join in.