2 min read




Toothless old CRONE by the roadside. ARTHUR and BEDEVERE and two PAGES ride up and draw up alongside the CRONE.

ARTHUR: Is there anywhere where we could buy a shrubbery?

The OLD CRONE crosses herself with a look of stark terror.

CRONE: Who sent you?

ARTHUR: The Knights Who Say Ni!

CRONE: Aaaagh! (she looks around in rear) No! We have no shrubberies here.

BEDEVERE: Surely, there must be.

ARTHUR restrains from threatening the LADY.

ARTHUR (aside): It will be not good to argue. These simple people are terrified of the Knights Who Say Ni!

CRONE (she cowers): Ohhh!

ARTHUR takes BEDEVERE further aside.

ARTHUR: There is only one way to get the information we want …

BEDEVERE: Send her a letter from a long way away?

ARTHUR: Er, no … no, we must …

BEDEVERE: Talk to her in funny voices?

ARTHUR (slightly crossly): No …

BEDEVERE: How about trying ourselves to a tree?

ARTHUR (grittily): No. Our only hope is to make her as afraid of us as she is of the awful Knights Who Say Ni!

BEDEVERE (sagely): Ah! Hit ourselves with a big rock …

He nods knowingly.

ARTHUR (tolerantly but firmly): No. Nothing we do to ourselves will frighten her as much as what we can do to her …


ARTHUR: We must threaten to say “Ni”!

BEDEVERE (terror): Oh, no.

They reapproach the OLD CRONE who is cowering more than ever.

ARTHUR: Listen, old crone! Unless you tell us where we can buy a shrubbery, my friend and I will … we will say “Ni”!

CRONE: Do your worst!

CRONE: I have herd the Knights say “Ni”! in the night. I have herd the hideous Peng! and they have said “Nee-wum”! to my sister but still I have not revealed …

ARTHUR: Very well, old crone. Since you will not assist us voluntarily … “Ni”!

CRONE: No. Never. No shrubberies.



ARTHUR: No. Ni! More like this. “Ni”!

BEDEVERE: Ni, ni, ni!

ARTHUR: It’s not working.

ARTHUR: You’re not doing it properly. Ni!


ARTHUR: That’s it. Ni! Ni!

A PASSER-BY on a horse is observing them.

ROGER: Are you saying “Ni” to that old woman?

ARTHUR: Erm, yes.

ROGER: Oh, what sad times are these when passing ruffians can say “Ni” at will to old ladies. There is a pestilence upon this land! nothing is sacred. Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under considerable economic stress at this point in time.

ARTHUR: Did you say shrubberies?

ROGER: Yes. Shrubberies are my trade. I am a shrubber. My name is Roger the Shrubber. I arrange, design, and sell shrubberies.

BEDEVERE (rather aggressively, to ROGER): Ni!

ARTHUR: No. No. No!