Picked up an old Penguin playscript of Spike Milligan and John Antrobus’s absurdist apocalypse comedy The Bedsitting Room at around the same time as I got the BFI’s DVD of the movie version, THE BED SITTING ROOM. Here, for your enlightenment, is the props list, which seems to form a sort of madman’s plot synopsis of the show.
Portable parking meter, top practical with click effect.
Giant DAZ packets slung on gas mask belt.
Roll of lavatory paper, ordinary.
Giant Lux packet on gas mask belt.
Milk bottle, full, with gold top.
Gas mask, canister type.
Insect spray gun, with coloured mist.
8ft 9 un high constructed pile of boots, then pile of boots on top to give added height, these boots will be removed before striking Union Jack on top.
Step ladder to get to top of pile of boots.
Brochure or pamphlet.
Telephone set, no wires, just receiver. Green and modern.
Birth certificate strapped to wrist.
Punishment caps, design from D. Jones. each with flashing light on top, green, yellow and red. Batteried and switched.
Defeat of England medal, ordinary medal.
Flip top bible, made like cigarette pack.
Victorian brass bed, no rail at foot end.
Telescopes. (one for Vicar, long, and one inside coffin.)
Bath chair with handle running out of back centrally, on handle a steering wheel.
Iron mangle with handle and practical.
Never-ending sock to go through mangle.
Yacht to appear out of coffin through hole, on stick and with yellow flag.
Hot-water bottle, red rubber.
Portable door, with blackboard panel for writing on. Design with D. Jones.
Suitcases and brown-paper bags.
Baby’s rattle. Blue.
Ship’s telegraph and with sound.
Magnifying glass, 4 in across.
Noses false with moustaches.
Head mask to give the impression another person is on the TV screen.
Prow of ship to be fitted round S. Milligan’s waist.
Coffin with hinge lid, deep.
Holes in lid for yacht already mentioned, hole in the side for balloons, space for bailer and container of water. To hold a TV aerial and whole thing painted black.
Fly swatter, plastic and red and yellow.
Cigar box, with plastic coloured clothes pegs.
Ring setting for ‘bread stone’.
18 carot Hovis.
Sign, reading ‘refined room to let’, to fit portable window pane.
Chocolate gold-wrapped pennies.
Doctor’s reflex hammer.
Brick for Fortnum, to be inside coat in pocket and easy to drop out.
Glove on never-ending sleeve for Fortnum, grey, to run into pocket inside coat having travelled through armhole.
Exigencies of space preclude listing all the props.