Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Case Study No. 0380: The Hobo Librarian ("Vagus Bibliothecarius")

Highborn and Hobo - The Secret Life of the Hobo Librarian
A documentary from the hit show, written by Harry Campbell and Phillip Moxley for the 40th anniversary of The University of Southampton's Light Operatic Society (LOpSoc) in June 2011.

Richard Patient as the inexcusablely excellent Hobo Librarian with narration by Richard Copperwaite.
Tags: Hobo Librarian Highborn and Hobo LOpSoc David Attenborough
Added: 10 months ago
From: LOpSocSouthampton
Views: 478

[scene opens on a male librarian (balding, glasses, bow tie) sitting in a park reading a book]
NARRATOR: Deep in the Hampshire suburbs, nestled amongst the many wild cul de sacs and other indigenous creatures, we may find one of Britain's rarest and most beautiful animals ... the Hobo Librarian!
[cut to a shot of the librarian walking around, as "The Secret World of The Hobo Librarian ('Vagus bibliothecarius')" appears on screen]
NARRATOR: Standing some seven feet tall, with a loose mane of curly brown hair, gangly limbs, and naturally occuring spectacles, the Hobo Librarian is an impressive sight ...
[cut to the librarian standing in front of a tree, before hugging it]
NARRATOR: Although one seldom seen in this day and age.
[cut to a shot of the librarian doing a funny walk and flapping its arms]
NARRATOR: Once common to all of the British Isles, over-fishing, scarcity of biscuits, inbreeding, and in-fighting have rendered this speciman one of the few remaining examples left in the country.
[cut to black and white footage of a "different" librarian, as "French Garden Hobo Librarian ('Bibliothecaire vagabond')" appears on screen]
NARRATOR: Although it's believed that they share a common ancestry with the French "Bibliothecaire vagabond."
[cut to more black and white footage of the French Hobo Librarian dancing through the field with a basket of bread, as "Archive Footage courtesy of the French Society of Perverts and Discreet Photography" appears on screen]
NARRATOR: And several breeding programs have been suggested to replenish British stocks.
[cut to a shot of the librarian skulking around a trash bin]
NARRATOR: Though ostensibly omnivorous, the Hobo Librarian is surprisingly picky about its food, and can travel as far as seventy miles in a day rummaging through rubbish bins for discarded caviar, filet mignon, and bottles of port.
[the librarian pulls an old pizza box out of the garbage, then (after sniffing it) gives an approving nod]
NARRATOR: The Hobo Librarian is capable of consuming many times its own body weight, and has been known to eat its way through an entire dumpster over the course of an afternoon.
[the librarian puts the pizza box under his arm, then continues foraging]
NARRATOR: Physiologically speaking, the Hobo Librarian is something of an enigma ...
[cut to a shot of the librarian picking walnuts off of a small tree]
NARRATOR: For although it possesses a wirely, almost gangly, frame ...
[the librarian takes the walnut and makes a big show of squeezing it in his hand]
NARRATOR: It is blessed with prodigious strength, and is capable of cracking walnuts in its bare hands!
[he continues straining to crack the walnut]
NARRATOR: Ahem, and is capable of cracking walnuts in its bare hands!
[the librarian suddenly points to something off camera, and so the camera pans over to try and capture it ... then (as a loud cracking sound effect is heard), the camera pans back to show the librarian tossing away a hammer before "triumphantly" displaying the crushed walnut]
NARRATOR: Much better ... Thank you.
HOBO LIBRARIAN: You're welcome!
[cut to the librarian kneeling next to a stream]
NARRATOR: This majestic creature is famed for its ability to dive up to depths of a thousand meters ... Its teeth are actually a fine mesh of a substance known as baleen, through which it ...
[the narrator trails off, as the librarian crawls towards a nearby leaf and puts it in his mouth]
NARRATOR: Hang on ... Mike! Mike, are these the right notes?
[the librarian springs up and alertly surveys the area]
NARRATOR: No no no, I'm recording the Hobo Librarian bit, and these notes are about ... whales or something.
[the librarian starts to wander off]
NARRATOR: No no, it's definitely not the right notes, it's--
[as the narrator gets more and more agitated, the librarian starts clawing at his overcoat (as if a bee flew inside it) before taking it off and tossing it to the ground]
NARRATOR: No, I don't think people would just accept it anyway! You know, Mike, your attitude has gone downhill since you had your sex change! You were much easier to deal with when you were Michelle!
[the librarian jumps onto the overcoat and begins punching it]
NARRATOR: There, I've said it! Everyone's been thinking it, I've just said it! You're a real bitch now!
[the librarian picks up a stick and begins beating the overcoat, as the narrator composes himself]
NARRATOR: Where was I? The mating habits of the Hobo Librarian have never been recorded on camera.
[cut to a shot inside someone's house, as grunting noises can be heard behind a closed door]
NARRATOR: However, modern camera techniques have allowed us to capture this never-before-seen sequence in terrifying high definition ...
[the door opens to reveal the librarian jumping up and down on his bed (alone), when he sees the camera and quickly runs away]
[cut back to the park, where the librarian is crawling towards a pizza box in the middle of an open field]
NARRATOR: Of course, this is all just guesswork. Biology is not an exact science.
[the librarian suddenly eyes the box suspiciously (as if it's a trap), then turns and runs into the bushes]
NARRATOR: The Hobo Librarian is, sadly, an endangered species. But we hope you have enjoyed this brief insight into one of Britain's last great wild creatures.
[cut to the librarian lumbering towards the camera, knocking it over and (apparently) killing the cameraman]
NARRATOR: Before it is forever wiped from the face of the planet ...
[the librarian turns and checks on the fallen cameraman, before running off again]



"The Highborn and the Hobo": A multimedia opera in one act, with libretto by Phillip Moxley and Harry Campbell and music by Jolly Felton

HoU: An adaptation of the Edgar Allan Poe Novel for Three voices and Piano

LOpSoc stands for Light Operatic Society and is a group that has been running at the University of Southampton since the 1970s.


Lonnie Choke is the only son of a wealthy machine merchant, and was betrothed in infancy to the daughter of a wealthy mining magnate (Corsica Whistle). Both parents believed it bad luck to see the bride at all before the actual wedding day, and so the two have never actually met. Distraught at the prospect of living his life with someone he has never met, and who could be hideously ugly or dreadfully boring, Lonnie runs away and joins a group of vagrants living under a London overpass.

After hearing this, Corsica (who was excited about the prospect of marriage) convinces herself that she is so ugly that Lonnie ran away without ever having seen her. She decides that, having spent her entire life grooming and schooling herself to beauty, that she must instead adopt the opposite approach and become coarse and unkempt - she thus runs away to join a group of vagrants living over a London underpass.

This all happens as the bi-yearly gathering of the London hobo's is about to take place, where the Hobo Librarian (keeper of the book of Hobo words) will be in attendance to officiate over turf disputes and the like. The two youths meet and fall in love, but refuse to discuss their past - just as they are nearing the end of their song, the Hobo Librarian comes on stage and states that he can take any hobo there as his wife (or husband, should the fancy take him), and that he has decided to take Corsica as his own.

Realising that this girl was to be his wife anyway, Lonnie takes exception to the Hobo Librarian's request, and challenges him to a contest. The Hobo Librarian and Lonnie then enter a sort of Spelling-Bee contest, defining hobo words. The Hobo Librarian wins out, but at the last minute, both Lonnie and Corisca's parents turn up in a limousine with their ever-present lawyer, Terrence Vampiros. They tell the assembled group that living under an overpass singing hobo words is no way for sensible people to behave, and that the Hobo Librarian could not possibly marry Corsica, as she is already engaged to Lonnie. Terrence Vampiros points out that, in fact, he is an expert in the hobo legal system, and no such law allowing the Hobo Librarian to marry Corsica exists.

After a bit of legal rambling, Terrence Vampiros convinces Lonnies father to offer the hobos sanctuary in the grounds of his family's country house, which they all cheerfully accept, and begin piling into the limousine.



The Highborn and the Hobo; or, The Mining Magnates Daughter, was performed by LOpSoc on 15th - 18th June 2011 at the Annex Theatre in conjunction with The Fall of the House of Usher 2011.

An original production with libretto by LOpSoc members Phill Moxley and Harry Campbell and music by Jolly Felton - a multimedia opera in one act with all proceeds going to Charity.

Lonnie Choke (David Turner) is the only son of a wealthy machine merchant, and was betrothed in infancy to the daughter of a wealthy mining magnate, Corsica Whistle (Becky Thomas). Both parents believed it bad luck to see the bride at all before the actual wedding day, and so the two have never actually met. Distraught at the prospect of living his life with someone he has never met, and who could be hideously ugly or dreadfully boring, Lonnie runs away and joins a group of vagrants living under a London overpass....

Director - Phill Moxley
Musical Director - Keziah Jacombs
Assistant Director - Poppy Roworth
Assistant Director - Harry Campbell
Assistant Musical Director - James Rosser
Libretto - Phill Moxley
Libretto - Harry Campbell
Music - Jolly Felton

Lonnie Choke - David Turner
Corsica Whistle - Becky Thomas
Winston Two-Monocles - Ben George
Saltfish Bunyan - Daniel Clements
Hetty Crosswise - Amy Whitington
Jane Austin - Katie Skidmore
The Hobo Librarian - Richard Patient
Reginald Choke - Richard Kille
Perola Whistle - Anne-Linn Forbord
Terence Vampiros - Chris Power
Harpo Marx - Rob Kirtley
Groucho Marx - Phill Moxley
Chico Marx - Becky Hall
Karl Marx - Chloe Starling

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