This story is a variation on the Barry Porter tale with different characters and props.
Five ‘Nose-bags’ containing various items. One in particular contains a letter giving Rudolph permission to open a box. In the box is the key to release Santa Claus and two bags of gold/silver chocolate coins.
Chain, padlock and key (same as the Barry Porter routine).
Santa Claus outfit plus Rudolph antlers and red nose (easily and cheaply obtained at this time of year from fancy dress and party shops).
Audience members choose the placement of coloured cards on to the nosebags and the performer, having noted the colour placed on the bag with the letter of permission,(without revealing the colours underneath), lays out the 'stepping stones', ensuring that the appropriate colour goes into the centre.
Two children are now invited to take part in an exciting Magical Christmas Play. One is dressed as Santa Claus and chained or handcuffed to a chair. The other is dressed as Rudolph with antlers and a red nose.
The Storyteller explains that Rudolph has received a letter from The Snow Queen, telling him that she has had Santa Claus captured by her Frost Guards and imprisoned in a cave in the Ice Mountain.
She challenges Rudolph to find Santa before Christmas Eve. Rudolph then faces a series of additional challenges in which he must make decisions. If he makes the correct decisions, he will be shown how to release Santa from his chains. If he fails, Then there will be no Christmas presents delivered, the world will turn to solid ice – and every living thing will die!
Sample letter (Delivered in a sneering voice!).
"Dear, Dear Little Rudolph,
You will be surprised and dismayed to learn that I have your master, Santa Claus in my clutches!
He is imprisoned in a cave, high up in The Ice Mountain. If he is not released before Christmas Eve, he will be unable to deliver this year's Christmas Presents and all little boys and girls will get nothing for Christmas! Heh! Heh! Heh!
Not only that, but the world will begin to freeze over and turn to solid ice! and every living thing will die!
The only way that you can save him is to first find him! To do that you must travel through the dangerous and creepy 'Forest of Fools'. Then you must find the cave in the Ice Mountain. in front of the cave are five stepping stones. Only by standing on the correct stone will you learn the secret of setting Santa free!
There will be further instructions at the entrance to the cave. Read them and make no mistakes otherwise all will be lost!
I feel sure that you will fail!
Goodbye little Rudolph,
AND GOOD RIDDANCE!!!
Signed..............Gertrude Regina..............Her Majesty
The Snow Queen".
Rudolph is then warned of the dangerous creepy crawly ugly creatures in the 'Forest of Fools! (the audience!) and escorted around the 'Forest', returning to the performing area and 'seeing' the stepping stones.
A scroll is found containing the usual instructions:
"Number the stones, 1 to 5 from either end.
Choose a stone upon which to start and stand upon that stone.
Make a number of moves equal to the number upon which you stand. (Explain to him what he has to do)
Remove the two outer stones.
Make one more move.
You are now standing upon your 'Stone of Destiny'!"(Remove the two stones on either side).
In the usual way, reveal the colours underneath the rejected stones and show the contents of the matching bag (I am using the jokey prizes; seaweed, toilet roll tube, etc.).
Finally look under the last stone and take out the letter which gives permission to open the box. Inside the box is a card similar to the Barry Porter card that says, "Drat! o.k. you win, here's the key! which also has the padlock key attached (with scotch tape).
Let Rudolph release Santa Claus and bring them both to centre stage for their applause, then notice that something else is inside the box. It is the chocolate coins! Give them a bag each, divest them of their 'costumes' and obtain a further round of applause as they return to their seats.
The above routine is very similar to the Barry Porter routine in the book, so you should have no trouble adapting it to this Christmas presentation.
Have fun and have a Very Merry and Magical Christmas!