Sunday, May 24, 2009

The entire work of "Not Another Fairy Tale"

Below is the entire text of a work begun over 7 years ago for the Jararvellir Fool's Guild to perform. It makes use of many "in-jokes" at the time and was meant to be a sort of musical/entertainment. As it happened, the guild when further into the direction of Commedia del Arte and more period entertainment and never gave this a go.

Not Another Fairy Tale

By The Honorable Lady Aliénor Hathaway, Inspired by and collaborated with the Jararvellir Fool’s Guild (first and third incarnation)

With special thanks to Lady Saerlaith for editing.

Narrator 1
Narrator 2
Lady Katherin
Count Martin
Duke John
Duke André
Prince Hamlet
Hera (or Harold) the Herald
Messenger (Philippa)
Body Guar
Guards/Clean up crew
The Player

Act I, Scene 1

(While the Narrator is talking, Martin comes in, obviously acting drunk, staggers to audience and asks for mead until he falls right where he is.)

Song: Martin Said to His Man…

Narrator 1: (Grandly) Well met my honorable Lords and Ladies. I pray you attend to the play that we humbly present to you. It is a play of laughter and merriment. And yet, good gentles, how can such a small space show the wonder of Europe? It is during the war of the Roses when England and France fight for the throne of England…(interrupted by…)

Narrator 2: Wait a minute you’ve got this all wrong here. The gentles that are here want to see a period! The fight for the French throne was years earlier, with Henry the V at Agincourt, but everyone won out in the end, because Katherine the wife fell in love with Owen Tudor. You see the War of the Roses began…

Narrator 1: (Takes out a stop watch.)

Narrator 2: Hey, that’s IS NOT period! Are you listening?

Narrator 1: No. And frankly, I never said this was a period piece! Now, get back to where all the characters are supposed to be!

Narrator 2: Hold on, it should just take a few minutes for me to explain all about the white rose and the red rose. You see, during the War of the Roses, the houses of Lancaster and York eventually killed each other off, allowing the Tudor line to…(keeps ad libbing until carried off stage)

Narrator 1:(gives a big sigh) GUARDS!

(Immediately, two guards enter.)

Narrator 1: Remove the lady.

(One of the guards picks her up while she’s still talking and carries her off)

Narrator 2: WAIT, I’m not done!

Narrator 1: (Clears throat) It doesn’t matter who fought who does it? Just as long as there is war and death the brave warrior is satisfied! This play is about a war between cousins and--

Hera the Herald (interrupts loudly): OYEZ OYEZ THE PLAY WILL NOW BEGIN!

Narrator: You’re late.

Hera: Sorry.

(Hera exits)

Narrator 1: Now, we are at your service good gentles, a most humble troop (snickers from troupe) SHUSH! Now, since we are a low budget group, I may say with certainty we are a traveling band and our story is…er interesting. Ask our head fool to tell it sometime, but don’t ask the small one because you’ll never get away…(Kat enters with her two guards and smacks her, her guards look menacing) Right, well, let’s begin, shall we? See here, the lady Katherine…

(Kat “sees” her father, lying right where he fell)

Kat: Dearest father, what happened?

Count Martin: (covers eyes and groans) I feel my spirit is bound for the world of our Lord.

Kat: What? Father…

Martin: Now, before I breathe no longer, go to thine uncle in lands far from here…some where in the North. You are no longer safe in France.

Kat: What do you mean? Father, you were just drinking and celebrating with the audi—I mean with your friends!

Martin: Stay not here. Take my will and go! You shall marry your foster cousin and, re-united, make good our claim to the Duchy of…oh, drat, what’s it called…? (Seems to die)

Narrator 1: Now, before our Lady Katherine gets all emotional, let’s just say she cried a lot. (Kat covers her face) she sobbed (Kat sobs) she clutched her hands…(Kat clutches her hands) and she knelt at her father’s feet. (Kat kneels at her father’s feet) and she banged her head against the wall…(Kat stops and glares at him.)

Kat: You’d better be kidding.

Narrator 1: I wanted to see if it would work. (pause) The Lady found herself terrified.

Kat: Ahem—I’m not that kind of girl.

Narrator 1: (to Kat) Well, you should be. (to audience) She OBEYED her father’s dying wish.

Kat: Do I have to?

Narrator 1: Yes.

Kat: (turning back to the “body”) Farewell, Father! I go now to the North. (exits running)

Narrator 1: For now that Katherine’s father, the Count of Dijon, was de-

Martin: (Belches or moans) ...damn Spaniards, I must have talked in my sleep again!

Hera (enters): OYEZ OYEZ le seigneur de Dijon talked in his sleep again!

Martin: Oh, shut up. Where’s my daughter?

Narrator 1: You sent her to the mythical land in the North…to your brother.

Martin: That imbecile? What’s he supposed to do? He disappeared five years ago and left behind his unruly brood of children…and took his 13-year-old foster son to war! If he thinks he can marry my daughter to one of those imbeciles…. God’s knees…I’ll have to go after her! Herald, call my army! (Tries to stand, falls down) I mean, call my army after I’m sober…Where’s my mead? Damn Spaniards.

Narrato 1r: (Shakes her head) And so it was that the daughter of Count Martin François Louis blah blah blah de Dijon found herself in the North of France disguised as a peasant (one of the sword boys brings her a cloak that he puts over her dress) with only her swords and loyal dogs—I mean, umm, bodyguards, as companions. At Calais, they hired a litter for the journey to the mythical land in the North.

(Everyone enters and acts like a port city, selling things throwing things, etc. to be worked out. Kat dodges in between all of them, with her bodyguard hitting all the people who try to even talk to her.)

Narrator 1: Little did she know that she was headed directly into a dangerous plot…

(Everyone stops, including the one her ‘sword boy’ is hitting at the moment.)

All (shout): How dangerous was it?

Act 1, Scene 2

(someone walks across with a sign for scene changes?)

Narrator 1: Eh-heh-hehm! Very dangerous. Now, CLEAR THE STAGE! We will now change our scene to the, err, clueless Duke’s tower, and we’ll let you imagine what happened to Katherine, while the Duke Jonathan Wayne (pause)-Man paces nervously in his dungeons.

(John enters pacing)

John: I don’t have a dungeon. Too gory.

Narrator 1: Oh, umm Library.

John: I can’t read. Too boring.

Narrator 1: But you’re rich, you can have a library.

John: Oh.

Narrator 1: (continues) He was pacing nervously..

John: I am?

Narrator 1: YES, now kindly stop interrupting me!

(Philippa the Messenger enters, looks terrified)

John: Yes?

Philippa: My Lord, err um err, uh, I-I-I-I.

John: Out with it, speak!

Philippa: Well, err; your father’s sent word from abroad…

John: Right.

Philippa: And err, he left your brotherincharge.

John: Excuse me?

Philippa: Mumble….but at least you’ll have money…

John: Say the first part.

Philippa: Err, “the first part”

John: No, the first part of your message.

Philippa: “the first part of your message”

John: NO! What did my father say in his message?

Philippa: Oh, that. (Inches toward door with each word) He (step) left (step) your brother (step) in charge (step)! He said that you couldn’t be in charge of anyone, my lord, but at least he left you a nice allowance….

John: WHAT! Wait, you didn’t finish… This can’t be happening…how could he do this to me? I’m just an insignificant Duke…

All (offstage) You can say that again!

John: All right. I’m just an insignificant Duke of lands that—

Narrator 1: --don’t really exist at all.

(Herald Enters)

Herald: (Time) O’CLOCK, all is BAD, the DUKE is VERY UPSET DON’T BOTHER HIM! Oh, and the line at the privies has gone down!


John: (Massages his ears) How could my father do this? That half-wit brother of mine has been at war since he was small, what a brat! Eighteen years old and being sent home to be regent over me? Over me, the one who’s duke!

Narrator 1: Or a jerk!

Act 1, Scene 3

Narrator 1: Meanwhile…. on the other side of the made up country that has no historical significance whatsoever, Duke Skywalker…

(Narrator 2 enters, confers with her)

Narrator 1: Oh, sorry, wrong story… I mean, Darth Duke…. (Narrator 2 steps up again, confers)

Narrator 1: Does he even have a name? (Narrator 2 whispers again)

Narrator 1: Oh. So I can’t use it. Oh, why don’t you tell them!?

Narrator 2: This man, André le Grand, so called because of his height, was so villainous that he thought nothing of killing anyone. (disgusted) In fact, he would even kill his own mother…he would…

Narrator 1: We get the picture.

Narrator 2: I’m just trying to warn you. He thought nothing of killing---

Narrator 1: Get on with it!

(Duke André enters with a dagger, kills Narrator 1)

Narrator 2: (doesn’t see, continues) Why, he’d even kill a narrator of a highly ridiculous story…(stops, sees the narrators dead).

Narrator 2: OH MY GOD, you killed the narrator!

(Cast comes out, ad lib:) What do we do now? How could you do that? Etc.

André: (shrugs): I didn’t like the way she was telling the story.

Narrator 1: I’m not really dead! I’m getting better…really. (Cast ignores him and drags her off, Narrator 2 tries to slink away too)

André: Oh, no you don’t, we have to know what happens next!

(Count enters)

Count: That makes one dead narrator. One dead body! Ha ha ha!

André: I think she might have been breathing…

Count: Oh, Shut up. You do your job and I’ll do mine!

Andre: Right. Narrator, what happens next?

Narrator 2: Ummmm…(shuffles pages of script). Ah, here we are! Little did Jonathan know that André had his younger brother in captivity and was forcing him to serve as his page.

André: I love being evil. I mean, first I force the man to give me his son as ransom, then I lock him up too! Just remember, you’re all part of a greater plan, I can’t kill you until your brother’s disposed of…isn’t that wonderful, cousin?

Hamlet: You’ll never get away with this!

André: I can if I bribe the narrator.

Hamlet: You can’t do that!

André: Watch me.

(Goes up to narrator, sword drawn)

Andre: (to Narrator 2) Can’t I?

Narrator 2: Look, you’re running out of narrators okay? You can’t kill me because all the other ones are on strike. Can I please just do my job? (If we ever have enough people a very bad strike joke can happen here)

André: Oh, fine. Just watch yourself.

Hamlet: Hey! The good guy always has to win in a Fairy Tale!

André: Who said this was a fairy tale?

Narrator 2: (whining) Can I please continue?

Hamlet: Besides, you wouldn’t kill me!

André: No, but I’ll make your life miserable—that’s more fun anyway, Brat.

Narrator 2: So ANYWAY, the poor future King by right of arms found himself very miserable, having to clean up after the messy André….(Duke throws something on the floor, Hamlet picks it up, André pushes him and laughs.) …and do many other things he never did before.

André: For someone who started to train when you were eight, you’re pretty weak.

Hamlet: I’m not weak! (Duke moves to hit him but the Hamlet dodges) Fine, I am! But all I did at war was stand there—I was symbolic! My weapon was my pure heart…

André: Awww, that’s so touching. Doesn’t do you much good now, does it?

Narrator 2: That’s right, the future King by Right of arms…

André: Doesn’t he have a name? I prefer Brat myself…

Narrator 2: I’m getting to it. Anyway, he stood for all that was pure, good and courageous, for he was innocence itself.

André: (Stalking to narrator, sword drawn again) And what do I stand for?

Narrator 2: (at sword point) Sleaziness, heavy drinking and corruption.

André: Excellent! (Puts away sword) I love this job!

Hamlet: You don’t really have a job if all you do is hurt people.

André: Look “cousin,” someone always has to be against goody goodies don’t they? Otherwise they wouldn’t look so good. Now shut up and go get me my sword.

Prince: But you’re wearing it.

André: Oh, well then, get me my tankard.

Hamlet: But it’s on your belt.

André: Are you arguing with me?

Hamlet: No.

André: (menacingly) No?

Hamlet: (Quickly) I mean, yes!

André: Yes?

Hamlet: I mean no! Oh, look at that distraction!

André: (looks behind him) What distraction? (Hamlet uses the opportunity to run out into the audience) No time for hide and go seek Brat! (Runs after him)

Narrator 2: WAIT WAIT WAIT, you can’t do that! You have to stay up here on stage!

Hamlet: (Prince has found a lady) I like it here, actually. “My Lady, may I fight in your honor?” (sees André) on second thought…SAVE ME!

André: Hey, wait that’s my wife!

Narrator 2: She can’t be your wife.

André: Why not?

Narrator 2: Because you’re not married.

André: Oh.

(Hamlet pulls LADY up on stage with him)

Hamlet: You’ll protect me from him won’t you?

(Player enters, worn out, looks around and:)

Player: Hamlet, I am thy father’s spirit…

Hamlet: Hey, how’d he know my name?

Narrator 2: Wait! Wrong play, we’re fools! We aren’t into drama…

Hamlet: Are you really my father?

Player: Doomed for a certain term to walk the night…

Hamlet: That’s so sad! I though my father was in the dungeon.

Player: Until my foul crimes…

Narrator 2: WAIT! You’re in the wrong story!

Player: This isn’t Hamlet?

Hamlet: I’m Hamlet! That’s my name! I think I like that story better.

Narrator 2: Trust me, you won’t!

(André stalks up, sword drawn)

Player: But I’m playing the ghost…

André (Stabbing him) Now you are one! (Grabs Hamlet, who’s peering at the dead Player) Got you! Now you’ll regret running from me! (Picks him up or drags/kicks him off stage laughing)

Narrator 2: (Surveys the dead Player) This Play is really messy. CLEAN UP CREW!

(Two people come in with stretcher, take body, leave. Count enters:)

Count: That makes one dead ghost, two dead bodies! Ha ha ha! (Exits)

(Hera enters, collides with Count)

Hera: OYEZ OYEZ the GHOST IS DEAD! (Exits)

Narrator 2: (Looks at audience member) You can sit down now.

(Duke le Grand re-enters, looking disheveled)

André: I’m supposed to marry her!

Narrator 1: No you’re not—you won’t meet the person you’re supposed to marry until another play, and God keep the lady!

André: Oh.

Narrator 2: You look exhausted.

André: Yeah, well that Hamlet won’t sit still and let me hit him.

Narrator 2: Imagine that.

André: Are you getting smart with me?

Narrator 2: No.

André: That’s what I thought. (Hamlet runs in, runs to audience member, sees Duke and runs the other way, Duke runs after him)

Narrator 2: Thank you, my lady! If it weren’t for your lord, our troop would gladly welcome you. We’re a bit short. Well that scene wasn’t supposed to have taken so long, but our villain is a show off. Anyway, Katherine found herself before her uncle’s castle in the Wild lands somewhere in the North…I think.

Act 1, Scene 4

Katherine enters followed by her bodyguards, who notice the Narrator and promptly knock her out.

Kat: Hello? Uncle? I’ve been in a dangerous plot and I just want to be let in!

Narrator 1: (enters wearing a cloak that hides his or her face) Your uncle is imprisoned.

Kat: How do you know?

Narrator 1: I’m all knowing.

Kat: Whatever.

Narrator 1: I even know why you’re here.

Kat: I don’t even know that!

Narrator 1: Of course not. You’re supposed to marry your foster-cousin, the young future King by Right of arms…

(Narrator 2 gets up, looks around, and moans. Comes up from behind, runs over to First Narrator takes off cloak.)

Narrator 2: Hey! You’re supposed to be dead.

First Narrator: I got resurrected, remember?

(Her two guards hide Kat when the Duke walks in. She tries to see over. Hamlet runs past again, followed by Duke, who sees Narrator 1 and stops.)

André: Hey! I thought I killed you! (Stabs Narrator 1 again)

Kat: Am I the only one confused here?

André: What was that?

Guard 1: (high pitched) Nothing. A slight cold.

Narrator 2: Not again! CLEAN UP CREW!

(Cast enters)

Hera: OYEZ OYEZ, the Narrator died again! Wait, is that another dead body or the same one as before? Oh, I really don’t like this plot—it’s so confusing!

Cast starts talking at once, pandemonium!

Kat: (from center) EVERYONE SHUT UP! (All stop) This is MY scene right now. You (points to Narrator 2) have a dead body that was already dead. Deal with it and GO! (Pushes her off) You! (Points to Hera) have made your announcement—go!

Hera: (yelling) AND WHAT IF I DON”T WANT TO!

Kat: (sighs) Then I’ll have to make you.


Kat: (pulls out bodice dagger, body guards look menacing) Plenty.

Hera: OH! (Leaves) I THINK I’ll LEAVE NOW

Kat: Good idea.

(Hamlet sees Duke coming in, runs off. Duke shrugs and runs off after him)

Kat: (looks at the rest of the cast) What are you all looking at? Get back to where you’re supposed to be! And darn it, take the body with you! I hate a mess.

Narrator 1: (whimpers while being led off) I can’t seem to actually die…

Kat: (pushes her way from between the two guards.) AHEM!

Narrator 2: Yes?

Kat: Who’s still supposed to be on stage?

Narrator 2: Well, your sword boys.

Kat: My bodyguards?

Narrator 2: Sword boys and you.

Kat: Right, and where are we supposed to be?

Narrator 2: In front of your uncle’s castle. Now, can I continue? I’m really not supposed to be talking to you; it’s part of my contract, but thank you, m’lady, for clearing the stage.

Kat: No problem.

Narrator: And please try to keep your dogs--

(Sword boy goes over to punch her but Kat stops him)

Narrator 2: I mean bodyguards, in line! You see what happens when a narrator gets knocked out!

Kat: I’ll try. (Snaps her fingers, points next to her, body guard returns to place)

Narrator 2: Right, well before that interruption I was trying to say that the lady Katherine found herself before her uncle’s castle. In her possession was her family’s seal, she sent one of her bodyguards on before her, while she went put on clothes that benefited her station as future Queen by-“

Hera: OYEZ, OYEZ! This is a costume change!

Kat: Oh! This is a costume change, isn’t it?

Narrator 2: (annoyed) Yes, yes it is.

Kat: Hey, you try wearing some of the clothes they stuff us into. (Exits)

Narrator: I know, I know. Since we are a low budget group, let’s just say we have switched scenes to the inside of the castle.

(Everyone enters, acts like a court, Duke sits on a “throne” (toilet seat, if we can manage it—potty chair?)

Song: Jeopardy Court Song

Act 1, Scene 5

John: Somebody tell me what’s going on!

Somebody: Your Grace…

John: I like the sound of that!

Somebody: Right, well you’re uncle’s daughter’s friend is her bodyguard and he has arrived with the seal and a message.

John: Let him read it.

Somebody: He doesn’t read my lord; he just looks tough. Besides, that’s the Harold’s job.

John: Fine, let her read it, just don’t let her yell!

Somebody: Yes m’lord.

(Body Guard Enters with Hera, Guard throws a stuffed seal at John)

Hera: The Count Martin sends greetings to his esteemed excellent elegant eerie estranged brother Eric l’Excellent! If you should receive this message it announces danger for me, and my only daughters arrival to your lands seeking asylum. As was agreed on her birth, she shall marry your foster son. Just as you were father’s favorite as the youngest who isn’t even related to you…. insignificant little prick that you are…

John: Skip that part!

Hera: Yes milord, (flips through a folder, throwing pages of paper on the floor. Philippa goes to help) oh, this sounds official...Always drunk and—never mind (drops more)

Philippa: Oh here: disgusting, miserable, half-wi, oops, not that either.

Hera:Hold on… Found it! (Continues) I charge the treaty not be broken. The future King by right of arms shall be bound to my daughter, signed Count Martin François Louis Phillip Charles….

John: Wrap it up.

Harold: But there’s ten more names!

John: We get the picture. Excellent.

Somebody: What do you intend to do, your Grace?

John: I intend to fight for my cousin.

Courtier: But you’ve never held a sword in your life.

John: Shut up.

Somebody: And besides, your brother is bound to fight for her!

John: He doesn’t know that, does he?

(“Trumpet” Flourish—maybe New Year’s noisemakers?)

John: Here she comes…she must be lovely. Small, sweet, quiet and gentle, the perfect wife.

Narrator 2: She’s small, but the other qualities…you’ll find out for yourself. And who said anything about marriage?

Hera: May I present the Lady Katherine…

Kat: (enters) Let me—I’m better at pronouncing it

John: Somebody, tell me who is this boy in drag? I want to see my lovely bride.

Kat: (Grandly) I am the Lady Katherine Isabelle Christine Louise Anne Marie Hélène Mouthard de Dijon

John: Mustard?

Kat: It’s made in Dijon.

John: Right. Can’t I just call you Kat?

Kat: My name is Lady Katherine Isabelle Chris-

John: I got that part.

Kat: Daughter of Count Martin François Louis---

John: We’ve heard that one already.

Kat: France is no longer safe for me—my father was poisoned by Spaniards and I’m alone in the world.

John: Well, I’m not going to marry you!

Kat: Who said anything about marriage?

John: Well nobody…but I thought your father…

Kat: He was probably drunk.

(Bodyguard clears throat)

Kat: What?

Bodyguard: He was sober for once, my lady.

Kat: Well, I’m here now. But I’m not going to marry you—the man I marry will be handsome and good, and he’ll let me do whatever I wasn’t, and he won’t beat me—

Bodyguard: Ha ha—I’d like to see anyone try....

Kat: --Ahem. –and he’s laugh, and I’ll laugh, and when the cocks cry—(snicker from crowd) What???

Philippa: Ooh! Ooh! Wait, there’s a song about that! (brings out huge music folder and pulls out music)

Song: Il e bel e bon

John: My worst nightmare! Where’s my sweet bride who will be my doll? Do anything I ask her to?

Narrator: You must have been deprived as a child!

John: I resemble that! (Somebody whispers to John) I mean…resent! I will not marry her and she will not stay here! I’ll go find her and tell her myself!

Somebody: I don’t envy him in the slightest.

(Stalks off, followed by court)

(END OF ACT I) (cast recruits for “army” during break)

ACT II, Scene 1

(Kat and John are standing at entrance, glaring at each other.)

John: There’s no way you’re living here.

Kat: Why not? I was told to.

John: You just aren’t, that’s all. Aren’t I supposed to be the one in charge? You aren’t living here—this is MY castle.

Kat: I am living here.

John: No you aren’t

Kat: Yes I am

John: No you’re not!

Kat: Yes I am!

John: No you‘re not!

Kat: FINE, no I’m not.

John: Look, who’s the one in charge here? I say YES you are.

Kat: Well, if you insist, oooh, this room looks cozy. (Exits)

John: What just happened?

Narrator 2: You just had an argument with a woman.

John: She acts like a man.

Narrator 2: What does that make you?

John: What are you trying to say?

Narrator 2: Nothing. Now, follow your lovely “doll” so I can change the scene.

John: Does everyone tell me what to do? Aren’t I supposed to be the one in charge?

Narrator: No, I am!


Philippa: Nope—I’m the one who brings the messages, so I’m in charge!

(André enters)

André: (Sword drawn) No, I am! Speed it up and tell them what happens to me!

Narrator: If you insist….

André: (Pointing with sword) I certainly do.

Narrator 2: Right

Kat: (offstage) Can I paint this room a wine color? (Enters, grabs John and pulls him off still talking) And does your stateroom need work, the colors are horrible, they clash and I want to meet all your courtiers…

Act II, Scene 2

Narrator 2: Right, well to continue, the evil Duke le Grand was plotting war on his cousin, with Hamlet as a guide. He gathered a great army…

André: My army’s not that big, a real one wouldn’t fit on stage...

Narrator 2: It’s called “pretend”

André: Are you patronizing me?

Narrator 2: Of course not, (aside) you overgrown ogre.

André: What?

Narrator 2: Nothing. As I was saying, the evil André assembled a large army—hey! Use your imaginations, you remember them, right?


(Hamlet runs in, followed by “army”)

Hamlet: My brother’s a coward, but he’ll never give in to your demands!

André: He isn’t expecting anyone, though, is he? With my talents, I’ll just wander right in and take over easily.

Narrator 1: (Enters again, covered) OOOOOOO, I’m telling!!!!!!

André: Are you ever going to actually make that narrator stay dead?

Narrator 2: I’m working on it, but this is just a play.

André: And Hell’s just a Turkish Pig roast.

Narrator 2: I don’t pretend to understand your logic.

(André knocks Narrator 1 over the head) She’s staying dead this time!

Narrator 2: And for once, André was right…

André: Just what are you trying to say?

Narrator: (Glances over, then gnores him) As the evil André’s army marches off, we will return to Duke John’s palace now that he and the lady Katherine are better acquainted.

Act II, Scene 3:

(They enter with Kat prodding John along, carrying a long list that she unrolls—it’s at least her height)

Kat: I think that will do it. Your castle just needs some serious interior design—bring it into the sixteenth century. Have you ever thought of letting in some light? It could do wonders for this drafty old castle, and your courtiers need some fashion sense, I tell you what they were wearing is shameful!

John: (exhausted) You saw the entire castle, talked the entire time, met all my courtiers and you aren’t even tired!

Kat: Nope, and I’m not done yet, either! For starters….(Kat walks off stage, comes back on and drags John off with her)

Narrator 2: Not satisfied with his intended bride, Jonathan decided to hold a contest for his bride, and who is better for the job of game show host than our very own villain, André le Grand! Of course, Jonathan is not aware of this. So here he is, your host, André!

Song: My Bonny Lass, She Smelleth

André: Hello and welcome to Who Wants to be a Duchess!

John: ‘Princess’ sounds better.

André: Whatever

(Ad-lib and improvisation with audience, for the game show, using two ladies and possibly one “surprise” contestant who is actually a man. Katherine goes around in the audience, getting “men” to fight.

Narrator: And just when John was about to make his decision, the Herald appeared….

(Long pause—no Herald)

Narrator: (louder) I said THE HERALD APPEARED!

André: Hold on. (Comes back in supporting drunk Hera, who barely gets anything out)

Harold: OYVEZ! OYVEZ! The castle is under siege. I suggest you drink, drink a lot-hic, and meet a nice lord and have a good time, but no matter what--drink! Ooh, here’s a nice lord! (plops herself down in John’s lap)

(André shrugs, goes to the edge of the scene and observes with savage pleasure.)

Narrator 2: Ahem. Herald, didn’t you have something to tell us?

Hera: Oh, I forgot—hic! I came to warn you---your brother is in captivity and your cousin, wants to take over these lands just for the glory of war! (giggling) He said he’s going to tear you into itsy bitsy little pieces and then jump on them… (dissolves into giggles)

Kat: He did not!

Hera: No, but it sounds good. He said his uncle left him these lands and he’s got your brother as ransom to prove it!

Duke John: Hey, I haven’t chosen my bride yet!

Kat: Are you listening? You’re castle is soon to be under attack.

Duke John: How’s that possible? What am I going to do? Why me? What should I do? (starts to run around the stage, acting pathetic)

Hera: I feel your pain…I think you should take my advice: get drunk., and find yourself a nice lady…like me!

Kat: No! (Goes up to John, grabs him and hits him in the face) SNAP out of it! Now, get your army head.

Duke: Right, my army head, my army head. Don’t I already have a head? What about arms?

Kat: You are truly pathetic. SOMEBODY get in here.

Somebody: Yes m’lady

Kat: Your lord is indisposed. Call out the army.

Somebody: But—

Kat: But what?

Somebody: Our army is small milady.

Narrator 1: So is theirs.

Kat: Well it’s just for the sake of the story. Besides, if you were smart enough you’d see all those fighters out there!

Somebody: We need the Duke to lead us. ARMY!

(Extras enter as soldiers in various states of drunkenness/brawling/making out etc. ad-lib and improvisation here)

Kat: Where did my cousin go?

(Hera giggles and points to the blanket that’s trying to slink away. Kat pulls it off.)

Kat: Oh, no you don’t! You got out there and lead!

Duke John: BUT I don’t want to!

(Hera stands up, still drunk)

Harold: OYEZ, OYVEZ, JONATHAN WAYNE-MAN IS A USURPER AND A COWARD! But he does have some good wine…(grabs bottle from Somebody, drains it) err, I mean he used to have good wine…and he’s pretty cute, too!

Somebody: Hey! That was mine!

Duke John: SHUT UP! All right, I’ll go.

André: I’ll go with you, considering I’m your cousin!!!!

Hera: Who’s that?

Duke John: It’s the villain!


Somebody: It’s the villain!

Narrator: It’s him!

André: It’s me!

John: I think I’ll leave now.

André: This battle is not going to be hard to win!

(As John exits he grabs the wine bottle from Hera)

Duke John: Give me that!

Hera: Sure thing, cutie! (John pauses with the bottle in hand, then grabs Hera around the waist and pulls her off-stage with him)

(André exits in the opposite direction.)

Kat looks at Philippa, Narrator 2, looks at her.

Kat: You, go join my lack-wit of a cousin’s army.

Philippa: That is not a good idea.

Kat: I don’t feel like arguing with you.

Narrator 2: Neither do I.

Philippa: (back turned from Kat) This half sized acorn doesn’t scare me.

(Kat now has a dagger pointed at him)

Narrator 2: Uh, Philippa…

Philippa: Not now! I am sick of this job I’m just the messenger and they’re always trying to kill me and now I’m forced to listen to the hysterics of a half crazed French—

Narrator: Philippa. (Points)

Philippa: What? (Turns to see dagger pointed at her)

Kat: I suggest you leave now.

Philippa: Right. (Exits)

Kat: (turns to the rest of the drunk army) GO!

Act II, Scene 4

Narrator: (entrance of “soldiers” on stage, they stare at each other. Martin comes in from the back; André army and Jonathan’s meet on stage, pause, run in to attack and go right through each other, turn around looking shocked.

John: Wait, wait! Don’t hurt me, here, take her instead! (pushes Kat forward)

André: What, me fight a Lady?

Kat: I can fight.

André: I have no quarrel with a small defenseless lady.

Kat: I’m not small! (Andre looks down his nose at her) Alright, fine, maybe I am, but I’m not defenseless! I had excellent teachers. Are you listening?

André: I’m sorry, you’re too small.

(gasps from soldiers) Kat goes over to him, stand underneath. Clears throat, bodyguard snaps to attention, brings a chair, she stand on it.

Kat: I am NOT defenseless!

André: You’re my cousin?

Kat: Good guess! I’ll fight you for these lands.

André: I’m the villain, but I won’t go that “low” (heh heh heh) In fact, they might call me on “short order.”

Kat: That’s it! I’ve had it!

André: What are you going to do? Step on my toes?

Kat: Robert?

(Bodyguard reaches into weapon bag, brings kitchen knife) I am not fighting with this!

Robert: Yes my lady.

Christopher: (hands her a needle from his lapel)

Kat: NO! You know what I want.

Robert: This, my lady? (Hands her an épée)

André: This is highly amusing.

Kat: NOW, Robert!

(Christopher and Robert leave, return supporting a huge broadsword, Kat snaps for it, falls off chair when she picks it up)

Kat: Err; do you think you could just surrender?

Narrator 2: Just when our heroine had (as usual) gotten herself into a semi-royal mess…

(more people enter with Martin)

Martin: No no no, you’ve got it all wrong! (to audience) Was that enough of a ceremonious entrance? (Stops) André?

André and Katherine: Father?

André and Katherine: Father? He can’t be your father?

Martin: Oh boy.

Narrator 2: How it is that these two odd ducks could possibly be siblings is a whole other story entirely.

Martin: What are you fighting about?

John: Uncle Martin, I have no intention of giving my lands to this villain.

André: But I want them, because I love being the villain!

Martin: So why don’t you be a villain, but not against your own kin?

André: Good point.

Martin: (to John) where’s your foster brother?

André: Foster brother, you mean Hamlet?

Kat: Hamlet?

Hamlet: Hamlet? That’s me. (Reading the book)

Kat: What are you reading?

Hamlet: (giggles) Words. Words. Words!

André: (to soldier) I told you not to let him have that!

Hamlet: Oh. Get thee to a nunnery! To be or not to be!

Kat: (grabs book) Wake up!

Hamlet: To wha—are you my Ophelia?

Kat: I’m Katherine Marie---

Hamlet: You’re beautiful.

Kat: Oh Bon Dieu.

John: Does this mean I can marry my Herald?

Narrator 2: There isn’t a marriage in this story. (Hera drags John off-stage, veil in hand?) Well, at least not in the script…

All: WHY?

Narrator 2 (or all?): Because it’s NOT ANOTHER FAIRY TALE!

The End


My favorite French poet is François Villon. He was a bit of a "bad" boy poet of 15th century France but his poetry is masterful and speaks of common life in his time. This poem is based on an acrostic he wrote.

A reading of Villon's Testament By David A. Fein page 37 discusses the particular work I used. There is a preview of those bages at google books here:


Allons-y au départ, c’est l'aventure ou rien
Liaisons d'amour ou amitié main en main.
Ile de France, centre belle
Est-ce que tu es encore fidele ?
Noyant pas dans l’hiver tristesse
Ore de printemps arrive en vitesse
Remplie mon cœur en son jeunesse.

Countenance of the Lost One

This poem is based off of a religios poem written by Isaac Ibn Ghiyath who lived in Medieval Spain from 1038 to 1089. It is based on a translation from one of his poems that I have in an old course reader from a fantastic class I took on Jews in Muslim and Christian Spain. Since I can't find the translation anywhere online, you'll just have to trust that it is similar to religious poetry of that time.

By Hashem, the blessed name
I’ve imagined your bride is vestments of white
I give to receive the purest light
Though I may not see either.

I called out in desperation,
My heart lost to music I so loved
You breathed life gently,
And I was reborn.

I cannot see what I know is there—
My soul again made whole.

Chatelain'e Adieu

Sounds of war drums are sounding
Across the lands so dear
Ere long the snows have thawed,
They call kin from far and near.

Onward my noblest cousins,
Across the land so wide
Beat back our Allies foes
So we may welcome you with pride.

Strange the land that is not home
Goes forth a mighty host
I’ll watch the banners flowing
Remaining faithful at my post.

Alack that I must remain,
Far from battle and it’s mighty roar
Left to wait, this lady’s fate
Until they return once more.

Written for a challenge in February 2008 to write a poem a day all month.

Praise Poem

I read a praise poem while doing some research on what makes a period Celtic Bard. As it happens, Bard in the original Celtic sense was extremly difficult to attain and involved years of training and was very high in rank. The term was adapted later to define a poet. This poem is actually based on a Taliesin poem.

In the name of the stars,
the populace of Northshield call
Our rise against our foe--
The shield of your kinsman.
Stephen, King by right
I praise you with the aclaim of the Bards.

Strong, worthy of name
With view of Griffin's light
The song of thunder
of oncoming storm
Words-woven to praise
Won by arms by right
Holds my oath, no harm befall him.

Based on the poem praising Gwallawg