The Wicked Queen
The Lord Chancellor
Sir Edward Scrubbs
Rodney, Earl of Essex
Trixie the Dog, no lines, sings
Horace, a footman
Doris, another footman
Inspector from the Ministry of Political Correctness
Chief Inspector from the Ministry (The Director in Disguise)
Sergeant, few lines
Guard, few lines
Page, few lines
Chorus of Servants and Courtiers
Chorus of Forest Animals
Synopsis of Scenes
Scene 1 In the Palace Scene
2 Later, in the Palace Scene
3 Snow White’s Bed-chamber
Scene 4 On the Edge of the Forest
Scene 1 The Dwarves’ Cottage
Scene 2 The Dwarves’ Cottage
Scene 3 The Dwarves’ Cottage
Scene 4 The Palace
Scene 1, In the Palace
The great hall of the palace is furnished and decorated in formal medieval style. Candelabra are hanging from ceilings and walls and the tables are draped with purple cloths and decorated with more candles. The walls are hung with tapestries and decorated with shields and weapons, such as crossed pikes and maces. Paintings of the royal ancestors brighten the walls. The atmosphere is merry and jovial.
SONG 1 Servants Just Love to Wear Tights
(Tune: My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean)
Verse 1: In Rome we wore chic, stylish togas,
Gold bracelets and laurels of green.
But making our way to the senate,
We looked like a bunch of old queens.
Chorus: Roll up, roll up, vote for the great British pantie hose,
Fish nets, lycra; oh, servants just love to wear tights.
Verse 2: As Britons we dressed rather cheaply,
We painted our bodies with wode.
The minimal look raised some eyebrows;
Our enemies legged-it back home!
Verse 3: As Saxons we wore polished leather,
Our tunics came down to the calf.
They tended to shrink in bad weather
And strangle our Old English parts.
Verse 4: In Scotland we loved kilts and sporrans,
And garters on knee-length red socks.
They made us look cheekily tartan,
And let the wind blow up the jocks.
Verse 5: Today, when you see us in public
We’re sure to be wearing our tights.
But not the blond wigs or suspenders
Until we get home every night.
(Enter the queen. All suddenly goes still and quiet.)
QUEEN: And what is the cause of this hilarity? It is against my orders. The only day for celebration is my birthday – and it is not my birthday today.
SIR EDWARD: We’re sorry, my lady. We just felt that the audience needed cheering up a little.
QUEEN: Cheering up? Cheering up? Since when did people need to be cheerful? I’m miserable – so everyone must be miserable! That’s life! (To the crowd) If there is any further outbreak of good cheer, I will personally cut off the heads of those responsible. Do you understand?
ALL: Yes, queen.
QUEEN: Good! Now, go about your business, all of you. (They do not move.) At once, I say, at once! (There is a bustle as the crowd begins to disperse.) Not you, Edward. I want a word with you.
SIR ED: My lady?
QUEEN: There has been too much hilarity in the palace lately – and I hold you responsible.
SIR ED: I, my lady?
QUEEN: You are my chief minister, not my chief minstrel.
SIR ED: But, my lady, what do you expect me to do?
QUEEN: I expect you to pass some new laws; that’s what I pay you for. I do pay you, do I?
SIR ED: Yes, my lady, but…
QUEEN: A law against dancing for a start, and playing music. (Nervous, muted reaction of horror from those of the crowd who are left.) And ban those jokes; they are quite unnecessary.
SIR ED: (Aghast) Ban the jokes?
QUEEN: Good! You’re getting the idea. Now, about the ladies. I have seen ladies at the court wearing make-up and outrageous modern dresses. This must stop! They must not show their arms, ankles or, I can hardly bring myself to say it, (spoken with distaste) their cleavage!
(Gasps from the crowd.)
SIR ED: But my lady, I like to see… (He notices the queen has a face like thunder.) Yes, my lady!
QUEEN: That will be all, Edward. Now, leave me in peace; I wish to consult my mirror.
SIR ED: As you wish, my lady. (He exits.)
QUEEN: (Noticing some of the courtiers still present.) Get out! All of you. Is there no privacy for a queen. GET OUT OF MY SIGHT!
(The rest of the crowd exit rapidly, leaving the queen alone.)
Why, oh why must I be surrounded by fools and idiots? I shall consult my mirror. At least that will talk sense.
(She crosses to the mirror and pauses to adjust her hair and admire herself before speaking.)
Mirror, mirror on the wall, Who is the fairest of us all?
MIRROR: Thou, o queen, art blessed with the most pulchritudinous physiognomy in the land. And thou dost possess the most ambrosial charisma of all.
QUEEN: Yes, but mirror, mirror on the wall, Who is the fairest of us all?
MIRROR: Thou, o queen, art blessed with the most alluring visage in the land. And thou dost possess the most captivating disposition of all.
QUEEN: Yes, but mirror, mirror on the wall, Who is the fairest of us all?
MIRROR: Thou, o queen, art blessed with the most sexy curves in the land. And thou dost possess the biggest pair of…
QUEEN: Yes, yes, yes, that’s better. Now, tell me, mirror, is this the truth?
MIRROR: No, not at all. I’m just saying what you would like to hear. Last time I told the truth you broke my glass.
QUEEN: I’ll do more than break your glass, I’ll fracture your frame, I’ll bruise your burnishing and I’ll dislocate your tenons and mortices. But first, tell me who is the fairest of us all?
MIRROR: Snow White is more delectable than thee; more angelic, bewitching and elegant; her radiant beauty throws light into the corners of every room; her wit and charm beguile the hardest of hearts; her…her…
QUEEN: Silence, you foolish mirror. Have you no pity?
MIRROR: No less than you when you beat me up.
QUEEN; I’ll deal with you later.(Aside) There is only one way to deal with this crisis; Snow White must die. But, how to accomplish this? I could poison her! No that may fail. I shall have a servant take her to the forest and come back with her heart. And who better to do this deed than the huntsman? He is familiar with the techniques of butchery. (Calls into wings) Huntsman, come here at once! At once I say!
(Enter the huntsman, breathless and flustered.)
HUNTSMAN: My lady, you called me?
QUEEN: You know very well I called you.
HUNTSMAN: Yes, my queen.
QUEEN: Thoughts of a foul deed have crossed my mind.
HUNTSMAN: (Aside) That wouldn’t have taken very long.
QUEEN: Look, Horace, you must go to the forest. I would like you to take my daughter where you didn’t oughter.
HUNTSMAN: What would I wish with that little dish?
QUEEN: Less of that cheek, close your beak. You must take Snow White and it must be tonight.
HUNTSMAN; But, she’ll be afraid, the poor little maid.
QUEEN: That’s the idea – to instil some fear.
HUNTSMAN: I don’t think I should, it’s dangerous in the wood.
QUEEN: If you want to keep your head, keep her there till she’s dead.
HUNTSMAN: Dead, my lady? You must be crazy!
QUEEN; Don’t delay, just do as I say, I want her out of the way, today! O.K.?
HUNTSMAN: But what if she will not agree to go with me in the dark to the royal park. After all, it’s not the ball and I’m of a lower social order than your daughter.
QUEEN: She’ll be more keen if you tell her the queen would otherwise lock her in the cellar; you tell ‘er.
HUNTSMAN: I’ve a good mind forthrightly to go forth forthwith and sever the security of my situation.
QUEEN: Don’t be ridiculous, I like to retain my retainers. All you need is to saddle your steed, drag her off with the utmost speed and do the deed.
HUNTSMAN: But, I can’t keep calm – I’m in alarm at the thought of causing Snow White harm.
QUEEN: You kill with skill and are not sorry for the quarry when it’s furry. Just, pretend she’s a deer, dear.
HUNTSMAN: It’s not the same as shooting game, the girl’s quite tame.
QUEEN: It’s your duty through good and ill to obey my will, Will.
HUNTSMAN: Quick, I feel sick, my guts feel nuts, I need to chuck it in the bucket.
QUEEN: Ill or nil, I will have my will, Will!
HUNTSMAN My face is white and throat is tight; my knees are all a’quiver, there’s a pain in my liver.
QUEEN: Pull yourself together, you’re not under the weather, you’re just afraid ‘cos your nerves are frayed and your knees knock, Jock. (His knees knock. Sound effect of wood block.)
HUNTSMAN: But, but, but….
QUEEN: Stop butting, you’re not a goat.
HUNTSMAN: (Aside) I wish I were.
QUEEN: If you are successful in ridding the world of Snow White, you will be handsomely rewarded.
HUNTSMAN: What might be the nature of the reward, my lady?
QUEEN: You’ll find out, if you are successful.
HUNTSMAN: As my queen, perhaps you might be disposed to give me a knight-hood or something like that.
QUEEN: Do not try my patience! Now go, go, GO! And return with the girl’s heart.
HUNTSMAN: (In a small squeaky voice.) Her heart! (He clears his throat, nervously.) Very good, my lady. (He backs off-stage rather hurriedly.)
QUEEN: (Cynically) Perhaps I might be disposed to give him a knighthood! Perhaps I might be disposed to dispose of him in the same way as he will dispose of Snow White. For, when she is dead I will once more be the most beautiful woman in the land.
(Evil cackles of laughter.)
Church of the Holy Spirit at Contact Centre, London, England
Maker Music and Arts, The Energy Room, Maker Heights, Torpoint, Cornwall, England
Beacon Hill Academy, Sri Lanka
Lisburn, Northern Ireland
Inverness High School, Inverness, Scotland
Marin Horizon School, San Anselmo Playhouse, San Anselmo, California, USA