Approximate running time of 60 minutes.
No songs. The Ministry of Performance and Entertainment has been revoking dramatic, poetic, and artistic licences all over the place. Handsome Prince to the rescue. Clever and funny.
A lot of our plays are a bit wacky – but this one is positively bouncing off the wall. Right, so the King and Queen have two sons. Rufus, who is a bit lacking in motivation and Frederick who is a Maths genius. There is a performance at the palace by a strange theatre troupe. Their principal actor, Arty, has had his dramatic licence revoked by MOPE for “performing Hamlet without due care and attention to iambic pentameter”, amongst other things.
It then transpires that other artistes are having their licences revoked and it is all because the officials at MOPE have been kidnapped by a villain called The Oxymoron. Prince Rufus finds a purpose in life by going with Arty to rescue the men from MOPE. Daft? You have no idea. The plot gets even weirder and involves the perfect recipe for meringues and something to do with a yoghurt farmer. You have to read it to believe it.
30 speaking parts.
As with all our plays, there are full production notes that give advice on scenery, costumes and props.
NO ROYALTIES. PHOTOCOPYING LICENCE INCLUDED.
Click here to show/hide sample
The KING and QUEEN sit watching a performance of the visiting theatre
group. RUFUS sits in front of them looking surly. FREDERICK sits next to
RUFUS looking pompous. The KING wears a false smile. The QUEEN looks
happy. A couple of courtiers stand by.
The theatre troupe, the Junction Six Theatre Company, is led by leading
thespian, ARTICULATED VEHICLE (ARTY). There are around six or seven
players in the company. As we join the scene they are pretending to be
trees…or mermaids…or aliens…or whatever; anyway, it’s very strange and is
accompanied by occasional gurgling noises by the actors. The only performer
who is not acting is ARTY himself, who stands at the side, watching. Their
MANAGER stands next to him.
(after a short while) What are they doing?
(quieter) Is it modern?
I think so, dear. (to FREDERICK) That one there’s very good. (she points)
(FREDERICK nods in agreement. One of the performers abruptly falls over,
waves his arms in the air, lets out a blood-curdling scream, and falls utterly
still and silent. The performance continues.)
I don’t understand what’s going on. What’s the point if you can’t tell what’s
It’s perfectly simple dear if you sit still and concentrate.
(Pause; the performance continues.)
No, no, no, this is ridiculous. (Turns to COURTIER 1) Have you got any idea
what this is all about?
Yes Sir. It’s a neo-realist existentialist piece which points out fundamental
contradictions between reality and deconstructive ideology, emphasizing at
its heart the essentially didactic nature of human experience.
(The KING ponders this for a bit.)
Is it the sort of thing people who read the Guardian go and see?
It is Sir.
Well, I think it’s nonsense. I really do. And disgraceful. In my day….
QUEEN and FREDERICK
(The performance seems to have ended. The performers are still, lying in a
heap or frozen on the spot; whichever seems the most appropriate.
The group’s MANAGER, who has been standing at the side and is wearing
absurdly coloured clothes, comes forward to address the audience.)
Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together and applaud the
Junction Six Theatre Company, and their principal artiste….Mr Articulated
(The Group take a bow. ARTICULATED VEHICLE bows effusively. The
MANAGER looks on indulgently. The COURTIERS and the QUEEN clap
effusively; RUFUS and the KING don’t.)
(sotto voce; to ARTY) You’re on, kid! Make it sound good!
(ARTY bows in front of the KING.)
Yes, yes! Stop doing that.
Your Majesty. Did you like our play?
Arty…I’ve always been an honest man.
That means you didn’t.
Well it wasn’t so much that I didn’t enjoy it, it was….
Well, Mr Farty….
Arty…. There wasn’t a story.
Or any action. I like action in stories. Biff, baff, you’re dead. Loads of it.
I don’t agree. You don’t need action if you want to emphasize the didactic
nature of human experience – do you? You can’t boil human experience down
to a couple of scenes of violent fisticuffs and a load of bodies all over the
Honestly Mr King! Do stop arguing with the poor man. (to ARTY) Frederick
and I thought you were jolly good. And so did my other son Rufus, although
he’s too shy to say so.
Thank you, Ma’am.
How is it that you yourself are not performing? Your Manager here says you
are the principal actor in this troupe!
Yes, indeed I am. Well there’s a reason for this….lamentable state of affairs.
Your majesty, I regret to say that for these past few weeks I have been
without my dramatic licence. The company has been unable to operate
properly with me in this condition.
Without your dramatic licence! I don’t understand. I’ve never even heard of
such a thing!
It’s a….well, I suppose a dramatic licence is a certificate allowing those of a
creative nature to pursue their chosen craft. Artists must apply for an artistic
licence. Poets for a poetic licence. Actors and playwrights need a dramatic
licence, in order to perform. As proof of competence, you see. But I managed
to accrue thirteen penalty points on my licence. Once you go over eleven it’s
revoked. Simple as that.