Monday, November 4, 2013

12th Night: A Complete Mangling of Bill's Play

12th Night
A Complete Mangling of Bill's Play
by the Septentrian Performing Arts Troupe
This play was first performed at Snowed Inn, Canton of Ardchreag, February AS XXXVI.
The cast for this performance was:
Jennifer of Ardchreag as Femina, a heroine/hero
Gunnar Truthsinger as Imemio, a Baron
Mahault van der Eych as Lacivia, , a Baroness
Wulfgang of Ardchreag as Impudio, another villain
Crispinus Spellar as Conspirato, another villain
Lachlan MacLean as Narrator the First, a narrator
Morgan Blackheart as Narrator the Second, another narrator
Thorfinna gra’feldr as Many Guards, various nobles and a foreigner 
Berend van der Eych as an executioner and a priest
Written and Directed by Colyne Stewart (Yes, he is to blame.)
A note on the production:
Though we had not fully intended it at the time, the play became a fully interactive feature, with the audience members booing, growling, hissing and cheering the play as it went on (in no small count because of Baroness Gaerwen). I now suggest that this is the way to perform this play.
We now begin:
The scene of this so-called "comedy" is in lots of places: castles, forests, the sea, roadways, cliff edges and mansions, but since we don't have a budget, they're all gonna look like here.
Act the Only
Narrator the First:
There once was a woman named Femina who lived in a far off land. She was a servant in a small noble house where she laboured every day doing laundry and cleaning floors. As the nobles she worked for were 
lazy, messy and sloppy, she always had lots of work to do.
One day the entire household set out to sea to go and visit (or should I say, live off of) a distant branch of the family. Now, the nobles took just as good care of their boat as they took looking after themselves. Which meant the boat sank.
Femina clutched to her wash bucket, watching as her noble employers drowned in what may have been the first and was most definitely the last bath they ever took.
Eventually, Femina was washed up on shore, where she was found by an old man who took her into his home and cared for her. She thought it odd at first that her rescuer insisted that she dress like a man, but she did not want to offend him, so she complied.
Narrator the Second:
Unbeknownst to her, the old man, called Impudio, was a vile, wicked man who planned on using Femina worse than her previous employers ever had. For Impudio was a lusty man, who had not known a woman's touch for many years. He dressed Femina in men's clothing for he feared that some other man in the nearby village would steal her away from him.
Not long after Femina had been pulled from the sea, she saw a wonderful procession passing by on the road along the cliffs. It was Imemio, the Baron of Ben Sepalthing Rising, the land in which she now resided. The Baron was attended by his most trusted adviser Conspirato and Many Guards. Suddenly, the Baron's horse bucked and threw him towards the cliff. Without thinking, Femina ran forward and caught the Baron. Imemio was so happy not to have fallen to his death on the pointy rocks below, that he took Femina away to work at his court. Needless to say, Impudio was furious, so I won't.
Narrator the First:
At the Baron's court, Femina was made the Castellon, and placed in charge of the castle. She excelled in her new position, and the castle's day-to-day operations never ran smoother. She was so skilled that she quickly came to the attention of the Baroness, Lacivia. Lacivia, though married to Imemio, was an...adventurous woman. She often went...adventuring...with several different Lords and knights. However, when she saw Femina she spurned all her other...friends...and planned to become very close to the new Castellon.
In the meantime, Femina worked very closely with the Baron and soon discovered that she was in love with him. She did not know what to do, for not only was the Baron married, but for her to reveal her feeling would also reveal her deception. She was afraid that he would send her away for masquerading as a man.
So she laboured in silence, avoiding the advances of the Baroness, who continued to concoct reasons to lure the Castellon into her bed chambers.
One night, after once again fleeing the amorious grasp of Lacivia, Femina came across Conspirato whispering with a strange foreign man. She listened in disbelief as Conspirato, the Baron's most trusted adviser, plotted with the stranger to end Imemio's life! Christmas was only a few days away, and Conspirato and the stranger planned to poison the Baron's pudding at feast that night.
Alarmed, Femina ran to tell the Baron what she had discovered. She became even more alarmed when the Baron just laughed. 
I'm sure you must have misheard them. He is my most trusted adviser. How could anyone suspect a man like Conspirato? He is like a weasel...warm, and lovable.
Narrator the Second:
Femina, not to sure about the Baron's mental state anymore, retreated and began to plan.
On Christmas Eve a grand feast was held, the first for the twelve days of Christmas. After the food had been served, Femina distracted both Imemio and Conspirato and switched their puddings. Conspirato then watched gleefully as the Baron ate a large spoonful of pudding, then dug into his own. A minute or two later, he realized that something was wrong. The Baron seemed to be fine, but he didn't feel so good. His stomach didn't usually contort and swell this way. Suddenly Conspirato fell convulsing to the ground and died horribly, to the amusement of all the children present.
The Baron, very happy not to have died again, proclaimed Femina a hero and pledged to throw a great feast in "his" honour at Twelfth Night. 
There's just something about you, Femina, that I can't quite put my finger on.
Narrator the First:
When word of the upcoming festivities reached Impudio in his lonely shack, he vowed that the time had come for his revenge. At Twelfth Night, disguising himself as a pilgrim, he went to the Baron's castle and snuck inside. He waited in the shadows until the Baron called Femina before him.
Then, while everyone's eyes were on her, Impudio ran out, pulling off her disguise, revealing her for a woman!
The crowd flew into an uproar, and the Baron glared at Femina. He didn't like dying, it was true, but he liked being made a fool of even less. The Baroness pointed at Femina and shouted: 
Ah ha! I knew there was a reason he refused my advances!
Narrator the Second:
The crowd went very quiet. Everyone knew the Baroness cheated on the Baron...except for the Baron. Imemio's angry gaze shifted to his wife. 
Lacivia (stammering):
Er...ah...What I meant to say was...
Narrator the First:
Snapping his fingers, Imemio summoned an executioner.
Oh expletive.
Narrator the Second:
Bowing her head, Femina said:
My Lord, I never meant to deceive you. This person, Impudio, first dressed me like a man, and it was as a man that we first met. I was afraid that if I revealed the truth to you, you would send me away. If you wish to do so now, or if you wish to place a harsher penalty on me... (she looks at the executioner) ...then I am ready to receive it.
Narrator the First:
Imemio snapped his fingers again and the executioner was replaced by a priest, who granted them a divorce on the spot. 
"Tu nullus nupta."
Narrator the Second:
At this Lacivia was angry, but not overly so. She was still rich, and now she was free to play the field.
As for Femina...
You know, I always thought you were an attractive man. As a woman, you're not bad."
Narrator the First:
So the priest was called on again, and Femina married the Baron. Impudio was angry at first, but not overly so, as he ended up getting married himself, to Lacivia.
Narrator the Second:
And Femina and Imemio lived happily ever after, though they could never agree on who wore the pants in the family.
The End (Thank Goodness)

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