Crossroads

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An indecisive, care-free Tramp at the crossroads must help solve the conflicts between the Scientist of the South, the Monster of the West, the Great Bird of the East and the Cold Queen of the North. Through his experiences, the Tramp discovers a more meaningful purpose for living. Audience involvement includes opportunities for small group participation.

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Content

CROSSROADS

BAKER'S PLAYS
100 CHAUNCY STREET
BOSTON, MASS. 02111

THE CROSSROADS
by
Brian Way
Edited with notes by Margaret
Faulkes

©Way
1977 by Brian
All Rights

Reserved Made in
U.S.A.
THE CROSSROADS was first produced by Theatre Centre, Ltd.,
London, England, in 1960. It was written and directed by
the author for presentation to children in schools and was
toured throughout the British Isles.
CONDITIONS FOR PERFORMANCE: This play must be presented by
adults
(or young adults) and is intended for children of fourth,
fifth and sixth-grade age level. The audience may not
exceed a maximum of 200, and the play should be presented
in the round. ROYALTIES are due on all performances of
Brian Way plays, whether admission is charged or not.
Production fee on this title is as follows: $15.00
per performance for the first six performances, $10.00 for
each subsequent performance.
CAUTION: This play is fully protected by the laws of copyright
and may not be produced by amateurs or professionals for public
or private performance without first obtaining performance rights.
Please note that it is unlawful and dishonest to copy a play, or
any part
of a play, in any way--by hand, typewriter, photocopy or any
other method.
WHENEVER THE PIAY IS PRODUCED, the Author's name must be
carried in all publicity, advertising and programs. Also,
the following notice must appear on all printed programs:
PRODUCED BY SPECIA L ARRANGEMENT WITH BAKER'S PIAYS
BOST ON , MASS
PRINTED FORM : This large size play script is printedin
such manner for convenience in making rehearsal
notations.
BAKER 'S PIAYS
100 CHAUNCY
STREET
BOSTON, MA -02111
(617) 482-1280
Western States
Representative Samuel
French, Inc.
7623 Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90046

Canadian
Representative Samuel
French, Ltd.
80 Richmond Street
East Toronto, MSC lPl
Canada

Representative for British Commonwealth
Samuel French, Ltd.
26 Southampton
Street Strand,
London WC2

THE CROSSROADS

Running time:

1 hour

Characters:

4 men and 4
women: Tramp
The
Spirit
of
the
Signpost The Scientist
of the South The Queen
of the North
The Proud Bird of the East
The Mighty Monster of the West
Puck, a sprite
Robin, a sprite
PRODUCTION NOTES

Intimate staging is a necessary condition for the best results in audience
participation:
The whole room becomes the 'theatre', the actors and audience
sharing the same space and the same experiences. The closer the children are
to the action, the more genuine their involvement; intimacy thus determines a
limited audience - the smaller the better.
SUGGESTED LOCATION: a hall, with the children seated on the floor.
The scene throughout the play is at the Crossroads. The Signpost, set into a
small rostrum which can be used as a seat, is all that is required.
MUSIC: "Let There Be Drums" by Sandy Nelson is suggested for the dance drama
(pg.2).
LIGHTING: It has been well established that children of this age range have no
need of lighting: indeed, lighting can provide a barrier and, if changes occur,
interrupt concentration. Daylight or the normal overhead lighting is all that is
necessary.
In the case of presentation in a small theatre, it is recommended that the
house lights be left on at a medium reading throughout the play. This assists
the sense of shared space and action between actors and audience - a necessary
attribute for genuine participation.
COSTUMES: These should be of simple concept from the viewpoints of both
center staging without lighting, and the children. "Cartoon" or "Disneylike" clothes prevent believability. At the same time, very young children
can be overpowered by elaborate or too-realistic costuming or frightened
by character make-up and masks. Simple lines, strong colors and
headdresses which leave the face exposed help to avoid these problems.
In the original production of this play, the four primary colors were used as
follows: Each arm of the Signpost was painted: North - blue; South - red; East yellow;
West - green. The four great powers were color-keyed to the Signpost:

The Queen was dressed in a close-fitting ice-blue satin tunic over a deep blue
satin skirt. The scientist wore a scarlet lab-type coat over orange shirt and
breeches.
The Bird had a yellow tunic and tights, with touches of purple and pink for
chiffon wings and feathers. The Monster was in shades of green: a long tunic and
cloak and
a close-fitting hood. Over his tunic he wore a triangular shaped tabard of
scales (made with vinyl). Spirit wore tunic and tights using all four colors.
The Tramp was dressed in an ill-fitting coat with pockets, over baggy
trousers, and a bowler hat - thus being easily identifiable with the Chaplin
type clown.
PARTICIPATION: This play was written at a time when it was usual to provide
theatre for the full age range of elementary children - i.e. 5 - 11 years.
(Catering for such a wide age range has never been satisfactory either in
subject matter or in
Participation, which is why it is now the practice to provide different plays
for different age groups within this range.)
In this play, the subject matter is one which can be appreciated by the older
age group, while the action and characters can be understood and enjoyed by
the younger children. The participation is more
particularly geared to the
younger children
(5 - 8 years) who are not yet 'conditioned' to adult theatre behavior; their
spontaneous response is triggered by emotional and physical reactions to the
people and happenings in the play. The genuine quality of such reaction is
directly related to the genuine quality of the acting. Caricatures, unbelievable
actions or phony emotions will be recognized for what they are. These
considerations are important also for the older children in the audience who,
for various reasons, are less spontaneous in participation and more critical of
the story and characters involved. Involvement for these children may well be at
a greater intellectual level than is commonly believed by adults.
The themes of this play are serious themes: world peace, the struggles of the
little man to survive against the forces that surround him, and the more usual
theme of the triumphing of good over evil. Strong direction and sincere acting will
produce genuine involvement (physical, emotional and intellectual) from the wide
age range of audience.
Milking participation to a hysteria level is highly undesirable; so also is the
uses o f t h e w o r d “ p r e t e n d " which is an adult concept of "make-believe". Very
young children believe and become: they do not make-believe or pretend. As the
child
grows older; he begins to understand intellectually what imagination is.
In dialogue terms, therefore: "Everybody do or be." becomes "Everybody
imagine that. . ."
The participation is fully integrated into the play: if the audience does not
help Spirit, Tramp cannot turn into a clown or become blind, and so he cannot
help to change the Scientist and the Queen. The participation is both organized
and controlled by Spirit.
Three kinds of participation are evident in this play:
DIRECT: in which Spirit speaks directly to the audience and requests that they
do something to help her.
STIMULATED: in which Spirit gives the idea and leaves the audience to put it into
operation at the appropriate moment.
SPONTANEOUS: in which the audience may volunteer ideas, suggestions without being
asked to do so. The play is, however, tightly structured and there is no
intention that such moments of spontaneous participation be developed.

Center staging, fluid action and participation relate directly to the kind
of creative drama encouraged with elementary age group children. Directors
are referred to the author's text on drama in education: DEVELOPMENT
THROUGH DRAMA by Brian Way (Longmans Green and Co., London 1967).
NOTES ON PARTICIPATION ARE GIVEN AT THE END OF THE PLAY.

THE CROSSROADS PROLOGUE

SPIRIT

Would you like to hear a story? (Presumably
Puck, would you like to tell the story?

PUCK

No, please, you tell it.

SPIRIT

All right.

PUCK

Can I help too?

SPIRIT

Yes!

ROBIN

What kind of help can we give?

SPIRIT

Yes!

they will)

Robin, will you help?

You can both help.

Oh, all kinds .Different kinds. Shall we start

now?
ROBIN

Hey – can we try some sounds to start with?

SPIRIT

Yes. Everybody make the sound of the wind when Puck claps
his hand - and stop when Robin claps twice. (Puck claps
hand once) Now! (They do so. Robin stops it with a double
hand-clap.)Now, everybody make the sounds of animals (Puck claps hand once) Now! (They do so. Robin stops it
with a double hand-clap.) (Puck & Robin discuss with one
half each of the audience the different kinds of animals
they were being.)

(Puck and Robin now take turns yelling out different
animals) (Puck claps hand once) Dogs! (They do so. Robin stops it with a
double hand-clap.) Cats! (Puck claps hand once) (They do so. Robin stops it
with a double hand-clap.) Elephants! ((Puck claps hand once) (They do so.
Robin stops it with a double hand-clap.)
SPIRIT

There are other ways you can help too.
some now?

ROBIN

YES!

SPIRIT

OK, let’s set the scene; the story is set in a forest.

PUCK

Listen carefully; when I clap stand up & grow into trees.
(PUCK claps his hands) Yes! That's right.

Would you like to try

ROBIN

Now the birds are singing in the trees. Sing like birds!
(ROBIN claps her hands)

PUCK

Now the wind is in the trees. And now the wind
blows all the trees down.

SPIRIT

Very good!

Now is everyone ready for the story?

ROBIN

We’re ready to start!!!

PUCK

SHHHHHHH …

SPIRIT

Once upon a time

ROBIN

Can I be in the story? I want to be in it,
not just sit listening to it.

SPIRIT

You'll be able to do things as well.

PUCK

Are you sure we can do things? Special things?

SPIRIT

You'll see.

There'll be lots to do.
Once upon a time, there was a man, a little Tramp...
(Cue Tramp music ...)

THE CROSSROADS

The scene is a cross roads and is a friendly enough
looking place: Innocent and quiet, just the meeting
of the ways, with no sign of trouble. Out of the
quietness comes the sound of a mouthorgan, and an
old Tramp arrives, thinking and yet not thinking.
He is no old fool, not a country bumpkin, yet he is
simple and unsophisticated: He is not involved in the
main stream of life because experience of being so has
brought little liking for the hell-pace of
life called civilization: Yet he has not allowed
himself to be forced behind the defensive shell of
any firmly held intellectual or spiritual
fortification: Materialistic
possessions bore him, so he gave them up: Power and
authority distress him, as much in himself as in
others, so eventually he neither looked for nor was
offered any. The result of
all this is that he has no permanence, no boots,
and yet, not a shred of bitterness at this lack.
So he became a tramp and found happiness in simple
hope: and hope became faith - but faith without
drive or ambition. Eventually the most he really
wanted from life was to have something to do, with
simple responsibility, genuine contact with other
people and no anxiety about the quantity or quality
of food or shelter: he grew to accept that this
was not possible if he stayed in any one place,
because as no one
could understand his viewpoint (and he was never much
good at communicating it). They always wanted to
reward his efficiency with promotion and
authority, and if he turned down those, then with
increasing material assets. Each time this circle
started he broke it by the simple process of
moving on and starting afresh some other place,
with some other people. Very gradually, the process
has made him inclined to be lazy, to lose any
inclination to bother,
to reach a stage when some pret ty strong
influence would need to be exerted to re-awake
the full potential within him : And now, at this
moment, as he stands at the Cross roads to which
he has come so often, he reaches a poin t of such
positive indecisiveness that, without being aware
of it, he is totally open to such influence.
TRAMP

(Looking at each arm of the signpost in turn) North,
South, East, West. (He turns away) North, South, East, West.
Huh! I've been to
them all, every one of them. And I don't think I want to go
again. (He thinks on this for a moment) Still-- suppose
I've got to go somewhere. Can't just stay here for the rest
of my life. Ah! I know--let fate decide it. Yes. Yes, that's
the easiest way. (He stands a little away from the arms
of the signpost, closes his eyes, and then spins round
and round, suddenly stopping) Huh! North. Alright, fate

decides north -- then North it
shall be. North--here I
come. (He starts to take the path to the north and then again
stops) No, no, no, no. Not North. Not again. (To us) D'you
know what it's like up there? Do you? (1) Brrr—it’s cold.
Really cold. D'you know--it can get so cold there that after
only a few minutes you have an icicle dangling from the end
of your nose, almost down to your feet. Huh!

2
TRAMP
(Cont.)

The icicle can get so long and so strong that you could
break it off and use it as a walking stick. No, no. No
more of that
for me. Fate--I defy you! I tell you, I will not go to the
North. (And he moves rapidly away in the opposite

direction, stopping again when he realizes that he is
about to venture South) Oh dear, but not the South either.

Oh, no. Oh, the heat. D'you know that out there it's so hot
that you could cook meat that thick
on the pavement, even in the middle of the night. Huh--a
few days of that and I began to feel like cooked meat
myself. Oh no, not South either. Not this time. Where
then? (2) East?
East! Yes, all right, that's a good enough idea. East then.

(

(Again he starts out only to stop before he has gone
too far) Ah-ah! No. No, I'm not so sure that it is a good

idea. Not into that wind again. Oh, what a wind. Listen-I'd no soon got out
East than the wind started--and it got under my hat and
whoooo - whizzed it away, up, up into the sky until--well, on
a clear night you can see the man in the moon wearing it. And
he's got
a lot of spare ones too, 'cos everytime I bought a new hat
the same thing happened. No, no, not East. I'm going to
hang on to this new one. So--what's left? West? West!
What--in all that water--and with all that rain--and with
all those rivers and oceans and lakes and seas? Oh no. Not
again. Not in all that rain. It ran down my neck, and it
trickled down my back; it wriggled round my waist and then
oozed down my trouser legs- till I was dancing the
hebejebes. Oh, no, no, not into the
rain again--not the West. (Suddenly he stops dead

still)Listen!

ALL

There is the sound of drums--and out of the West
comes the MIGHTY MONSTER. And as other instruments
are added to the drums in a great warlike fugue,
there comes also the PROUD BIRD OF THE EAST, the
Cold QUEEN OF THE NORTH,
and the SCIENTIST OF THE SOUTH. They have no
liking for each other, are suspicious of each other's
motives, jealous of possessi ons--and yet they are
uncertain in their proced ure, none strong enough to
overcome alone the other three and yet all
mistrustful of alliances. They fight amongst
themselves, against each other, giving nothing,
yet accomplishing nothing other than successful
defense of what each already possesses. Throughout
the battle (A dance drama to the music) the TRAMP
huddles away, afraid and bewildered. Suddenly
there is a loud crash--and all are still. Out of
their stillness arising over them,
close to the signpost, appears the SPIRIT OF THE
SIGNPOST.

MONSTER

Be still. Stop your fighting and go back to your Kingdoms.

SPIRIT
ALL
SPIRIT

No, no. Leave us alone. Leave us alone.
I will not leave you alone. Not until you can live in
peace. We shall never live in peace. Leave us alone.

Leave us alone or we
shall destroy the

Signpost.

QUEEN

Yes, leave us Spirit, or we shall destroy you too.

SCIENTIST

Destroy the Signpost.

BIRD

Destroy the Spirit.

ALL

Destroy the Signpost. Destroy the Spirit. Destroy the
Signpost, destroy the Spirit.

SPIRIT
me.

Be silent. You cannot destroy a Spirit. Nor can you even touch
·

QUEEN
MONSTER

No -

SCIENTIST
-

No

BIRD
-

No

ALL

SPIRIT

-

No, perhaps we cannot touch you. But- can you touch us.

You cannot touch us
No, no I cannot touch you. But I am the Guardian of the
Signpost, the Protector of the Crossroads--and as guardian and
protector I shall keep this one piece of the earth free from
your greedy hands.
As long as it's free there is hope of peace.

Robin
ALL

Peace! Peace! There shall never be peace.

SPIRIT

One day there shall be peace. One day you, Queen of the North,
one day you will weep. (The QUEEN laughs, a cruel, cold
laughter) Yes, you shall weep and on that day you will live
in peace. And you, Scientist of the South, one day you will
laugh.
(The
SCIENTIST sneers) Yes, you will. You will laugh, and even
as you do so, you will long for peace. (The MONSTER roars
at her) Oh, yes, Mighty Monster, roar your defiance. With
your great brute strength you think you can conquer the
world.

MONSTER

I shall conquer the world.

SPIRIT

No. No, you shall not conquer the world. For one day you
will lose your strength and you will be glad to be alive
and to live in peace.

BIRD

And me, Spirit? What can you say to me? Nothing. You can
say nothing to me, because I do live at peace. I ask
nothing of the
world but that it should do as I do -

SPIRIT

Perhaps the world does not want to live as you do.

\.

BIRD

Why not? What better life could there be than one filled
with beauty and comfort? A pleasant, lazy life, without a
care in the world.

4

PUCK

Then why do you fight?

BIRD

To protect our comfort.

SPIRIT

Your comfort is an idle dream. You spend your life in fear.
You're all the same, all too afraid to live.

MONSTER

I fear nothing. Nothing at all.

ALL

We fear nothing. Nothing at all. Nothing at all.

Suddenly the TRAMP gets up.
TRAMP

But you should. You should fear something. Everybody's
afraid of something.

ALL

Who are you?

TRAMP

I'm a tramp. Just a tramp.

ALL

A tramp! A tramp!

QUEEN

Just an old, old tramp.

TRAMP

Yes, I'm old.

SCIENTIST

A useless tramp.

TRAMP

Yes, I'm not much use.

BIRD

A wretched, miserable tramp.

TRAMP
fight.

No, I'm not wretched, not miserable. Except when I see you
Then I'm wretched; then I'm miserable. And then I'm afraid.

MONSTER

But you have nothing to fear. Come to my Kingdom in the West.
I and my underwater creatures, we will protect you so that
you have nothing to fear.

TRAMP

Oh, well, that's very kind. But, well, I don't think I
should like that.

ROBIN

Why not?

TRAMP

Well, for one thing, it really is terribly wet in the West -

BIRD

No, Tramp, join me. Come with me to the Kingdom of the East
where you can live the rest of your days in comfort. You
would never have to work -

TRAMP

Yes . Well, I have thought of that, but I think I'd get
terribly bored if I had nothing to do -

5

PUCK

But you're bored now.

TRAMP

Yes, I know. But then -

SCIENTIST

If you really want to work, you useless tramp, then join me.
Together we can harness the power of the sun the greatest
power in all the world. And when we've conquered that, then
we can use it--use it to rule the whole of mankind, to make
them slaves of
my kingdom. Think of the power you'd have. Every day
millions of people doing what you say they must do.

TRAMP

But I don't want them to do what I say they must do.
Anyway, your kingdom's too hot.

QUEEN

Then come to my Kingdom. (The poor TRAMP looks quiet
bewildered and the QUEEN laughs) Oh, you look so

(

bewildered. Come to my Kingdom and laugh at the world.
TRAMP

No, no really, I don't think I'd like that.

ROBIN

But you must go somewhere;

PUCK

You can't remain in no-man's land.

ALL

You can't remain in no-man’s land.

QUEEH

Join me -

SCIENTIST

Join me -

MONSTER

Join me -

BIRD

Join me -

ALL

Join me and share the world. Join me and share the world.

TRAMP

But I don't want to share the world. Or rather--I only want a
little bit of it. Just a bit. Just enough to grow some food,
and work in the warmth of the day and rest in the cool of the
evening.
Just enough for me. That's all I want. None of you can
offer me that.

SPIRIT

I can. I can offer you that.

TRAMP

You?

SPIRIT

Yes. I can offer you all of those things.

TRAMP

Then -

But suddenly a great quarrel arises from all the others
and should be improvised on the following lines: First
their continued offers to TRAMP and quarrelling among
themselves; Second that the SPIRIT is once more
ruining their prospect s of making a conquest and in
this all are allied against SPIRIT. After some

moments of the quarrel, the SPIRIT claps her hands
twice and immediately all are still and quiet.

6

SPIRIT

Be still. Be quiet. Now--return to your kingdoms or I
shall leave you standing speechless for the rest of your
days.

Again she claps twice and at once the full
fury of the quarrel breaks out again, so she
again claps twice and all are still and quiet.
SPIRIT

I mean what I say. I give you one last chance. Return to
your kingdoms without a word or I shall leave you
standing still and speechless for the rest of your days.
Now--be gone.

She claps twice, releasing the four great powers ,
but stands with her hands absolutely at the
ready to carry out her threat and although each
of them is anxious both to speak and to act;
they all slowly think better of it and slink away
back to their kingdoms. When they are
almost out of earshot, there comes their final
defiance - a roar from the MONSTER, a sneer from
the SCIENTIST, the effete cooing of the PROUD
BIRD,
and the cold, hollow
laughter of the QUEEN. Then all is silent. The
TRAMP finally flops down, a little worn out and
rather relieved.
SPIRIT

I'm glad you want to help me.

TRAMP

Did I say I wanted to help you?

SPIRIT

Didn't you?

TRAMP

Well, if it's going to be like this all the time, I'm not
sure I do want to.

SPIRIT

Don't worry. I'll look after you.

TRAMP

What's this about your not touching anything and nothing
touching you?

SPIRIT

Well, I'm a Spirit--and though there are all sorts of
things I can do, I simply can't touch anything--except the
Signpost. I couldn't even touch you. Look—I’ll try. See, I
can't. I can't do it, no matter how hard I try. And you
couldn't touch me, either. Try. Go on. That’s it. Go on,
try harder. See--you can't do it.

TRAMP

And yet you could stop all those people from moving about
or talking.

SPIRIT

That's right. I could do that to you, too.

TRAMP

Well, now, just a minute, I'm not going to -

But SPIRIT claps her hands twice and the TRAMP can
neither move nor speak.

7

SPIRIT

See. You ·can't talk and you can't move. Try--catch me. Try
and count up to ten. Go on. (We can see by his face and the
straining of his body that he is trying to do both things)
See? You can't do either. (She releases him)

TRAMP

Well, I never. (With awe and delight) It's magic!

SPIRIT

That's right. And I can do a lot of other things as well.
Want to see?

TRAMP

Go on then. Show me. (3)

SPIRIT

Well, I can make everybody laugh--just by a clap of my hand.
Look. (To us) Much happy laughter from everybody - NOW.

(Puck claps and there is laughter; Robin claps again,
and we stop) (4) Or, I can

make them all moan and groan. Everybody, moan and groan and
make sad noises - NOW. (Same procedure with the
clapping) Or I can turn them into the wind - NOW (5); or
into noisy engines and
machines - NOW; or into fierce animals - NOW; or into very
gentle and happy animals - NOW.

Each time Puck claps once to start and Robin stops
us.
SPIRIT

(To TRAMP) There--see? But I still can't touch anything.

TRAMP

Well, if you can do all this, why don't you turn all those
other people - The Queen and the Monster and the Bird and the
Scientist- turn all of them into something else, so that they
stop fighting.

SPIRIT

Because there would be others just as greedy to take their place.
I don't want to get rid of them. I simply want to help them
change their ways. Will you help?

TRAMP

Well, what exactly do I have to do?

SPIRIT

(Strongly and urgently) Bring me the wand of the Southern
Scientist; Bring me the stone from the Queen of the North;
Bring me the scale from the back of the Monster;
And from the Bird, the golden feather .

TRAMP

But--but--but I can't do all that on my own. They'll all do
all sorts of things to me. Anyway, I haven't even got hope

SPIRIT

Hope is all we have. Listen -

TRAMP

I'm sick of listening. I’m sick of listening and I’m sick
of talking. And I'm fed up with being pushed around and told
to do this and do that and go here and there and
everywhere. I'm fed
up with it all. I just want to be left in peace. I - I Oh,
all right, say it then. Get it over.

8

SPIRIT

There's an old, old saying that goes like
this: If you can make one laugh and another
cry;
If you can save one life and show another
mercy - Then -

TRAMP

What? Then what?

SPIRIT

Never mind.

TRAMP

But I do mind. Then what? You can't just start these
things and then not finish them. If you can make one laugh
-

SPIRIT

Like to try?

TRAMP

Try what?

SPIRIT

To make someone laugh.

TRAMP

Oh, all right. If it'll help.

SPIRIT

(To us) Now, what can we turn him into so that he could
make people laugh? (7) (From the suggestions that are
made) A clown? All right, the very thing--a clown. All of
you help me then.
Everybody--make funny faces and make funny noises--NOW.
Puck claps his hands and we all make funny faces and
noises; very slowly Puck & Robin change Tramp into a
clown. (8)

SPIRIT

That's wonderful, Mr. Tramp. And to make you just right as
clown, I'm going to stop you from being able to talk.

TRAMP

Oh, please, please don't do that. I mean, what if I want to
call for help or something?

SPIRIT

(Clapping her hands so he can’t speak) Don't worry. I

won't be far away. And if you really need my help, I'll
come in answer
to the sound of loud laughter from everybod y. (Clown
at once starts laughing) No, not now. Not until you
really need me. All right?

Using his whole body and vocal sounds which are
merely noises, Tramp goes into a long spiel to
signify that by no means is it all right.
Suddenly, SPIRIT hears another sound.
SPIRIT

Listen!! Ssssh! Listen! (Very quietly to Tramp) Don't
worry, I won't be far away.

9

She goes, leaving TRAMP listening to the sounds of
an approaching machine of some kind . The SCIENTIST
enters, pushing before him a most fiendish looking
machine with three funnels on it all joined
together at the front of
the machine. The SCIENTIST is much in the
tradition of the man with a great brain and a
"kink". He is tremendously absorbed by his
discoveries, but he is not a subtle intellectual.
In fact, he is much more the crazy and withered
fanatic, both the fanaticism and the witheredness
arising from too much concentration on one factor
of his being - the brain. He is sharp-witted,
angular in mind
and body, highly excitable and he has never been
known to laugh. His power is wholly contained in,
as well as symbolized by, his "wand of steel".
For him it is crown, scepter and mace--but more
significantly, it is also the only actual key for
the setting in motion of each of his diabolical
inventions. Only the wand of steel can either start
or stop these instruments, including the particular
machine he is now pushing before him. He wheels
it about (thus giving everyone a chance to see
its interesting dials, funnels, etc.) Looking for
exactly the right
position in which to set it up. CLOWN watches
everything he does with great interest.
SCIENTIST

Keep out of the way, man, keep out of the way. (He sets up
the machine on the opposite side of the signpost from his
own kingdom) Now, let me see. Let me see. No, no, not there.
That's not quite
the right spot. (Again he moves the machine round to his

own side
of the signpost and carefully gauges the funnels along
each of the other main roads) That's better--much better.
(Clown is still following him around, very interested but
rather bewildered)

Yes, yes, I know it's very interesting, but will you please
get out of the way? Now, be a good chap and sit down over
here, will you? That's it. That's very nice, just there. (He
calls to the other powers) Now, you feeble and miserable
powers, listen to me, the great Scientist of the South.
(Silence) Do you hear?

There are sounds of laughter, roaring, and cooing as
the three other powers come to the crossroads.
SCIENTIST

Look! Look at my latest scientific discovery. Look at my
beautiful machine. I have only to set it in motion and it will
destroy you all. (The QUEEN laughs) Yes, cold Queen,
destroy you. For it will melt all the frozen wastes of your
land, until you and your people submit to me. (The MONSTER
roars) And, Mighty Monster, it will
dry up all your oceans until you and all your people are
crawling about in a sea of mud - then you too will submit.(The
BIRD coos) And you, Proud Bird, I shall make the air in your
kingdom so hot that every living thing must surely die unless you submit as well. Then I - I, the Scientist of the
South, will conquer the world.

Pause.

10

QUEEN

I shall send my armies to destroy the machine.

MONSTER

And I shall send mine.

BIRD

And I mine.

SCIENTIST

Good. Good. Send your armies - for they will destroy
themselves, too. (The others start to answer) Listen to
me. If they attempt
to touch the machine, I have only to turn this knob and the
whole thing will blow up--and believe me, no atomic explosion
can equal the power of this.

QUEEN

But then you'd blow yourself up as well.

MONSTER

And destroy your own kingdom.

BIRD

And so end the world.

SCIENTIST

Yes. End the world. The choice rests with you. Submit to
me, hand over your kingdoms and make me king of the whole
world- or else I shall destroy you. Attempt to stop me,
and I shall destroy the world.

There is a slight pause - and then all three laugh at
him.
SCIENTIST
machine.

Very well then. Laugh at this. Look! Look - I start the

Dead silence. Then the SCIENTIST, using his wand of
steel, turns on the machine. A buzzer, flashing
lights, etc. indicate that it is on.
SCIENTIST

I give you four minutes. Four minutes. Either in that time
you submit to me - or else I shall destroy you. Four
minutes. Only four minutes.

As he says the last words, the others laugh again
and, with their laughter growing, turn and leave the
crossroads. All this time, CLOWN has been watching with
growing concern.
Now, as the others leave, he again comes into his
own - a distracted and urgent rush of energy. His
first instinct is self-preservation. He rushes to
the three vacant roads, North, West, and East, each
time repelled by the thought of what is at the end
of the road. Always he has one eye
on the machine over which the SCIENTIST is bending,
attending to various knobs and dials. Then CLOWN
contemplates climbing on top of the signpost, but
becomes aware of the futility
of so doing. Then he rushes to the machine and
holds his hat over the center funnel, only to
realize that there are two others . Though he moves
from funnel to funnel, he realizes the
impossibility of covering all three. At that moment
the SCIENTIST'S voice booms out:
SCIENTIST

Three minutes. Only three minutes.

11

And the noise of the machine continues. CLOWN, yet
more distracted, now turns to the machine itself, determin ed
to
get rid of it. He looks at it for a moment, then
impotently kicks it.
SCIENTIST

Be careful, you stupid man. Do you want to blow us all
up? (CLOWN shakes his head) Then keep away from it.
NOW!

CLOWN backs away staring at the machine for
inspiration. He gets an idea. He stands at the
opposite side from the SCIENTIST and secretly
beckons to him with his finger.
SCIENTIST

No, I won't come over there.

SCIENTIST goes back to his machine so CLOWN rushes
over to him and beckons all over again, indicating
that there is something special on the other side
of the signpost.
SCIENTIST

No, I say. Leave me alone . (CLOWN becomes more urgent) Oh,
all right, but only for a few seconds. What is it? (He

follows CLOWN who points to something on the ground)

Where? I can't see anything.
What am I looking for anyway? Oh, this is ridiculous there's nothing at all there. (All this time CLOWN has
been quietly backing towards the machine and now, with a

sound of great delight he springs behind it and stands
with his hand poised over the knob which will explode the
machine) What !!Here, come away from that machine. Come away,
quickly. No, no please, you mustn't turn that knob - if you
do, you'll blow me up as well. (CLOWN grins and nods his
head in agreement) Please, please, there's
only one minute left. Only one minute. (CLOWN mockingly,

without words, of course, indicates only "one minute" to
all the others)
No, please, please, you must move away from it. Please. (He
tries to get past CLOWN but Clown won’t let him and
asks for the wand of steel instead) All right, I'll turn

it off. No, no, really, you couldn't do it, because you
don't know how it works. (CLOWN considers this poin t) You
move over there and I'll turn
it off. Quickly, man, quickly. (CLOWN moves away) That's it,
just
over there. That's fine. Now I've got you my friend. Thought
you'd fool me, did you? Well, you haven't. There isn't very
long to go now! Thirty seconds, twenty-nine seconds, twentyeight seconds. •.

(As he goes on counting, CLOWN begins to laugh - and we
all help him) (9)
SPIRIT arrives and with a single clap freezes
SCIENTIST to the spot.
SCIENTIST

What's happened? Oh - it's you is it, Spirit. Well,
you're too late this time. Twenty-four seconds. (SPIRIT

ignores him)

SPIRIT

Quickly, Clown, go to the machine. Oh, it's all right,
you needn't be afraid - he can't move. Quickly, man.
(CLOWN dashes to the machine) Now, very carefully,
turn the machine around. Go on, quickly.

12

CLOWN begins to turn the machine around.
SCIENTIST

No, no, no. Don't do that. Don't turn it round. Release me
and I'll turn it off. But please don't turn it round.

SPIRIT

Now, Scientist, the machine is facing your kingdom. How
many seconds are there?

SCIENTIST

There can't be more than ten. Quickly, release me and I'll
turn it off.

SPIRIT

Oh, no. If I release you, then Clown will turn it

off. SCIENTIST

But he can't. He can't.

SPIRIT

Oh, yes he can. He's not as stupid as he looks. How many
seconds now? Five?

SCIENTIST

All right, all right. Only you must be quick.

SPIRIT

Go to him, Clown. (CLOWN does so) Now the moment I release
you, give your wand to the clown. Now! (She claps her hands

releasing the SCIENTIST who almost throws his wand at
CLOWN, who, of course, fumbles it in his anxiety.
SCIENTIST rushes away and covers his head)
SCIENTIST

Quickly man, quickly!

SPIRIT

Turn if off clown.

SCIENTIST

Quickly - there are only three seconds left.

CLOWN nonchalantly counts off the seconds on his
fingers - and in the nick of time fits the wand of
steel and turns off the machine - to everyone's
intense relief. Immediately the sense of relief
leads him into a series of activities which will
eventually make the SCIENTIST laugh. He may become
involved with the machine - its wires, funnels
(which look rather like the pipes of pan might have
looked if Pan had an interest in tubas)- all kinds
of clown-like antics in which he eventually involves
the SCIENTIST in some kind of rhythmic dance which
gets faster and faster until they both collapse in
laughter.
SPIRIT

There, you've done it. You've done it at

last. SCIENTIST

Done what?

SPIRIT

You've laughed. You've laughed - and it hasn't done you any
harm, has it?

SCIENTIST

No, no. I suppose it hasn't.

13
SPIRIT

Then do it again.

SCIENTIST

Again?

SPIRIT

Yes, go on.

For a moment t, SCIENTIST is uncertain. Then he
catches sight of CLOWN'S face and slowly begins to
crease up until once again all are laughing.
SPIRIT

Well done. And what's more - you're still master of the

South. SCIENTIST

Am I?

SPIRIT

Yes, of course. Nothing's changed - except you.

SCIENTIST

But what about my wand of steel? (CLOWN rushes over to

SPIRIT

Do you really need it now?

SCIENTIST

Yes, I need the wand to protect myself from the Queen of
the North and the others.

SPIRIT

Why not leave them to us?

SCIENTIST

But they want to conquer the world.

SPIRIT

So did you. We stopped you - and I think we'll stop them.

SCIENTIST

It won't be easy. Couldn't I help you? You'll need all the
help you can get.

SPIRIT

All right! Thank you. Now - you take your machine back into
your own kingdom while I look after clown.

SCIENTIST

I won't be two minutes.

him with it)

So, chuckling with delight, SCIENTIST wheels away
his machine.
SPIRIT

Now, everyone, we must turn the clown back into the little
tramp again. So, everyone move your fingers and thumbs and
pull funny faces to help him - now.

Puck claps once; we all move our fingers and thumbs
and pull funny faces and very slowly CLOWN changes
back into the old TRAMP. Sprites remove clown
clothing
SPIRIT

There . We've done it. (10)

TRAMP

Can we have a rest now? I'm worn out.

SPIRIT
first.

But there's no time to rest. We must deal with the others

14

TRAMP

(Resigned but not pleased) Oh, all right . Which next?

SPIRIT

I'm not sure.

SCIENTIST comes hurrying back, eagerly calling SCIENTIST

I've had a superb idea. If we had the sound of an explosion
the Queen of the North would come here at once to see what
it was.

TRAMP

And suppose she does come. What then?

SCIENTIST

(Dampened a little) I - I've no idea. (He looks at
TRAMP) Who are you?

TRAMP

Nobody - just a useless tramp. (He smiles at
SCIENTIST and fleetingly repeats some CLOWN business)

SCIENTIST

Why - you - you're the clown!

SPIRIT

Never mind that now. We've got to think of something. If we
bring Queen here - what then?

SCIENTIST

I don't know. Oh, but I do know you mustn’t look at her.

TRAMP

Not look at her! But she's a queen. Queens are meant to be
looked at.

SPIRIT

Yes, but did you notice her crown?

TRAMP

Of course I noticed it.

SPIRIT

And did you notice the diamond in the center of

it? TRAMP

Yes?

SPIRIT

Well, that diamond is the center of her

power - SCIENTIST Just as my wand is the center of mine SPIRIT

With it she can hypnotize any one she

meets - SCIENTIST Then they are completely in her power SPIRIT

And she can make them do or say anything she likes.

SCIENTIST

That's why I never look at her, but always turn away my

eyes. TRAMP

I shall do more than that. I shall turn my back on her.

SPIRIT

(Now clear in her plan of action) Better still. To make
quite
sure you cannot look at her; I'm going to make you blind.

TRAMP

What! But you can't do that!

15
SPIRIT

Don't worry, it won’t be for long. Remember last time? I
stopped you from being able to talk? Well, this time I'm
going to take away the gift of sight. (Pause) Will you let
me?

TRAMP

Oh dear. I'm not sure. I mean -

SPIRIT

Please trust me.

TRAMP

Oh, all right then. What do I have to do?

SPIRIT

Come here and stand quite still. (He does so) Now,
everybody make sad sounds so that he slowly loses his sight.

TRAMP

(11)

We all make sad sounds and gradually, tramp becomes blind.

(Covering his eyes with his hands) Oh, my eyes, my eyes.
They're tingling. They're SPIRIT
TRAMP
SPIRIT

Take your hands away from your
face. I can't. I can't.
Do as I say. Take your hands away from your face.

TRAMP
SPIRIT
SCIENTIS
T SPIRIT
SCIENTIST
SPIRIT
SCIENTIST
SPIRIT

(Doing so) But I can't see anything. I'm blind.
Don't be afraid. (To SCIENTIST) Now, Scientist, you must help
too. No, don't make me blind. Please don't make me blind.
I shan't. I want you to do something much more difficult than
that. More difficult?
Yes. I want you to let the Queen hypnotize you.
But that would put me in her power.
I want you to be in her power. Trust me to see that no harm will
come to you. Will you do it?

SCIENTIS

All right.

Yes, I will.

T SPIRIT
Thank you. And you, little Tramp, must pretend that she's
hypnotized
you so that she thinks both of you are in her power. Now,
Scientist, stand over here with the blind man. (Then she turns

to all of us)

To bring the Queen back to the crossroads we must do as the
Scientist suggested: make a sound that grows from nothing to a
tremendous explosion - NOW. (12)

We all make a noise that grows into a great
explosion. almost immediately we hear the QUEEN'S
hard, cruel laughter. Spirit moves away, saying as
she goes -

16
SPIRIT

I shan't be far away. If you desperately need my help, I'll
come in answer to the sound of sad cries and moans and
groans from everybody.

As SPIRIT goes, so the QUEEN enters.
QUEEN

Where are you, Scientist?

SCIENTIST

Peace, Queen.

QUEEN

Peace? Peace! Oh, I see. Your wretched little machine has
blown itself up, so now you want to live in peace.

SCIENTIST

I've taken the machine back to my kingdom; it didn't blow
up. It was turned off just in time.

QUEEN

Do you really expect me to believe that? Nonsense!

TRAMP

It really is true, your majesty.

QUEEN

Who is this fellow?

TRAMP

I'm the tramp.

QUEEN

Oh yes, I remember. Will you be good enough to look at me when
you speak to me, you disgusting tramp.

TRAMP

I - I can't, your majesty.

QUEEN

Why can't you?

TRAMP

Well, because - because -

SCIENTIST

Careful -

QUEEN

Be silent, I say. Well? Why can't you?

TRAMP

Because - because I'm dazzled by the diamond in your

crown. QUEEN

Ah, yes, I see. It is beautiful, isn't it? Look at it

closely.
Try to count the stars of light in it. Try to count them.
There are too many, aren't there? But never mind, keep
trying. Keep trying. Try to count them. Count them. Now,
you're beginning to feel sleepy. Feel sleepy. Sit down. And
breathe deeply. Deeper and deeper, deeper and deeper. That's
right.

The SCIENTIST becomes completely hypnotized and the
TRAMP pretends to be so. Suddenly the QUEEN claps her
hands.
QUEEN

Now, my friends, you are completely in my power. You will do
or say anything I ask you. Anything. Let's see, shall we?
Stand up. Turn around. Stand on one leg. Walk three paces
forward. Turn round again. Kneel on one knee. (Everything

she tells them to do, they do. She laughs at them)
Oh, you look so ridiculous like that. Too ridiculous for

words. Now - you will answer my questions. She goes to
SCIENTIST) You say you wish for peace. Is this true?

17

SCIENTIST

Yes.

QUEEN

Why?

SCIENTIST

Because - well, because I've changed, I

suppose. QUEEN

And what made you change? Or who made you

change?
SCIENTIST

A clown.

QUEEN

A clown? What clown?

TRAMP

Me, your majesty.

QUEEN

Be silent, Tramp.

SCIENTIST

It was him, your majesty.

QUEEN

You, Scientist, come here. Since you cannot lie to me when you
are in my power what you say must be true. Then - how did this
clown make you change?

SCIENTIST

He made me laugh.

QUEEN

(Laughing) Laugh - you laugh!!

SCIENTIST

I know it doesn't seem possible. but

- QUEEN

Prove it.

SCIENTIST

Prove it? How?

QUEEN

Laugh again. Go on, laugh again. Now.

There is a moment’s silence. SCIENTIST looks at
TRAMP and recalls the clown. He begins to laugh
and TRAMP joins in. They laugh and laugh QUEEN

Be silent, both of you. Be silent. Very well, I accept what
you say. Now, tell me - how did he make you laugh? Go on tell me.

SCIENTIST

Well, I'm - I'm not sure how it happened. I don't exactly
remember how.

QUEEN

Then you'd better remember - quickly.

SCIENTIST

Well, I remember he turned off the

machine. QUEEN

Turned it off? How?

SCIENTIST

With my wand of steel.

QUEEN

Ah yes, the wand of steel -- the very center of your power.
I was coming to that. Give it to me. Give it to me, I say.

18
SCIENTIST

I no longer have it.

QUEEN

Then who has?

SCIENTIST

The - the clown has it.

TRAMP

That's right. The clown has it. And he isn't here now, so
you can't have it, can you?

QUEEN

But I thought you said you were the clown.

TRAMP

Yes I was. But I'm not now.

Queen

Be silent. Did the Scientist give you his wand of

steel? TRAMP

Yes.

QUEEN

Then where is it?

TRAMP

I - I have it still.

QUEEN

Where?

TRAMP

Er - here, your majesty. (And he holds it up)

QUEEN

Good. Good. Bring it to me. Bring it to me, I say.

TRAMP

(Getting up) Yes, your majesty. (He begins to move bu t,
because he cannot see moves in the wrong direction)

QUEEN

Bring it to me here. Over here, you disgusting tramp. This

way. TRAMP

Where, your majesty?

QUEEN

Don't trifle with me or you shall pay for it with your life.
You can see perfectly well where I am standing.

SCIENTIST

No, he can't your majesty. He can't see you - because he's

blind. QUEEN

Blind!

SCIENTIST

Yes. The Spirit of the Signpost made him blind to trick you.

There is a pause.
(

QUEEN

is

So! You are blind, are you? Well - the Spirit of the Signpost
not quite as clever as she thinks. Scientist - I command you
to take hold of his arms from behind. Do as I say.

The SCIENTIST, having to obey every word, grapples
with the TRAMP to take him off at the QUEEN'S
command.
TRAMP

No, no. Please don't hold me. Please. Please.

19
QUEEN

That's right. Now, bring him to my kingdom. There he shall
slowly freeze until he agrees to give up the wand of steel.
Bring him away.

TRAMP begins to moan and groan, hoping that we will
help him. But the SCIENTIST still pulls him towards
the Kingdom of the North (13).
QUEEN

Take no notice of his moans and groans.
this way. Go ahead of me.

Bring him

Just as they are going into the Kingdom of the
North, SPIRIT returns and with one clap freezes the
QUEEN where she is standing.
SPIRIT

Be still.

QUEEN

Who is it?

SPIRIT

Only me, cold Queen. The Spirit who is not as clever as she
thinks she is.

QUEEN

What have you done to me?

SPIRIT

Frozen you so solidly that not one part of you can move
unless I say so. No ice in your kingdom is half as solid no power that you have half so great. Let's see, shall we.
Sit. (With each direction she gives she adds a simple

flick of her finger and thumb and the QUEEN obeys)
Raise your right arm. Now lower it again.
QUEEN

You'll pay for this, Spirit.

SPIRIT

Be silent.

QUEEN

How dare you speak to -

But SPIRIT flicks her and she is at once silent.
SPIRIT

You see - I mean what I say. Now - tell the Scientist to come
and stand in front of you. (She flicks to release the

QUEEN'S speech)

QUEEN

Tell him yourself.

SPIRIT

But only you have power over him. I thought you liked such

power. QUEEN

I won't do it.

SPIRIT

Very well. Then I shall leave you sitting like that.(She

QUEEN

Scientist, come and stand in front of me.

moves away)

SCIENTIST does so.

20
SPIRIT

Now. Tell him to take the crown from your head.

QUEEN

No. No, not that.

SPIRIT

Tell him.

QUEEN

Take the crown from my head.

SPIRIT

Now, tell him to step to his left.

QUEEN

Step to your left.

SPIRIT

Tell him to walk forward five paces.

QUEEN

Walk forward five paces.

SPIRIT

Now tell him to place the crown down on the ground in front of

him. QUEEN

No -- no, please.

SPIRIT

Tell him.

QUEEN
Carefully.

Place the crown on the ground in front of you. Carefully.

All of these things the SCIENTIST does.
SPIRIT

Now tell him to come and sit down by you.

QUEEN

Come over here and sit by me, Scientist.

He does so.
SPIRIT

Now, cold Queen, watch the blind man. (As she says this
she flicks so that the QUEEN'S head is free to turn -but only her head.) Little tramp - find the crown.

TRAMP

But - but where is it?

SPIRIT

I cannot tell you. You must find it for yourself,
entirely on your own.

TRAMP

I'll try. I'll try, Spirit.

Fumblingly, pathetically, determinedly, simply, he searches
for the crown. NOTE: This should be done with great
seriousness and simplicity. The audience may perhaps
help in whispers (14). There should be no intended
humor here and the result should be intense
concentration by the audience. At last, TRAMP finds the
crown and holds it up triumphantly.
TRAMP

I've found it. Spirit, I've found the crown.

QUEEN

What will he do with it?

21
SPIRIT

You'll see. Go on, little tramp. You know what to do now.

TRAMP

With this wand of steel I remove the cold diamond of the North.

As the diamond is removed some part of the strength of
the QUEEN seems to leave her, and at the same time,
the SCIENTIST is freed from her spell.
SCIENTIST

What is it? What happened to me?

SPIRIT

You were under the Queen's spell.

SCIENTIST

Did I do any harm?

SPIRIT

No. No harm. Watch. Watch the blind man.

The TRAMP begins to search for the QUEEN, again
groping his way.
TRAMP

Where are you, your majesty?

QUEEN

I'm here.

TRAMP

Where?

QUEEN

This way. This way.

Over here.

The TRAMP arrives before her and holds the crown over
her head . NOTE: Once again, this is a moment of
seriousness and dignity for both TRAMP and QUEEN.
TRAMP

Your majesty - your crown. (He places it on her head)
Once before I knelt to you and you laughed at me. But,
before a Queen, the place of a common man is on one knee. So
I kneel again.

And he kneels. As he does so, a simple and sincere
sob comes from the QUEEN and for the first time in
her life she sheds a tear.
SPIRIT

(With no sense of triumph, only humble relief that this
miracle has happened) There, you've done it. You've shed
a tear. And no harm will befall you because of it.

QUEEN

Please release me . I promise I shall live in peace.

SPIRIT

Very well.

You are free.

Gently she clasps her hands to free the QUEEN who
at once moves away and then turns to look at
TRAMP.
QUEEN

I can't bear to see him like that. Can you take away his

blindness? SPIRIT

I can, if you will help me.

22
QUEEN
SPIRIT

Anything.
Then, while we all hum, gently touch his eyes with the tips
of your fingers. Everybody hum - now. (15)

We all hum. Whilst we do so the QUEEN goes to the
TRAMP and gently touches his eyelids which are now
closed. Then she stands back to watch. Slowly the
change happens.

TRAMP

My eyes, my eyes. They're prickling - tingling. I - I can
see. I can see. Look, Scientist, I can see. I can see your
majesty. How wonderful, I can see. I can see. I want to
dance.

SPIRIT flicks her fingers, music comes and the
TRAMP begins to dance and draws in the SCIENTIST
and then the QUEEN.
They dance and dance till they collapse with
laughter and this time the QUEEN'S laughter is warm
and sincere. SPIRIT stops them.

SPIRIT

QUEEN
TRAMP
SCIENTIST

Go now, Queen. And you, Scientist, go back to your kingdoms
and live in peace.

(To TRAMP) Take care of my
diamond. I will your majesty.

QUEEN

And look after my wand of steel.

They turn to go but the QUEEN stops.

SCIENTIST

But - what about the Proud Bird QUEEN
SPIRIT

Yes - and the Mighty Monster. If they find out we are living
in peace -

TRAMP

They will attack us!

SCIENTIST

We are going to deal with them now.

QUEEN

Oh dear. Can't we have a rest
first?

SPIRIT
QUEEN
SCIENTIST

We mustn't waste time. We must make a plan at once. (To

QUEEN)

Will you help us?
Of course. But
how?

There is a pause as they all try to think of a plan
(16).

Maybe we

something with the Proud Bird first. She's certainly less

should try

dangerous than the Mighty Monster.
She's easily led. Perhaps we could persuade her.

23

SPIRIT
SCIENTIS

Persuade her?

T

Yes. If we tell her that the Queen of the North and I have
made peace, she'll be so afraid of our power that perhaps we
could persuade her to join us.

QUEEN

She'll never believe us. She'll think it's a trap. You'll
have to tell her, Spirit.

SPIRIT

I don't think she'll believe me either.

Pause. They all look at TRAMP who becomes aware of
their looks.
TRAMP
SPIRIT

TRAMP
SPIRIT

(Resigned) Oh, all right. What do I have to do this
time? Just try to make the Proud Bird of the East believe
that the
Queen of the North and the Scientist of the South want peace
and that she should make peace too.
How are you going to get her here?
She'11 come if she hears the sound of wounded and frightened
birds because she'll think some of her birds have been
trapped. (To SCIENTIST and QUEEN) You hide over there.
(To Puck & Robin) All of you make the sounds of wounded and
frightened birds - NOW.

(She claps and we all do so) (17)

BIRD
TRAMP
BIRD

Almost immediately we hear the cooing of the PROUD
BIRD as she flies anxiously in to the crossroads.
Robin claps twice to stop the calls.
(Calling) What’s the matter, birds? Where are you? (She sees
TRAMP) Who are you? Is this a trap?
It's no trap, Proud Bird. Don't you remember me? The Tramp –

TRAMP

BIRD

Oh yes. You didn't want to come to live in my beautiful
kingdom.

(She looks nervously around) What’s happening? Why is it so

silent? Where are the others?
TRAMP

BIRD
QUEEN

Haven't you heard? The Queen of the North and Scientist of the
South have made peace.

(Very alarmed) Peace! You mean they've joined together? They
are planning to invade my kingdom! (She turns to fly away
but TRAMP stops her)
No - it's not like that at all. I mean they want to live in
peace and they want to make peace with you. This is some kind
of trick.

(Coming forward) No trick, Proud Bird.

24
SCIENTIST

Peace, Proud Bird.

BIRD

You're trying to capture me - all of you. It's a trap.

SPIRIT

Listen, Proud Bird.

BIRD

Oh, you're in this are you, Spirit . Well, I don't know what
you've done to them, but you won't succeed with me. I'll I'll go back to my kingdom and - and send messengers to the
Mighty Monster. He and I can -

SPIRIT

You know that the Monster will plot to overthrow you - just
as you think the others will. Now listen - you can help us.
You don't really want war, do you? Do you?

BIRD

No - all I want to do is live in beauty and comfort. But you
people won't let me.

QUEEN

We will let you, now. Join us and help us to overpower the
Mighty Monster. Then the whole world can live at peace.

SCIENTIST

You must believe us, Proud Bird. You must help us.

The PROUD BIRD looks helplessly from one to the
other.
BIRD

All right. I'll have to trust you. What do you want me to do?
Call my armies?

SPIRIT

No - no. That's not the way.

SCIENTIST

But Spirit, the total armies of our three great powers -

QUEEN
BIRD
TRAMP
SPIRIT

No. We must help the Monster to change - just as we have
done. How? What do you mean?
You mean get the center of his power. What is it?
It's a scale on his back.

BIRD

We'll never get it. You know how strong he is. Why he's
stronger than all of us together.

SCIENTIST

That's true, Spirit. Now that you've taken away our
power, we can't possibly match him.

TRAMP

Rubbish. He can't possibly be as strong as that. All of us
together! Why, all we have to do is get him here and then
rush him - all at once!

BIRD

Oh, no. I couldn't possibly. I'd be much too frightened.

SCIENTIST and QUEEN look doubtfully at each other
and then at SPIRIT. But TRAMP is quite determined
to get the thing over and done with.

25
TRAMP

Call him here, Spirit. After all - you can deal with him anyway.
You can just freeze him.

SPIRIT

Very well. How shall we call him here?

BIRD

He won't come if you just call. (18)

TRAMP

I know! Let the Proud Bird call for help. If he hears her
he'll think that she's been trapped in a net or something
and he'll come to capture her for himself!
,

The BIRD screams in
terror.
QUEEN

Yes - and then when he comes you can tell him, Proud Bird
that we all want to live in peace.

SCIENTIST

Perhaps he'll agree to talk to us

all. BIRD

He'll attack me!

TRAMP

He won't. There’ll be no reason to. And we'll all be here to
help you if necessary. Please, Proud Bird, please help us.

BIRD

Well - if you'll promise to stay near.

SPIRIT

Right. All of you h i d e , quickly. Now, Proud Bird, you call
the Mighty Monster.

BIRD

Where will you be?

SPIRIT

I shan't be far away. And if you really need me - everybody
call "Help" and I'll come.

SPIRIT goes. BIRD, very frightened but trying not to
be, begins to make her bird cries, becoming more and
more urgent. We hear the MONSTER 'S roar and then he
appears.
MONSTER

Proud Bird - oh, there you are. I thought perhaps you had been
trapped. Haven't you anything better to do than sit there
crying? And all alone? No one to protect you? (He looks

suspiciously round)
BIRD

Mighty Monster - they - they want to make peace.

MONSTER

Who wants to make peace? What are you talking

about?
BIRD

The Queen and the Scientist.

They want to live in peace and -

and so do I.
MONSTER

(Laughs) Well, well, well. So you've all decided that I'm
too great for you after all! I knew that one day my power
would frighten you all. And I suppose they've sent you to
discuss peace plans?

BIRD

(Looking nervously round) Well, yes. Yes, they have.

26
MONSTER

Well, I can tell you my answer to that - or rather show you.
(He takes hold of her and she screams) No use screaming.
I'm going to kill you and then I'll have your power and be
ruler over half
the world. In no time at all - (19)

SCIENTIST

(Coming forward) Let her go, Mighty

Monster. QUEEN

Let her go.

MONSTER

(Not letting her go) Well, well, well. So here are the
peaceful ones. What’s happened to your diamond, your
majesty? And you,
Scientist, where is your wand of steel? These things were the
marks of your powers. With them, at this moment, I should be
at your mercy. But without them there is nothing you can do.

SCIENTIST ·

That is true. But one day you'll meet your match and then it
will be a different story.

MONSTER

Maybe. But that day is not yet, my friend. Now - you will
both stay here. Make no attempt to follow me or I shall
destroy you both without a shred of mercy.

The MONSTER starts to move with the BIRD. The other
"two hesitate, but TRAMP suddenly attacks MONSTER
from behind and he lets the BIRD go.
TRAMP

Fly, Bird, fly. Quickly.

She does so, and MONSTER turns on TRAM'P with a
roar and takes hold of him.
MONSTER

Who are you?

TRAMP

You've forgotten, have you?

MONSTER

Oh, the miserable, feeble little tramp. No good for anything.
Think you can attack me, the Mighty Monster of the West, do
you. Well, you shall pay for it, you worm, you. You shall pay
for it with your life. And then - then I shall conquer the
world. Now, I will call my armies to destroy you.

TRAMP

Oh, that's it. You have to call your armies. You couldn't do
it alone, could you? And I'll tell you why you couldn't because you're a coward.

MONSTER

What!

TRAMP

A coward. Coward, coward, coward.

MONSTER

Be silent. I fear nothing, I tell you.

Nothing. TRAMP

Then prove it. Prove it by fighting me.

27

MONSTER

You!

TRAMP

Yes, me. Me - the dirty, miserable old tramp.

The MONSTER roars with laughter.
TRAMP

Ah, you can laugh as much as you like. But it doesn't
prove anything.

MONSTER

And killing you wouldn't prove anything,

either. TRAMP

At least it would prove you're not a coward.

MONSTER

Very well, you sniveling tramp. I will fight you. But I
warn you, I am invincible. No one can kill me. The scales
on my body protect me from any weapon. And understand this
too - I will show you no mercy. Not a scrap of it.

And with a roar the MONSTER leaps at TRAMP. The
MONSTER is fierce and very strong, but his size is a
partial encumbrance, enabling TRAMP to slip away in
the nick of time now and
again. On the other hand, TRAMP knows nothing at
all about fighting. He throws himself into it with
a great hearted determination which is the keynote
of his fighting. The result is an almost
Chaplinesque capacity for putting up his fists and
then getting out fast. Now and again getting caught in
something nearer to wrestling.
NOTE: There should be nothing sadistic or vicious
in the fight, nor should it be consciously humorous
because TRAMP 'S physical trial of strength against
the MONSTER is as serious as his trials against the
other two. However, if the fight is done wholly in
character it will in a sense be humorous and bring
laughs (and cheers) of concern and fun. These
must neither be milked by intentional clowning nor
stopped by solemn histrionics.
As the fight progresses, it gradually becomes clear
that the TRAMP can never master the MONSTER: but
he goes on
fighting bravely until finally he is overcome by the
MONSTER who stands ready for the kill. (20)
MONSTER

Now, my friend, I have you completely at my mercy. But I
meant what I said. I shall show you no mercy. So, if
you've any last thing to say, you'd better say it quickly.
In five seconds I shall kill you.

TRAMP

Help! Help!

MONSTER

There's not one human being in the whole world who can help
you now. (21)

But at that momen t SPIRIT returns and freezes
MONSTER to the spot.

28

SPIRIT

No, Mighty Monster. Not one human being. But I can and I
shall.

MONSTER

No, no. Not you, Spirit, not you. All my life I've avoided
you. I built my armor of scales because I knew that you
could never touch me -

SPIRIT

But you forgot that I knew the secret of your power. (To

TRAMP)

Little tramp -

MONSTER

No, no, don't tell him.

SPIRIT

But I shall tell him. And though I cannot touch you, he

can. MONSTER

Please, please don't tell him.

SPIRIT

Be silent. Little tramp - bring me the scale from the
back of the Monster -

MONSTER

No - no -

SPIRIT

Be silent, I say. Go on, little tramp - the scale that lies
directly between his shoulders.

TRAMP

(Over the MONSTER) This one? This silver one?

SPIRIT

That one. Pull it away.

MONSTER

No, no, don't. That's the very center of my power. Remove
it, and I lose all my strength.

SPIRIT

Pull it away.

With an effort the TRAMP pulls it away, as he
does so the MONSTER groans and partially collapses.
SPIRIT

Now he is yours, little tramp.

Do with him as you will.

TRAMP

So, you're invincible, are you?

MONSTER

Spare me.

TRAMP

You'll conquer the world, will you?

Spare me.

He closes in on the MONSTER.
MONSTER

Mercy! Mercy!

The TRAMP pauses.
TRAMP

Mercy?

MONSTER

Spare me, and I'll do anything you ask. I'll never threaten
the world again. And you can keep the scale so that I have
less power. (22)

29
SPIRIT

Well, little tramp? What d'you say? Will you show

him
Mercy?
TRAMP

Yes, yes I will. But keep your word, mind.

MONSTER

I promise.

TRAMP moves away and the SPIRIT goes to the
MONSTER.
SPIRIT

Very well. I will release you.

She claps and he is free.
MONSTER

What shall I do now? Where can I go?

SPIRIT

Back to your own people - to the kingdom of the

West. MONSTER

They'll never accept me like this.

SPIRIT

I think they will. You have lost only the cruel part of
your power . You are still their King.

MONSTER

Yes. Yes, that's true. Then I shall return. And I shall tell
the people of my kingdom to celebrate peace with a great
banquet and we shall invite people from all four corners of
the world.

Suddenly the PROUD BIRD flies to them.
(To TRAMP) for you saved my life.

BIRD

So too shall I

TRAMP

Proud Bird!

BIRD

Three corners of the world have given up their mark of
power. Because they have done so, there is hope for the
world to live at peace. I, as leader of the fourth great
kingdom, will do all I can to preserve that peace - and I
ask you to take away my own mark of power. The golden
feather.

And the PROUD BIRD kneels before the old TRAMP.
TRAMP

Are you sure?

BIRD

Quite sure.

TRAMP looks at SPIRIT.
SPIRIT

Do as she asks.

TRAMP

(As he takes the feather) Thank you, Proud Bird.

SPIRIT

Now you can return to your kingdoms.

MONSTER

(To TRAMP) Guard the scale well, in case I am tempted
to want it again.

30
BIRD
fortune.

And look after my golden feather - may it bring you good

BIRD and MONS TER bow to each other.
MONSTER

Peace, Proud Bird.

BIRD

Peace, Mighty Monster.

They turn to go but at that moment the QUEEN and
the SCIENTIST step forward.
BOTH

Wait. (They look at each other and then the SCIENTIST
graciously signals to the QUEEN to speak first)

QUEEN

I invite you all to my kingdom to a great feast to
celebrate peace.

SCIENTIST

No, no. The feast will be held in my kingdom.

MONSTER

I have already proclaimed that I am holding a feast

- BIRD

Oh - but I wanted you all to see my beautiful

kingdom.

And suddenly they are all arguing with each other .
TRAMP is horrified and dashes to them.
TRAMP

Hey - wait a minute! Wait a minute!

The argument continues and finally in desperation he
claps his hands once. Instantly there is silence.
TRAMP is astonished. The four look at each other rather
shamefacedly.
TRAMP

We can have four feasts, can't we? I mean - four's better
than one. We'll take it in order. (To SCIENTIST) You
first. (TO QUEEN) Then you - then in the West and then in
the East. (The four powers start chatting to each

other in agreement. TRAMP
comes back to SPIRIT and to us) Then we can start all over
again!

The four powers quickly exit now calling "See you soon"
or some such to each other, and "Thank you" to TRAMP
and SPIRIT. There is a pause for a momen t.
PUCK

Look, Spirit. I've got them all –

ROBIN

The wand of steel, the diamond, the scale and the golden
feather.

SPIRIT

A long time ago you said you were bored. Are you still bored?

TRAMP

Oh, I've been too busy to be bored. And think of the people
I've been. A clown - a blind man - and - and -

SPIRIT

And you.

31

TRAMP

Yes! That's right. I was me, wasn't I? I fought the Monster
all by myself. I didn't change into anybody to do that.

SPIRIT

You didn't need to. And thank you for helping to save the
sign post.

TRAMP

Spirit - would you finish it for me now?

SPIRIT

Finish what?

TRAMP

The old, old saying. How does it go now?
"If you can make one laugh and another cry;
If you can save one life and show another mercy; -

SPIRIT

Then -

TRAMP

Then what? (Silence) Don't you know?

SPIRIT

Yes, I know. But I'm not going to tell you. You think it out
for yourself. All of you think it out for youselves (23).
Listen! (Music) They're starting to celebrate peace. Let's
join them.

TRAMP

All right, Spirit. Let's join them.

As they exit they call.
PUCK & ROBIN
Goodbye!

Goodbye, everybody. Goodbye. And thank you for helping.

END.

NOTES ON PARTICIPATION

1. Tramp begins here to talk directly to the audience, but collectively not
as individuals (which may be off-putting for some children). He may pause
briefly for answers to his questions, although it doesn't matter if, at
first, they
are slow to respond. This is an introduction to the whole play and his
approach thus sets the tone for further participation. The Tramp should
concentrate on a warm, friendly character and avoid 'talking down' at any
time. The members of the audience are his friends and equals.
2. Usually the answer is "East" because that is the order in which Tramp has
al ready placed them; but if 'West' is suggested, then Tramp should
reverse the dialogue and the rest of the cast, sound effects, etc. be
ready for a cue change.
3. Spirit takes over audience participation from now on; it is very important
that she and Tramp establish a friendly relationship in the early part of
this scene and that Tramp should in no way indicate fear about the magic.
Rather, he should be intrigued and delighted by it in order that a positive
response to Spirit and to subsequent participation be achieved. If Spirit has
approached all her moments of magic with strength and seriousness and does
the same now, response should be immediate.
Note: Actresses without previous experience in audience participation are
cautioned not to allow any personal disbelief that participation will occur
to creep into the voice; if Spirit communicates such disbelief or any
anxiety, the audience will sense this and may react negatively.
4.

If the audience is a very small one or too young and unused to live theatre,
there may be some reluctance to laugh. In this case, Spirit should assume
she has heard it, or. Interpret smiles as laughter and say: "That's right happy laughter from everybody". Usually, if Spirit is dynamic and confident,
laughter will immediately come, but if it doesn't she should not worry but
go on to the next item. The response of one or two children, if encouraged
in general terms, will encourage the others. At no time should this
participation be led by anyone planted in the audience. It should be noted
that this sequence merely prepares the way for later important participation
integral to the plot .

5. By this time, there should be no need to repeat the instruction.
6. It will be noted that there is variety in the type of sounds: some are
loud, some quiet; they are used again later in the play for moments of
stimulated participation.
7. It is most likely that the answer required - i.e. "a clown" will come
immediately and the Spirit should be alert to catch it. However, other
suggestions of objects, animals, people (particularly favorite TV comics) may
well be given. Spirit
should accept all suggestions with: "Yes, that's a good idea. Any others?"
until a clown is mentioned. Note: all suggestions should be received
positively at any time, since a negative response from the cast might
create either
embarrassment or ridicule for an individual; or it could result in others
refusing

to participate for fear of making a mistake. By answering as above,
confidence is given based on the realization that all ideas are valid even if
they are not, at the time, utilized.
8. When Tramp physically completes his 'change' and Spirit says "That's
wonderful, little tramp", the faces and noises will stop. Spirit can, of
course, use a hand clap if it seems necessary.

9. Clown can, of course, indicate to the audience his urgent need for help.
10. By this time there will be little need for the hand clap, either to begin
or end the activity.
11. It should be noted that this is a serious moment for Tramp and for the
audience. This participation and the subsequent scene should not be
conceived as comedy.
12. This is intended to be just one loud sound - not a continuing noise.
Spirit, therefore, should not try to extend or over-develop the sound
which could lead to over-excitement. Hysteria in participation is highly
undesirable.
13. The audience 'moans and groans' will probably come straight away. If
not, the Queen's next line will certainly act as a reminder .
14. Spirit has made clear that Tramp must find the crown by himself. However,
empathy may be such that individual members of the audience may well try to
help him. He can respond by following any instructions they may give, but
should not enter
into dialogue which will only encourage vociferousness and spoil the
intense quiet and seriousness of the moment. This is an occasion where
participation is not needed, since it is a dramatic experience of personal
trial for both Tramp and the Queen, and an example of serious theatre for
young children.
15. Spirit should sustain the quiet atmosphere and the hum will begin and end
without the need for a clap - unless very slight.
16. If the pause is too long, suggestions may come from the audience. This is not
an intended moment of participation so it should not be deliberately sought.
However, if any suggestion is made which seems practicable there is no reason
why it shouldn't be used, although Spirit must control the situation by using
her line which focusses attention on the Proud Bird who must be in a position
of being
able to hear if any plan other than that scripted is to be used.
17. Spirit can be ready to stop the sounds with a clap if they do not cease
with Bird’s entrance.
18. As in note (16) above, it is possible that some suggestions may be made by
individuals in the audience and there is no reason why, if practicable, one
shouldn't be accepted. It is important that Proud Bird should be involved so
that the scene can continue as scripted; also that the Monster is ready for
any alternate plan.
19. It is possible that Bird's screams may induce cries for "help" in which
case, cut the rest of the speech and have Scientist and Queen come forward
immediately.
20. At any time during the fight, cries for "help" may begin. They can be ignored
for
a while, but if they become too insistent, Spirit must enter and freeze the
Monster
21. The cries for help may well drown this line; Spirit should take the cries
rather than her cue.
22. If there should be any insistent participation recommending either killing or

mercy, Tramp should not enter into dialogue with the audience. He should
concentrate (on thinking it out for himself. Spirit can control through her
line, spoken
clearly and strongly or, of course, by a single hand clap.

23. Some individuals may make suggestions here, but there is no intention
that discussion should occur. It is a 'thinking' moment and anything else
would prolong the natural and desirable ending of the play. It is
possible, however, that suggestions here can provide a basis for
discussion following the play, as can ideas suggested at other moments
(see notes (16) and (18) above provide
a starting point for creative drama activities with the children as a
follow-up.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION
Theatre for Young People
by Brian Way

An in-depth text, compelling and authoritative, detailing discoveries the author has made in
over 30 years of writing, acting, directing and designing. Contains practical approaches to
audience participation in the open stage and proscenium theatres, breakdown of <.ge groups
and size of audience, economics and participatory theatre, integration with other arts and
media, acting for children's theatre, open stage and teen-age production, technical theatre for
the young audience production, mirror excercises and tips on vocal training. "His commit
ment to children's theatre and his innovative methods have made Brian Way one of the most
important leaders in the field today. Audience Participation is rich in detail . . . the text
we've been waiting for and it doesn't disappoint us."-Nellie McCaslin, Past President CTA,
author of Creative Dramatics in the Classroom.
Here is Brian Way on such subjects as:
Audience Participation: ". . . the basis of the phenomenon of audience participation as a
natural vocal and physical expression is of the heart, the mind and the spirit."
Performance Space: "Where does the action take place? The answer is--everywhere. The
stage and the auditorium need to be thought of as one, not as comprising one place
for the actors and another for viewers. A space in which anything can happen."
Performance: "Magic of the kind Iam thinking of in Children's Theatre, with or without
active participation of the audience, has little to do with the mind, but is a thing of
the heart and the feelings and the spirit. Perhaps it is a syntheses of all man's
different capabilities."
Random Thoughts: "The fascinating factor of theatre is that it can include so much 'stretch
ing of experience,' so many fascinating things to think about at the time and ponder
later and so many pictures to stimulate 'wonder' rather than diagram to solidify
'knowledge.' "
"Expression is a vital balance in a world that is more and more filled with
impression."
"Only school and erroneous moments of correction in the home cause the birth
of fear of failure."
Brian Way is referred to by many as "the most innovative children's theatre playwright in the
English speaking language." He has written over 50 plays-32 published by Baker's, was cofounder of Theatre Centre, London and its director for 25 years, author of the most popular
text in the field today, Development Through Drama, professional director and instructor in
acting at professional drama schools. He is now devoting his time exclusively to teaching,
directing and conducting hi highly praised workshops.
Illustrated. $7.95
Baker's Plays

Boston, MA 02111

100 Chauncy Street
(Area Code 617) 482-1280

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