Wednesday, 27 May 2009

The Empress of Uccle: a Revenger's Tragedy

Yesterday Mrs Trefusis said to me that if today was as uneventful as yesterday, I would be practically writing Waiting for Godot. I said that Wednesday was more like a Jacobean revenge tragedy. So of course being literal minded and in need of inspiration, I thought I should write Wednesday up in the manner of a Jacobean revenge tragedy. You recall how much I hate Wednesdays. They can only be improved by rivers of blood and slaying and revenge. Right? Right.



The Empress of Uccle: A Flanders Tragedy in One Act


Act 1, Scene 1


Castello Mutualité, Morning. The Empress of Uccle is in her bedchamber, with the covers pulled up concealing her imperious features. The Count of Chelonia strides in, stage right, and pulls back the curtains.


EU: Cover my face, mine eyes dazzle. I was up until three gchatting with that dinosaur girl.


CC: Mistress, I have much need of the car this morrow. I must to Charleroi, where his liege, the commercial director of Carpet World attends.


EU: Fie, sir. It is Wednesmorrow and I have sore need. The Dauphin must to the graphomotricienne and the Screech Owl is pained by the travails of walking to bricolage.


CC: Know, Mistress, who pays the road tax. I fly. The groomsmen of Taxi Bleu must suffice. Mind that thy allocations familiales papers are despatched with due speed.


Exit Count of Chelonia. Enter the princes who arrive in the bedchamber and sit on the Empress's head.


ScreechOwl: Sweet mama, why dost thou lie abed in foul distemper? I need Cheerios.

Dauphin: My doublet and hose resist discovery. I left them at the gulag.

EU: Ah, my pretties, quiet thy prating and away thee to the kitchen. You can get a packet of biscuits each. Prithee do not return until seven of the clock.


The Hound is audible offstage


Dauphin: Dost thou hear the chirrup of the Hound, mama?

EU: The hound! 'Tis the very hound of hell come to drag me to my ruin. Can you put him in the yard?


Exeunt the princes. The Empress turns to the Holy Tortoise


EU: Would that this day would take on the shroud of endless night where all my dark imaginings take on wraithlike forms and dance techtonik. At least it's Apprentice later.

HT: I misdoubt it. The Count is sore displeased at thy black deeds watching tv late into the blackest canopy of night.


EU: How tedious is a guilty conscience, thou wretched shelled creature that creepeth. Thou shalt see my will before this day is out.

The Empress takes a penknife from her desk drawer and hides in in her corsetry.




******************




Act 1, Scene 2


The Empress and the Dauphin are in a Taxi Bleu


TaxiDriver: Prithy Mistress, the roads are much importuned this morrow.

EU: It matters not a whit, my humour is a black as it could be. Blacker still would laugh in the face of reason. 'Twas ever thus in these low lands. Take the Avenue de Fré.

Dauphin: Mama, wouldst thou be much displeased if the new coat that thou hast procured for me from Zara last weekend were to have flown the nest, I know not wither?


EU: Thou art much distracted of late. If I have to buy you another one I will be taking it out of your pocket money, I vouchsave thee.


TaxiDriver: Madam, the crone's dwelling fast approaches. Twenty guineas is my entreaty if it please your grace.


EU: Twenty guineas! 'Tis a dark entreaty to be sure.


TaxiDriver: the way through the forest is dark with badger, ermine, hawk and big trousered circus performers with those stupid diabolo things. 'Tis perilous.

EU: I will teach thee the ways of darkness and peril, wretch.


She stabs him.


TaxiDriver: I die. 'Twas a poor thing to take the Avenue de Fré.

Dauphin: Mama? What ails the wretch?

EU: 'Tis but a moment's slumber my pretty. Let us away to the crone.




********************


Scene 3

The crone's hovel


Crone: Fie, Empress. Thy tardiness displeases me greatly and thou shalt pay a great price in pearly tears for thy trespasses. Come, Dauphin, we must away to build paper lizards and tell sad stories of the use of the pencil.


EU: A curse on your house, wretch. I can hear no more of thy insolence*. Though hast twiddled thy last lump of playdoh.

She stabs her.


Crone: Oh blackest mistress, the guardians of the very doors of hell would turn thee away such is thy calumny. The spiky pelted Seigneur Milinkovitch of the gulag shall hear of this.

EU: You may await him in hell, foulest succubus. Come Dauphin, we must abstract our fetteloques from this sinister place.



*************************

Scene 4

Castello Mutualité. The Empress is lying prone in the bedchamber in a pool of blood under a pile of Grazia magazines as the hound licks her face. The Count of Chelonia enters stage left.


CC: A pox upon the usurious lepers of Charleroi.. But what fresh hell is this? Glitter? Sellotape? Heavy shiny paper carrier bags? The hound in the bedchamber? Empress, I see your foul and treacherous hand in this, you impudent snake. Where are the Dauphin and the Screech Owl?

EU: Gone to meet their maker. They did love Nintendo Pokemon Diamond and Pearl not wisely but too well. Now they dance with Jigglypuff.

CC: All my little ones? Pray god, not the holy tortoise too? Didst thou make a mess on the rug?

EU: What care is it of yours? Know only this: as sure as the bats in the bat cave hang by their silken claws, I shall fan the flames of the fiery furnace afore I wear slippers.

He stabs her. She stabs the Holy Tortoise. The Hound eats their corpses. Exit the Hound.

Fini.



(*I like the crone. Dramatic licence only here. )

34 comments:

smackcrumplebang said...

holy crap.

that is easily in the top 10 best waffles ever.

I am paralyzed by mirth.

If I could draw, I would illustrate and present you with a copy of this play bound in the silky earskin of the towelbeast of winchester, which I would hunt and capture in your honour.

Bravo.

jmps said...

Seriously. Absolute genius.

Mrs Meyer said...

Great huge unladylike snorts in my open plan office.

You are a bloody genuis, Waffle.

and I am in trouble...

Liberty London Girl said...

frickin hilarious. Unfort I snorted so loud in my mirth that I awoke the snoring dachshund who is now going BONKERS. LLGxx

katyboo1 said...

I love the stabbing stuff. Please Empress, can you come with me to part two of Horrible Histories tonight and stab anyone who is texting for me please? I beg of you on bended doublet.

The Subtle Rudder said...

Castello Drizzle. Mid-day. The Rudder Subtil is in her chamber, checking the magic box for news of the kingdoms. The hounds snore at her feet, dreaming of vanquished squirrels and purloined leavings.TRS: What's this? Word of the Empress herself, and her woebegone waffles!

The Rudder Subtil puts her hand to her brow.TRS: "Tis a tragedy, true, but also a comedy. I have brought the hounds to awake with my laughter. Now they make with the yap.

The Rudder Subtil shakes her fist.TRS: Quiet, Jackals! Take the teachings of this tale, or I must employ my tiny dagger!

Evitchka said...

I am laughing pearly tears. Took me back to Kyd's 'Spanish Tragedy' in my Uni days. I hope this does not start a trend of blogging 'in the nature of Restoration Comedy' etc. I'm thinking to venturing timidly into the blogosphere and already face such amazing blogs like yours to live up to. And that is in normal English!

fabhat said...

Bloody marvellous - with macbeth echoes amongst the myddleton dekker marvellousness. I thought I was back in my first year of drama degree, where we performed the "palace of pleasure" a murderous jacobean medley.

Genius.

xx

The City Road said...

Middleton with a smidgen of Dorothy Parker, quite fabulous.

"Would that this day would take on the shroud of endless night where all my dark imaginings take on wraithlike forms and dance techtonik."

One of the great lost lines in English drama, until now. Readers, this may well be on your children's A-level syllabus in years to come; "Discuss the effect had on written English by the surprise introduction of 16th Century discourse into the blogosphere during the second great depression".

livesbythewoods said...

Woman, thou art wise and wily indeed.

The Gossamer Woman said...

Your imagination goes well above the ordinary acceptable norm and shoots way above it into another dimension. It's like some one said, "And now for something really different!" And then you entered the stage, not to be beaten in your use of Jacobean prose for the next ten years or so. Just think that you have a mind that makes all this stuff up!

bevchen said...

This is brilliant! You just made my day :-D

Iheartfashion said...

Wow.
You never cease to amaze, Jaywalker.

Potty Mummy said...

Who needs the Duchess of Malfi? I suggest that your wafflings replace that boring play as a set text for English Lit A level. I would certainly have bothered to read it if that were case (unlike the poor Duchess)

Persephone said...

John Webster has nuthin' on you. I demand that you write the entire blog this way.

GingerB said...

Forsooth, I snorted crackers reading this.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Fie, thou art fiendish and cunning by turn, JW... Thou confoundest reason, and maketh much mirth...

Mya said...

Inspired! Very, very funny. Twenty guineas - what a rip off. He deserved it.More please.

Mya x

Mr Farty said...

Lawks! That play didst maketh me to snort coffee from mine nostrils, and I wern't e'en drinking coffee!

smackcrumplebang said...

just for the record - here is where that picture of this lives. if only I had more time I think Queen Waffle and the starry belgian diadem would feature in further pictographic adaptations of your great work!

http://smackcrumplebang.com/2009/05/27/ode-to-waffle/

wafflebébé x

3limes said...

One word. Brilliant.

Lauren said...

Thanks for the belly laugh. You are brilliant.

Jane said...

Jesus fucking gay, that shit is brilliant. Not everyone can pull that off, you know.

Brava.

peevish said...

Holy crap, indeed. Holy fucking Nathan crap. You are a wonder. ♥

Summer said...

This is great! You are so intelligent..=) Thanks for sharing!=)

A Writers Den
The Brown Mestizo

Solo said...

More please!;D This is a great post,very long but interesting post.;D Thanks for sharing.Care for exchange link?;D

Travel and Living

Juci said...

O Empress, thou hast murdered me.

Chantal said...

The Empress doth possess the writing skillz to pay the billz. I loved this. It took me right back to my Jacobean class in Uni, which I equally loved. Hoorah for Webster et al.

The only thing it lacked to my mind was any lycanthropy. You can't beat a good bit of lycanthropy. Maybe in the next installment?

Encore! Encore! Or grati! Grati! as the WV would have it.

Jaywalker said...

SCB - I would totally love that. The towelbeast is elusive though.

jmps - thank you!

Mrs Meyer - open plan offices are made for such things.

LLG - have you seen smackcrumplebang's dachsie? You must check it out.

katyboo - no way dude. it sounded like five million cycles of hell.

Subtle Rudder - I am threatening my jackal with a tiny dagger now in your honour.

Evitchka - I do hope not. I don't think it should be an oft repeated exercise..

fabhat - there should have been more blood and maiming really. ah well.

City Road - stop it, I am blushing.

LBTW - pfff. I am but shortbread's plaything.

Gossamer - it's terrifying. You wouldn't want to be in here.

bevchen - thank you sweetest!

Iheart - and terrify, probably..

PM - at the risk of being a total geekzoid, I kept getting distracted by the original when I was writing this. I LOVE it. LOVE.

Persephone - It would get old very quickly but I did really enjoy it. Thank you darling.

Woman - as Mrs Trefusis cleverly noted I am but the internet's tennis ball.

Mya - it was excruciatingly slow. Pff. Taxi driver man.

Mr F - that has the makings of a party trick.

SCB - I love how Winona is playing me. And I love my diadem. You are crazed, but wonderful.

3limes - one word: lovely.

Lauren - thank you so much!

Jane - ah, thank you.

Peevish - pff. It's the sleep deprivation talking I think.

Juci - sorry about that. I must have got carried away with all that stabbing.

Chantal - noooooo. Don't tempt me...

Welsh Girl said...

Forsooth my liege you have broken something in me. I hurt now. No more I beg of you... Bloody Marvellous!!!!!

Megatonlove said...

Dangerously funny!

A stern-faced Flemish librarian is casting dark looks in my direction. I believe I'm about to be charged with causing a public disturbance. Jaywalker, you kill me.

reen said...

That could not have been any more perfect. Brava!

WV rherro: Channelling Scooby Doo?

bonnie-ann black said...

Late to the ball though I may be, I, too, must utter my cries of acclaim and praise! Betwixt thee and Katyboo, we wouldst have the two greatest playwrights and Cliff Notes writers that pen of our age!

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