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This play was first performed at Fields of Gold in the Barony of Politarchopolis in 2017. His Majesty himself being present was awarded a copy of the play. Here are some notes on that performance. Feel free to put your own interpretation on the play.
The Messanger summoned the audience to be seated for the play called King Steffan, and gave an improvised spiel about the setting being a castle battlements. The cast are not identified by name ever, though it was easy enough for the audience to work out who was who.
The Lord and Lady had shiney cardboard crowns, the Guards had shields and rattan swords, the Seargent had a halbard.
The Lord is a inept with no idea what to do until he can see no other way out.
The Lady is the sensible one, a bit frustrated by the Lord.
The Seargent is practical, loyal and a bit literal. Good seargent material.
The Guards are comic relief. These are the easiest parts in the play, with not many lines to learn.
The Messanger starts out flowery and stately, but with each message becomes more rushed, until the last, which is flowery again.
Yes, alright, there's only one scene.
Guard 1 speaks both to Guard 2 and the audience. The "mania" can refer to the play, the war or the SCA event. It's cleared up by Guard 2.
The Lord had forgotten to send word to the Crown for aid, and the Lady is cross when that becomes apparent.
Each time one of the Guards say "She/He speaks of us.", it has a different emotion: Confusion, Fear, Motivation and Relief. In our performance the third time has both Guards and the Seargent say the line, and the fourth time both Guards say the line.
The guards made a great show of not knowing which way up to hold their shields and swords, and got into a great muddle when the Lady called them to action. By this time the guards were at the back of the stage, so the Lady never noticed.
The seargent, who had recently had his hand and arm put in a cast (that's another story!) made a big show of handing his halbard to one of the guards before counting himself and the two guards, before wandering off to count more people. He returned still with only three fingers raised.
Upon hearing that the King's box had failed, all on stage winced, turning their heads to the left, in unison. The Lord's state of panic is at it's peak by now.
At the end of the Lord's rousing speech, all on stage take the first step towards charging out of the castle, but they freeze in place when the Messenger enters.
The cache of armour the messenger speaks of is the Politarchopolan loaner armour, which has been painted red to be distinctive. If this play is performed again, please pick another source of armour familiar to your audience.
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Copyright Jaysen Ollerenshaw 2017. Free use within the SCA.
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