by Sheila White
(Cambridge, Ontario Canada)
Sheila and Her Friend (He's a cutout!)
Some years ago -- about 35 as I recall -- I started a group with the above name. Our activities took place at a local seniors' centre and it was advertised there. We had quite a few members at first then it dwindled down to five or so.
The trick was that we wrote our own plays -- or skits, really. Generally they were for two people having a conversation and they lasted five minutes or so. We brought our own props and dressed according to our characters.
I still have those skits on my computer and I'm trying to get the folks at my current address interested, but no luck so far.
The skit that I enjoyed writing and performing best was a take-off of Macbeth's three witches scene and it was called: Rehearsal on the Blasted Heath. I will add the script after I sign off here if it's possible to separate them.
So, Irwin, have fun. I wish I could join you!
REHEARSAL ON A BLASTED HEATH
by Sheila V. White 1993
The three witches from Macbeth meet to rehearse casting their spells.
On a dark and wintry night they huddle, chanting, over their cauldron,
with the First Witch as leader:
FST: "Thrice the brindel cat hath mewed...”
SCD: "Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined...”
THD: "Harpier cries 'Tis time, this time..." (straightens up &
addresses the others) What ARE we talking about?
SCD: Well, I was talking about a whining hedgehog.
THD: Then why didn't you SAY hedgehog?
SCD: Why pick on me? I didn't write the play. Who's Harpier, anyway?
But I was wondering, do hedgehogs really whine?
FST: Who knows. Who cares! Let's get on with the spell.
(witches crouch & walk in circle, throwing things in cauldron)
ALL: "Round about the cauldron go / In the poisoned entrails throw..."
SCD: (stands to object) I'm not eating THAT soup!
THD: You're not supposed to eat it. We're making a spell.
SCD: "Fillet of a fenny snake / eye of newt and toe of frog..."
FST: Don't stop! "Wool of bat and tongue of dog..." this is good!
THD: "Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting / Lizard's leg and howlet's
wing..." It's cruelty to animals, pure and simple. (All stop)
FST: Phooey! It's a PLAY! Nothing's real in a play.
THD: We're real, aren't we?
FST: Only to the audience. When the audience goes home, we disappear.
SCD: Where to?
FST: Oh, to places witches go, out into the night, riding the clouds
on a broomstick with a black cat. You know the fairy tales.
THD: I thought we were going trick-or-treating later.
SCD: Ooh, yes, goody goody.
FST: We can't talk about LATER until we've finished with NOW. Let's
get on with it. (all continue walking)
THD: Where are we...oh, yes..."Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf /
witches' mummy, maw and gulf..." which witch? (all stop walking)
FST: What d'you mean, which witch?
SCD: Which of us has to give up their maw and gulf © whatever?
FST: Don't take this so literally, Second. Go on.
THD: "Nose of Turk and Tartar's lips..." (all stop) Now that's
racism and it's against the law!
FST: When this play was written, there WAS no such law.
THD: First animal cruelty, now racism. I'm going to quit.
FST: You CAN'T quit. We haven't finished the spell.
ALL: (continue walking) "Double, double, toil and trouble / Fire burn
and cauldron bubble." (all stop & look around)
SCD: NOW what do we do?
FST: We wait on this blasted heath for Macbeth to arrive. When he sees us he says, (declaiming) "How now you black and midnight hags,what is't you do?" And we show him a bunch of apparitions.
THD: I think we've had enough of operations, what with cutting out
that poor dog's tongue and all.
FST: APPARITIONS, idiot!
SCD: Who's Macbeth?
FST: Oh, you're impossible! If you don't know who Macbeth is, surely
you know the play's opening lines. Everyone does.
ALL: (Chanting) "When shall we three meet again / In thunder,
lightning or in rain..."
SCD: I'm afraid of thunder and lightning.
FST: Witches aren't afraid of ANYTHING, dolt! They make OTHER PEOPLE
SCD: Then I don't want to be a witch anymore.
FST: Too late. Looked in the mirror lately? You two couldn't be
anything else with those ugly mugs.
THD: Not all witches are ugly. What about the Good Witch in The
Wizard of Oz? She was beeeoootiful.
SCD: Let's make a spell turning us ALL beeeoootiful!
FST: And change the course of literature? Impossible!
THD: Don't see why not. There's far too much violence in the world.
We could do some real good if we turned all the bad guys into
good guys. Then we could show this McArthur character some
Lassie videos instead of....
FST: It's MACBETH and I've never heard such drivel. Now, go home and
read the play, and don't return until you know your parts!
ALL: (exeunt, chanting) "When shall we three meet again / in thunder,
lightning, or in rain...."