This madrigal script runs about 20-25 minutes for those of you who are looking for a short masque (if you have few actors) or additional material (if you have extra actors). The Fool Hardies introduce each course with an ongoing story line. In this script, the King has placed an ad for some secret-service protection. He gets the Fool Hardies instead. Word has reached his royal ear that someone means to pie him before the night is over. In his desperate straits, the King agrees to hire the Fool Hardies to discover who this pie-wielding traitor might be. The madrigal dinner is interactive with audience and ends with classical physical humor.
Cast size: 3 Male, 4 Female
MARY (F) Arrogant, thinks she’s smarter than she is. She attempts to be the leader of the group.
KERI (F) Arrogant, thinks she’s prettier than she is. She is vying with Mary for leadership.
LARRY (M) Rustic and not ALL that up on etiquette.
HARRY (M) A bit of a dandy, imagines himself the archetypical knight.
VIVIAN (F) A cute, loveable, airhead.
KING (M) Has become paranoid since he’s heard that a hit man is after him.
QUEEN (F) Doesn’t take criticism too well, especially her cooking.
(Lights up. FOOL HARDIES enter from ALL points through audience up to the stage.)
MARY: (On seeing others puts newspaper behind her back.) What are you guys doing here?
KERI: We could ask you the same question.
MARY: Well, since I was down-sized from my last position . . .
KERI: You mean fired.
VIVIAN: Shoved out the door of opportunity-land and out into the “watching-Gilligan’s-Island-while-eating-Cheetos-in-your-bathrobe-ville.” (ALL stare at VIVIAN.) What?
MARY: Yeah, thanks to you guys I’m out of work.
MARY: Yes, you. It’s your fault that we were fired from our last job.
LARRY: What makes you think it was our fault . . . (Thinks.) Oh. Yeah.
MARY: So I’m here to interview for a new job.
HARRY: Hey, I am, too!
LARRY: Me, too!
KERI: Me, too!
VIVIAN: Me five! (ALL stare.) Well, if you would ALL just count . . .
MARY: I can’t believe this. (Pulls out paper.) Did you find this job in the classifieds also? Help wanted?
KERI: No, I saw it in the personals. (ALL stare, and she shrugs.) Not for me—for a friend.
HARRY: My friend Craig told me. (ALL stare, and he shrugs.) He has this list.
LARRY: A monster told me. (ALL stare, and he shrugs.) I hang out with a rough crowd.
VIVIAN: I read it in my fortune cookie. (ALL stare, and she shrugs.) I can’t resist moo shu pork. (ALL stare some more.)
MARY: I cannot believe this. What are the odds? (KING enters dressed in trench coat and sunglasses.) And here comes somebody else. (To KING.) Are you here to interview for the job, too, buddy? What, did you learn about it from your horoscope?
KING: Yes, I am here to interview for the job. But I am the interviewer, not the interviewee.
KING: I am . . . (Takes off his trench coat and sunglasses with a dramatic flourish.) the King.
FOOL HARDIES: (Gasp.) The King?
LARRY: But, why were you dressed like that?
KING: I am traveling incognito.
VIVIAN: You’re traveling in clogs? (Looks at KING’s feet.) Neato!
MARY: Incognito. It means, uh, something to do with widgets?
KERI: It means he’s traveling in disguise.
KING: Indeed. I must travel in disguise because my spies have told me that there is an assassin after me.
KERI: Naughty person.
KING: It has been revealed to me that someone in this very room . . . (Looks at FOOL HARDIES, who shrink back from his stare, and then KING looks at audience.) Someone in this very room is going to hit me . . . (Dramatic pause.) With a pie.
HARRY: With a pie?
KING: With a pie.
HARRY: But I don’t understand. Your ad said nothing about protecting you from a pie.
KING: Yes, it did.
HARRY: No, it didn’t.
KING: Read the ads.
MARY: Well, here’s mine right in this newspaper. “Wanted: Outgoing personality for entry level position. Must be flexible and self-motivated.”
KING: You must be out going in front of me and flexible to come between me and the pie.
KERI: (Taking the newspaper from MARY and turning to the personals.) Well, mine read, “Adventurous individual who can face danger. Must be comfortable in French silk.”
MARY: French silk?
KING: French silk pie, of course. And it will be your face that is in danger.
HARRY: (Pulling out Craig’s List.) Mine says, “Wanted. Cultured individual with discriminating taste.” That’s me. “Must be comfortable with the upper crust.” Oh.
LARRY: (Pulling out note.) “Wanted: Determined individual who can overcome a cobbler.” I don’t get it. I can beat a shoemaker anytime.
HARRY: That’s cobbler, as in pie.
LARRY: Oh. That explains the second sentence. “Must like fruit filling.”
KERI: (To VIVIAN.) How about you? What did your fortune cookie say?
VIVIAN: “Today is your lucky day. You block a pie with face. Your lucky numbers are 1, 7, 4, 2, 6—
MARY: (Interrupts.) So, you want us to be bodyguards?
KING: I’ve already got Royal Body guards. I need you to go undercover. You will pose as servants. It will be our little secret.
LARRY: We’ll be the secret servants?
KING: If you qualify. First I have to interview you. Please answer a few questions for me. One: Are all of you brave? (ALL nod.)
VIVIAN: I played one in our Thanksgiving play.
KING: Two: Are all of you agile? (ALL nod.)
VIVIAN: I played one in our Christmas play.
KING: Three: Do all of you like pie? (ALL nod.)
VIVIAN: It’s my favorite number.
KING: Are you willing to put your face between me and an incoming fruity missile? (ALL nod before they realize the implications and stop.)
FOOL HARDIES: Hey!
KING: Right then. You are all hired. What are your names?
(They say their names very quickly.}
MARY: I’m Mary.
KERI: I’m Keri.
LARRY: I’m Larry.
HARRY: I’m Harry.
VIVIAN: I’m Vivian. (KING stares at her.) What?
KING: I’ll be coming back here soon to propose the royal toast. You stay here and introduce the play, while I change.
MARY: Introduce the play?
KERI: Your ads say nothing about introducing the play.
KING: Sure they do. Look at the fine print.
HARRY: (Reading his slip.) “Work will commence after introductions are made.” Oh.
KING: Get to it. Report back to me before the toast. My steward will provide you with disguises. (Exits.)
MARY: Well, we might as well get on with it. (To audience.) Ladies!
KERI: And gentlemen!
LARRY: Children of all ages!
HARRY: And anyone else not covered by the above three categories!
MARY: Welcome to our play.
LARRY: Brought to you by . . .
ALL: The Fool Hardies!
KERI: Enjoy our play!
VIVIAN: Except for that pie-wielding hit man out there. We know you are out there so the only thing that you are going to enjoy is . . . justice! And a jail cell far from any baked goods. (ALL stare.) What?
MARY: We are the Fool Hardies.
KERI: You will be seeing more of us.
HARRY: But you won’t recognize us.
LARRY: We’ll be in disguise.
(FOOL HARDIES scatter and exit the way they came in. Lights down.) . . .