Fool Hardies III “Lord of Misrule”

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 Jester announces that he is stepping down as the Lord of Misrule this year. Mary, Harry, and Vivian decide to run for office. Let the campaign begin!

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3 Male, 3 Female, 1 M/F

MARY (F) Arrogant, thinks she’s smarter than she is; tries 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.

JESTER (M) The court fool. If you already have a jester for the dinner, simply use him; if you don’t have one already, you can cast one.

EXTRA PAGE (M/F) Servant of the court. No lines.



(Lights up as JESTER enters.)

JESTER:  Lords and Ladies . . . (Looks out into audience.)  Right, scratch that.  Peasants and peasantesses!  Welcome to our banquet.  I come bearing preposterous, um, I mean portentous news.  I am stepping down as this year’s Lord of Misrule.  I know, I know.  You are shocked and saddened.  But I must step down because I want to spend more time with my family, explore other career options, and experience private life again.  That and the fact that you (Points to audience.) voted for term limits.  I guess there’s only so much misrule you can take.

(The FOOL HARDIES rush in from all four corners of the room.)

HARRY: Jester, is it true?

JESTER: Wow. News travels quickly.

KERI: So, it’s true?

JESTER: Indeed it is!

MARY:  What great news!

KERI:  It’s incredible!

LARRY:  Who would believe it?

HARRY:  Stupendous!

VIVIAN:  Golly gee willikers!  (ALL stop to stare at VIVIAN.)  That’s the bee’s knees?  (ALL stare.)  Holy newsflash, Batman? (Beat.) Uh, what’s the news?

JESTER:  The position of Lord of Misrule is now open.

VIVIAN:  The position for Lord of Misrule is open?  Wholly befuddled, Batman!  (ALL stop to stare at VIVIAN.)  Who’s the Lord of Misrule?

JESTER:  Yes, rather hard to narrow that down given our current crop of politicians. But I must get going.  I’ve got a job as a lobbyist for the next Lord of Misrule. (Exits.)

VIVIAN: So, what is the Lord of Misrule?

MARY:  The Lord of Misrule is a peasant who gets to rule for a day.

KERI:  You are so totally wrong.  The Lord of Misrule is a commoner who gets to reign for a 24-hour period.

MARY:  I just said that.

KERI:  No you didn’t.  You just related your understanding of current events.

MARY:  You’re irritating, you know that?

KERI:  No I’m not.  I just create friction under your epidermis –

MARY:  Anyway, I’m going to be the Lord of Misrule.  This is what I want you guys to do –

HARRY:  Hold it.  You can’t be the Lord of Misrule.

MARY:  And why not?

HARRY:  Hello?  Lord of Misrule?

MARY:  Hello?  Lord of Miss‐rule?

VIVIAN:  Hello?  (Beat.  ALL look at VIVIAN.)  That’s it.  Just “hello?”

LARRY:  How is this Lord of Misrule chosen, anyway?

MARY:  She –


MARY:  Is voted in by the peasants.

LARRY:  When?

MARY:  During the Feast of Fools.

HARRY:  When’s that?

MARY:  (Looks out at audience.)  I’d say just about now.

KERI:  That wasn’t so smart.  I mean, these people will be the ones voting for the Lord of Misrule.

HARRY:  How do you know that these people are peasants?

KERI:  Let’s ask.  (Looking at audience.)  Has everyone out there earned their bread from the sweat of their brow? (Waits for response.)

LARRY:  And has everyone out there worked for their homes, not inherited them? (Waits for response.)

VIVIAN:  And has everyone out there been served under glass?  (ALL stare at VIVIAN.)

MARY:  That’s pheasant, you fool.

VIVIAN:  Oh, so I’m at the right feast.

KERI:  It looks like all of these people are peasants.

VIVIAN:  (Points to an audience member.)  That guy looks more like a peacock.

HARRY:  Right.  Anyway, this is our electorate.

LARRY:  And they get to choose the next Lord of Misrule.

(Pause while ALL digest this.  The next dialogue is rapid fire, delivered to audience.)

HARRY:  (To male audience member.) It’s so nice that you brought your sister with you.  Oh, that’s your daughter? You must be the woodsman.  You sure didn’t get those pecs from planting turnips.

LARRY:  (To another audience member.) Your hair is silkier than a new beard on a head of barleycorn.

VIVIAN:  (Addresses same man as earlier.)  Any peahen would be really impressed by your plumage.  It’s like you have a thousand eyes!

KERI:  (To another audience member.) I will compliment you if you promise to vote for me.  (ALL look at KERI.)  I always liked the direct approach.

LARRY:  This is crazy.  There must be a better way to do this.

KERI:  Shhh.  I’m working here. (Back to audience member.)  So, how about it, buddy?  You vote for me, and I will compliment your manly physique.  No?  Your rapier wit?  No?  Your ability to mime?

HARRY:  Why don’t we just have an election at the end of the feast?

MARY:  What, with voting booths and ballots and the whole nine yards?

LARRY:  No, that’s too easy to rig.  We’ll just do it by applause.

HARRY:  That doesn’t guarantee that the most qualified candidate will be chosen.

MARY:  It will be just a popularity contest.

VIVIAN:  Just like every other election.

KERI:  (Beat.) Right.  Applause it is.

MARY:  I guess we should go work on our campaigns.

LARRY:  But we haven’t introduced ourselves to the audience yet.

MARY: True.  (To audience.)  We are . . .

ALL:  (Strike a pose.) The Fool Hardies!

MARY: We are a merry band of government office seekers.

KERI:  Who only want to serve you, the hard‐working –

LARRY:  Tax paying –

HARRY:  Vote casting –

ALL:  Peasants.

LARRY:  We will serve you faithfully –

HARRY:  Honestly –

KERI:  And for as long as I can cash in on my position of power.  (ALL look at KERI.)  Ly.

MARY:  My name is Mary.  I’m intelligent, stunningly-attractive in a wonkish kind of way, and a natural leader.

KERI:  My name is Keri.  I’m intelligenter, wonkishly-attractiver, and a natural leader-er.

HARRY:  My name is Harry.  Even though I was born to the purple, I still have a natural affinity for my less‐sophisticated, common‐born brethren such as yourselves.  I live much the same way you peasants do.  I go bowling.  I have the occasional pint.  I even sometimes roll my corn on the cob directly on the stick of butter.

LARRY:  My name is Larry.  I like walks on the beach, piña coladas, and getting caught in the rain.

VIVIAN:  And my name is Vivian.  I like Pandas.  They are so . . . black and white.  (ALL look at VIVIAN.)  If I had a Panda, I’d call him Panda Monium.

MARY:  (Beat.) I’m Mary.

KERI: I’m Keri.

LARRY: I’m Larry.

HARRY: I’m Harry.

VIVIAN: And I’m Vivian.

MARY: We are . . .

ALL: (Strike pose.) The Fool Hardies!

HARRY:  Otherwise known as the slate of candidates for the next election.

LARRY:  Otherwise known as the people bowing and scraping for your vote.

VIVIAN:  Otherwise known as Bob.  (ALL look at VIVIAN.)  You can’t lose with a name like Bob.

KERI: You’ll be seeing more of us. (ALL scramble and exit. Lights down.) . . .