Welcome to Malvolio's Revenge.

    Students of William Shakespeare have at times wondered about Malvolio-Butt of humour in "Twelfth Night". There's quite a few essays and suchlike which write of the comedic affect this "no fun" guy generated. I imagine Elizabethan audiences giving him a right good "rotten tomatoing" for being so ambitious and so gullible. His revenge is sometimes interpreted as a bit of political prophesying. re. puritans versus royalists. I don't know. Maybe.

    When I saw a production of Twelfth Night in Lismore, I started wondering about the man himself. Malvolio. A comfortably positioned servant of a countess, he dramatically alienates himself from the only society he knows. For someone like Malvolio, there is nowhere else to go. The Iliria of Count Orsino and Lady Olivia is all there is. 

    Hence this sequel. I'm amazed it hasn't been done before. It seems to me that Will Shakespeare left this loose end hoping.

    A Cambridge students copy of 12th Night has the topic of Malvolio's Revenge as an exercise.  "Write a poem or short story.", they say.  "Write a play, poem or short story" ?   Maybe it just didn't occur to them. This 2001 script has some rewriting since performance on a tour in 2000. There is still room for improvisation. The changes were not many or drastic. Proving the script's strength in the face of rehearsal and performance. It lends itself to joyous love of theatre and panto. 

    I remain ever thankful to The Bard for giving inspiration.   

                                                                                                Will Hogg. Nimbin. 2001.

 

Original Cast and Crew. The November 2000 Tour.

Nimbin. Mullumbimby. Lismore.

 

Bob Tissot as Bishop./Director.; Co-Director.

Louberry as Fool./Cheryl.; Hand, Costume, Props.

Nadine Woolie as Olivia./Olivia.; Hand, Costume, Props.

J.J. Bruce as Count Orsino.; Hand, Costume, Props.

Amara as Laudanum./Frank.; Hand, Costume, Props.

Jan Martin as Griselda./Crone./"Cesario."/Check out Chick.; Hand, Costume, Props.

Will Hogg as Malvolio./Brian.; Director.

Katrina Dochety. Lights and Sound; Costume, Props.

Miah. Hand, Costume, Props, Curtain.

Janice Potter. Costume

 

Classic Archetype Props:                      Griselda's Valkirie Hat.

                                                                      The Curtain.

                                                                      The Two Person Horse.

                                                                      The Hook.

                                                                      The Minties.

 

Other Props.        Lifelike Doll, Small Table, 2 chairs, Inkpot, Quill, 2 letters, Wine Jug/Bottle, Laudanum Bottle, Torch, CD Player,
                                CD of  the Voice of God, Sofa/Mattress, Coins, 2 Mobile Clothes Racks, Extra Costume,  Party Poppers and Streamers.

 

  READ ON, McDUFF!

 

" 'MALVOLIO'S REVENGE.'
OR
'THIRTEENTH NIGHT.' "

By Will Hogg.

The long-awaited sequel to ""TWELFTH NIGHT" or "What You Will" " a Comedy by Will Shakespeare. 

Introduction to Act One. " The Shakespeare Scene. "
[NOTE: This scene is quoted from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. 
"MALVOLIO'S REVENGE" begins with the end of "TWELFTH NIGHT."] 

(Curtain opens on Olivia & Sebastian, Orsino & "Cesario". Two loving couples smiling as if for the wedding photographer. Fabian andClown push Malvolio onto stage from wing.)

Duke: Is this the madman?
Olivia: Ay, my lord, this same; How now Malvolio?
Malvolio: Madam, you have done me wrong. Notorious wrong.
Olivia: Have I Malvolio? No.
Malvolio: Lady, you have. Pray you, peruse that letter: You must not now deny it is in your hand. Write from it, if you can, in hand or phrase; or say, 'tis not your seal, nor your invention. You can say none of this. Well grant it then, and tell me, in the modesty of honour, why you have given me such clear lights of favour, bade me come smiling, and cross-garter'd  to you; to put on yellow stockings, and to frown upon Sir Toby and the lighter people. And acting thus in an obedient hope, why have you suffer'd me to be imprison', kept in a dark house, visited by the priest and made the most notorious geck and gull that e'er invention play'd on? Tell me why.
Olivia: Alas, Malvolio, this is not my writing, though I confess much like the character. But, out of question, 'tis Maria's hand. And now I do bethink me, it was she first told me thou wast mad; then cam'st thee in smiling. And in such forms which here were presuppos'd upon thee in the letter. Pr'ythee, be content. This practice has most shrewdly pass'd upon thee; but when we know the grounds and authors of it, thou shalt be both the plaintiff and the judge of thine own cause.
Fabian: Good madam, hear me speak; and let no quarrel, nor no brawl to come, taint the condition of this present hour, which I have wonder'd at. In hope it shall not, most freely I confess, myself and Toby set this device against Malvolio here, upon some stubborn and uncourteous parts we had conceiv'd against him. Maria writ the letter, at Sir Toby's great importance; in recompense whereof he hath married her. How with a sportful malice it was follow'd may rather pluck on laughter than revenge, if that the injuries be justly weigh'd that have on both sides past.
Olivia: Alas poor fool! How have they baffled thee!
Fool: Why, "some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrown upon them." I was one, sir, in this interlude; one Sir Topas, sir; but that's all one: "By the Lord, fool, I am not mad;" - but do you remember?  "Madam, why laugh you at such a barren rascal? And you smile not, he's gagged." And thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.
Malvolio: I'll be reveng'd on the whole pack of you. (Exits) 
Olivia: He hath been most notoriously abus'd.
Duke: Pursue him, and entreat him to a peace. He hath not told us of the captain yet. (Fabian exits.) When that is known, and golden time convents, a solemn combination shall be made of our dear souls. Meantime, sweet sister, we will not part from hence. Cesario, come; For so you shall be while you are a man. But when in other habits you are seen, Orsino's mistress and his fancy queen.


(All exit but the clown. Clown sings.)


When that I was and a little tiny boy,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came to man's estate,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
'Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate,
For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came, alas! to wive,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
By swaggering could I never thrive,
For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came unto my beds,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
With toss-pots still had drunken heads,
For the rain it raineth every day.

A great while ago the world begun,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
But that's all one, our play is done,
And we'll strive to please you every day.

(There is a front stage curtain which closes with a flourish. Fool exits in through closing curtain. Bob Busby, the Director comes through the curtain.)


Bob (Dir): Thank you ladies and Gentlemen. Well, that's the matinees complete. The penultimate performance of our Season of Shakespeare. We are a humble company and thank you most profusely for your attendance. As you know, um, humble Shakespeare companies are usually poor Shakespeare companies, so on your way out; later; after you have met the cast and crew over some snacks and things. On your way out I would like you to consider the expense of these presentations and weigh that up against the educational and cultural benefits gained. Weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of donating to our continued presentation of Seasons of Shakespeare and give generously please. And now, fellow lovers of theatre (curtain opens on cast and crew) Here is the cast and crew. With this bow, we bid you adeau. Goodnight! One and All.
(All bow and the curtains close. Cast moves from front of curtain to behind curtain; ready for the curtain opening on...)


Act One Scene One

(Today. Lismore. A backstage dressing room. People are changing. These actors have been doing this for three weeks. This is the matinee before the final night. There are familiarities developed and changing drastically. Five minutes before this show, Brian Hickton/ Malvolio has informed Cheryl Winter/ Fool  that he is now  'on' with Olivia Knight/ Lady Olivia. Frank/ Laudanum, Count & Grizelda are changing. "Olivia"/Olivia and "Malvolio"/Brian  enter. "Dir" stands for "Director Bob".)
Brian: 'Goodnight one and all' he says. Three in the afternoon! This is our director?
Olivia: The man's eccentric Brian.
Brian: Twisted. Confused. Every Matinee? "Goodnight one and all."
Olivia; He does it for atmosphere.
(Cheryl enters. Pent up fury.)
Cheryl: (Her undressing is not happening easily.) Shit! Ohhh! Shit!
Brian: Organic, but not original.
Cheryl: Look. Drop dead. I'm changing.
Brian: Thou art cold. Oh Mistress Winter thou art bitter cold, and I am but a poor dramatist without skin or blanket in thy most furious blizzard.
Cheryl: Shut it, Mr. Right Bastard Hickton. Huh. Hick-ton. Please. I'm changing. Ough!. Why don't I just leave this face on all the time? 
(The bustling director is in Brian's mute retreat path. )
Dir: Ah, Cheryl. Good. Savage. Brutal. Please keep the Brooklyn accent with the priest. Tonight, dear. Tonight keep accent. Get some rest Cheryl. O.K.? O.K.? 
Cheryl: Yeah. Sure. O.K.
Dir: O.K. Now Brian what were you doing out there?
Brian: I don't know what you mean.
Dir: Are these mine ears saucepan lids that do resonate so loudly of contrived casual ignorance? Yea, of deceit?
Brian: Well what then. What?
Dir: The whole run you have been a treasure, a pleasure. What happened?
Brian: I told Cheryl about Olivia.
Dir: Oh God.
Brian: Oh God you say.
Dir: You are more of a fool than the clown made you. Truly you reek of stupidity. This! Tonight! Here is a fine finale in the offing.
Brian: She was savage out there.
Dir: Who can blame her? So what's happened to the usually impervious craftsman. Hmmm?
Cheryl: Bollocks. Oh Grim Priest. Bollocks. His bollocks. Though it seems he lacks bollocks, for he lacks any awareness of their potential to suddenly and painfully appear between his ears. No. Yes. More. He lacks, if not their substance, their true fibre. Their feelings. Balls, I think. A better word for his. Balls. Bollocks, now. Bollocks are fine for shagging. Large and hairy.
Dir: Now. Now. Fool. 
Cheryl: But this man's balls are fit only for necktie or noose.
Brian: Cheryl!
Cheryl: Don't come near me. You don't seem to realise what you've done.
Brian. Cheryl!
Cheryl: Ah what's the use? Pig! Cheat! Bastard! It's over. Bastard.
Brian: Cheryl! Darling.
Cheryl: Darling me. One I wish had never been. Darling misery. Shake yon spear away from here and from now on. All its connotations and limitations are, in their very least, unpleasant.
Olivia: Huh humm.
Dir: Bit of quiet one and all. Quiet.
Cheryl: Be careful, Hickton; though cares seem futile.
Dir: Quiet please.
Frank: (Awed) Only the phlegm rattle hiss of the leprous viper or asp is heard.
Dir: Yes Frank, shut up. Silence! O.K. I've already given the necessary feedback. Fine work in the trenches boys and girls. The inches in this matinee are tonight's um feet. Though it seems we claw our way through a hail of lead. Malvolio?
Cheryl: Yet who is led? And how heavy on the leads and traces are these lead? Do these traces lead to a bed whereto I am as lead. Mine heart is too heavy to rest. I am a confusion of furies. Fear. Dread. (exits.) 
Olivia: Thank God. Brian, debriefing over drinks? Shopping? Oh Brian.
Brian: What?
Olivia: She has banished you, for now at least.
Brian: So?
Olivia: So give her the same. Banish her. If not with the fierce passions of the beast you are, then out of respect for her wishes.
Brian: Olivia, I am a mess.
Olivia: Come on. Suffering thing. Almost pitiful. Come on.
(Brian and Olivia exit)
Dir: Right! Siesta everyone and don't sleep in.
(Curtain closes)

End Act.1. Scene.1.
Interlude between Act 1 Scene 1 and Scene 2.

(Interlude timings are helped by a desk bell backstage. Useful sound tool.
Frank Bacon comes through curtain)
Frank: Hello people. I'm out first. 'Just talk about the play." sez Bob. 'Introduce it". Introduce what first, Mr Busby? So I thought I might fill you in on me instead, seeing as how most people know something about William Shakespeare but nothing at all about Frank Bacon. (flourish) At your service.
I'm in Small Business. I make farm machinery. Frank Bacon, Ag Fab. That's my work. I have a family who I would like to thank here for support given. Thank you, Suzi, Tani, Brett. Yeah. You're the best.
See. I like jokes. That's how I'm here, a first timer. Jumping in the deep end. So to speak. Cheryl, the Fool, came in with a side-car design. Neat. Compact. "Can do" I say. "Cheryl. Can do." Instead of going "goodo" and buzzing off she just stands there. "How would you like to act in a Shakespeare play? A comedy," she says. "You're joking." I say. "I am the Fool." she says. "My oath you are. Askin' me to act." Well. I went along with the joke. Read the thing a few times and started laughing. You get a taste for it. For the avid students and other parties interested, I'm here to give Cheryl time to fix up her face with some dignity. Acts tough but she's a softie, y'know. (Ding!) Tell you what though, doing Shakespeare like this is almost original in its form. Think about that as the play unfolds. Almost original in its form. Well, a bit original in its form. Umm. Better shut up. To talk of Shakespeare is to reveal ignorance. (Ding! Ding! Ding!) (Hook starts lining up for the snatch.) Thank you ladies and gentlemen. Young and Old. And if you need some farm machinery manufacturings, overhauls or rebuilds, remember Frank Bacon Ag Fab
(The hook catches Frank at "Fab", pulling him back through.)

Act one Scene two

(Two years have passed in Iliria. Lady Olivia has a baby daughter, Viola. The Duke has become a Count and father of twin boys. Twin toddlers. Malvolio suffers in his reduced station. He is in danger of sending himself quite mad plotting revenge on the Fool.)

(Curtain opens. A hilltop. Enter Fool. The first words are a continuation of a long uphill monologue.)
Fool:  -while those whose places in life and whose movements are rehearsed do hoard their reality for fiction and practice life. All this I know. I am low and critical. I, who clipt and skipt with the sad, bald, children till laughter grew in their observations. Tis a glutton's portion of gloom to realise its banishment is ever partial. A total eclipse of sorrow is still some moment in transience. So. Um. This happens more and more of late. Not only do threads vanish but they seem to unravel with tension from past and future, back and forth. Forsooth. Such a morning had merriment in it's bones only yesterday. And now. (Bird call. Malvolio enters through audience.) What noise in the rough land there? Tis a human form. Well! Tis Malvolio. He approaches the hard way, as he would, through clawing cane and privet. Cruelly treated and treated more oft than in his days of elevated servility. I pity him. All manner of folk have returned old punishments and disciplines; with interest. Many in ill-natured ways. Malvolio seeks our bishop's pardon for witlessness. Would that our bishop had wits enough to judge his lack. See how the poor man huffs and puffs. His face is as red as a bishop's ribbons. His eyes, I am told, are clouded; like our bishop's water passing. Tis enough. I will seek to relieve him of cares. Ah! Ha! I am espied. Yoohoo! He recognises me. Yoohoo! He's waving. No. Not waving. Sir! Such gesticulatings. And from a puritan. Uh! Oh dear. He's fallen.
Malvolio: Aarrgh! Evil wellspring of mine misery! I will have thee cap't for this too! Aarrgh!
Fool: Oh! I will not laugh. See how he glares. A beacon of malice. Ah! He's lost to sight. Eyes the texture of our Bishop's water passing? His eyes did seem clear and bright with intent to me here. But soft. Here comes the unfortunate. A mass of scratches. How now, poor Malvolio?
Malvolio: Poor Malvolio. Wish me no poverty, evil clown. All my puny pennies go towards your undoing.
Fool: For what's done I to be undone. Bears pondering. But sirra. Can we seek peace? Shall we skirt away from this vengeance? Prithee,sir. Can we?
Malvolio: Fool. Simple. Fool. Look at me. Then glance into one of your mirrors. I will loom as your nemisis. Peace, Fool? I have no peace. The once tranquil pool of my set ways is now dangerous with sulphurous boiling mud. I fume, Fool. I fume!
Fool: I see you do. Indeed.
Malvolio: Indeed? In deed you are all trickster and no fool indeed!
Fool: Bandied words, Malvolio? Trickster or fool, tis all the same.
Malvolio: Wrong, Fool. Wrong and wrong again. Fool. Nothing is the same: nor has it ever been: nor will it ever be. "Tis all the same." You lack an author. Beware. Your audience may become sober and full of judgement at your wit.
Fool: Judgement, Malvolio?
Malvolio: Sober judgement, Trickster. You have spilt your apples in the market place too many times. Some of them are rotten in the core. Word is out, Fool. Ha. Ha. I nurture and propagate a growing doubt. Yea. A suspicion surrounds the quality of your wares. Your jests and japes.
Fool: Jests and japes are a Fool's tools, Malvolio. My wares are merriments, which arrive fresh anywhere. Oh, yes! People guard selected merriments next to their lives, sir. And authors? No fool be lacking in authors, sir. These wares you call mine own belong to long forgotten authors of authors. These jesters' wares. These merriments are part of that which sweetens an old man's dying breath; and thus; live on into attending generations.
Malvolio: A pretty picture. Deciever. Imposter. A poor excuse for cruelty. See here how low your merriments have flung me. The entire pack of you! All of you have brought me to this. Now you would bid me be civil and friendly? At least civil? Treacherous clown! I will not! Were I as strong and coordinated as before, I would stop your breathing so mine exhalations would not be forced to mingle. Begone! Foul mouth of merriments!
Fool: Farewell, Malvolio.
Malvolio: What? Fare me well not. Your blessings do become sinister in the air between us. Begone! Go! Away, Fool!
(Fool exits. Malvolio comes forward as curtain closes behind him.)


(Interlude: Act.1. Sc.2. - Act. 1. Sc. 3.)


Malvolio: Ha! He is gone at last. He pities me. Poor Fool. Clown of Acute Depressions I'll make him. Then we shall have a balance in our situations. Clown of Acute Depressions. Yes. (Church bell tolls. Malvolio readies for prayer) Lord! Hear thy servant. I do most humbly thank thee for thy many blessings, Lord, but this world doth burden me with cruelties, then exposeth mine wounded being to indifference. For I have been called mad too long now and must have the Bishop's Pardon for Witlessness to achieve my former state. This bishop's doctors conspire against me; saying in sighs and with rarefied linguistics; that the decay of my mind is beyond repair. I was driven to madness, Lord, Not lost in it. I am not mad. I have tested my memory of the languages and histories. I know as much now, as I knew then. Though I am easily fatigued. Lord, how can I face audience with this bishop? I am his laughing-stock. Her Ladyship saith I have grounds, yet her letters are outclamoured by the strident fabrications of Physics, Leeches, Philosophers and Clergymen. Jove. Lord. I am beset. Help me, Lord. I am beset with living demons. Pardon my sins, Lord, for I remain thy devoted child. Amen. (Rising from prayer) So. I must await Bishop Cogitable's pleasure. At his leasure he might listen, if nothing else. Offer me one of his cracked mugs slopped with wine. (Ding.) Which shall pass mine lips not! See!? This is what I mean. (Ding. Ding.) Everyone plagues my self-discipline with their humour. (Hook.) Children taunt me. (Ding. Ding. Ding.) Their elders hush them not. I am treated as a fool. Humiliated. I, Malvolio, am ridiculed. (The hook gets him.)

Act.1. Sc.3.

(Malvolio at the doorstep of Bishop Cogitable. Bishop drinking and laughing at letters inside. Laudanum takes the sun outside the bishop's window.)
Laudanum: Communion wine, piecrust and sunshine. Piecrust and sunshine.
Malvolio: This Cogitable 'will not think of seeing me'! His serving wench utters his response to my plea with undisguised malice and glee.
(Griselda appears at door wearing the cowhorned helmet.)
Griselda: He be deep in prayer, my good man. He will not think of seeing thee. (Griselda exits.) 
Cogitable: "Decay beyond repair". These epistles do state in no uncertain terms, the Godless Chaos inside Malvolio's mind.
Griselda: (Enters.) Go away. Shoo! (Exits.)
Cogitable: This: "His thoughts do rattle louder than a sloppy wagon wheel." A sloppy wagon wheel doth endanger the wagon's load. Good wine bruiseth!
Malvolio: "Will not think." He be pissed on communion wine and can think of seeing me not, more like.
Cogitable: And this. "He doth maintain an unfounded belief in the soundness of his own mind."
Laudanum: Unfounded? Confounded.
Cogitable: Well! And so do many whilst Possessed of the Sin of Witlessness.
Malvolio: This Cogitable be almost a vegetable. His communion with piecrust and wine be prodigious. Profane. Oh ye Fates. Once more, I am stymied.
Cogitable: And this same sane, though sloppy wagon wheel doth rattle without; pleading with his fates, no doubt. Talking to himself or thin air. E'en sa I do here?
(Hiss of recording. ABC News Theme. Loud Voice of God)
Voice of God: Hear me, esteemed servant.
Laudanum: Eh!?
Cogitable: What's this?
Voice of God: These instructions. Take ye them to thy bosom.
Cogitable: My bosom? Utterances? Surely, not the wine. Lord?
Laudanum: Tis not the wine.
Voice of God: This is the Voice of God. Do these tasks for me.
Cogitable: Yea Lord! I am thy humble servant. Nay. 'Esteemed!' I am thine esteemed servant, Lord.
Voicw of God: First. Forswear all alcohol till the Twelfth Night's celebration.
Laudanum: Epithany's just past.
Cogitable: Till when, Lord?
Voice of God: Till after the final curtain.
Cogitable: Till death, Lord? All alcohol, Lord? Forever?
Voice of God: All ferments and spiritous liquors.
Cogitable: But. All?
Voice of God: Not even communion wine. I know thee.
Cogitable: Yea. Verily, Lord, thou dost.
Voice of God: Second: Regard all masks, showmanship and mimicry as deception. The Sin of Untruth, my son. The Sin of Untruth.
Laudanum: What's this?
Cogitable: I be a hound for thy justice, Lord. A terrier for thy truth.
Laudanum: A snoopy in thy squadron, Lord.
Voice of God: Third. Know 'what you will'. Know thy Will.
Cogitable; My will, Lord?
Laudanum: His will, Lord?
Voice of God: Last, and above all else, care for Malvolio. Give him fine garments of sombre hue, as suit the man. Feed Malvolio as well as thy purse and wits allow. God has spoken. Stay sober.
(Choral Amen.)
Laudanum: This be a jest, f'sure. A Jest.
Cogitable: Malvolio has thy blessing, Lord? My will. Know what I will of my will, Lord? My will is thine and thou hast spoken. Spoken! Loud and clear. Unto me. Thine esteemed servant. No wine! (Horror.) What will I do? Laudanum. Yes! Laudanum! Where is that man. Laudanum!
Laudanum: At woodheap I be.
(Griselda enters wearing the helmet.)
Cogitable: Griselda! Remove that artifact from your head at once.
Griselda: What, sir? Now off, sir?
Cogitable: Yea. Prithee woman. Off! It doth mask thy true form.
Griselda: Shall I remove the rest of mine garments too, Reverend Monsignior?
Laudanum: She be confusing him again. Tis a habit.
Cogitable: That depends on what is cladding and what costume or frippery, Griselda.
Griselda: Yet mine frocks depend well upon my true form. Thine own frock be regarded by all as costume, m'Lord.
Cogitable: True, wench. True.
Laudanum: And true to form.
Griselda: All is dressing, m'Lord.
Cogitable: Tis a quandry, Zelda.
Laudanum: She doth bake him a quandry pie.
Griselda: Nowt be made of quandries, Honoured Father.
Laudanum: A quandry pie be made of nowt.
Griselda: But Lord Bishop; how came this sudden clarity to thine every cogitation? Surely, tis a miracle.
Cogitable: Aye, wench. Tis a miracle, in truth. The Voice of God hath spoken unto me. His 'esteemed servant', Griselda. Esteemed!
Griselda: Oh yes. And?
Cogitable: First I must needs cease traffic with all ferments and spiritous liquors.
Griselda: He is cruel.
Cogitable: Where is Laudanum?
Laudanum: Chopping wood be Laudanum, sir.
Griselda: Laudanum chops wood without, Blessed Father.
Cogitable: Without? 
Laudanum: Without with axe chops Laudanum wood, sir.
Griselda: With an axe without, m'Lord. A Blockbuster.
Cogitable: I see!
Griselda: Miracles pile upon one another as do blocks in Laudanum's wood-heap.
Cogitable: Griselda, daughter. Send thee hastily for Malvolio, who waits without. Bathe him. Feed him lightly of the best. Clothe him in costly, though sombre costume. Nay. Attire. As suits the man. And wench?
Griselda: Yea, yr Immanence?
Cogitable: What's for dinner tonight?
Laudanum: A question worth asking, I reckon. Mutton pie?
Griselda: Mutton Pie and Nuts Roasted, yr Reverence.
Cogitable: Make it; Braised Lamb. A dessert of sweet nut dumplings in custard. And fresh bread.
Laudanum: Fresh bread!
Griselda: My Lord Bishop! Fresh bread?
Cogitable: God has spoken unto me, Griselda. See to Malvolio.
Griselda: Yes, yr worship.
Cogitable: Where's Laudanum?
Laudanum: At his pile of wood, sir.
(Laudanum and Cogitable off. Griselda crosses to Malvolio.)
Griselda: The Master wishes to speak with thee, Malvolio. Something is afoot.
Malvolio: Immediately, wench? Right this moment?
Griselda: Nay, sir. First to bathe thee; clothe thee in fine raiments; and feed thee of the best.
Malvolio: Evil hag! Though I've been fooled before, I am no fool. Thou dost taunt me. Tease me. Yet, I will follow thy guiding form.
Griselda: Truly, I am in form today.
Malvolio: Lead on, Housemistress.
Griselda: Ooh. And with rapidly shortening odds, it seems. (Exit both.)
(Enter Cogitable and Laudanum.)
Cogitable: Thy heap be constructed with divine precision. Well piled, Laudanum.
Laudanum: Thank'ee sir. Tis nowt.
Cogitable: Nowt, man? Nowt? Since the Voice of God did strike me sober; and surprising; still capable of sight and speech!    Nowt man? I have seen 'thy awful symetry'. Yea, Laudanum. Tis the finest heap of wood! Well piled, man. Well piled!
Laudanum: Ay, sir. Was there anything else, yr Graciousness?
Cogitable: Yea, fine serf, there was. Send at once to the apothacary for preparation of opium, Laudanum. Sobriety hurts.
Laudanum: Does it, sir.
Cogitable: Tis noble to suffer for the Lord, but he said nothing in his magnificent amplification about preperation of opium, Laudanum. Did He.
Laudanum: I wouldn't know, m'Lord Bish.
Cogitable: I'll write a letter for Malvolio. We shall give him a just hearing. No fabrications. Tis the Lord's will. And mine. Go to, Laudanum. Preparation of Opium.
Laudanum: At once, yr Majesty.
Cogitable: Where is mine inkpot? Ah! Good Lord! Tomorrow be Pardon Friday. Today be Petition Thursday. It's all coming back to me. (Writing.) My esteemed and dearly beloved Lady Olivia...     I am made bold... Moot gathering... The Voice of God... Esteemed servant... Constantus... Cogitable... Bishop. (Proudly examines his letter.) Yes! True literature is functional. (Exit Cogitable.)

(Frank and Cheryl do the scene change into Lady Olivia's Mansion. This is a free improvisation piece based around the topic of Cheryl/Brian, jilted love. Frank is a friendly ear. Frank arranges to maybe have a cuppa later at Woolies. Curtain closes when scene change complete.) 


Act.1. Sc.4.
(Lady Olivia's house. Gracious balcony. Orsino and Olivia with baby Viola. Curtain opens.)
Orsino: There exists, as yet, no method of accounting for a pair of identical and mobile twin boys. When gathered, there be two of them. Unlinked their number becomes irrational. 'Pi' twin boys. A ha haa! Hmm. Double suns. Yet. Bright and bold as they are, though strangely numbered when in motion, they will aspire to shine brighter when next they see this singular beauty. Little Vi. Nuncle's Treasure.
Olivia: She is beautiful. But 'singular' doth seem so large a word for one so small.
Orsino: She might fit in the clown's fiddle case.
Olivia: Ooh. Don't listen to your great lump of a nuncle, little Viola.
Malvolio: (Off) I will see my Lady! I have the Bishop's favour. (Loud knock.)
Olivia: Enter.
Malvolio: Lady Olivia. Count Orsino. Prithee, hear me. I have an urgent message from the quill of Bishop Cogitable.
Orsino: Cogitable put pen to paper? A likely yarn.
Malvolio: He said God spake unto him, m'lord.
Orsino: Unto Cogitable? He moveth in mysterious ways indeed.
Olivia: Come, Malvolio. Rest here. How fare thee?
Malvolio: Alas, m'Lady, 'til God's intervention with Bishop Cogitable's opinions, mine was ill-fare and scarce of that. I seek, with thy grace to redress this. Pray you. Peruse the letter. Tis urgent, m'Lady.
Olivia: I will, Malvolio. Here and now.
Orsino: I am intrigued.
Olivia: (Reads.) "My esteemed and dearly beloved Lady Olivia." Tis gracious wording.
Orsino: Tis legible script.
Olivia: (Reading) "God hath spoken unto me. Malvolio, who seeks my pardon for witlessness, must have immediate hearing. I am made bold to seek moot gathering at your house tomorrow." I am to arrange a Bishop's court? "Please have thy clown in attendance."
Malvolio: For questioning, M'Lady.
Olivia: "The Voice of God hath spoken unto me. I remain thine esteemed servant. Constantus Cogitable Bishop."
Orsino: Voice of God. Deeply fascinating.
Malvolio: Very very loud. The Bishop said, mLord Count.
Olivia: Malvolio. How did you arrive here so promptly?
Malvolio: Upon a donkey, m'Lady.
Olivia: Well catch thee a fresh donkey and hie thee back to Cogitable with reply. Immediately. All will be prepared. Tis Pardon Friday tomorrow. This may auger well for thee, Malvolio.
Malvolio: Thank thee, m'Lady. Another donkey thou didst say? Immediately?
Olivia: A fresh donkey, Malvolio. Hie thee hence, man. (Malvolio exits.)
Olivia: What has occurred with our sodden Bishop?
(Curtain closes on Orsino and Olivia with baby Viola.)


Interlude: "Brian's self-justification."

(Brian makes his way through the curtain and surreptitiously "finds" his bottle of plonk behind the footing drop.)
Brian: (Drinking) I like to get away if I can. Fresh air. Different company. I'm not "doing for Jane " right now, so we have some moments. A refreshing hiatus. A chance to sort things out a bit. No doubt you know all about Cheryl and Olivia and I by now. Well? What should I do? I mean, what next? OK it was not wise, blabbing to Cheryl before, just before going on. I don't know what came over me. There she was looking at me like that. She was loving me and I just blurted it out. "Um Cheryl?" "Mmm?" "Its Olivia" "Mmm?" "We. Um." Shoulda seen her crumble. She just shrivelled up and walked away. I don't know what came over me. I'm an idiot. I'm an idiot. I'm a mad romantic fool. I'm a lover. A lover of truth. I'm full of the meditative lust of Omar Kayam. I'm full of red wine. (Ding!) How long have I been rambling on? 5 minutes? No? (Ding! Ding!) Now you know my stash spot. Look after it for me like a good friend. We are all lovers, Friends and Lovers. (Ding. Ding. Ding!) Lovers of truth. Lovers of beauty. Lovers of life. Lovers of women.
(The hook takes him.)

Act 1 Scene 5
( Curtain opens. Cheryl is at the checkout. She enters catharsis, holding out a packet of Choc Teddies. "CoC" stands for "Check-out Chick".)
Sound: "Um Cheryl? It's Olivia. Um Cheryl? It's Olivia. Um Cheryl? Um Cheryl?"
Frank: Cheryl? Aar mate.
Cheryl: I wanted something. Not this nothing.
Frank: (To CoC) Could you give me a subtotal on this please? Cheryl. Hang on a tick, mate.
Cheryl: I thought it might be different.
CoC: That's twelve-twenty, sir.
Frank: Ta. OK. Um. Just hang in there, Cheryl.
Cheryl: It was beautiful.
Frank: Ah. A packet Of Holiday Sixes and one of Winny Reds please. I'll put it all on this. Cheque
CoC: Cash out, sir?
Frank: No. Thanks.
Cheryl: Ohh! Grr! Grr! Brr! Brr!
Frank: Thank you.
CoC: You're welcome, sir.
Cheryl: I've made a fool of myself, haven't I.
Frank: I think what you need is a nice hot cuppa.
(To coffee shop.)
Cheryl: Oh God. Phaa. Thanks for being there, Frank.
Frank: Och. Tis nowt, Cheryl. Nowt. How are you going now?
Cheryl: Better. Shaky. I feel like a loser.
Frank: I think you've been dealt one of those losing hands, mate.
Cheryl: It happens.
Frank: Yeah. It happens.
(Cheryl witnesses the Toothpaste Commercial Parody of Olivia and Brian at checkout.)
Olivia: But thy station is so low, fair Sir Bwian of Lismore.
Brian: Ay. Lady Delight. Mistress Knight. Tis a flood-prone situation.
(They canoodle.)
Olivia: Ooh Lawks, Mr. 'Ickton. What will the madam think?
Brian: Let her think of her purse, thou night wench. She covets all change. She counts upon it's increase.
Olivia: Woo, Brian. Yea! Deep.
Brian: I will hear nowt of depth. Let us check out of this shallow pretence.
Olivia: And hie us home to chess. The simple pleasures.
Brian: Ahh! The fireside chat.
Olivia: The bearskin rug.
Brian: The dog.
Olivia: The cat.
Brian: The card.
Olivia: The card? Oh.
(Cross to Cheryl and Frank.)
Cheryl: There's really nothing I can do. Is there.
Frank: Dunno about that. Is the game over? That was a losing hand, Cheryl.
(Cheryl & Frank exit.)
Olivia: The card?
Brian: Hell! Olive, darlin'. The caard.
Olivia: Well! I left me bleedin' card at 'ome di'nt I.
Brian: (To CoC.) Oh well. No card no shop. Sorry.
Olivia: I've a fiver here. Coffee?
Brian: Espresso. Let's go. 

(Curtain.)

End of Act.1.

ACT TWO
Act Two Scene One. ("Dir" is "Director Bob".)

(Curtain opens. Dressing Room. All present except Cheryl.)
Dir: Where's Cheryl?
Olivia: Brian? Hold my things please, sweety.
Frank: (laugh/cough) Pardon.
Olivia: Something funny, Frank?
Frank: Nothing Olivia, Shakespeare.
Olivia: Thank you, Malvolio. That will be all.
Brian: Of course, m'Lady.
Dir: Where's Cheryl?
Frank: She's cuttin' it fine.
Dir: Twenty minutes, everybody! Come on Cheryl, love.
Frank: Saw her in Woolies, Bob. Bit shaken, but alright.
Dir: Right. Fine. She was OK. Fine. OK. Not too much lippy? Yes? No?
Brian: She'll be here, Bob.
Dir: OK. OK. OK. God! This feels like first night again.
Olivia: No Bobby. It's the twelfth night. Poetic length of run, Mr Busby. Simply inspired. I feel exhilarated. Liberated.
(Cheryl bustles in. All business.)
Cheryl: Sorry I'm late, Bob. Unavoidable. I'll have the face on in five to ten. Easy. 
Dir: OK Cheryl. What a relief! Twenty minutes everybody!
Cheryl: There's a line at the door, if you're interested.
Dir: As if this play needs more? Did you get some rest?
Cheryl: Sort of. I'll be glad when this is over. And sad.
Dir: Chin up, Cheryl. Come over for coffee. Tomorrow if you need to. OK?
Cheryl: Thanks.But I think I'll go visit Mum tomorrow. Test run the sidecar.
Dir: Big run.
Cheryl: No problems there. You've been sweet, Bob. All the way through. Thanks.
Dir: It's a big part, Cheryl. A big lump of lingo.
Cheryl: It's dynamite!
Dir: Have a care with yon bomb in thy noggin, clown. 'Tis liable to produce fireworks. Skyrockets. Crackajacks! Double bungers!
(Pipes and drums.)
Cheryl: Hark, honourable director, tis the pipes and drums calling us to dance and sing. Joyous be our steps. (Small swirl.)
Dir: Steps. Steps. Steps. Must see about the steps. Jane. Jane!
(Director off . Cast settle.)
Olivia: I am calm. I am a peaceful pool in the rainforest.
I am Lady Olivia. I am heartfelt care and sympathy. (Director Bob re-enters, satisfied, as Olivia declaims.) Let me fill thy cup with tonics refreshing! Rest thy burdens at yon doorstep keep! Put thy feet up weary travellers all! Place thy careworn brow here. Quiet now. Hear the essence of mine whole being! For I am Olivia! In all that I am, I am all heart!
Frank: 'Twas well done. Pithy.
Dir: Well! Her intent doth carry.
Brian: She doth carry her intent well.
Cheryl: What be the praise of a Fool? 'Twas brilliant, m'Lady.
(All clap as Olivia curtsies.)
End of Scene One

Interlude Between Act Two Scene One andScene Two

(Fool comes out front. Curtain closes behind. Noisy and fun. Jack in the Box and Balloons.)


Act Two Scene Two

( Curtain opens. Lady Olivia's house. Lady Olivia and Bishop Cogitable are on the balcony overlooking the garden. The audience becomes Lady Olivia's Garden maze. Olivia and Cogitable wander through this maze where the Fool still plays. )

 
Cogitable: M'Lady, thou hast a maze in thy garden.
Olivia: Well-trimmed bramble rose and privet, Constantus. Sweet scented and pretty when in flower.
Cogitable: Well trimmed bramble rose and privet. Hmm. Sweet scented (sniffs some "hedge") and pretty. Hmm? Think you, Olivia, that a maze doth seek to baffle rather than edify?
Olivia: My Lord Bishop?
Cogitable: Can such a maze, m'Lady, be a manifestation of the subtle ingress of the intent to deceive through confusion?
Olivia: Fie. Bishop Cogitable: A maze; and of this garden variety; doth provide idylls of pleasant exercise for our bodies. It doth encourage and strengthen those rational parts of our inner processes which thou miraculously have re-discovered. The Count will discourse at length with thee on its mathematics.
Cogitable: Thou speakest well, Lady. Perhaps a maze be not a mask as such. I'll think on it. (The clown is showing off.) M'lady! Thy Clown, behold him!
Olivia: Yes. Dear soul.
Cogitable: Dear soul?
Fool: Dear soul?
Cogitable: He doth indulge in showmanship and mimicry. And look! Regard thy "dear soul", M'Lady
Olivia: My Lord?
Fool: My Lord?
Cogitable: That be mimicry repeated.
Fool: Or I be a bishop's ass. (Donkey's mask playing.)
Cogitable: And that, there. That be a mask in his hand! I shall have him before me on all three counts!
Olivia: Please Codgy. My friend. Be not hasty.
Cogitable: God hath spoken unto me, Lady Olivia. "The Sin of Untruth." Prithee send for thy fool. All will be heard at once. (Cogitable stalks back to the balcony.)
Olivia: Oh! 'Twill be a cacophony. A monkey's feast! Clown, pack up that game please. Our Bishop's gone mad. Am I the only level-headed person left in existence? I am astonished, though, at this new Cogitable of ours. I doubt not the miracle. Nor his exact verbatim rendition; which chilled my spine. Something of the ethers disturbeth mine tranquillity. I must consult with the old woman. (Olivia returns to balcony.) Prithee, let us adjourn m'Lord Cogitable. I need consultation.
Cogitable: To be hasty is to risk error. Though I have this bone twixt my teeth I will bury it till this afternoon, dear Olivia.
Olivia: Thank you, Constantus. Now. (clap clap) Lunch. Portia!
( Olivia and Cogitable exit. Fool just makes it back through closing Curtain.)


End of Scene Two



Interlude Between Act Two Scene Two and Scene Three

(Crone enters front of curtain. She arranges her paraphenalia..)
Crone: (Setting things up) Yes. I am a crone. It's how we old women improve on maturity. I have sure-fire answers for ailments, insults and infestations. Be careful around crones, children. Be extra careful. Yes. (Peers at audience and smiles.) But I can see you're good hearted souls. Now. Who wants a mintie? (Griselda hands out minties.) Now for my interview with Olivia. If I start talking funny, blame Shakespeare. That man. (Olivia enters.)
Olivia: Old Mother. How fare thee?
Crone: Sit down Olivia, thou hast little time for genteel pleasantries. The silver? Ah. Generous girl. Now tell me what's afoot.
Olivia: Cogitable hath heard the Voice of God.
Crone: What did he say?
Olivia: Cogitable?
Crone: God, Olivia.
Olivia: Oh. I have it writ here. The very words. I believe him, Mum.
Crone: Hmmm. Give up drinking till this Twelfth Night Celebration. Ahh yes. After the final curtain.
Olivia: The bishop hath searched his library for reference. He's found nothing. Laudanum offered an opinion that the Faerie Realm be in on it.
Crone: And Griselda, Olive, what saith she?
Olivia: Something is afoot, she sais.
Crone: Something always is.
Olivia: Griselda seeks also to imply that Twelfth Night is a fairy matter.
Crone: 'Tis comedy and politics! Gender confusions.
Olivia: She is preparing for weddings.
Crone: Weddings is it? Listen closely, Lady Olivia!
Olivia: Yes Old Mother?
Crone: This be mine advice. Play this. To points beyond nit-picking, in necessity. This Voice of God doth say to regard all masks, showmanship; oh dear; and mimicry as sin. Sin. O-oh. This reeks of obsessive morality. More advice, Olivia.
Olivia: Yes, Mother?
Crone: Expose to this man the infinitely masked nature of his God and all creation.
Olivia: How?
Crone: Beneath one rock be another.
Olivia: Is that nit picking?
Crone: Yes, But you'll find no nits under rocks. No matter. "Know what you will. Know thy Will." Hmm! There be some didactic in this. Confound him with his interpretations of these few simple words, Olivia.  Rely on the fool. He is your spare wit. The rest about Malvolio be some kind of misplaced exhortation. Cryptic. I know not its origin. And that's all I can glean, daughter, all I can glean. (As they pack up and go their separate ways.) Play it, Olivia.
Olivia: Yes, Mum. (Exit Crone & Olivia.)
Act Two Scene Three

( Curtain opens. A hilltop. Malvolio and the Fool to either side, each musing.)
Malvolio: Mine means do confound mine ends!
Fool: Who laughs at clowns in chains I wonder?
Malvolio: There is hint of ice in Lady Olivia's regard.
Fool: Yon High Priest be more serious than Malvolio once was.
Malvolio: M'Lady must defend her fool.
Fool: He saw what he saw.
Malvolio: Tis Bishop Cogitable's enthusiastic pursuit of God's Word which confounds mine end.
Fool: I can produce many Voices of God; but this one? How does it go? Hmm.
"Know thy will.".Louder methinks. "Know what you will." All meaning?
Malvolio: Does God  forever indulge in puzzles? How can I achieve my former station?
Fool: This voice names and favours our wretched Malvolio. Whose voice will soon see me put away.
Malvolio: M'Lady must defend her fool. And will.
Fool: Malvolio hath changed.
Malvolio: That fool didst speak of friendship did he not?
Fool: He bandied words with me in the midst of his furies. Words, bandied.
Malvolio: Phaa! What's this I'm thinking. Nay, t'was proper to shun his machinations. His Agenda.
Fool: His patron, our Cogitable, will as yet, bandy nowt.
Malvolio: Yet. He is less troublesome to me, and do I say? More amusing than mine ally, the zealous Bishop.
Fool: I am challenged. (Foolish bewilderment.)
(Enter Count and Bishop, together at hilltop, Fool and Malvolio unawares.)
Orsino: All must be accounted for, Constantus. 'Tis justice. Books! Clean and balanced.
Cogitable: True, Count. True.
Orsino: The columns, Constantus. As if guided by the Lord, the columns dance to a culmination of zeroes.
Cogitable: I have heard, and obey, the Voice of God, Count. The Voice of God hath spoken unto me.
Orsino: Yes, yes. But did he not leave thee with quandaries? I tell thee Cogitable, things are not adding up.
Cogitable: I am becoming more puzzled as these cases do proceed, in their adjournment. But, if God wishes to be cryptic tis his prerogative.
Ors: Yet he exhorts thee to do his justice.
Cogitable: "The Sin of Untruth, my son.". He didst extol.
Orsino: If Olivia's maze can be suspected a sinful deception surely cryptic heavenly commands may be pulled from the same set of figures.
Cogitable: Thou hast given me another bone to chew on, Count.
Orsino: One more bone! Ah ha haa. (Thunder and lightning.) 'Tis but a figure of speech, Constantus. Ah ha haa
Malvolio & Fool: Rain?
(Laudanum enters.)
Laudanum: Ho Gentlemen! Ah good. My tired legs do thank thee. All four kind sirs in one place.
All: Four? (Done in round with Count being four. Lightning and thunder!)
Cogitable: What is it, Laudanum?
Laudanum: 'Tis the Lady Olivia, m'Lord. She be ready.
Cogitable: Let us proceed. One and all. (Bishop, Fool & Malvolio exit.)
Orsino: Laudanum, dost thou have a balanced account of this connection to Faerie Tales?
Laudanum: Nay, Count. Griselda be stumped also.
Orsino: Time will tell good man. I count the minutes. Ah ha haa.
(Curtain closes with lightning and thunder.)

End of Scene Three


Interlude between Act Two Scene Three and Scene Four.

(Olivia enters from the side of the stage. She is bright and self possessed, conscious of glamour)

Olivia: Ladies and Gentlemen. Boys and Girls. This is our finale. The last time we do our special version of Twelfth Night. This is my swan song as Lady Olivia. And I have loved every minute of it. I will take this opportunity to welcome you all to this special night and thank you all for coming along and supporting us so well. Thank you one and all. And yes. The party. (Unrolls a scroll)
A
soiree
chez
Lady
Olivia
The party is at my place tonight. A soiree chez Lady Olivia. And you are all invited to come along. We'll all be there, and please BYO something. (Ding!) Oh and by the way. I've been hearing rumours that Brian and I are an item. Well it's not true. Brian and I not an item. OK? (pause) OK? (Ding! Ding!) So yes. Twelfth Night Finale Soiree at the house of Lady Olivia Knight. You're all invited. Thank you. Maestro? My key please. (Ding. Ding.Ding.)
(They begin a glamorous (fat) rendition of "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend". Then the hook comes out. During the song Olivia obliviously evades the hook at least three times.) 



Act Two Scene Four

(Lady Olivia's house with Orsino, Griselda, Olivia, Cogitable, and Malvolio present. The bulk of the hearing has been heard. This scene begins at a loosening point in the proceedings.)
Orsino: Thy tale of woes does not sound as woeful as I am used to, Malvolio.
Malvolio: I speak my true feelings as they are, m'Lord Count.
Olivia: Thy witness seemeth to favour thine accused, Bishop. What says the Lord God to this, hmmm, Constantus? Hmmmm? 
Cogitable: This be an unsorted stack of perplexities, m'Lady.
Olivia: Surely God is unkind to suspend thee so deeply, Sir. Thine efforts question themselves to pieces. Thought by thought.
Cogitable: I can make neither head nor tail of it.
Orsino: When thou dost, Cogitable, thou wilt find tis one animal (Laudanum and Fool enter as a classic two person horse) among many.
Cogitable: Lady Olivia, thou has't chopt all my charges into confetti. I am positively drained. Such a battle of wits. Where's my preparation? Laudanum?
Laudanum: (Wearing horses head.) At once m'Lord Bishop.
(He removes head; doses Cogitable and puts head back on. The fool is playing the rear end of the horse. Fool looks out)
Cogitable: Ah Fool. Thy Mistress hath chased me round and round the farmyard of litigious contention. I can press none of the charges.
Fool: Nowt impresses a horse's ass as much as a happy ending m'Lord 
Cogitable: Home, Griselda. We must turn our libraries upside down again tonight. I will find an answer. Count, Fool, Good Malvolio, oddly God's beloved, and fair Lady Olivia. We must away. Hurry Griselda. Without delay.
Griselda: (With helmet on) Make haste here to wait without, m'Lord?
Cogitable: Neither delay without nor tarry here, Griselda. That hat you wear?
Griselda: 'Tis all the rage in the fiords, Father.
Cogitable: The fiords you say, Zelda? Where's Laudanum? Laudanum!
Laudanum: Yes m'Lord.
Cogitable: Home man. Hie we hence. God bless thy household M'Lady Olivia, and equally thine Count Orsino. (Bishop, Griselda and Laudanum exit.)
Olivia: Well Malvolio?
Malvolio: M'Lady
Olivia: Thou hast thy pardon. Does thine ill treatment require more recompense?
Malvolio: Lady Olivia. I confess here to a shocking sense of surprise. I feel deep contentment. How does this feeling dwell in mine bosom and belly so comfortably? I am here, Lady in thy company; and content.
Olivia: Content.
Malvolio: Lady. With contents I am fulfilled.
Olivia: Such gracious words Malvolio.
Fool: He doth bandy again.
Malvolio: Nay Fool. I bandy not, for here I am willing to profess deep love for my Lady Olivia (kneels). In my prayers I thank the Lord for thy many kindnesses, Lady. 
Olivia: Oh Malvolio, sir!
Fool: And I thank all the Gods and their mothers for merriments. (Capers to violin.) M'Lady?
Olivia: Please Fool, t'will enhance little Viola's dreams.
Orsino: Bravo Fool. A waltz beat please. I shall count thee in. A One, Two, Three. Ah ha haa!
(Thunder and lightning, treated as normal by the company. Fool plays a merry waltz thing as Orsino and Olivia dance. Malvolio claps and capers with the fool. The band strikes in for the chorus and out again. Curtain closes.)

End of Scene Four


Interlude between Act Two Scene Four and Scene Five.
(Director Bob's Wrap up.)

Dir: Well. How's it going? Wiggle the bums a bit. I found out that circulation in the buttocks region is an important thing to regulate whilst directing. I have the added luxury of being able to get up and do sort of active directing, conducting. I like the angles. Yes anyway. Wiggle them buns folks. Stand up and give them a slap if you like. Wiggle wiggle. Yeah. Feels good. OK now. If we're all real quiet for a bit we can hear the set changing behind this beautiful curtain. Hear that! Ordered chaos. (The sound of glass breaking.) Oh! Glass! Excuse me. (Disappears through curtain. Enter Page.)
Page: Ladies and Gentlemen. Children. The Finale! Act Two Scene Five in which the Voice of God is revealed and explained. (Exit Page.)

Act Two Scene Five

(Curtain opens on Olivia's house. There is a mock Shakesperian entrance for the party. Fog. Lounge, sound system, coffee table. The party is almost over. Cheryl is exhausted to the point of toppling sideways. Brian has a second wind. He is playing CDs. The cast and crew say farewells. Olivia leaves as well. With the Count. This leaves Brian, all revved up and Cheryl almost out to it.)
Brian: Brilliant Cheryl. Touching. Always touching.
Cheryl: (Exhaustion.) Must call a taxi. 
(Cheryl topples sideways onto sofa. Light dims on sofa. Here Cheryl is replaced to enter later as Fool.)
Brian: Always dependably brilliant Cheryl (looking through CDs). Huh! This is the one! This one Cheryl! Bob sent me this two rehearsals in. The "Voice of God" CD. Tis an atmospheric directorial exhortation. 'A briefing note if you will', said Bob. Think I was into the port at the time. Bit messy. I'd only just met you. I wonder if you know your own power. How easily the fool came to you. I saw you struggle but wow. Bob always said you were in the right place at the right time. Sorry I hurt you, Cheryl. Ahh. She sleeps. "The "Voice of God" CD! It is worth another listen. (Inserts and plays. Blackout as Brian muddles about with torch. "Wass goin on? etc". "Power" returns.  ABC News Theme . Loud.)
VoG: Hear me esteemed servant.
Brian: Where's the volume knob on this thing?
VoG These instructions. Take ye them to thy bosom.
Brian: Bosom, he says. Our Director's a boy at heart. Bless him. Where's the bloody volume knob!
VoG: First, forswear all alcohol till this twelfth night celebration.
Brian: Sure. Like that!
VoG: Till after the final curtain.
Brian: Yet he plied me conservatively tonight did he not. I had to fend for myself.
VoG: All ferments and spiritous liquors.
Brian: Oh God. Where's the thing? The volume thing?
VoG: Not even communion wine. I know thee.
(Fool enters.)
Fool: Unseasonal fog tonight.. Peculiar atmosphere. Bright. Ah Mine Olivia's house. A soiree. Sans moi?
VoG: Second. Regard all masks, showmanship and mimicry as deceit. The Sin of Untruth my son. The Sin of Untruth.
Fool: That be the Voice of God or I'm no fool.
(Brian searches around Cheryl on sofa.)
VoG: Third. Know "what you will". Know thy Will.
Brian: Shakespeare, Bob. Ear piercing Shakespeare.
Fool: I have stumbled into a play. Nay! 'Tis stranger than fiction.
VoG: "Last and above all else, care for Malvolio. Give him fine garments of sombre hue as suit the man. Feed Malvolio as well as thy purse and wits allow.
Brian: Purse and wits! (Drinker's salute)
Fool: This man of cups here. 'Tis a caricature of Malvolio! His twin maybe.
VoG: God has spoken. Stay sober. (Choral Amen cut off by Brian at CD player.)
Brian: Stay sober! (Drinker's salute)
Fool: Sirra? Malvolio?
Brian: What? Surely not the wine.
Fool: Malvolio?
Brian: Fool? Cheryl?
(Brian checks Cheryl. She is still there.)
Fool: Strange meetings, Malvolio.
Brian: You look like Cheryl.
Fool: Who?
Brian: Cheryl. Here. Exactly the same.
Fool: Why. She could be my twin! What world is this? I have only just stumbled in, Malvolio.
(Brian takes time to wonder about things.  Punch drunk on reality.)
Brian: Please. Prove I'm not seeing things!
Fool: We are all seeing things Malvolio. We are all of us seeing things.

(Curtain closes.)

The End.

 

If you would like to stage this play; or publish it; please email me.

Will Hogg.
888 Tuntable Creek Rd.
The Channon.
NSW. 2480.