Mr Parsons, butler, & Mrs Horton, housekeeper, with onlooker.

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Dates: August/September 2008
Venue: The National Trust at Charlecote Park
Performers: Kathryn Bond, Lindsey Chapman, Fionn Gill, Richard Talbot, Janet Young

11.30 Arrival and "characters in the landscape"

11.50 Meeting with the household staff. All servants to attend.
12.00 Set objects.
12.20 Meeting of the servants. Parsons issues daily duties and jobs rota.

13.00 Lay table for Servant's lunch
14.30 individual preparation/some dancing practice in the yard
14.55 Parade to sensory gardens or parading to the steps near the gatehous

To this music:
Children bash buckets, drum,piccolo/violin/recorder

What shall we do with the drunken butler ?
What shall we do with the drunken butler ?
What shall we do with the drunken butler ?
Early In the morning ..

Oo-ray and up she rises
Oo-ray and up she rises
Oo-ray and up she rises
Early In the morning ..

Put him in the ice house till he's sober
Put him in the ice house till he's sober
Put him in the ice house till he's sober
Early In the morning ..

(Alternative verses)
Throw him in the river and duck him under (from Emma Jones)
Put him in the stables with a shovel (from Emma Jones)

15.00 Play begins

The dance is taught briefly with rhythm on drum, for use later in the play.
males and females line up opposite one another
hold hands
then step towards one another
step 1 2, clap clap (x2)
interlock arms and swing, right, switch arms and swing left
form a star shape from outstretched arms and overlayed hands of four people (two couples) and dance in a circle
hold hands and skip down and up the line one pair at a time
form a church roof of interlocked arms and one couple runs through
all other couples follow in turn.
Each time a couple get to the bottom, they separate and return to the top round the back of the other dancers
Repeat from the beginning

Marry on Monday for health,
Tuesday for wealth,
Wednesday the best day of all,
Thursday for crosses,
Friday for losses, and
Saturday for no luck at all.

Butler explains context
(introduce wedding theme, names, acting in exaggerated Physical Theatre/Melodramatic style)

Act I sc 1 - Beatrice and Benedick (names have been substituted)

Beatrice (Miss Hunt): I wonder that you will be still talking Mr. Parsons; nobody marks you.'
Benedick (Parsons): What my dear Disdainful Miss Hunt! Are you yet living?
Beatrice (Hunt): Is it possible Distain should die when she has such meet food to feed it as Mr. Parsons. Courtesy itself must convert to distain if you come in her presence.
Benedick (Mr Parsons): Then courtesy is a turncoat. -It is certain I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted: and I would I could find it in my heart that I had not a hard heart: for truly I love none.
Beatrice (Hunt): I thank God, and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that. I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow, than a man swear he loves me.
Benedick (Mr Parsons): God keep your ladyship still in that mind !So some gentleman or other shall 'scape a predestinate scratched face.
Beatrice (Hunt): Scratching could not make it worse, an 'twere such a face as yours were.
Benedick (Mr Parsons): Well you are a rare parrot-maid
Beatrice (Hunt): A bird of my tounge is better than a beast of yours.
Benedick (Mr Parsons): I wish my horse had the speed of your tongue, and was such a continuer, but God keep you in your way I have done
Beatrice (Hunt): I know you of old.

Scullery Maid sings
Sigh no more dear ladies, sigh no more
Men were deceivers ever
One foot in sea one foot on shore
To one thing constant never
Then sigh not so
But let them go
And be you blithe and bonnie
Converting all your sounds into
Hey Nonny Nonny

A harmony on the last line is developed with audience joining in
Ellis is hidden in a row of women, all are veiled/masked

Act V sc iv

Benedick (Parsons): Soft and fair, friar - Which is Miss Hunt?
Beatrice (Hunt): I answer to that name (unmasking) what is your will?
Benedick (Mr Parsons): Do you not love me ?
Beatrice (Miss Hunt): Why, no, no more than reason.
Benedick (Mr Parsons): Why, then your uncle the Rector of Lockington and George Hammond Lucy and Ellis, the groundsman have been deceived; they swore you did.
Beatrice (Miss Hunt): Do not you love me ?
Benedick (Mr Parsons): Troth, no, no more than reason.
Beatrice (Miss Hunt): Why, then my cousin, Nicholes and Chris who works in the shop have been deceived; for they swear you did.
Benedick (Mr Parsons): They swear that you are almost sick for me.
Beatrice (Miss Hunt): They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me.
Benedick (Mr Parsons): 'Tis no such matter - Then you do not love me ?
Beatrice (Hunt) : No, truly, but in friendly recompense.

(Members of the public):
Come cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman

and I'll be sworn upon it that he loves her; for here's a paper, written in his hand,
a halting sonnet of his own pure brain, fashioned to Hunt, the House Maid

an here's another, writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket. containing her affection unto Mr Parsons

Benedick (Mr Parsons): A miracle ! Here's our own hands against our hearts - Come I will have thee but by this light I take thee for pity.
Beatrice (Miss Hunt): I would not deny you; but by this good day, I yield upon great persuasion; and partly to save your life, for I was told you were in a consumption.
Benedick (Mr Parsons): Peace, I will stop your mouth.

They both bite one side each of a piece of fruit, Nichols aids this symbolic moment

Masked Dancing
Use the second piece of handwritten music.

Mrs Horton's Jig
external image photostream


Confetti is sprinkled over everyone

If we 'servants' have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding, but a dream,
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And 'dancing' shall restore amends.

15.30 Return to work
15.40 Servant's debrief in scullery, while working
16.00 Lay servants' tea in scullery
16.15 Clear away objects
16.30 Gatehouse activity
16.50 Drive activity

[Alternative music for future versions: madrigal: "Brightly Dawns Our Wedding Day" from the Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan. This would depend on the ability of some to read music and sing in tune in harmony. In extract there is potential for the teaching of "Ding-dong" in alternating octaves, with a descending tune on top.]