The Persons of the Play

CHORUS

Advertisement

The Stupendous STILTSKIN

JEAN-LUC of Picardy

Advertisement

An INQUISITOR

Advertisement

HECKLER

CROWD MEMBER

A VOLUNTEER

RABBLE

Advertisement

GUARDSMEN

_____________________________________________

Advertisement

Prologue

Enter [CHORUS as] Prologue

CHORUS: In London Town lies our scene. Near the Thames,

Advertisement

Advertisement

within the confines of a ramshackle

abode, our gaseous hero resides.

Destitute, drunk, and mildly deranged, he

Advertisement

spends his days railing against this jaundiced

world. In his youth he was the King’s fart man—

Advertisement

the most spectacular flatulist in

Advertisement

all of Albion. Not since the days of

Roland the Farter has there been one so

esteemed for his mastery of the wind.

Advertisement

His star fell in the King’s court; banished he

Advertisement

was from all he’d ever known. Thereupon

he became an itinerant, and ne’er

Advertisement

stopped searching for a way back to the top.

Now, bedecked in his most extravagant

popinjay attire, he once more sets

Advertisement

Advertisement

out to dazzle the masses, not as a

flatulist, but as a mentalist. Exit

_____________________________________________

Advertisement

1.1

Enter [The Stupendous] STILTSKIN performing in a public square

Advertisement

STILTSKIN: Now for my next bold prophecy. In the

Advertisement

not too distant future, I foresee a

lamentable tragedy occurring.

I know not the who, what, where, and wherefore,

Advertisement

but mark me kind citizens: I am not

Advertisement

false.

HECKLER: Hey magician!

Advertisement

STILTSKIN: May thy plow seize, sirrah! I am not some

miserable magician: I am a

mentalist. Not that any of you vile,

Advertisement

Advertisement

confounded knaves would know the difference!

HECKLER: Weren’t ye a flatulist for the King

before thou becam’st a magic man?

Advertisement

CROWD MEMBER: Yea, he beeth that fart man of renown

who once dazzled the King’s court with unmatched

Advertisement

displays of flatulence mastery.

Advertisement

STILTSKIN: Sorry, but I do not engage in that

silliness any longer: I am a

mentalist now, not a silly-time man.

Advertisement

RABBLE: [shouting severally] Thou stinkst at the mental magic, fart man!

Advertisement

STILTSKIN: Oh really? How is this for stinking, ye

worthless conglomeration of execrable

Advertisement

guttersnipe!

[STILTSKIN turns around, grabs his ankles, and bellows out a mighty trumpet of gas]

RABBLE: [breaks into thunderous laughter and applause, some cry tears of joy]

Advertisement

Advertisement

STILTSKIN: Fie upon my life! O Lord in Heaven!...

Wherefore hast thou abandoned me to this

cruel ignominy? Exit

Advertisement

_____________________________________________

2.0

Advertisement

Enter CHORUS

Advertisement

CHORUS: With the swiftest speed our scene shifts to the

frosty desolation of Dartmoor, where

our hero has taken to holing up

Advertisement

in a delve. An anchorite he’s become—

Advertisement

solemn contemplation his new calling.

The damage has been done, for him there is

Advertisement

nothing more to be won. Exit

2.1

Enter STILTSKIN and JEAN-LUC [of Picardy] with a walking stick

Advertisement

Advertisement

JEAN-LUC: Ça va, mon fils?

STILTSKIN: Excuse me?

JEAN-LUC: Je l’ai dit, ‘Ça va, mon fils?’

Advertisement

STILTSKIN: Speak American, goddamn frog!

JEAN-LUC: My apologies, I am a stranger

Advertisement

in this land. My name is Jean-Luc. I

Advertisement

hail from France. It’s [vaguely points in the direction of Crampkin Hollow]

over that way.

STILTSKIN: Thou art complected like a blackamoor

Advertisement

from Prester John’s Land! I always knew

Advertisement

Frenchers were a strange breed.

JEAN-LUC: Yea, it is true, and not a fault. I have

Advertisement

been scorchéd by the torrid sun for nigh

on six-and-forty years. Verily, I

was a sea captain once. I spent many

Advertisement

Advertisement

years sailing to the far corners of the world—

once even as far as to the land of

Pliny’s fabled dog-headed men.

Advertisement

STILTSKIN: Why are ye here? There is nary a man

here, besides myself. I have befriended

Advertisement

only the rocks. They speak to me. They have

Advertisement

seen much and impart their wisdom to me.

JEAN-LUC: I have become a wanderer. Why art

thou here, my son?

Advertisement

STILTSKIN: ’Tis a long story… I was a farter

Advertisement

once, in the service of the King. We fell

out over a wench, canst thou believe it?

Advertisement

I tupped his favorite ewe after one

of my fart-a-thons. She was taken with

my prodigious talent, so I took her.

Advertisement

Advertisement

His Majesty caught us in the midst of

some spirited conjugation.

JEAN-LUC: A flatulist, eh? That is a noble

Advertisement

profession. The gaseous arts are not to

be looked down upon. My dear departed

Advertisement

father was Le Fartere in the court of

Advertisement

Henri IV.

STILTSKIN: No shit?

JEAN-LUC: Oui… Please continue.

Advertisement

STILTSKIN: Thenceforward I was down-and-out. I roamed

Advertisement

the streets of Eastcheap day and night.

Drinking sack became my life, until one

Advertisement

fated day I happened to cross paths with

an old, wizened ment’list who called himself

the Hyperbolic Hackman. Little did

Advertisement

Advertisement

I know that my life was about to change.

Hackman introduced me to the strange

and wonderful art of mentalism.

Advertisement

Unfortunately, he was killed in a

freak ox cart accident before he could

Advertisement

teacheth me anything of substance.

Advertisement

JEAN-LUC: I can train thee in the fantastical

arts of mental magic, my boy.

STILTSKIN: Thou canst?

Advertisement

JEAN-LUC: Aye. I dabbles a bit in the mental

Advertisement

arts.

STILTSKIN: Huzzah! What a wondrous happenstance! Exeunt

Advertisement

2.2

Enter STILTSKIN and JEAN-LUC climbing the steepest hill in Dartmoor

JEAN-LUC: Push it to the limit, my dear fellow!

Advertisement

Advertisement

STILTSKIN: And why are we doing this?

JEAN-LUC: Come on, matey! ♫ Getting strong now! ♫

Advertisement

[ten days later]

Advertisement

STILTSKIN: My training is complete. I am ready

Advertisement

to go back to London now. I am a

magic man, unequivocally.

JEAN-LUC: Make it so, my boy. Make it so. Exeunt

Advertisement

_______________________________________________

Advertisement

3.0

Enter CHORUS

Advertisement

CHORUS: With new-found confidence our hero

flies with celerity back to London.

Gone are the sunken and red-rimmed eyes of

Advertisement

Advertisement

a bedlamite, and in their place peaceful

vernality resides. The Frenchman’s quick

and efficient lessons have provided

Advertisement

Stiltskin with the essentials he needs to

succeed in the cutthroat world of

Advertisement

mental magic. Exit

Advertisement

3.1

Enter STILTSKIN performing in a public square

STILTSKIN: For my next dazzling demonstration of

Advertisement

mentalism mastery, I shall speak with

Advertisement

the dead. I will need a volunteer. Which

of ye shall be my volunteer?

Advertisement

VOLUNTEER: I volunteer.

STILTSKIN: My kind sir, hast thou lost a close friend or

family member recently?

Advertisement

Advertisement

VOLUNTEER: Yes, too many. The great pox is rampant

in these parts. I’m sure many of us have lost

close friends and family.

Advertisement

STILTSKIN: Aha! So thou hast lost someone then! How

do I do it, folks!? I’m the [in singsong voice] Stupendous

Advertisement

Stilkskin!

Advertisement

[Enter INQUISITOR with GUARDSMEN]

INQUISITOR: By royal decree of His Majesty,

this blasphemer is under arrest for heresy!

Advertisement

Take him away to the gaol, boys!

Advertisement

STILTSKIN: Oh. This is most lamentable.

Exeunt GUARDSMEN with STILTSKIN in chains

Advertisement

_______________________________________________

4.0

Enter CHORUS

Advertisement

Advertisement

CHORUS [is out for a smoke break] Exit

4.1

Enter INQUISITOR and STILTSKIN in the torture chamber

Advertisement

INQUISITOR: I have seen heretics from all walks of

life during my storied career doing

Advertisement

torture. But none of them were as vile

Advertisement

as thou art,Stiltskin!

STILTSKIN: [hanging in a strappado]

INQUISITOR: Time for thee to answer some questions!

Advertisement

STILTSKIN: You ain’t gettin’ shit outta me.

Advertisement

INQUISITOR: Beest thou a magician, Stiltskin?

STILTSKIN: Nay, my good sir: I am a mentalist.

Advertisement

INQUISITOR: And what is that?

STILTSKIN: I prognosticate things with precision,

among other talents.

Advertisement

Advertisement

INQUISTOR: Hmm. Beest thou a flatulist, Stiltskin?

STILTSKIN: I was once the greatest flatulist in

all the land once upon a time.

Advertisement

INQUISITOR: Thou freely admit’st thou wert a fart man?

STILTSKIN: Aye, every inch a fart man.

Advertisement

INQUISITOR: Then thou art a magician and a fart

Advertisement

man! Both be blasphemous occupations

that affront the sacrifices of our Lord

and Saviour! Thou shalt burneth like a

Advertisement

Templar, Stiltskin!

Advertisement

STILTSKIN: Before thou burn me at the stake I

need to tellest thou one last thing.

Advertisement

INQUISITOR: Yes, what is it?

STILTSKIN: Com’st closer. Near my ass.

[STILTSKIN whips around and belches out a molten-hot fart from his ass into INQUISITOR’s face]

Advertisement

Advertisement

_______________________________________________

5.0

Enter CHORUS

Advertisement

CHORUS: The death procession marches closer to

the appointed spot where our hero will

Advertisement

meet his maker. Barefooted, rope around

Advertisement

his neck, nothing now stands between him and

his date with fire. The stake is set, the

kindling’s stacked. It wasn’t s’posed to end like this. Exit

Advertisement

5.1

Advertisement

Enter STILTSKIN tied to the stake and INQUISITOR with a torch

INQUISITOR: Any last words before I send thee to

Advertisement

the fiery pits of hell?

STILTSKIN: I am resigned to my destiny as

a martyr. Or more like fartyr, amirite!?

Advertisement

Advertisement

Folks???

INQUISITOR: [lights STILTSKIN on fire]

STILTSKIN: O I die! [He dies] Exeunt with the body