Sleeping Beauty – and the importance of saying Thank You!
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Cast size: 12 upwards. This play for schools can be performed by a class as small as 12 – as this is the number of main speaking parts; but with the addition of ‘courtiers’ the cast size can easily be increased upwards.
Duration: Around 20 minutes.
This is a truly alternative version of Sleeping Beauty – with a ‘Wicked’ Fairy who hates anything ‘nice’; a king and queen ‘at loggerheads’, a princess destined not to win a prince (of any description), and as usual, a despairing narrator – given the impossible task off pulling of yet another ill-fated assembly! It can be used for PSHE - as it strongly reinforces the importance of saying Thank You; or it can be used in Literature (as an example of an alternative text) or as a play to put on at Christmas.
King: One hundred years? Seems a little O.T.T.!
Queen: One hundred years? But that means I’ll be dead when she wakes up!
Sleep Fairy: Oh, you don’t need to worry about that! You will all fall asleep together. And wake up together!
King: (Spluttering) But! But! What about Man. United? Are they going to be asleep too?
Sleep Fairy: Er, no..
Queen: And what about Eastenders? How can I possibly catch up on one hundred years’ worth of episodes?
Narrator: (Sarcastically) Oh dear! And what if World War Three breaks out? Oh, but I guess that pales into insignificance alongside football teams and soaps!
Beautiful Fairy: Oh, you can always come to me for those. (Delving into cosmetics bag) Now, let me see. I have lavender scented, or un-perfumed if you prefer …
Narrator: (Exploding) No, I don’t prefer! Here we are, discussing the future of the world – and all you can think about is …… cosmetics?
Sleep Fairy: (Clutching head) For some strange reason, that headache of mine doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Perhaps it’s a little peace and quiet that I need! You (turning to King and Queen) should be happy that you’ve got off so light! You’re not going to die, are you? I‘m going to leave now – before I change my mind!
(Exit Sleep Fairy)
Narrator: Well, really! These fairies are just so – touchy!
King: That’s women, for you! ‘Course it’s left to us men to do what’s practical. Like banning all spinning wheels in the kingdom!
Queen: (Hugging King) Oh, dearie! How very clever of you!
Clever Fairy: I was just about to make that suggestion myself!
Good Fairy: Well, it was good of you to let him have his moment of glory.
(Aside) I strongly suspect he won’t have many more!
Beautiful Fairy: Right! Come along, girls! Time for our beauty sleep!
Dance Fairy: (Aside) Yeah. Doesn’t look like there’s going to be too much wild dancing around these parts!
Song Fairy: Or riotous music! Let’s go!
(All exit, leaving just Narrator standing)
Narrator: (Consulting notes) Well. I make that about half way! I would say (to audience) time for an intermission …. But as I don’t see any ice cream ladies in the aisles, I think we’ll just press on! So. Quick forward wind – seventeen years later and guess what?
(Enter Sleeping Beauty)
Sleeping Beauty: I’m all grown up! And despite everything that was meant to happen, I’m still, as you can see, alive and kicking!
King: Daughter! Where are you? Oh, there you are! Have you done your homework?
Sleeping Beauty: (Sighing) Yes, papa!
King: Now, don’t you go lying to me! Have you, or have you not?
Sleeping Beauty: Well, ..
King: (Exploding) I knew it! Go and do it this instant! What was it you had to do tonight?
Sleeping Beauty: A bit of craftwork for tomorrow’s Design Technology
King: Ooh. Not your strongest subject.
(Enter Wicked Fairy in disguise)
King: Just as well I got you some extra tuition. What was it you have to do?
Sleeping Beauty: Oh, just a bit of spinning, papa!
King: Ah! That’s right! You wouldn’t believe the trouble I had finding this (pointing to Wicked Fairy) nice
(Wicked Fairy ‘spits’ to one side)
Wicked Fairy: Oh, so sorry! Just a little something in my throat!
King: This nice lady and her spinning wheel!
Sleeping Beauty: Well, you did ban all spinning wheels from your kingdom, remember, papa?
King: I did indeed! So all the more fortunate for you that I managed to find one, in time for your class tomorrow!
Sleeping Beauty: How clever of you, papa!
Narrator: Am I missing something or isn’t this just the tiniest bit risky?
King: Silence man! Can’t you see my daughter and I are enjoying some quality ‘together time’. It hasn’t been easy, you know – what with my wife filling her head with all that nonsense about men being trouble.
Narrator: Well, I have to say, in this case …
King: You don’t have to say anything! The queen doesn’t need to know! I’m sure she’ll thank me when our daughter gets top marks in Design Technology tomorrow! Well, I’ll leave you two to it! Night night!
Sleeping Beauty: Good night, papa!
(Turning to Wicked Fairy) I’m sorry. We haven’t been properly introduced!
Wicked Fairy: Oh no need for that, my dear! I don’t want to take up too much of your precious time.
(Aside) You have little enough of it left!
Sleeping Beauty: What was that?
Wicked Fairy: Oh, just saying, if you could take this needle with your left hand; that’s it. And now with your left finger, just make sure the point isn’t blunt.
Sleeping Beauty: What? Like this?
(Sleeping Beauty pricks her finger with the needle and immediately falls down, asleep)
Wicked Fairy: (Laughing hysterically) Ha! Ha! Yes, just like that! Oh, why do they make it so easy for me?
(Enter King and Queen, who, seeing Sleeping Beauty, screams and runs over to her)
Queen: Oh my daughter! My beautiful daughter!
Wicked Fairy: Make that your beautiful sleeping daughter!
Queen: But how?
(King starts to move away; Narrator bars his way)
Narrator: Er, wasn’t it something to do with high marks in Technology – for spinning?
(Queen flies at King, with shaking fists but then begins to fall, like King, into a sleep; rest of cast follows suit)
Wicked Fairy: Ooh! Shame! That could have been quite entertaining – a king murdered by his queen! Ah well, looks like my work here is done.
Narrator: (Hastily) Not so fast! Hey, you can’t leave now!
Wicked Fairy: Why ever not? Too quiet for you around here?
Wicked Fairy: OK! Easily sorted!
(Wicked Fairy waves her wand and whole cast erupts into deafening snoring)
Wicked Fairy: Better?
(Narrator clasps hands over his ears)
Narrator: (Shouting) Please! Have mercy on me!
(Wicked Fairy waves her wand and snoring ceases)
Wicked Fairy: Mercy (spitting) indeed! It’s more than you deserve, that’s for sure!
Narrator: But are you seriously going to leave them (pointing to cast) like this, for the next one hundred years?
(Enter Sleep Fairy)
Sleep Fairy: That was the deal!
Narrator: But (pointing towards audience) Do they look like they can wait one hundred years?
Wicked Fairy: It looks to me as if at least one or two of them (looking at teachers and parents) are more than enjoying the peace and quiet!
Narrator: But what will I tell the governors? Who is going to be around, in one hundred years’ time, to explain to this lot, what happened? I’ve heard of school plays going wrong, but this one takes the biscuit!